How Your Church Can Avoid Everyday Live Stream Issues

Don’t sweat over potential mistakes, for example, like accidentally leaving live mics on, pre- or post-service, as this only increases authenticity.

How Your Church Can Avoid Everyday Live Stream Issues
Two images from different screenshots during the live streaming of a service at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia on Sunday, July 16, 2017.

Live Streaming News

How Your Church Can Avoid Everyday Live Stream Issues
Tools to Consider for Live Streaming, Simulcasting
Your Church Services: To Stream Or Not To Stream?

Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, July-August 2017
The July-August 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Texas church and Colorado church, with regard to recent work completed at each facility.
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According to Facebook’s head of live streaming, users are now spending about three times more time watching live video versus recorded video, and that’s powerful engagement.

Churches are just as interested in live streaming as a means to brand themselves, and to send their message, while helping others that are unable to be there in person.

Rarely a week goes by, that we do not receive at least one phone call from a church tech who is seeking information on how we live stream or how to solve a live stream issue.

Any time the church’s original material is not being used, obtain copyright permission from the owner of the material.

With trained volunteers and a professional technician, we produce a great live broadcast. It’s not perfect, but our product is more than worth the time and experience, according to our viewers. Minor issues occur every so often, but this should be expected with any new media format.

Each church’s live stream is set up uniquely, therefore the following includes the most common live stream issues and how to prevent these issues from occurring:

Internet connection, bandwidth requirements

It is critical to test the strength of your internet connection and make sure your provider is up to speed. When possible, ask those who will receive the stream, to check their connection as well.

For major events, call ahead to those streaming to groups in larger locations and remind them to perform a Speedtest. As a free and easy online app, Speedtest will tell you if you fall under an acceptable rate of download and upload speed. If you find yourself at an unacceptably low speed, you may need to contact your service provider and discuss options for improving connectivity.

Our church in Herndon, Virginia provides two sources of streaming bandwidth, a low bandwidth and a high bandwidth. Other churches may offer adapted or multi bit rate bandwidth through their provider, depending on what their streaming provider offers. Providing multi bit rate or multiple (high/low) bandwidth options covers those watching from more rural areas that can be burdened with poor internet connections, as well as those with the highest bitrates. For us, this fixed the issue of viewers unable to connect, as well as those experiencing excessive buffering.

Power outages or a temporary loss of internet access can happen, and causes can vary from location to weather. Recognizing that a live stream is a continuous stream of data, do not reset, unless you must and only as a last resort.


More About Keri Rafter
Keri Rafter is the Technical Director for Floris United Methodist Church, where she focuses on innovative and outside-the-box thinking to engage the church to be a catalyst for change. Keri looks for trends and shifts in culture that provide opportunities that can be turned into potential membership growth. She coaches churches and other organizations to have patience through the risk taking process of innovating and to have a diverse and inclusive focus. She is also a television director, producer, and managing principal of MediaKraft, a Washington D.C. area creative media production company.
Get in Touch: [email protected]    More by Keri Rafter

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, July-August 2017
The July-August 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Texas church and Colorado church, with regard to recent work completed at each facility.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Video · Cameras · Streaming · Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Bandwith · Bit Rate · Broadcast · Browsers · Church Tech · Download · All Topics

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