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Church Streaming Resources
Monday 14 January 2013
Welcome to the Streaming Resources page where we hope you will find everything you need to get your church streaming online. This page is intended for use by church media technicians and church leaders seeking answers to matters relating to streaming online.
Resources are organised in pdf documents which can be downloaded or printed for easy reference.
Feel free to contact us for more information if you do not find what you need.
“Should we stream?”
Streaming is not for every church. However streaming is a very powerful tool for outreach. It gives churches a voice on the internet and has the potential to reach into people’s homes and onto their mobile devices. While streaming is a powerful “voice”, it is important to have something meaningful to say. What does your church have to say? It is important to be intentional about streaming. You must have a reason and a clearly identified target audience. Being intentional ensures you attract the attention of website visitors and retain their interest. The next step is encouraging visitors to make contact and learn more. You need provide the facilities for people to contact you online. Not so sure about what your church has to say? Not so sure about reaching and interacting with people online? We would perhaps suggest that streaming might not be the most effective method of outreach at this time. If you feel your church has a clear mission and have identified the internet as an effective tool for outreach and use it intentionally for interacting with people on a weekly basis, then read on!
“We want to start streaming. What next?”
Streaming can be broken down into two categories: Live and On Demand. Live streaming can be done with minimal equipment. Essentially all that is required is a camera, computer and internet connection. So a laptop with a webcam and access to the internet is sufficient to start streaming. However the quality of the stream will be very poor. Using better cameras, perhaps 2-3 or more cameras linked together using a video mixer and then feeding that into a computer to stream will provide much better results. Its important to stick to your church’s budget and to the skills of the team who will be operating the equipment. In fact, the team is perhaps the most important part of streaming. Identify and recruit a team who is willing and capable of operating the equipment and that has the energy to develop and go further. The second method, On Demand, is a simpler method. All that is required in the church is a video camera which is able to record. The recorded material is then transferred to a computer and uploaded to a video hosting site such as youtube or vimeo. This method eliminates the need for an internet connection at the church. It does however add a fair bit of work to be done at home after the programme has finished. Doing only On Demand is not a bad thing. In fact On Demand will usually attract 10 times as many viewers over a one week period than you would usually attract to watch live. We do however advise that if you go down the Live route, you also use On Demand for those that missed the live programme.
“Does SECmedia offer churches any live streaming server facilities?”
SECmedia is proud to offer churches facilities to stream through our colleagues Crestin.tv. The service is offered on the Wowza Streaming Server platform and Crestin.tv host several servers in key cities throughout Europe. This ensures great reliability and performance. The service provides the ability to stream live to computers and smartphones/tablets as well as the ability to record content so that it is available later for on demand viewing. This service is available only to established Adventist Churches within the South England Conference and may be used to stream church programmes only. The service has no advertising and it is available to churches for a fee of £30 per month. To download a registration form please click here.
There are alternative services which churches are free to use. These include lifestream.com, ustream.com, justin.tv etc. If you choose to use one of these providers, we strongly advise you to go for a plan which removes advertising. Please be considerate and courteous to your viewers (especially as they are viewing on a Sabbath) and do not expose them to adverts!
“We would like to post sermons online for On Demand viewing… What do you suggest?
As mentioned above, On Demand will attract many more viewers over a week than a live transmission. If your church doesn’t have a internet connection or you don’t have the relevant people or equipment, you may choose to do on demand only. This is still very effective and manageable with a small team and basic equipment. Good platforms for publishing content are Vimeo and Youtube. Once published, you can embed videos back onto your church’s website.
“Our church is considering purchasing audio and video equipment… What should we buy?
Choosing the right equipment is daunting for anyone. We would encourage you to stick to your budget and buy the best you can. Its always best to start with your goals and then select equipment to meet the goals. Researching is important, the internet being the best resource of all. Purchasing good used equipment may be an option for making funds stretch further. We have recently started a Tech Blog on this site where you will find in depth reviews of the equipment we use. Check it out here.
“We’re streaming but want to improve the quality of what we produce… Can you help?”
A few things which will improve the quality of our production… Audio: Ensure you get a good clean feed directly from the PA system into the video recording ensuring you have a way of monitoring levels (headphones) will ensure people don’t struggle to hear what’s being said but ensure you are careful with maintaining a good level especially in loud circumstances (singing etc) that distortion does not occur. A compressor might be useful here. A good starting point would be to ensure all people operating equipment are trained and familiar with the equipment they are operating. Perhaps attending Media Academy would equip your team to better serve your church?
“How do we integrate streaming into our website?
Embedding a player into a website is a simple process. Most players will have an iframe embed tag. Its just a matter of editing your website and pasting this iframe tag where you want the player to appear. Don’t forget to modify the width and height so that it fits nicely in the space you have on your site.
To download a Streaming Agreement and Application form, please click here. Completed forms should be returned to firstname.lastname@example.org