The Basics of Church Live Streaming

The Basics of Church Live Streaming

One of the most popular technologies for the church in the last 3-5 years has been Live Streaming and Today we are talking about the basics of LIVE STREAMING. What do I need? What cameras can I use? Do I need a computer? Is it affordable?? You’ll have all these questions answered and all the info you need to get your church up and streaming in NO-TIME!

Cameras:

Low Quality – Canon HF R20 $100-$200 /
Medium Quality – Panasonic HC-V770 $447 /
High Quality – Sony FDR-AX100 (4k) $1698 /

Tripods:

Low Quality – Albott 70 Inch Digital SLR Camera $45 /
Medium Quality – Ravelli AVTP Professional 75mm Video Camera Tripod $160 /

Recommended Computer Specs:

Windows 10
Intel Core i7 Processor 3Ghz+
8GB DDR3 Ram
Solid State Hard Drive
Nvidia GTX 950/960/970/980 or GTX 1050/1060/1070/1080

Reference Computer Systems:

Sapphire (4 SDI or 3 SDI & 1 HDMI Inputs) / goo.gl/FSCHYH
Emerald (4 1080p HDMI Inputs) / goo.gl/NwU9hA
Ruby (8 1080p SDI Inputs) / goo.gl/Cn1oxB

Standalone Streaming Units:
Tricaster /
Teradek VidiU /
Epiphan Webcaster /

Streaming & Video Mixing Software:

vMix /
Wirecast /
OBS /
Livestream Studio /
Flash Media Live Encoder /
VidBlaster /

CDN Services:

The Cloud Media Group /
Edgecast/Verizon Digital Media /
Akamai /
Facebook Live /
YouTube Live /

#1 – A Camera – This is the most important part of streaming because without a camera, you have no video. I have been blown away at the quality of cameras recently. The camera I am filming this I bought used for about $1200 on eBay. You can get a camera for basic livestreaming for anywhere from $100-$200 to about $2000.

What you are looking for is a camera that has either an HDMI live output, or an SDI output. The SDI output tends to appear and more expensive cameras as you approach about $1500-$2000, so you are probably going to be getting a camera with an HDMI output. Now most inexpensive cameras with this output will not have a full sized HDMI port on the camera, but a Mini or Micro HDMI cable. These cables normally come with the camera but you can also buy them for cheap on Amazon.com

#2. Now that we have our camera, we need to get a . . TRIPOD. Now a tripod seems small and trivial, but a tripod is actually extremely important. Why? Becuase when your pastor starts preaching and moving left to right, you don’t want your online audience to get motion sickness when brother Larry can’t pan smoothly with you $5 garage sale tripod. Walmart actually has a decent tripod that is pretty smooth for about $40 in their electronics department. If you have the extra budget, make sure you get a nice tripod.

#3. Now that we have our camera and our tripod, now we need our streaming equipment. Now there are multiple ways to do this. You can use a computer or a dedicated streaming box like a Tricaster or a Terdek box that streams directly to your streaming service. However, I highly recommend using a computer for your livestreaming. they are much more versatile and scalable as you grow in your live streaming.

For your streaming computer I would highly recommend using a PC computer and not a Mac. Now I am a total mac guy, but for streaming, a Windows PC is the way to go! I won’t go into detail about computer specs but to start you’ll want to have a faster i5 or i7 processor, at least 8gb of ram, A 900 or 1000 series GTX video card by Nvidia and a video capture card/device.

Lastly you need streaming Software. This is the software that is going to stream and many times mix your different input sources together. Some of the popular streaming programs are:

1. vMix
2. Wirecast
3. OBS
4. Livestream Studio
5. Flash Media Live Encoder
6. VidBlaster

Personally, I highly recommend using vMix. It is by FAR the best streaming program. Now vMix is not paying me to promote their software, it’s just the best. Our church has been using it for the last 8 years and it is the best of the best. There are a million features, it’s inexpensive, versatile and user friendly.

Leave your questions in the comment section below!

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Check out the last two videos!
10 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Worship
Top 4 Camera Guy Mistakes
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