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While live streaming was once a novelty for churches, today, it has become something many churches consider a viable part of their ministry. While some churches have large budgets, many have very small budgets–next to nothing to work with.
To review, a live stream needs to capture video of what’s going on, capture a good mix of the sound, send those into an encoder and send that to a live-streaming host for distribution to anyone who wants to watch it.
Stream - Option - Home - Personnel - Families
A live stream can be a wonderful option for those who can’t leave their home, military personnel stationed abroad, or families who miss church because of illness. Additionally, there are some people who won’t go to a physical church but do connect with God by watching a live-streamed service.
So how do you live-stream with almost no money?
Bare - Minimum - Order - Absolute - Minimum
So, what’s the bare minimum that you need in order to pull it off? That depends on what you’re trying to do, but if you’re looking for the absolute minimum, it really isn’t as much as you’d think.
For any live-streaming system, you need a streaming computer, a camera (or video feed from a switcher) that can connect to your streaming computer, a reliable broadband connection, and good audio that can also connect to the streaming computer. This connects to your streaming video provider, so you’re uploading one stream and no matter how many people watch, your internet connection isn’t affected.
Computer - Workstation - Windows - Box - Multi-processor
How basic can all this be? The streaming computer doesn’t need to be a $5,000 workstation. I wouldn’t rely on a donated Windows 98 box, but a modern multi-processor computer dedicated to running Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (which is free by the way) should be able to handle the job.
For the camera, I recommend HD to churches for projectors and IMAG (image magnification), but for streaming,...
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