How small churches can live-stream their services on multiple social media platforms with limited resources

is been more than a year that Coronavirus is still affecting our daily life in many ways and pushing us more toward virtualization. We ‘human beings’ are still adopting these new life changes and learning every day the surviving skills to stay up ahead.

I have seen that there are still many small churches that are straggling while live-streaming their worship services. This article shows you how a small church that has a limited resources/budget can also go live on multiple social media platforms.

Prerequisites

These are required for any kind of live streaming -

  1. Camera
  2. Mic (it can be in-built in Camera)
  3. Broadcasting Software
  4. Streaming (social media) Platforms

Let's talk about these more details and then will bind all these to see how we can produce a good quality live stream.

Camera

You can use any camera that has direct power charging or has enough battery backup to cover the whole service. Below are the Cameras that can be used for live streaming

1. Web Camera- there are many low-cost HD webcams are available on Amazon with an in-built mic. The webcam is the cheapest and easy to use video capturing device with any broadcasting software. For full HD 1080p quality with 30/60fps, I would recommend ‘Logitech c920 webcam HD Pro’. It is a little expensive but worth for money.

2. Digital (DSLR) or Video Camera- Digital (DLSR) camera or a Video camera can also be used for live stream. They will give the best quality streaming but you need an external video/Audio capturing device to integrate these cameras with broadcasting software and use them as webcam. You can find a low-price video capture device on Amazon, Below is one of the easy to use a low-price device

Mic for audio-

Nowadays, most of the camera whether it is a webcam or digital / video camera has an in-built mic to capture the audio for streaming. For high-quality sound, you can use an external mic that can be easily used with a video/audio capturing device.

Broadcasting Software-

You need broadcasting software to capture video and audio and broadcast it to different social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, etc. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio is free, powerful software that allows you to do live streams from your desktop/laptop. You can download this software from the link https://obsproject.com/download

OBS provides you the option to go live on different streaming services like Facebook Live, YouTube, Restream.io, etc.

OBS — Settings

Streaming Platforms-

Streaming platforms are those that will be used by the audience to watch your live stream like Facebook Live and YouTube. With your mobile or other modes of streaming, you can only go live on one platform but there is a service called ‘Restream.io’ that can be used to broadcast your live content to more than 30 streaming platforms simultaneously.

You can use the below link to create an account with restream.io. Restream.io has different subscription plans to cover all your needs. Its basic plan is absolutely free. It allows you to stream simultaneously to more than 30 different destinations, without any limits on quality or duration.

https://restream.io/

The next step is to choose the platforms you would like to stream to like YouTube, Facebook, etc. You can stream on all of them at once!

Now that you’ve chosen your go-to streaming platforms, you can add them as channels to your Restream account.

Restream.io — Add Channels

Setting up OBS

Download and install OBS Studio on your desktop or laptop and then configure it to broadcast your live stream on multiple platforms through restream.io. Attached your camera with your desktop or laptop with or without an external video/audio capture device based on your camera or mic type.

Step 1: Open OBS, click on Settings. Select the ‘Stream’ option from the navigation menu and set up your streaming service. In our case, choose ‘Restream.io’ and provide your restream.io credentials to integrate the service with OBS studio.

Step 2: Now you need to set up your video and audio sources that will be used by OBS to receive video and audio for your live content.

Step 3: Now you need to set up the audio/video bitrate for your live stream. If you set it wrong, you will experience increased buffering or low quality stream. Bitrate is depend upon your internet connection speed. For live streaming, recommended an ideal upload speed is 5Mbps (5000kbps). You need to set your total audio + video bitrate number to be smaller than your upload speed.

To set up the bitrate, open the settings and select ‘output’ and change the video and audio bitrate values as desired.

Step 4: Once initial set up is done, it is time to go live. Open the OBS studio, verify your Camera output is visible in OBS preview screen and audio mixer is showing movement in audio bar. You can start the streaming by clicking ‘Start Streaming’ button, multistreaming channels will be change to Online. Click ‘Studio Mode’ to get view of your live stream under Program screen. You can also verify in your social media streaming service like Facebook Live or YouTube.

OBS — Start Streaming

In Conclusion

That’s it!!! You can broadcast your live content on multiple streaming platforms with ‘Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)’ and ‘Restream.io’ with no extra cost. You just need to buy a Camera (mic) as per you budget or can use available digital/video camera (with video/audio capturing device) with OBS studio to make your presence live and to boost you viewers.

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