Streaming has long been associated with worship outreach in America, the middle east and Africa. The UK and Europe are now following suit with the faithful viewing live and recorded worship events online via Facebook and YouTube channels.
So what options are available, and can it be easily set up by volunteers?
You can choose to record an event ahead of time and upload an MP4 video file to Facebook or YouTube. Most video is streamed at 720p so set your camera to record at this video standard.
A budget set up can be as simple as a single camera, SDXC media card, tripod, wireless mic and lighting kit. Using simple editing software like iMovie or Windows Moviemaker. Simple titles, verses and website details can be added to the video. Once uploaded to Facebook or YouTube it could then be made live at the appropriate time.
If there is a broadband router connection nearby you can choose to stream live straight from the camera by adding a converter to any computer with a standard USB 3 port. This converter (from Inogeni or Epiphan) connects the HDMI output of the camera to the computer. It allows the camera video to appear in Skype, Zoom or Wirecast Studio. Using your YouTube Live or Facebook account, you’ll be ready to go live.
If you want to take your worship event to the next level of streaming and have more than one camera then using a portable streaming studio like Datavideo’s HS-1300, Lumens' LC-200 or Epiphan’s Pearl Mini delivers amazing results. These production units are easy to set up and control. They can accept audio from your PA system allowing you to use existing audio equipment too. They enable computers as well as cameras to be added to the production. This lets you bring in prepared text (such as prayers and lyrics) and images from a laptop running Powerpoint, Keynote or other software.
Adding multiple cameras at a later date to film the congregation and to focus in on different areas of your worship space, try pan tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras like the Datavideo PTC-150. One person can operate lots of these cameras using a simple controller which has presets so the camera can quickly switch to shooting the stage, pulpit or altar.