Church livestreaming is a great way for churches to reach more people and spread the word about their faith. It’s also an excellent way to help those who can’t make it to church on Sundays get in touch with God. With that being said, churches need special equipment for this task and there are many different types of equipment out there.
What is streaming?
Streaming is a broadcast of video and/or audio over the internet. It can be live or pre-recorded content.
The most popular streaming site would be YouTube, but there are also other sites such as Facebook Live or Twitch along with many more that your church may want to explore.
Why Should You Stream Your Church Services?
The main goal for livestreaming in churches is to bring people closer together by showing them what’s happening at your place of worship on Sundays.
There are many benefits when it comes down to using livestreaming equipment for churches such as: increased viewership, offering sermons from their pastor online, attracting new members because they can see the congregation during services without having to attend one themselves, being able to watch events like weddings.
How do you set up a livestream?
There are a variety of ways to set up your livestream depending on the equipment you have.
One way is to use an app like YouTube or Facebook Live. Dedicated platforms such as ChurchOnline may also be worth considering. Another option would be using a webcam and then connecting it with software such as Zoom so that viewers can watch through their computers or phones.
If you are considering more complicated setups with multiple cameras in different places for maximum coverage, you’ll need to choose the right software to manage your stream. Popular options include Vimeo Livestream, OBS Studio or Wirecast.
What equipment will I need to stream my service?
At the very least, you’ll need a camera, microphone and lighting if you want to stream the service. You’ll also need an internet connection capable of streaming video at high-quality levels.
A video camera
The best camera for livestreaming church services is the one you have access to! If you’re able, use a camera with high resolution and good-quality audio. This will allow your footage to look sharp on any screen size, whether it’s being watched through a computer or phone browser.
Many DSLR digital cameras are capable of capturing video at high quality – check the documentation for details of whether your camera is up to the job.
It is important that the sound quality of your livestreaming matches the image from the camera(s). Some would contend that the audio is actually more important – the message from any service is the important part, not so much how the people appear.
If you are using a DSLR camera, it can be difficult to find the audio input. You’ll need an adapter for your microphone that will plug into the mic jack on your camera and another cable from there to the external recorder/microphone (depending on what kind of setup you are using). Alternatively, you might connect your microphone to a mixing desk or directly to the computer you are using to run the stream.
Some cameras will have a built-in mic, but you will most likely benefit from a microphone that is closer to the people speaking.
Microphones come in all shapes and sizes, so the only way to know which one is best for your needs is to do research beforehand. Generally speaking though, condenser microphones are better at capturing vocals than dynamic mics because they tend to be more accurate. They also don’t need any sort of external power supply or batteries (some exceptions). On the other hand, dynamic mics can produce lower noise levels than most types of microphones; this makes them great if there’s a lot going on around where live streaming takes place.
An audio mixer and/or a soundboard
This will help make the audio sound better overall, as you’ll be able to tweak your microphone settings so that you get rid of background noise and reduce feedback.
You may also need to compensate for plosives like ‘p’ if the person speaking is standing too close.
If there’s an instrumental performance going on at any point in time during the service, then an audio mixer will pretty much be a requirement.
Audio cables, XLR cables, mic stands, etc…
Making sure everything is plugged in correctly is crucial, and you really want to use high-quality cables for everything. It’s easy to forget accessories such as mic stands, but not everyone wants to (or can) hold a microphone.
Lighting For Your Livestream
Ideally, you should have a mix of light coming from the ceiling and up-lighting. You want to make sure that your face isn’t too dark, but also avoid it being washed out from overhead lighting.
A good rule of thumb is to have the ceiling light be at least three times brighter than your up-lighting. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to deal with darker environments when shooting video without supplemental lighting added in post-production. Of course, if you’re broadcasting live, there’s not much opportunity for post-production work!
There is no such thing as an “undesirable” amount of light; just think about what’s best for the environment while shooting.