LIVE STREAMING SETUP FOR SMALL CHURCHES

LIVE STREAMING SETUP FOR SMALL CHURCHES

– In this video I'm gonna walk you through a live streaming setup for churches that's quick to assemble and easy to use, even for small or portable churches I'm gonna walk you through all the gear you're gonna need, as well as some of my favorite pieces of software for streaming to Facebook, YouTube, or a private server

Watch to the end because I think you'll discover that live streaming for your church doesn't have to be as expensive or complicated as it sounds And with the right tools and a little bit of guidance, you can reach your church community online in just a few easy steps (upbeat music) My name is Jake Gosselin with churchfrontcom, an online resource for innovative and creative church leaders Make sure you subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you'll receive all of our latest content to help you grow yourself and grow your church

Make sure you check out the show notes below for links to all of the gear and software mentioned in this video that's gonna help you get up and running with your own live stream system So, what I'm gonna do now is show you step-by-step how to build a live streaming system for your church, but please keep in mind that this system needs to be customized to your church's need and your own preferences So, the gear and software I use doesn't necessarily have to be the gear and software you use but I think you'll still benefit from this video because you'll just have a more comprehensive understanding of how all this works and then you can go about customizing it for your church And before you dive into purchasing any gear or software for live streaming at your church, I encourage you to get together with the other leaders at your church and ask yourself some of these questions Why do we need to live stream our worship gatherings online? What's the return on investment going to be? Because a lot of this costs money, so is it even gonna be worthwhile for our church? Are we doing this merely to be cool or to be like Elevation Church and we think that we're gonna have thousands of people tuning into our live stream every Sunday? Are there people in our church community who genuinely want to be a part of what happens on Sunday but they can't make it because maybe they're home-bound or maybe, and they're in the military and they just can't physically be with us

Will live streaming be a key part of our marketing strategy in how we reach people beyond our church? If a potential visitor sees our live stream for the first time, what kind of first impression would it make? Are we gonna publish our live streams publicly on YouTube or Facebook or are we gonna stream them to a private server where only people who know where to go will have access to it? I don't wanna go into detail here about whether or not your church should be live streaming, but honestly, I don't think your church should be wasting any time or precious resources on a system like this if strategically it's not gonna accomplish much for you My friend Brady Shearer has a fantastic video on this topic So, after you watch this video make sure you check it out He's gonna help you think through this strategically Assuming you are ready to move forward, and live streaming makes strategic sense for your church, let's dive into the setup and how it all works

Keep in mind, all the hardware and software that I'm gonna show you here is for my small church plan Again, it has to be super quick to set up It has to be easy to use for my volunteers Those were the main reasons I made some decisions about the gear and software that I have here I'm not gonna be showing you an elaborate, multi-cam live stream system that costs 10s of 1,000s or 100s of 1,000s of dollars

Everything you're about to see here cost just over $2,000 and I as walk you through the specifics of my setup, I'm gonna be walking you through the general overview of how live streaming works, so you'll get it from a theoretical sense as well as you'll be able to see the hardware and how this all works together So the first thing you're gonna need is a computer that acts as your hub for your live stream You can use a Mac or a PC and believe it or not, after doing a lot of research on this, it seems that having a PC is better for live streaming, but you can still have a great setup on a Mac and I'm gonna show you my setup which runs on a Mac Make sure your computer is going to have a solid internet connection, and if you're really serious, have a standalone internet connection that's dedicated just to live streaming so you don't have any glitches or lag in your feed So here is my setup

I'm gonna be using my Macbook Pro The next thing you're gonna need is a video source There's a large variety of ways you can do this, but I'm gonna talk to you about two The first way you can do this is by purchasing an inexpensive camcorder for a few $100 and I would recommend the Canon VIXIA HF R800 It's just over $200 and it has an HDMI output which you'll need on any camera you try to use with this setup

From the camera, you're gonna send that video feed through the HDMI cable to an HDMI video capture device, which on the other side of that device has a USB cable that's gonna plug into your computer So you're gonna have camera, you're gonna have HDMI to USB capture device and then that's gonna go into your computer When it's all said and done, when you use a camcorder and a video capture device, you're probably looking at around $500 to $600 Alternatively, you could buy a camera that has the USB functionality built into it, so you don't need a separate HDMI capture device And that's what I have here

