The outbreak of the coronavirus 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:
Easy and quick to start. Often a temporary 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 third party eg Youtube / Zoom / Teams.
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.
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. No yearly charge.
To read on see: https://coventry-catholicdeanery.org.uk/new/online-streaming/
Many thanks to Con McHugh from Coventry Catholic Deanery for sending this article.
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