As ministries around the country continue to remain shut-down or maintain a limited occupancy rate, people are increasingly streaming online church services. If you are considering streaming your church services to continue connecting with your members, know that it is a good idea. It will still allow you to provide quality church services while protecting your members from the high Coronavirus rates associated with large gatherings. However, the hardest part of this task can be choosing equipment to stream your services. Just remember to look for equipment that fits your level of expertise. While reputable shops will be able to help you with this task, you should have a basic understanding of how to choose the right home broadcast equipment for your church.
The beginner producers are those who are just starting to stream for the first time. At this point, you will likely only have a single camera mounted on a tripod at the back of your church to capture sermons. You may not know a whole lot about technology, but there are a few things you can look for to help you get started. For instance, when choosing a camera, look for something that can capture the entire church, not just the speaker. You should also look for one that takes HD films. This will make your viewers feel like they are in the room with the speaker. You should also look for certain features, like zoom capabilities, and user-friendliness.
Meanwhile, when choosing a tripod, you will want to consider factors like affordability and durability. If your speaker walks a lot while giving a sermon, you may also want to look for a fluid drag head, which will let you tilt and pan the camera without any jerkiness. If you plan to film outside a lot, look for a tripod that has spiked feet so you can have maximum stability, even when on uneven terrain.
If you have been filming services since the start of the shutdown, you likely want to move beyond the production tools. However, you are probably not ready to tackle the most advanced options out there. At this point, you will want to look for equipment that is slightly more sophisticated than what you are using. For instance, look for a camera that has SDI and HDMI output, longer zoom lenses, and high-quality audio inputs. This will let your videos look and sound better while allowing you to connect your camera with other production equipment.
By the way, this is the time for you to begin buying more production equipment, such as hardware and software. If you choose to go with software, look for user-friendliness and how easily you can switch back and forth between cameras and incorporate graphics into your videos. If you choose to go with hardware, look for a few HDMI inputs, an audio mixer, and picture-in-picture capabilities. You may also want to look for something that offers more than one SDI output. These features will allow you to create professional-looking streams so you can help your members get their traditional church experience while still following CDC guidance for reopening churches.
When you have a seasoned broadcaster willing to stream your services, you are in luck. They will probably want certain features that can enhance your videos. For instance, your streamer may want a camera that has a clear image zoom and a high resolution. At this point, your broadcaster will likely know what they want in their equipment.
If you have decided to stream your church services but are not sure what equipment is best for you, don’t be dismayed. Instead, look for the features mentioned above to find the equipment that will help you engage with your members.