This is the PTZ Optics 20 time zoom USB camera I'm really grateful for PTZ Optics for sending this to me so I can show you all what a great tool this can be for churches when it comes to live streaming This camera runs around $1,800, so it's not cheap It's not as cheap as getting a small little Canon camcorder, but here's why I like this camera and why I think it's worth the price tag First, it's super compact

Look at the size of it compared to my hand here So it's super small, it's gonna work great for our church context, because, again, we're a set up and tear down church We can't have big bulky items This camera can easily be controlled via remote control, it can pan, it can tilt, and it can also zoom in and out It can also be controlled by Ableton Live, which I'll be sure to make a video about that in the future

The image quality on this camera is also great Actually, that's what you're seeing right now I'm looking into the PTZ Optics camera and I'm really happy with the dynamic range of this camera and I actually have it at this angle purposely so that you see that even though I have the bright windows right here and the shadows on my face, you can still see decent details Since we're a church that meets in a large auditorium, I love having the ability to have this 20 times optical zoom, which it's super close to my face right now and looks ridiculous Probably can't even focus, it's too close

But this is important when you are trying to stream a worship gathering, because you have a large room, you need to be able to zoom in on people on stage or zoom back out wide to capture the whole stage and you don't want digital zoom because that will look grainy and nasty And finally, one of my favorite things about this camera is that it plugs into our streaming computer via USB so we don't need another video capture device to go from HDMI to USB like you would with a camcorder So for us at our church, the simpler the setup, the better You simply plug it into the computer and it works So those are a couple options for capturing the video portion of your live stream

And of course, you've got to think through how you're gonna mount your camera or where you're gonna place it At our church I'm just gonna place it on top of a basic video tripod at the back of the room by our sound console At your church, you may have a permanent worship space where you can mount your camera permanently so you don't have to worry about setting it up or tearing it down every week Now let's talk about capturing audio for our live stream So like the video capture device, you're gonna have an audio capture device that's gonna be sending your audio feed from your sound console to your computer

I recommend having the ability to create a unique mix for your live stream because often things need to be mixed a bit differently for computer speakers or speakers on a mobile device versus what you're gonna be hearing from your PA system So we use a Midas M32R There's plenty of mix bus outs on that sound console We could plug the USB cable from the Midas M32R directly into the computer and send audio that way, but I think there's a more simple way of doing it and that is to use one of those XLR outputs from the back of the Midas M32R, one of the mix bus outs, and route that into a basic little audio interface like what I have here, the Behringer UM2 interface This is a $30 interface, and this is an easy way to send a unique mix from the board into an interface and into our computer for the live stream

And then our sound person can then put on his or her headphones to kind of dial in what mix would sound good for the live stream And with this setup on our live stream computer, we won't need to be running a DAW like Ableton or Pro Tools or Logic to mix the sound from the sound console It will be coming into the computer through this one mono input all mixed, all ready to go So that's the audio setup, it's not quite as complicated but you still want to make sure that you do a great job streaming high-quality audio with your video And that covers all of the hardware we need for video capture and audio capture, so we have our video and audio coming through our computer, but now we need a software that's going to take that video and audio and put it together and then send it to the internet, to YouTube or Facebook or to a private server

In my opinion, this is the most difficult aspect of building your live stream system, because the software you choose really depends on your context, whether you're using a Mac or a PC, and just your personal preferences So here are a couple popular and great solutions The first software you can check out, but I don't necessarily recommend, is OBS Studio It's a free software It runs both on Mac and PC

Because it's free and open source, it means it's not quite as easy to use or plug-and-play as what I prefer If you're gonna use OBS Studio, be prepared to go on YouTube, find a bunch of tutorial videos, and figure out how to configure it for your context At our church, we simply don't have time to troubleshoot audio syncing issues and to have these little glitches that I was finding with OBS, so that's why I'd rather go find a affordable paid option for a software that's just gonna work well For those of you using a Mac for your live stream, I recommend using Ecamm Live It's $79, it's super easy to use

You simply plug the camera into it, whether you have a setup like me or if you have a HDMI capture device with a camcorder, and it just works With this offer, it'll also just take seconds to log in to your YouTube or Facebook accounts so you can send your live stream there And Ecamm Live has a cool feature where you can monitor the comments on your Facebook Live without needing to open your browser window in Facebook to do that You can do it all within Ecamm If you are a PC user, then I recommend checking out vMix

