Live Streaming Online

How to get your church online

The outbreak of Corona virus has seen a large increase in the number of churches that are now live streaming online. This has been achieved in many different ways  with some clearly better results than others. It has provided a connection to the church for  viewers to join Mass and other services online both locally and from far a field. However to many churches the knowledge on how to livestream or the costs how are prohibitive.

“Even an absolute layman can produce his own live broadcasting. The only thing you need is an internet connection”

This article is intended to provide basic information on what the available options / providers are.

A pre-requisite is a good broadband connection in terms of speed and reliability and making it available where the streaming source will be.  Getting this right enables use of internet in the church too. This is key. For Live Streaming an upload of at least 2 Mb/s is recommended.

Audio is also a key factor. A feed from out the church PA is ideal whether it is direct or derived.

There are several options for live streaming. Each with advantages / disadvantages depending on what you require.  This is an area that is rapidly changing  with equipment,  availability of  streaming platforms and companies who provided dedicated services.

There are at least three approaches to  livestream online:

Basic solution

Easy and quick to start. Often a temporay installation. No upfront costs / quality not great but it lets you connect.  It uses the camera and the microphone in your device (external microphone is sometimes used). Video / Audio often  not great in a church but good in a smaller environment. Real time information on no of watchers.

    • Stream from your mobile device (eg phone) using facebook or other 3rd party  eg  Youtube / Zoom  / Teams. Its free.
    • Stream from web camera on Laptop / Desktop / Mac or similar to facebook / youtube / Zoom / Teams.

This solution has been very popular due to the Corona virus but once church’s are opened the positioning/installation of the equipment may need to change.

Hybrid solution

Dedicated Camera and Audio.  Often a permanent installation. No computer needed. The quality can be as per dedicated solution below.  Real time information on no of watchers. Costs from a few hundred pounds to less than £2,000 a high spec fixed camera.  A Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera will be more expensive. The advantage to this is simplicity and low cost – just put the camera in the right place,  and watch without any monthly /yearly charges.

    • Higher quality camera streaming direct to Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo Live, Dacast, your own Wowza, etc.
      • Mevo Start Live Event Camera  available from Amazon £399 link. Example using Mevo St Marys link
      • Axis – P13 (Box) series or V59 (PTZ) series. These have the advantage that they can stream direct to youtube with camstreamer s/w (link) $299 that can be downloaded to the camera.  Typically  P13 series £700 to V5915 £2,300. A value add with these cameras is that you can fit a memory card to use as a back for your recordings.
      • Example church’s streatming to youtube using Axis cameras:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Recordings. These can be setup for youtube.
    • Remote acces to camera is a good idea for remote support. This is possible with a  dns provider such as noip / dyndns  and some configuration on the device providing broadband.
    • Video mixing. Use of 3rd party S/W to mix video as required. One of the best examples is Walsingham  with livestream made available to Church services, Youtube, facebook. https://www.walsingham.org.uk/live-stream/
    • Dedicated Solution for equipment and streaming service

Providing that compatible equipment has been used for the hybrid solution it should be possible to use one of the following providers. The converse is also true in that you can change to a hybrid solution if you are not happy or indeed change provider below.Initial costs  (£3k to £5k including first year streaming) dependant on type / number  of  camera’s. After the first year there will be  yearly charge. The following is a list of known providers:

Please ensure you confirm what is included in price ie camera type (ideally make /model,  how are recordings setup, how are are stats on access provided, is there facebook / youtube integratio0n, how do i get the app for tv sticks eg roku . Is there a user interface available to setup and modify site details.  How do i turn teh stream on /off. Any extra charges?  What is anual charge for ongoing streaming? Also consider references. How is support provided and what is the turn around time for assistance including onsite if reqd. Also who is your  contact ideally name / number?

Copyright issues with live streams

All live youtube broadcasts are scanned for matches to third-party content, including copyrighted music content. When third-party content is identified, a placeholder image may replace your live broadcast until the system no longer detects third-party content.  3 copyright strikes and your channel will be taken down. More information at link.  It is worth continuing to research this as there is a lot of information out there. 

More information

There is lot of information on youtube. For example see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrIM5tV0JUY5bVxKjwjd8Kw Just search the internet there is a lot of information out there.

Signage to consider when live streaming

    • Newsletter
    • Parish website (also show viewing area)
    • Within Church – add visible signage

Archdiocese Guidlines

Please read the Archdiocese guidleines before proceeding as these consider safeguarding and GDPR.
https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/FAQs/web-streaming

Once online

Welcome Online resource.  link

How to watch online

This is explained in the following link

 

If you have information to share please email me link

Last updated 10th June 2020