Church Video Library do you need one?

Once you have started a church video department or ministry, then before you know it, there will be a need to have a very efficient way of cataloging and archiving a lot of the video footage you shoot, edit and the many productions that will be made, because there will either be a requirement when working on a project or you might get a request from a congregation member or the Pastor for a video clip of a particular event that happened sometime ago when they know it was recorded by the church video equipment.

I'm fully aware that many of you who have just started a video ministry will not have the budget to afford a multiple terabyte computer based video storage array or solutions based on Final Cut server, especially since most of you are still going to be recording church services with a single camera onto DV tape.

What I'm talking about is thinking about what system you are going to be using to label, store and index your tapes, and the DVDs that you will start accumulating as the video department starts to get involved in the church's business. If you needed a copy of the message that was preached by a guest minister on a sunday morning one year ago, would you be able to tell if it was video recorded, if it was, where is the tape, and is it possible to make use of the footage?

Royality free video

Other things you need to be thinking about is where will you keep all the tapes? In a church member's house, what about the issues of advancing in technology, when you change camera's and upgrade will you still be able to access old footage, when should you start to put your media into the digital format, what format, compression, etc.

Just as I'm asking you these questions, I'm thinking about the same for my church as well, so I don't have all the answers at the moment, but I do know that we have to improve on our current church video library, which partly consists of labelled boxes of DV tapes and some digital media stored on portable USB hard drives.

Obviously the day will come when we will be able to use a computerised solution maybe based on Final Cut Server, since we currently use Apple Macs and Final Cut Express/Pro for editing, but with or without this, there will always be a need to locate and use old church video footage and the easier it is to locate, the better for your department.


aMY g said...

I ordered the book you recommended. We have been live streaming for 6 years and are now upgrading everything! $20-30k project by the time it's all done. However, they're relying on me (the only experience I have is running the cameras and streaming for our church) to continue operating everything and I need some 'upgrading too'! Yikes. The people who are installing everything for us provides training too - big relief.
Thanks for this blog. Lots of helpful information.
We have several avenues our DVD's, CD's and tapes take so I am very thankful that is not my responsibility. :)

Shola said...

Amy, thanks for the comment. I hope all goes well with the upgrade, just remember it takes time to get used to the new church video equipment, so don't be pressurised if quality suffers a little in the beginning.

You are going to need time to adjust as well as get new work flows into place. Take full advantage of all training given, and don't forget to get as many people as possible involved.

While you might need to have an overall idea of how every single thing fits together, get individuals responsible for different tasks like setting up tripods, cameras, cables, mixer desk, etc.

Delegation makes you work easier, and also makes team members feel responsible for tasks, remember nothing is less important, if the talkback system is not connected, you can't communicate with camera operators. If there is no video connection to the streaming computer, your internet audience are cut off, so let them know every little detail helps the whole team.

Take care, and enjoy the new challenges..

aMY g said...

Thanks! I'm looking forward to the whole process.

Anonymous said...


I need an advice.
Our church is planning to buy a new video mixer.
And I am the one who responsible to look for it.
and my choice are the SE-2000 mixer or panasonic AG-HMX100, but all our cameras are sony PD-170 type. Are they compatable? I mean the sony camera with se-2000.

Shola said...

If you are using the Sony PD170 cameras, then the Datavideo SE-2000 mixer is not compatible as it is HD only and uses SDI interface, so the Panasonic AG-HMX100 is the one you need out of the two options.

The good thing about the AG-HMX100 mixer is that it can do either SD or HD, so you can upgrade to the higher resolution format just by changing the cameras.

The Panasonic is more expensive, so you will need a bigger budget than if you were going for the SE-2000.

All the best with your project.

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