There are many things to consider and prepare for as you began to look into what it takes to live stream as a church or business:
1. Who is going to run it? Do you have staff in place now that have the technical skill it takes to run the system every time? Will you hire someone to manage the live streaming? Live streaming is a very difficult process, you must have a designated person prepared to manage the stream and they must also have some technical experience to troubleshoot issues and good planning skills to be prepared for the broadcast beforehand.
2. What kind of computer do you (or will you) have? Is your computer more than 2 years old? Is it a Mac or PC? If you are planning to buy a new computer for streaming what platform do you prefer? You should plan on having a designated computer just for your video/live streaming purposes. There are some significant differences between Mac and PC that you should know and understand (additional blog post on this coming soon).
3. What kind of internet connection do you have? Do you have a good broadband internet connection? Chances are you may have one good enough for office use, but broadcasting is much more demanding for both download and upload speeds. Before you can do anything for streaming, you should check your internet’s quality at speedtest.net. This will give you some idea of whether or not you can even get started with your broadcast.
4. What is your budget? As with everything, the amount of money you have to spend really dictates everything else. Video switchers can add quite a bit of cost to the system, so you may want to start without one if your budget is small. Camera cost can grow your budget as well, starting with just one camera gives you less options, but keeps your cost down.
5. What equipment do you already have that can be incorporated? Do you currently have cameras? How old are your cameras? The type of connections on your current camera(s) is a key factor in deciding how to move forward. The older connections of BNC and RCA are almost obsolete now. In the video world almost everything is moving to HD/SDI connections for the best possible performance.
6. What is the purpose and end goal of the video? What are you trying to accomplish with video streaming? and what type of image do you want to project? Are you wanting to do a 1080p broadcast? Do you want to stream and record at the same time? Where do you want your video to be broadcast? Local or worldwide?
7. Do your homework: It’s good to keep learning about what others are doing. Knowledge is the key to progression in this process. The internet is truly a magnificent resource for learning not just how to use the hardware for broadcasting, but also what effective broadcasting is. Because a ‘good’ broadcast can look different to everyone, finding both what you like and how to get there is key to meeting your own expectations. Google can be used for searching through forums and there are an innumerable amount of churches who have posted videos to YouTube and Vimeo about what they do for their services.
In today’s technological world, live streaming has become a key component in getting the message out to the masses. However, live streaming can be a monumental task to take on and can cost several thousands of dollars. Spend your money wisely by being educated and prepared. With planning and thought, the transition will be smoother and your budget will go farther for longer.
Don’t forget to call Carters AV today for a free quote on your live streaming system!