ProAV Integrators Finding New Business with Livestreaming Projects


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By Paul Richards

This year has been like none other for the ProAV industry. Live events, hospitality venues and retail establishments have been affected dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, we’ve seen many of our colleagues and friends lose jobs or be forced to make career changes. At the same time, many companies in the industry are busier than ever helping their customers transition to virtual events and move communications to the cloud. While the overall global ProAV market is expected to drop by roughly $20 billion this year, audiovisual integrators may be finding new paths to success with livestreaming technologies.

Much in the way that IT and AV converged naturally, audiovisual integrators are starting to see organic growth with livestreaming projects. From advanced podcasting studios to full-blown live production studios, the demand for video content has been increasing each year, and 2020 has made the best case study imaginable. While integrators’ conference room installation projects have waned, the demand for video production equipment has increased. Multicamera video production studios have become worthwhile additions for corporate, educational and government facilities to communicate effectively.

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For corporate or retail operations, video production studios provide innovative methods for communicating new ideas, products and services to prospective customers or clients. While store capacities are being kept at minimums and social distancing remains in effect, video offers a unique solution. Similarly, corporations can tap into engaging platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, to host videoconferences, webinars and other online events. Even small businesses are recognizing the power of video to create appealing social media content.

Educational Livestreaming

As we’ve all witnessed on some level, K-12 and higher education institutions have become dependent on technology to livestream classes. Educational institutions are purchasing PTZ cameras for their campus classrooms, giving remote students several views of instructors, documents or other materials. These systems allow instructors to record lectures to learning management systems, as well as use them for videoconferencing meetings and livestreams. Auto-tracking cameras, such as HuddleCamHD’s SimplTrack2, allow institutions to record high-quality video footage without a camera operator. Instructors can “set and forget” the camera, while focusing on teaching. IT departments can ensure seamless operations by automating these cameras with schools’ learning management systems on the network. Educational organizations are continuing their long-term partnerships with ProAV companies to ensure high quality and reliable AV system are put in place to support these efforts.

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Government Livestreaming

In the government sector, courtrooms and municipalities have recognized that livestreaming sessions are in the public’s interest and benefit. Since the onset of the pandemic, over 38 states have issued mandates to promote the use of virtual hearings and livestreaming. Zoom — along with its place in other markets — has become a popular tool for virtual hearings, allowing seamless livestreaming to social media platforms such as YouTube. We at PTZOptics featured a case study with the City of Whitefish, Montana, showing their facilities with four PTZOptics 20X-SDI cameras. These ceiling-mounted cameras are powered over Ethernet and remotely controlled with vMix video production software and a 124-key xKeys controller. The cameras are installed in remote locations from the video production studio, allowing a single camera operator to control the cameras from another location. The courtroom is then able to take the four-camera video production system and connect it with Zoom using a virtual webcam output from vMix. The court also regularly livestreams to keep the public informed via their public Facebook and YouTube pages.

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House of Worship Livestreaming

Finally, a burgeoning new market for some ProAV companies lies with houses of worship. Churches around the world are connecting with their congregations online using videoconferencing, livestreaming or a combination of the two. Just like courtrooms, churches are often large spaces that require the professional installation of cameras. PTZOptics 20X and 30X camera models are ideal for these spaces, and can be mounted either on walls or ceilings. PTZOptics SDI cameras are especially popular for installations like this because they support PoE (Power Over Ethernet) and professional SDI connectivity for long cable runs. PTZOptics also supports NDI connections which provide a simple, single cable connection for many installations using the NDI IP video standard. In some cases, churches are also using pole mounts to place PTZ cameras in discreet locations that allow livestream viewers an ideal perspective of the service.

For those interested in increasing their knowledge and understanding of livestreaming, PTZOptics offers two books on the subject. The “Unofficial Guide to OBS” (Open Broadcaster Software) highlights the world’s most popular livestreaming software and will show the new markets using livestreaming with OBS. The “Unofficial Guide to vMix” takes readers through the professional live video production software that has become popular for broadcast applications of a variety of sizes. We also invite you to join our active Facebook community here: