So someone in your leadership decided it would be a good idea to start live streaming your church services. Problem is, you don't know where to start.
Don't worry. I had the same thing happen to me, although the person with the bright idea to live stream our church service was me, and I survived the ordeal even though I didn't know the first thing about live streaming a church service.
So let me share with you the things I learned about how to live stream a church service.
Learning How To Live Stream A Church Service
It really isn't that hard to live stream your worship services. Although there are a few steps you need to take beyond what most people do when they turn on their smart phone and log into Facebook live.
Although smart phones are easy to use to live stream, their video quality and audio quality leave a lot to be desired. If you are going to live stream a church service, you need something that will do a little bit better job than a smart phone on a tripod.
Live Streaming Equipment For Church
You are going to need a few items in order to accomplish your task. They are....
- A video camera or camcorder with a clean HDMI video feed output.
- An external microphone or a connection to your church sound system.
- An adequate computer to use to stream the video feed to the internet.
- A proper internet connection.
- A video editing and streaming software program.
- A few accessories.
Cameras Or Camcorders
I have already done some extensive articles on live streaming camcorders for church services. I recommend that if you need a camera for your live streaming that you read them. Suffice it to say that you need a camcorder with a clean HDMI output and a HDMI to USB converter to connect your camera to your computer.
The microphone that is part of your camcorder probably won't be good enough to record your services properly. You will need either an external microphone or a connection between your church sound system and your computer that you are using for live streaming.
Computers For Live Streaming Church Services
I have also done an article on computers that you can use for live streaming and your multi-media presentations in a worship service. So I would recommend that you read it if you do not already have a fairly decent modern computer to use. You can get one for less than $500.00
This will probably be your biggest ongoing cost in live streaming your church. You are going to have to step into the modern world and have a good internet connection at the church. A 3G or 4G internet connection from a smart phone won't cut it.
Best case scenario would be if you had a dedicated internet connection but you can get away with a good DSL or Cable modem connection as long as there are not too many people using the connection simultaneously.
Live Streaming Software
Here you have many options for which software or service you will use to live stream your church services. We personally use Vmix for our live streaming software because they have a free option for churches. Other software and services are....
There are also a couple of options available to you that are specifically for churches. However they are not free.
You will also need a few live streaming accessories that are not always obvious like tripods, cables, ect.
Setting Up Your Church Live Stream
Ok, now that you have all your live streaming equipment and services set up it is time to set up for your first live stream.
Positioning The Equipment
I have done an article on where to position your cameras. I recommend that you read that article. However if you are just using one camera, then the best place to position your camera is in the back of the room and at the center point between the two sides. This will give you the greatest flexibility when live streaming.
If possible you will want to position your computer at the back near the camera or near the church sound system. This will cut down on the cabling needed to connect the equipment.
Connecting The Equipment
Start from the camera and work your way towards the computer system.
- Connect the external microphone to the camcorder.
- Connect the camcorder to the HDMI to USB converter or capture card.
- Connect the HDMI to USB converter to the computer you are going to use for live streaming.
- Connect the church sound system to the computer if you are not using an external microphone.
- Connect your computer to your internet access.
- Open your live streaming software.
- Connect your live streaming software to your live streaming service or Facebook live, YouTube, or Google Hangouts.
- Happy Live Streaming!