Live Streaming for Worship

We went live for the first time on Sunday and I just wanted to message to say thank you for all the work you put in for us.  It all went really well and the team who operated the new systems enjoyed being involved.  The timing has been great, given that we have made the decision not to have in person services through this lockdown.
Phil Harris

St Peter's Morley

Live Streaming and where to start…

You would like to start live streaming from your place of worship but where to begin? The choice of equipment and solutions can be bewildering, as can the use of new technology. Like most things in order to find the best solution for you its a matter of breaking it down to manageable chunks and tackling each in turn. These are the 7 questions we ask clients when they approach us about live streaming in order to find the best affordable system to suit their requirements.

1) Purpose –  who is your audience?

2) Audience Engagement – how and why?

3) Platforms – best for your broadcast?

4) Your team

5) Current sound and audio visual

6) Lighting

7) The future and how you want to develop

These questions look at the practicalities of you becoming live-stream ready and not the content, this is a completely different conversation. With years of experience delivering faith based events we can help and advise on content and how best to deliver it for maximum impact and engagement. However the conversation starts with how ready you are to be able to start your live streaming journey. Please scroll down for more information about these 7 questions.

What is the purpose of your live stream and who is your audience?

Are you trying to stay in touch with your current congregation or looking for a wider audience? Are you re-creating the look and feel of your pre-covid services or looking for a new approach? Consider what will work online. Maybe watch a few online services from other churches and see what you thinks works and what doesn’t.

How would you like your audience to engage with you?

For example messaging you via facebook/youtube or a third party app or being able to appear live within your broadcast/service. Some of the possibilities will depend on your answer to question 5 below. Also bear in mind how you are going to reply with these questions and engagement. Good engagement in a broadcast can make a huge difference to how much people enjoy the experience and continue to engage with you.

Which platform do you wish to stream on?

Worth considering which platform your audience is already using (facebook for example) and do you wish to stream on multiple platforms (maybe facebook and you-tube)  This is possible but will require additional software subscriptions and have a cost implication.

What level of technical know-how do you have in your team?

This is not something you can do on your own and will require a team effort ideally with a sound op, a vision mixer and someone controlling cameras together with words and maybe overlays. Do you have a team of people who can do these tasks or happy to be trained up to do them?

Have you considered how your existing sound and av system will integrate?

The quality of most live streams are let down by the sound quality. Look at what equipment you have for sound reinforcement in your services and consider how this will integrate with the streaming equipment you are considering. Are you wanting to overlay words and play pre-recorded video content?

Is your church well lit?

is your church, or the place you wish to stream from, dark? You may want to consider looking at new lighting. There are some very cost effective solutions available but make sure it is with the consideration of cameras. Good lighting can also enhance the look of your church and present it better to a new, online, audience.

How do you want to develop your streaming?

Your budget may dictate starting from a basic level, maybe two cameras and no words or visuals but you have bigger plans. There are ways to use your budget to build in some future proofing and allow cost effective development of your streaming capabilities.