No church wants to output a low-quality live stream on a weekly basis. It happens, though, because a few key streaming fundamentals can sometimes be overlooked by ministries. So, you may be asking: How can I live stream better?
The list of tips below isn’t incredibly technical or advanced, but if you take the time to consistently keep an eye on them, you should quickly start to see the overall quality of your broadcasts improve.
1 | Watch
Imagine getting dressed and leaving for work without looking in the mirror. For most of us, things might wind up looking a bit out of place! The same principle applies to how broadcasts can look, especially if they’re never or rarely watched by the people who are responsible for running them.
It sounds simple, but taking the time a few occasions a month to have your visual team sit down and experience your live stream the same way that your live viewers do will help them more strategically and effectively construct your upcoming broadcasts in the weeks ahead.
Some ministries periodically take the time to record their worship practices on Wednesday or Thursday nights to make sure that they’re ready to produce a beautiful stream on Sunday. Others have gotten into the habit of watching portions of the previous Sunday’s service at a Monday or Tuesday staff meeting to critique what was streamed and offer feedback on how things could be improved.
Overall, churches who take the time to watch their broadcasts usually wind up having the best broadcasts, it’s really that simple.
2 | Test
For your church, live video streaming requires upload bandwidth, not download. More specifically, when you broadcast, your encoder takes content from your live venue and sends it to the cloud to be distributed to your end viewers. So in order for your ministry to send high-quality video content to your viewers, your venue must have optimal upload speed.
In order to consistently attain a beautiful High Definition video resolution for your services, we recommend an upload speed of 6.0 Mbps, though less reliable HD video can be broadcasted with just half of that through a service like BoxCast.
When you have the time (on Sunday mornings if possible), take a quick minute to test your upload speed through this link. Run the test while online either through your wifi network or via a hardline ethernet connection. Every location is different, but on the whole, we’ve found that wired internet usually performs better over time when compared to wireless.
3 | Survey
Isn’t it amazing the impact that a good question can have? This is certainly true regarding your streaming ministry. Have you ever taken the time to survey your congregation and ask them about their experience tuning into your broadcasts? If you haven’t, doing so will likely provide a good deal of constructive feedback that will help you improve your streams in multiple ways.
Consider asking questions that are similar to the ones listed below…
- How often do you or your family tune into our church services online?
- What is your favorite part of our church’s broadcasts?
- Is there anything that we can do to make our broadcasts more enjoyable?
Sending out a digital survey to your members or inserting a paper questionnaire into your bulletin periodically will equip your video team with valuable viewer evaluation told from an unbiased and honest perspective. This again sounds simple, but it can help reform your stream for the better.
For More Information About Streaming
To learn more about what it takes to have an excellent video streaming ministry, feel free to check out BoxCast and MediaShout’s church streaming offering.
If you are already streaming and have tips and tricks to share (or a funny story to share about your live streaming troubles), please comment below. Thanks!