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Churches, municipalities create a surge in livestreaming

May 05, 2020

Churches, municipalities create a surge in livestreaming
Put most simply, pro AV solutions are built for one primary purpose: to help people communicate. Over the years, there have been plenty of technological advancements that have led that mission in a positive direction. One pro AV segment which has seen steady growth, particularly among places of worship and in municipalities, is livestreaming.

Today, as more churches and cities seek to live broadcast services and town halls to their at-home congregations and constituents, there’s even more appeal in, and need for, pro AV solutions. If you’re interested in helping your customers launch a livestream, here’s the equipment you should offer.
 

Livestreaming equipment checklist

  • Camera(s)—While webcams will work in a pinch, higher-quality livestreams will use one or more HD video cameras. Look for models that offer an HDMI output, optical zoom and the ability to operate in low light.
  • Lighting—If the application and budget permits, a well-lit subject will have a dramatic improvement in the video quality, even if the cameras being used have built-in low-light capabilities.
  • Tripod(s)—Don’t overlook the benefits of a high-quality tripod and head. Flimsy tripods are known to shake from vibrations, which can negatively impact the video quality from even the highest-end cameras. Also, a good head will allow an operator to pan and tilt the camera smoothly.
  • Microphones—Many churches and town meeting spaces already have microphones, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.
  • Monitor—While not necessary, it’s ideal to have a live view of the stream available not only to the production crew but to the subject on stage.
  • Video switcher and mixer—You’ll need a hardware- or software-based switcher to pull together multiple inputs into your production software. Cost factors include the number and types of inputs and outputs, supported output formats, and built-in features such as transitions and keyers.
  • Audio mixer—Many video switchers include audio mixers, but you might want to introduce a dedicated audio mixer for fine adjustments to all audio inputs.
  • PC—Whether you want to go with a Mac or Windows, you’ll need a computer to facilitate the live broadcast. The specs of this machine will depend on the software you choose, but, generally speaking, you’ll need something relatively powerful with a dedicated video card. You may also want external storage to archive recordings.
  • Production software—Everything mentioned above will ultimately route to the PC and production software for recording and livestreaming to services like YouTube or Facebook. There are many software choices available, including an open-source option called Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Whatever software you select, take note of the minimum hardware requirements for your PC purchase.
Despite the long list of livestreaming equipment above, pulling it all together to create a single solution for town halls and churches is relatively straightforward. Of course, every customer will present unique challenges and complications. For assistance in creating the best livestreaming solution for your customers, contact Tom Jones, Ingram Micro’s pro AV expert.