Papal visit inspires cathedral’s upgrades
USA: Pope Francis visited the US in September of 2015, making appearances and drawing massive crowds. The Philadelphia-based Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, in order to document and share a live stream of the Pope’s visit to its facility with broadcasters and worldwide satellite providers, and through them to the followers of the ‘People’s Pope,’ installed an updated video broadcast system.
The new setup, marking the Cathedral’s transition from SD to HD, includes an Apple ProRes recording device and required an HDMI to HD-SDI conversion solution. Joe Pagano, CEO and chief engineer at RGB Broadcast Video Services, and the designer and implementer of the system, decided to incorporate an AJA Ki Pro Rack and the AJA HA5 Mini-Converter. ‘I use AJA gear on almost every project,’ Mr Pagano shared. 'The specs on the Ki Pro Rack and HA5 were particularly appealing for this install. We have used AJA products for over 15 years with great results.’
In three months, Mr Pagano and the RGB team designed and assembled the system, installing more than 762m of Belden HD cabling, eight robotic broadcast cameras and 50-inch LCD monitors throughout the sanctuary. The project presented several attachment challenges, as the team worked to seamlessly blend in the new technology with the 200-year old building.
Wired for HD 1080i, the installation is powered by a robotic camera system comprising Panasonic broadcast-grade AW-HE130 and AW-HE870 cameras. In the upper sacristy, the master control room includes a NewTek 800 series switcher, 20 X 20 routers, 16-input multi-viewers and a Soundcraft audio board fed by 23 microphone sources. Two AJA Ki Pro Racks and four 1TB KiStor recording modules facilitate ProRes recording, while two AJA HA5 Mini-Converters linked with Paralinx receivers convert HDMI to HD-SDI.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul installation remains in operation for capturing, recording and archiving masses and high-profile events.