Getting Started on Streaming: Begin By Building A Strategy
Before you commence ordering hardware and evaluating services, as a guiding principle, consider taking time to establish a streaming strategy for your deployment.
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The most important thing, though, is to recognize that cameras allow our worship services to reach beyond the four walls of the local church.
Candidly, I could tell that I didn’t have a big talker on my hands, so I went out on a limb and made the recommendation that they use their existing camera, purchase a low-cost capture device, and use Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) for their encoding application, which is very capable of streaming into Facebook Live.
Camcorders have come way up in quality and gone way down in price over the years. If you have an “HD” camera that can produce a clean HDMI signal, you can use this as a streaming source. Getting started with streaming can begin with your family’s camcorder, mounted on a tripod, and patched via HDMI into a capture device. The Canon VIXIA is a decent consumer product line, available at your local retailer for around $225.
A video stream is created by an encoder, which is essentially a computer that can read the video signal, from a capture device, and convert it into a network format that can travel across the Internet to a streaming destination. If you have a decent computer, like a mid-range MacBook Pro or Windows Workstation (i5 or better preferred), you can connect a low-cost capture device via Thunderbolt or high-speed USB and leverage the computer as your video encoder.
In this case, with Bob, I suggested using OBS, because it’s simple, moderately reliable, and the price is right, i.e., free. If you’re interested in a paid solution, with much better support and a great deal more features, consider Telestream Wirecast. You can download Wirecast for free and try it out.
In my second part on how to get started for streaming, set for Tuesday, March 13, we will look at viable capture device options, encoding setups and other bits of advice to get you up and running in the most effective manner.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.