Streaming Video Switchers a Solid Option for Many Churches
No matter how you do it, today there very few excuses for a church to not have streaming content in one form or fashion.
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Video switchers have changed in recent years to where it was not that long ago, that the idea of video switchers delivering content directly to the internet was far-fetched. Now, it’s a standard sales feature that many end-users consider a “must have.”
Typically, streaming is a feature that is seen more on smaller video switchers, rather than the full-size production switchers. This is great for churches, because many churches don’t need a full-blown large production switcher to fulfill their needs.
Most of the streaming switchers stream one of two ways: The first option is for the switcher to have an Ethernet port that can directly deliver encoded web-ready video. The second option is a USB connection to deliver video in a format that a computer can ingest and then stream. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these as capable or enabled, respectively.
A note about streaming: Just because the switcher is capable or enabled, does not really get you anything, but the ability to stream. It also requires that you have a platform to receive the video and either archive or deliver it as you choose. These could be as complicated as having a Content Delivery Network, or CDN, that handles automated multicast delivery and archive or as simple as sending it to Facebook Live, or YouTube. Regardless, the point is if you are considering a streaming switcher, be sure you have a solution in mind for handling your video, once it gets to the web. In other words, make sure you understand where you are planning to send it.
Stream Capable: The six switchers noted in this category have an Ethernet port for web delivery.
Telestream Wirecast Gear
This recent release from Telestream is a great turnkey solution. It combines all the hardware I/O you need, with the industry standard Wirecast software for control streaming. It would be possible to piecemeal together a similar system, if you build it yourself, but the Wirecast gear is optimized for use with Wirecast software. I used this system for a review and found it to be feature rich and incredibly stable. These systems are available in a few different options with respect to I/O, but the Wirecast software is handling the control and streaming.
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