It's very comparable in price to Ecamm Live I honestly wish vMix was available for Mac because for live streaming a worship gathering, it might even be a little bit better than Ecamm Live vMix does have a free version, but you have to pay $60 for the version that can stream in HD So while these two pieces of software are not free, I think it's totally worth the price tag of $60 or $80 to save your team the headache when it comes to getting this all up and running So finally, the last thing you need within this system is your Facebook account or YouTube account, so hopefully your church hasn't been living under a rock for the past 10 years and you already have those set up

They're free, they're easy to use, and no matter what software you go with, it's very easy to send your live stream to your account Simply follow the support videos or instructions that come with those pieces of software So that covers all of the hardware and software you're gonna need for a live stream system at your church To recap, you have a video capture device and a audio capture device that's gonna send those signals to your computer where then it's gonna go into a software like Ecamm Live or OBS or vMix and then from those pieces of software, whichever one you choose, you can then broadcast to YouTube, Facebook or a private RTMP server Now I want to show you exactly what this looks like for our church's live stream system using the PTZ Optics camera, this Behringer interface, the Mac, and Ecamm Live

So both this camera and the interface are just plugged into this Macbook Pro via USB and we're gonna pretend that this mic here is the mix coming from our sound console for our live stream, because this mic is going into this audio interface into Channel 1 So everything's plugged in ready to go I'm gonna open up Ecamm Live And by default, Ecamm Live is using my Facetime camera on my computer and it is using my computer's built-in microphone And then it's really easy to select the right input, so I want to go to camera, I'm gonna select PTZ Optics camera, it automatically detects it

So that's what you're seeing here and I'll just pan that up a little bit, zoom out so we're not super close So that's good to go with the video feed and then under microphone, I'm gonna select USB audio codec That is the Behringer UM2 interface that I have right here And then under Window I can bring up my sound levels just to make sure that the sound is good so I can monitor, if I turn it way up it's gonna clip, I can turn it down on the interface to have a good healthy feed coming in there So my video and audio are ready to go in Ecamm Live so now I need to select the destination

So I could have record only or I can send it to YouTube or Facebook For this example, I want to send it to YouTube And it's important to keep in mind that you can actually have it record all broadcasts up here, so it'll send the broadcast to the internet, but it'll also record it locally on the computer So I have YouTube set as a destination and then I'm gonna press Login and I'll select the right channel and I'll allow it to manage my account and then I will go ahead and make sure right now, I'm just gonna test out this live stream so I'll keep things on private, because I don't really need all of you guys to see this random live stream And I highly recommend you do the same when you test out your live streams

Always do it first in a private mode And then I'll hit Get Started here and I'm ready to go live on YouTube So I'll go ahead and do that, I'll press Go Live And we can see here I'm live and I can be operating my camera and then Ecamm Live can do a lot of fancy stuff with overlays and stuff like that, so if I wanted to have a countdown in there I could do that I could add images and titles

Lots of fancy stuff in Ecamm Live It makes it really, really easy to do that, so that's why I recommend the software if you have a Mac So let's pretend that I'm all wrapped up I'll just press Finish So then I can view the post on YouTube and I will do that

And we can see here I'm live and I can be operating my, to have a countdown in there, I could do that I could add images and titles, lots of fancy stuff in Ecamm Live It makes it really, really easy to do that, so, so the live stream worked It's super, super simple Right now it's a private video on YouTube

Again, I could set this to public if I wanted to I'll just go ahead and delete this video, but that's how it works It's really that easy Again, using the PTZ Optics camera, the Behringer interface and then Ecamm Live, again, if you're running on a Mac It only takes a couple seconds to get this stuff up and running

Now you know how to set up a live stream system at your church In the near future, I'll be recording some of the services at our church at Mission Lakewood We can't live stream from the school we meet at because we do not have a reliable internet connection there There's only this really cruddy public wifi that's available at the school and it just would not be reliable to stream, but a cool trick you can do is you can record locally to your computer, because software like Ecamm can do that automatically and then you can actually play that video file back later within Ecamm and live stream just at a later time and this could be a cool way to be able to have yourself or someone on your pastoral team engage with people during the live stream because you're not preaching a sermon or leading worship, but you could just be at home on the coach So keep an eye on my channel as I'll be releasing more videos on this topic in the future

I'm really excited to show you how you can automate the PTZ Optics camera with Ableton Live If you are a worship tech nerd and you want an organized list of all the gear we use at my church plant, including all this live stream gear, then you should download my worship ministry toolkit linked below this video Click the link, complete the from, I'll send you instant access Thank you so much for watching this video If you found it helpful, please hit that thumbs-up button and share it with your friends in ministry

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