Whether your church has been live streaming for a few weeks or a few years, there are almost always a few things that you can do to improve the quality and outreach of your stream. Check out our top five reasons on how your video ministry can improve through these quick live streaming tips.
Do you remember the feeling that you had after moving into your first house? Sure, your parents may have called it a “good starter home” that you “might be able to squeeze into for four or five years”, but to you, the new place seemed like an unblemished kingdom.
Many church live streams are like starter homes. All is exciting for the first few months until things start breaking.
So perhaps your broadcast buffers. Maybe your audio cuts out or is choppy from time to time. Some churches even experience a stream that regularly shuts off for no apparent reason. If you’ve experienced any of these problems, then know first-off that you’re not alone. There are plenty of churches out there that can testify to experiencing similar issues during the beginning of their live streaming ministry.
Another noteworthy reflection is that there are a number of ways to upgrade your stream. In other words, you’re not doomed to a lifelong mediocre streaming ministry. So below, you’ll find five quick tips and ideas that we’ve come up with in order to help you take your stream to the next level.
1. Move Beyond The Limitations Of Social Streaming
Social streaming options like Facebook Live have a low barrier of entry, however, they do come with a number of downsides. First off, many social streams degrade your quality so even if you’re sending over a beautiful HD picture from an expensive camera that you’ve invested in, your viewers will still see a degraded image. Social services also bombard viewers with ads and scrolling content that competes with your viewers’ attention, so if your goal is to engage viewers for an entire service if they’re sick at home, then perhaps view your Facebook Live broadcast as a nice secondary streaming application, not your primary one.
2. Ditch Your Smartphone (This One’s Really About Your Camera)
Though Hollywood directors like Steven Soderbergh are now filming entire (*movie theater*) movies with an iPhone, your average smartphone probably isn’t ideal for your church stream. Even upgrading from your smartphone lens to a lower grade HD handycam lens will give you better light intake and handle distance much better from the back of your sanctuary or sound booth.
3. Isolate Your Audio (Not From Your Camera, But From Your Soundboard… And Custom Mix If Possible)
Perhaps the biggest mistake that (a surprising number of) churches make, when it comes to live streaming, has to do with their audio. If you’re able to input your audio directly from your soundboard into your stream, that will upgrade your viewer’s broadcast experience one hundredfold when compared to audio coming directly from a camera, and I’m not exaggerating one bit.
4. Ditch Your Computer
We trust our computers for nearly everything. We use them to manage our finances, to pay our taxes, to watch television, look up cooking recipes, and correspond with our friends, family, and work contacts. One thing that computers weren’t built to do, however, was transmit video live in a manner that folks can view it on a scalable level with excellence. Instead, if you’re serious about upgrading your quality, look into utilizing a hardware encoder built specifically for streaming. Every church that comes aboard with Sharefaith Streaming receives BoxCast’s streaming encoder for free, though it retails for $499 USD.
5. Find a Way to Automate
Live video streaming involves a number of complicated and highly technical steps to manifest on a viewer’s end in excellent quality. The more that you can automate these steps, the easier your workload will be and your opportunity for human error will diminish. Even if your stream involves the push of a button or the management of streaming software, this will not only complicate your Sunday morning workflow, but leave room for mistakes to be made. At Sharefaith, we offer a fully automated live streaming solution that literally runs by itself on Sunday morning. Goodbye, volunteer effort. Sayonara, volunteer error!
Thanks so much for sharing part of your day with us and remember that we’re always here for your ministry with our church customized and discounted live video streaming option. Thanks again and Happy Streaming!