A collection of paperwork and technology on a table

 

Written by Matt Frazer

 

More and more funeral homes are starting to provide funeral webcasting — and for good reason. However, a lot of funeral homes that have never offered funeral webcasting don’t know where to begin. We typically see the biggest barrier to funeral webcasting is the setup of equipment. Funeral homes simply do not know what to do or where to start.

 

Today, we are going to teach you the main funeral webcasting equipment that is needed for a fixed camera system that would mount to the ceiling of the chapel. First, we will start with the list of equipment, and then explain what each piece of equipment does and how it connects to each other.

 

Our suggested funeral webcasting equipment list:

  • Camera: Axis 214 Day/Night PTZ Network Camera
  • Decoder: Axis P7701 Video Decoder
  • Midspan and Splitter: Axis T8123 Midspan and Axis T8126 Splitter
  • USB Capture Device: Kworld USB Video Capture Device
  • Cable: Cat5 network cable (standard network cable)
  • Laptop Computer
  • Tribute Center

Axis 214 PTZ Network Camera

Let’s first start with the Axis 214 camera and talk about why we chose this particular camera over all the others. First, the name says it all — “Axis.” Axis seems to be the clear leader in the IP Camera industry and, from a software provider’s perspective, has the best drivers to work with.

 

Second, the Axis 214 camera can zoom in from more than 150 feet and does not lose any quality. On top of that, it is one of the best IP cameras we have seen in low-light conditions. There are several places on the internet you can buy this camera, and the going price seems to be around $1,300. So as you can imagine, when you install the Axis 214 camera into your funeral chapel for funeral webcasting, the two main things that stick out the most is the distance the camera can zoom and the quality the camera can perform in bad light conditions. Not to mention the camera is a PTZ Camera (pan/tilt/zoom), which means you can control the camera with your computer mouse.

 

What is really neat is that you can create presets on the camera that allow you to zoom into specific spots within the chapel. For example, the most popular presets would be a close up of the podium, a wide angle view of the entire funeral chapel, and also a more close-up view of the casket.

 

Axis P7701 Video Decoder

The Axis Communications AXIS P7701 Video Decoder allows for live video feeds received from the IP camera over a network to be displayed on analog equipment (your computer monitor). Really, the only important thing to know about the Axis Video Decoder box is that the network cable plugs into it from the camera.

 

Axis T8123 Midspan and Axis T8126 Splitter

The Axis midspan and splitter is one of the coolest technologies. This allows the funeral home to not have to wire a power source right at the camera. Basically, the midspan injects power into the network cable, and then the splitter splits out the power and data at the camera. This really helps a lot of funeral homes so that they don’t have to hire an electrician to come in and wire an additional power source at the camera.

 

USB Capture Device

The Kworld USB Capture device is what you plug into your USB port on your computer. This is what allows you to pull the video and audio signal from the decoder box and insert it into the PC and have it all make sense. Although we use the Kworld USB capture device for most funeral webcasting setups, there are several others to choose from as well.

 

Network Cable

You will need to purchase a fairly long network cable depending on how far your camera is from your computer where you will be using the software. Most funeral homes typically will buy a 50ft or 100ft cat5 network cable.

 

Laptop Computer

Most funeral homes have decided to buy a laptop that is dedicated to funeral home webcasting. Typically, the laptop will be set up in the “media room,” where the sound system is located for the chapel. The advantage of setting the laptop up in the media room is that we can then also tie your existing sound system into the funeral webcast. Generally, you only need to run a simple audio cord from your sound system to your USB capture device.

 

If you are in the market to buy a new laptop, I might recommend the following for minimum system requirements:

  • Brand Name: Dell or HP (just my personal preference)
  • Windows 7
  • Minimum of 6 Gigs of RAM
  • Firewire and HDMI ports

Funeral Webcasting Software

Tribute Center is an all-in-one suite that can not only do funeral webcasting but also Tribute Videos and personalized printing. By bringing together all three technologies, it really makes the funeral home more efficient and simplifies personalization for the entire staff.

 

Give it a try today! Download Tribute Center for free by clicking here