Whether you’ve been streaming your church services for years or just considering broadcasting your church service live over the internet, here are a few tips to help your live stream webcast look and sound like the pros.
Audio Quality Peaked or clipping audio over a live streaming video can degrade the video signal. The best way to make sure the audio of your live stream isn’t peaking and causing additional problems is to make sure that your audio interface has limiters built into it, so that your audio never peaks. Digital peaking is very ugly. An example of a great low-cost audio solution is the Shure X2U, which is loaded with features for a very small price.
Panning Wildly with the Camera Just as peaking audio can have a negative effect on your live stream, so can quick, jerky camera movements, especially fast panning. This tip is very important for producers that are working with limited internet bandwidth. Every time the camera makes a sweeping pan of the stage or subject, the streaming encoder has to re-draw the key frame, which can and will cause compression artifacts to appear in the video. This makes your stream look all blurry and chunky. The best way to avoid this situation is to have at least two cameras. One camera has the wide shot and the other camera has a close-up shot. Then you can cut to the other camera while the one camera makes their move and then cut back, keeping the camera movement being streamed live to a minimum.
The 30 Degree Rule I alluded to this in my previous tip about panning wildly with the camera when I mentioned how to avoid this issue by using at least two cameras. The 30 degree rule was invented by a French filmmaker at the beginning of the 20th century. In their book The Film Experience, Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White write,
“The rule aims to emphasize the motivation for the cut by giving a substantially different view of the action. The transition between two shots less than 30 degrees apart might be perceived as unnecessary or discontinuous–in short, visible.” (2004, 130)
All that to say, if you separate your cameras by 30 degree angles from the stage, your shots won’t be so similar that they are jarring for the viewer, and your edits will appear to have true motivation and purpose.
I hope these tips have been helpful and that you are able to put them into practice at your next service or event.
Timothy is the President of e3 Webcasting . A leading provider of live stream webcast services and consulting. Now you can reach the 90% of your audience not present at your service or event.