Live Streaming Church Services



  • I've been helping attend to some of the technology needs at a church where my family and I worship. I've seen other congregations use YouStream to do a live stream of the minister's Powerpoint and music for songs that would normally be displayed on projectors. But I'm curious about what it might take to stream not only that but a camera feed of the congregation at the same time (kind of a picture in picture type feed).

    Has anyone done this? Do you have recommendations on the software to use to run the streaming and what type of camera might work well for this? I've been tasked with figuring it out and providing a BOM for what we might need to do it.



  • GoPro would be great for grabbing a whole congregation.



  • I've been hearing about Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for such things as this. Kind of has that "Producer in the back room calling the shots" feel. Able to be deployed on Windows, Mac, or Linux and is ready to interface with YouTube, Twitch, and such.

    https://obsproject.com/



  • @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    I've been hearing about Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for such things as this. Kind of has that "Producer in the back room calling the shots" feel. Able to be deployed on Windows, Mac, or Linux and is ready to interface with YouTube, Twitch, and such.

    https://obsproject.com/

    I was just going to recommend this. OBS is a really professional mixing software designed for live streaming. It can do multiple video and audio inputs and best of all it is open source.



  • @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    I've been hearing about Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for such things as this. Kind of has that "Producer in the back room calling the shots" feel. Able to be deployed on Windows, Mac, or Linux and is ready to interface with YouTube, Twitch, and such.

    https://obsproject.com/

    Yeah, OBS is likely the way to go. That's what I had in mind but was about to look up the name.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    I've been hearing about Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for such things as this. Kind of has that "Producer in the back room calling the shots" feel. Able to be deployed on Windows, Mac, or Linux and is ready to interface with YouTube, Twitch, and such.

    https://obsproject.com/

    Yeah, OBS is likely the way to go. That's what I had in mind but was about to look up the name.

    We had a conversation on here about it a year or two ago. No idea what ever happened to that project. Wasn't my thread.



  • I think you need something a little more pro.
    For an acceptable stream you need to mix both video and audio sources. Sound is more important than video actually.

    I'd look at something like Roland V1HD. It looks like many use it for church.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1198625-REG/roland_v_1hd_4_x_hdmi.html

    It will handle the mixing and selection of different cameras and picture-in-picture.





  • @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @Pete-S Don't forget that they are wanting to stream it too

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1297728-REG/roland_compact_multicam_production_and.html

    OBS is for streaming. It's popular specifically for streaming.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @Pete-S Don't forget that they are wanting to stream it too

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1297728-REG/roland_compact_multicam_production_and.html

    OBS is for streaming. It's popular specifically for streaming.

    Not to mention that is a Software video mixer. It can do pretty much anything the hardware one can with a bit of tweaking. The only thing they would need to get is a PC with video and audio inputs.



  • Streaming is the easy part relatively speaking.

    You need to pick up audio either from microphones or from the sound system. You want to mix in the audio that's applicable to the video feed you are seeing. Microphones need micro preamps to get to line level or a mixerboard with outputs. If there is a proper sound system in place you need to hook up to that.

    And you need camera feeds as well. You can't just do a wide angle shot of everything.

    These are the things that make streaming a church service more complicated than streaming a video game.

    And that is the order in which to approach this. First what do you have today hardware wise, what do you want in audio and video, who will manage it and control it during service and finally how can we bring it together and stream it. It's a pro audio / video problem much more than an IT problem.



  • @Pete-S said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    Streaming is the easy part relatively speaking.

    You need to pick up audio either from microphones or from the sound system. You want to mix in the audio that's applicable to the video feed you are seeing. Microphones need micro preamps to get to line level or a mixerboard with outputs. If there is a proper sound system in place you need to hook up to that.

    And you need camera feeds as well. You can't just do a wide angle shot of everything.

    These are the things that make streaming a church service more complicated than streaming a video game.

    Have you looked at OBS before? It's designed for streaming yes, but it is also a software video mixer. It can take multiple inputs and do all the mixing on screen in real time.... all for basically free, outside of hardware costs. It's not just a single webcam and microphone.



  • OBS is meant for streaming and video production. At my last job I implemented it so that as a training organization our trainers would be on screen (camera) overlay on top of whatever content was being displayed. When they had to be off-screen a keyboard shortcut would turn that overlay off.

    For a service where, presumably someone isn't going to be controlling this implementation it might be a bit of a challenge. But if it was simply setup and running, live streaming to Twitch or some such service it would work as well. Just with less animation type of things.



  • For the sound, you would simply have an extra mic on the podium where the person is presenting from. That would feed directly into OBS. And would be your MIC-in.

    Sound out isn't going to matter, its not like you're streaming a football game.

    The overlay (different scenes) can all be configured to occur on an event (usually key-combo) but I recall there was a timing functionality as well. We stuck with the key-combo's.

    But any scene is made from any number of sources, cameras or whatever you have, numerous mics if you needed them (might be annoying) maybe a banner ad goes across the bottom. And each scene will have a custom set of visible sources, or muted and unmuted sources.



  • @DustinB3403 Unless you put a lapel mic on the subject, its not that easy. Some subjects like to move around the stage.



  • @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @DustinB3403 Unless you put a lapel mic on the subject, its not that easy. Some subjects like to move around the stage.

    I never said what type of mic, I just specified a mic. It could be at a podium or a lapel. So long as you can feed it into OBS you'd be able to capture that sound and use it as an input for the broadcast.



  • The biggest issue that is going to occur is your upload at the church likely sucks. My guess would be you have WiFi on premise, that everyone and their cousin connects too when they arrive for service.

    This is going to cripple the stream.



  • @Pete-S said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    Streaming is the easy part relatively speaking.

