Streaming Church Video live on the internet

One of the options that a ministry can use to allow home bound members partake of their live services is by streaming video over the internet from the house of worship. Offering this option by the video media department is a way of making these valuable members of the congregation or those away from home stay in touch and continue to feel part of the churh family especially if the Pastor gives them a mention every now and then and encourages feedback via email.

You might think that streaming church video live is going to be very expensive and require a lot of hardware, but this doesn't necessarily have to be so, especially if you only have a few people connecting to the video encoder stream on the internet.

So what do you need to broadcast your church services live on the internet for members of the congregation not physically able to make it to your building on a Sunday or during the week?

You need at least one church video camera, a computer (PC or Apple Mac) that will act as the stream encoder, an internet connection (bandwidth will depend on how many people are connecting, or your encoder could connect to another server offsite with a T1 or better connection for large concerts, conferences).
While I'm dealing with streaming video of a service, you can choose to broadcast audio only if you wish, in which case you don't need to invest your finances in purchasing a church camera if you are not ready to start a church video ministry yet.

Streaming video or audio of church service live on the internet is a bit technical, so I'm not going to go into details of how everything works, as you will be dealing with encoding, codecs, bandwith, bit rates, compression, hosting of video files and other issues depending on what you want to achieve, so it is best to hire a consultant if you don't have the required expertise in house to manage or design a system that would suit your needs.

As with all things in church video production what you decide to do and are able to achieve will depend on the minstry's budget, so you might have to start off small audio streaming using an ADSL or ISDN internet connection, and later upgrade to video/dedcated hosted servers in a data centre with a fibre gigabit meshed cloud backbone with redundancy built in!

Additional Reading
Church video broadcasting on internet with Ustream Producer software.
Cheap HD video Mixer Datavideo SE-2000
Streaming our church sunday services on the internet.
Datavideo DN-200 digital video recorder for church streaming interface.


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