Expanding the Reach of Your Church with Live Streaming
Live streaming church services has been a practice for some years now. However, it was accelerated starting 2020, due to the sanitary restrictions in place worldwide. Churches and houses of worship in general found a way to expand their reach and get to their people through live streaming.
The following elements are must-haves:
- stable Internet connectivity
- webcam / camera
- laptop / smartphone
- streaming software
In this article we'll look at some live streaming equipment for church, both hardware and software.
Hardware for Live Streaming Church Services
The basic hardware setup for live streaming church services can be as simple as an iPhone (or another smartphone) connected to a charger, with a wireless microphone. This is actually similar to what we're using for Speedify LIVE when we live stream IRL.
Going one step further, at a more advanced level, you can choose to live stream your church service using a computer - desktop or laptop, a dedicated camera with a tripod and a microphone. Plus some lighting. Here's how Rev. Jason Ferris from Philadelphia does his live streaming.
If you really want to be at the professional level when live streaming church services, consider multiple cameras and multiple microphones. Add audio-video switchers and a dedicated audio interface. Restream has on their blog a good selection of hardware recommendations for live streaming.
Live Streaming Software Equipment for Church
First of all, you need the streaming software. If you will be live streaming your church service to only one social platform, without needing any added elements during the live stream - overlays, recorded videos, etc. - then you're best using the native apps. Just get the YouTube, Facebook, Twitch etc. app on your laptop or smartphone and start broadcasting.
If you want to stream to multiple destinations / social platforms and want to be able to display overlays or switch between multiple cameras, you will need a dedicated streaming software. OBS, Ecamm Live, MelonApp, Restream, Streamlabs, StreamYard and vMix are examples of such software, each with their own pros and cons.
DO NOT FORGET about a bonding solution for your live streaming. One of the best solutions on the market and the only software-based one is Speedify. For only a couple of dollars per month, you can combine multiple Internet connections at once directly on your laptop or smartphone you're using to live stream your church's services.
Best Practices when Live Streaming Church Services
Whatever live streaming equipment setup for church you opt for, you have to focus on the quality of the audio and video. Even if it's from a single camera, it has to make people watching feel as close as possible to being in the actual church.
Make sure you invest in live streaming gear that can do the job. And it's not just the hardware itself, but also the Internet connection. Poor connectivity results in low quality audio and video. That's why you have to make sure you get a reliable Internet connection. Sometimes not even a wired Ethernet connection in the church can be reliable enough - an extra connection used in parallel is always welcome. Many live streamers praise Speedify for the way it enhances the connectivity for live streaming.