Live Stream Setup for small congregation

So…we did our first Facebook Live this morning. It had a few hiccups but was satisfactory. I’m looking for recommendations for a step up from an iPhone on a tripod. We don’t even know where to begin. The audio was very inconsistent but the video was fine. Thanks.

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Congrats, Patricia! That’s great!

A couple things to consider - if you need only improve the audio, you can feed that from your sound board into the iPhone directly. That’ll make a nice improvement. The actual method depends on the iPhone model, but should be pretty budget friendly.

Speaking of budget, it’ll help to know what that is… and what your goals are. A logical next step is to improve the camera as well as audio…
For example, many stream providers offer turnkey systems. We use Streamspot and like them, and their turnkey offerings are here: https://streamspot.com/turn-key-equipment – note, this may be way more than you need… but services like Streamspot offer a solution that will stream to your “online campus” page, as well as to Youtube and Facebook from a single stream. Slick.

Hope that helps get the ideas flowing.

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We are a small church that has been streaming for about 6 months now. Our setup is webcam to computer with soundboard wired to computer. Until we connected the sound board this way the sound was not as good quality as I would of liked.

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Hi Jeremy and Brian,

Thank you so much for responding. We are flailing in the dark a bit here. The ideal would be for a camera/device that would be used in the sound booth and able to zoom onto the podium approx 60’ away but also be able to be used for meetings/streamed Bible study elsewhere in the building through laptops although I can see where personal phones would work just as well in that case. We are currently using an older Apple Mac, kept up to date, in the sound booth and have just invested in upgrading our Propresenter site-license to the new release. I think we have the audio/visual back bone to accommodate the move to streaming/recording very well.

I am hoping to keep investment under $500.

Streaming services! Who knew? Most of our members get our news from Facebook or the email newsletter. We have an out of date website. I’m assuming any streaming service would need a link from the website.

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated.

Glad to help, Patricia.

The tricky part of the $500 budget is the distance from which you want to capture. 60’ is a long ways for most $500 cameras due to the limits in lenses. If, however, you or someone in your church have a video camera with HDMI out that can be repurposed for this, then you’ll be close. The tripod will have a modest cost too, but perhaps that comes as part of the streaming package.

Then, you’ll need some kind of encoder that takes the camera signal, plus the audio signal and sends it to Facebook (or the aforementioned streaming service). The Mac you have can do this, but if it’s dedicated to your Propresenter setup I’m not sure (without trying) that it can perform double-duty. But, ProPresenter can take live video, overlay slides (worship, sermon slides, etc.) and output the results: https://renewedvision.com/downloads/pro6userguide.pdf (search for “Live Video”)

I hope that helps!

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For some meetings we use a camcorder hdmi into an el gato camlink that USB’s into the computer which works pretty well. It’s pretty cheap too I think $100-$200 maybe.

So with an entire congregation at home watching or trying to watch via Facebook, we discovered that the possibility exists that non-Facebook users are not able to see the live stream. I have not been able to verify it. Has anyone else heard or seen this?

Yes, Facebook constantly pops up the login screen, covering part of the stream. YouTube live has worked well for our church, reliable and no login popup. Good for people like me that do not use Facebook.

To me, churches should use a quality streaming service that caters to churches, rather than Facebook live, especially if there are plans for longer term streaming.

  • Greg

You could embed the youtube video on your web page. That way people can come to your video from two sources…facebook and your website. It’s a simple piece of code you drop in your websites html.