    You need to pick up audio either from microphones or from the sound system. You want to mix in the audio that's applicable to the video feed you are seeing. Microphones need micro preamps to get to line level or a mixerboard with outputs. If there is a proper sound system in place you need to hook up to that.

    And you need camera feeds as well. You can't just do a wide angle shot of everything.

    These are the things that make streaming a church service more complicated than streaming a video game.

    And that is the order in which to approach this. First what do you have today hardware wise, what do you want in audio and video, who will manage it and control it during service and finally how can we bring it together and stream it. It's a pro audio / video problem much more than an IT problem.

    ^^^ This. You're trying to use IT to solve an AV problem. If it's a church of any size, there should already be plentiful AV equipment to tap into. You should be able to get a mixdown of the audio, plus be able to do video switching. The streaming part is trivial compared to the AV production side, which should already have its own infrastructure.



  • So while you can work around the adding sources to the stream situation, the biggest issue (especially for this) is the bandwidth available on premise.

    I've had people ask me how to do this same sort of thing for family sporting events etc, and it's always a damn bandwidth issue. Especially when you have 100+ extra devices all connected using that DSL for $19.99/month. . .



  • @DustinB3403 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    So while you can work around the adding sources to the stream situation, the biggest issue (especially for this) is the bandwidth available on premise.

    I've had people ask me how to do this same sort of thing for family sporting events etc, and it's always a damn bandwidth issue. Especially when you have 100+ extra devices all connected using that DSL for $19.99/month. . .

    Just like you would do with any other organization. You VLAN off the guest wifi to just the Internet and throttle it down to just barely speeds.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    So while you can work around the adding sources to the stream situation, the biggest issue (especially for this) is the bandwidth available on premise.

    I've had people ask me how to do this same sort of thing for family sporting events etc, and it's always a damn bandwidth issue. Especially when you have 100+ extra devices all connected using that DSL for $19.99/month. . .

    True. It does seem plausible... nay, likely... that a church would "hire" someone to do this and expect them to bring the required bandwidth with them, at no additional cost of course.

    "But we have a 25/5 cable connection! Why can't you make it stream full HD and 4k/HDR??? Our cameras are HD!!! Make it work already!!!!"



  • @RojoLoco said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    True. It does seem plausible... nay, likely... that a church would "hire" someone to do this and expect them to bring the required bandwidth with them, at no additional cost of course.

    Haha a Church hire someone. Man you're funny.



  • @coliver I was trying to be nice and not go off on that rant...



  • @NerdyDad said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @DustinB3403 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    So while you can work around the adding sources to the stream situation, the biggest issue (especially for this) is the bandwidth available on premise.

    I've had people ask me how to do this same sort of thing for family sporting events etc, and it's always a damn bandwidth issue. Especially when you have 100+ extra devices all connected using that DSL for $19.99/month. . .

    Just like you would do with any other organization. You VLAN off the guest wifi to just the Internet and throttle it down to just barely speeds.

    That limiting is generally limiting per user. Not limited for the entire vLAN and while it might be funny to essentially turn of the Guest-WiFi with such horrible speeds the reality is no one would actually do this.



  • @RojoLoco said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @DustinB3403 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    So while you can work around the adding sources to the stream situation, the biggest issue (especially for this) is the bandwidth available on premise.

    I've had people ask me how to do this same sort of thing for family sporting events etc, and it's always a damn bandwidth issue. Especially when you have 100+ extra devices all connected using that DSL for $19.99/month. . .

    True. It does seem plausible... nay, likely... that a church would "hire" someone to do this and expect them to bring the required bandwidth with them, at no additional cost of course.

    "But we have a 25/5 cable connection! Why can't you make it stream full HD and 4k/HDR??? Our cameras are HD!!! Make it work already!!!!"

    This is exactly what I heard every time. Every damn time. Or the better one "How come it seems frozen?! We're missing all of the action".

    Eh. . . because you're giving this device less internet performance than 56k dialup when the network is this inundated with "users".



  • Our church went with the most affordable solution the pastor could find: his old iPhone and Facebook live. Hey, it works and fits into the church's technology budget ( that would be $0 for anyone keeping track)



  • @jt1001001 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    Our church went with the most affordable solution the pastor could find: his old iPhone and Facebook live. Hey, it works and fits into the church's technology budget ( that would be $0 for anyone keeping track)

    That's the right approach. Consumers in this case aren't necessarily looking for 4k and perfect audio. As long as the speaker is understood and you can stream in 720 that's sufficient.



  • @IRJ said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @jt1001001 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    Our church went with the most affordable solution the pastor could find: his old iPhone and Facebook live. Hey, it works and fits into the church's technology budget ( that would be $0 for anyone keeping track)

    That's the right approach. Consumers in this case aren't necessarily looking for 4k and perfect audio. As long as the speaker is understood and you can stream in 720 that's sufficient.

    Haven't dealt with churches much?



  • The size of the church and the target demographic have a lot to do with it. Also, the age or youthfulness of the staff. My pastor is my age, early 30's, and anything like this at our church would likely be targeted at that same age.



  • @JaredBusch said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @IRJ said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    @jt1001001 said in Live Streaming Church Services:

    Our church went with the most affordable solution the pastor could find: his old iPhone and Facebook live. Hey, it works and fits into the church's technology budget ( that would be $0 for anyone keeping track)

    That's the right approach. Consumers in this case aren't necessarily looking for 4k and perfect audio. As long as the speaker is understood and you can stream in 720 that's sufficient.

    Haven't dealt with churches much?

    Nope. I just figured people would be fine if they could just hear and see the speaker...after all they are watching for religious reasons.