A funeral home in Fresh Meadows is offering an unusual service - streaming funerals live via the Internet to people unable to attend the service.
Sinai Chapels, a Jewish family-owned funeral home at 162-05 Horace Harding Expressway, has been offering the service for a month, said Michael Resnick, director of Sinai Chapels.
The live broadcast service can be accessed from anywhere around the world as long as the recipient has access to Internet, said Ronnie Buchbinder, client care coordinator, noting that recently footage was streamed to Israel.
“We wanted to make the consumers’ experience meaningful,” said Resnick.
To watch the funeral live, a person needs to click on a link sent to them by Sinai Chapels in an email, explained Resnick.
A camera mounted on the wall of the chapel where the funeral takes place records the event, sending the footage online, said John Magurno, video technician and funeral director.
Magurno is the man who monitors the broadcast out of Sinai Chapels’ small control room, which resembles the video editing suites that television producers work in.
The live broadcast can also be viewed on television screens in different chapels at the funeral home, allowing mourners unable to fit in the main chapel to still watch things as they happen, said Resnick.
He explained his ambition now is to make it possible for people watching the service offsite to interact with people onsite with a webcam. “The technology is there,” he said.
Currently, the live broadcasts are part of the funeral service so they come at no cost for those watching them, said Resnick, explaining that the broadcast is provided upon request.
Sinai Chapels also provides DVDs of the filmed ceremonies that people can watch after the fact as well as audio CDS of the events, Resnick said.