Also, see article, “How to Live Stream Your Church Service for Free.”
North Valley Baptist Church was started in Santa Clara, California 34 years ago. The church is located in the center of the Silicon Valley. If you were to tell Pastor Trieber 34 years ago, he would be able to preach to people around the world LIVE, he would not have believed you. Yet now, 34 years later, he preaches to people around the globe – both live and throughout the week via archived video. The sun never sets on the ministry of North Valley Baptist Church. There are people watching the services, almost 24/7 and 365 days a year. We receive emails on a daily basis from people who watch our church services – To God be the Glory!
We have people regularly ask us how to set up a live streaming video ministry for their church. I hope to give you the basics of how to live stream your church service.
Equipment Needed to Live Stream and/or Record Your Church Services
In order to set up your auditorium, you will need some equipment. Here are the items you will need. I will list what equipment we use, you may use different types of equipment. This is just to give you an idea of what you need. There are much cheaper solutions for smaller churches. There is a PDF at the end of the article describing our old (cheaper) set up.
A Decent Computer
- We use: an Intel Core 2 Quad 3.2 GHz Processor with 2 GB of RAM running Windows XP
- This is free software for encoding the church service live. Window Media Video can be watched on both Mac and PC.
A Video Capture Card
- We use: the Aja Xena LHi (We use this because we work with an HD signal)
- We use 3: (2) Panasonic HVX200 HD Cameras and (1) Sony HDR-FX1 Camera
- We use HD Cameras because we have HD LCDs in the auditorium we use as well.
- We mix our audio separately from the auditorium mix. We have a separate sound board for the internet video.
Streaming Server (if you are going to live stream your services)
- There are many different companies that would like your business. We have a man in our church that has set up a streaming server. He does a very good job for a very good price. He also does this for other churches. I can get you his contact info if you would like.
Video Mixing Board (if you have more than one camera)
- We use: the Edirol V-440HD (once again, we use this because of the HD signal)
(3) LCD Screens
- We use: (3) Samsung SyncMaster 215TW (one for the live streaming computer and two for the video mixer)
Setting Up Your Equipment to Live Stream Your Church Service
Below is a diagram of how to set up your auditorium for live streaming. Once again, you can change out the pieces. It doesn’t have to be exactly like our set up. If you want, you can have one camera and audio source and go directly to your encoding computer.
Encode the Church Service Using Windows Media Player
Once you have the video and the audio hooked up to your encoding computer. Use Windows Media Player to encode your church services. We’ve found that around 300kbs is a good bit rate. This allows decent quality and also enables many different users to watch the services. If your bit rate is too high, many will not be able to watch your services. Windows Media Player pushes the video stream to our streaming server and saves the file automatically to add to our archived services.
Send the Video Stream to a Streaming Server
Your streaming service provider will supply details on how to do this. The streaming server allows multiple people to watch your service simultaneously.
Create a Link on Your Web Site
Once you are done, create a link so others can watch online. If you are unable to do live streaming video, you can still follow the above steps and then post your church services online for others to view later.
I hope this is a help to you. Please let me know if you have additional questions, I don’t have all the answers, but I will do my best to help.
Check out North Valley Baptist Church’s Live and Archived Video!
Download a PDF of our old (cheaper) live streaming configuration
How to Live Stream Your Church Service for Free