During the Covid pandemic churches and places of worship are learning to adapt in order to reach their congregation.
We’ve seen a steep rise in churches contacting us for advice on how they can stream more professionally to their new online audience.
We have seen churches using Zoom, Facebook and YouTube with varying degrees of success.
Social distancing means that traditional church services cannot continue as we have all been used to. Guidelines prevent singing, passing the donation bucket and any physical contact. Sadly it may take some time for things to go back to normal.
Many places of worship have been utilising live streaming from the very beginning. One of our team even filmed a news piece about a church streaming back in March.
The church found that it allowed them to reach a much wider congregation and younger people seemed to really embrace the concept as this digital format is more relevant to them. The fact that their services are also archived instantly and available on-demand to watch also extends their reach. Worship at a time to suit you.
SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO STREAM?
There are lots ways to stream your service and it depends on many factors.
Technical ability of volunteers
Where you want to stream to. E.g Facebook, YouTube etc.
Assuming you want to upgrade from a smart-phone’s limited live functionality a simple two fixed camera solution to one destination is likely to cost you around £4 - 5 thousand pounds. If you want to be able to re-position the camera shots remotely then the price rises from there. If you have less than this available there are other simpler options we can look at but they will require a higher technical skill level.
What have your audience got used to and what didn’t they like about the way you may have been streaming it so far? Poor audio quality is normally the biggest gripe from viewers. What style do you want to adopt moving forward? Do you want the stillness of locked off shots or have volunteers operating cameras?
Remember a new shooting style will take the congregation time to get used to. Obtaining their feedback overtime and tweaking the style is advisable.
Technical ability of volunteers
This plays a massive part in what equipment we would recommend. We can supply a simple on/off solution which anyone can use or if you want more functionality, we can supply additional options like the ability to play videos into the broadcast, add Powerpoint slides and zoom participants.
All church live streams will require a good internet connection which is often overlooked. Typically for an HD picture you would need at least 4Mbps or higher. This is the UPLOAD speed and not the download speed when testing.
If a reliable broadband connection is not available in the church, or you don’t want Openreach to install a line, you could consider 4G but if you do this you would want to discuss a bonded option with us.
Where you want to stream to
Generally speaking you cannot broadcast published music on YouTube, Facebook etc. If your church is going to be playing recorded music at funerals and weddings etc or even playing live covers then we would suggest you stream to a platform that does not have copy protection built into it.
Some of the benefits of live streaming your services are:
The ability to reach your congregation duration covid and future pandemics.
Spread the word of God into the living rooms of people who are infirm, ill or not able to come to a physical service.
Students who may be studying away from home and want to take part.
To preach to people who may be unsure about coming to church for the first time. Try before you buy…
The ability to archive all your services for people to view for years to come or at a time that suits them.