Low Budget – High Impact Live Streaming Equipment for Worship

Many churches are hoping to get back to in-person-worship this fall, but are aware of the need for live-streaming worships in the future, for those that are unable to attend any gatherings due to COVID or any future reasons. In other words, all churches need to recognise that live-streaming is unavoidable for most of them.

For the last few weeks I have been working with a congregation assessing the best way to have a decent live-streaming without the need for a complex tech or a commitment from too many volunteers.

Tripod for Your Phone ($24.99)

There is always the possibility of live-streaming with a phone through Facebook or Periscope. The equipment is already in our pocket and by putting the phone on a decent phone tripod (https://amzn.to/35zL7xE) you are good to go. The only cost apart from the tripod being a decent WIFI or a 5G on the phone. The sound might not be optimal and the image is not the most exciting, but it works.

A Camcorder with Your Computer ($347.96)

A slightly more expensive way would be to use a decent camcorder and connect it through a laptop. I would recommend Canon Vixia HF R800 as the best inexpensive option that allows clean HDMI. You also need a tripod. AmazonBasic 60-inch is a great choice. It is super stable and extremely lightweight, making it easy to move around if needed.

In addition to a camcorder and a tripod, you need a HDMI Capture Card which costs from $20-$200. I would start with something like GOODAN Audio Video Capture Card for $20. It might be wise to add a 10 ft HDMI-mini to HDMI cable or even a longer one to connect the camcorder to the computer. A cable comes with Canon Vixia HF R800, but it is kind of short.

If the congregation uses a sound system, you might consider getting the sound directly from the sound system to use in the live stream. To do that you might be able to use a 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm Audio Cable 50Ft.

The video will be decent, the sound will be better than with your phone and it might work out fine. You could add a standalone microphone to the setup (I am a Blue Yeti fan, but that might cost you an extra $200).

So now we have without the microphone:

Canon Vixia HF R800$249.00
AmazonBasic Tripod 60-inch $25.99
GOODAN Audio Video Capture Card$19.99
10 ft HDMI-mini to HDMI cable$11.99
3.5 mm to 6.35 mm Audio Cable 50Ft$40.99
TOTAL COST:$347.96
This does not contain the cost of a computer with an internet connection and a USB port.

Two Camcorders, Your Computer and Some Production Value ($1,003.05)

The solution that I decided to go with for the congregation is a bit more expensive but something that would still be considered a low-budget option.

I got two camcorders (with an option of adding at least two more later). I still go with Canon Vixia HF R800 and two AmazonBasic Tripod 60-inch. I don’t use a HDMI Capture Card, but a Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher with an option of four HDMI input signals and two audio input signals. To connect the camcorders to the switcher I opted for HDMI Extender 196ft HDMI Over Single Cat5E/6/7, Cat6 50 ft Ethernet Cable, and a short HDMI cable. To connect the Blackmagic Switcher to a computer I use USB C cable.

Again, I plan to get the sound directly from the sound system and to do that I use a 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm Audio Cable 50Ft.

Finally

It was difficult to decide between Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher ($295) and Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro HDMI Live Stream Switcher ($595). The Pro version has an option to stream directly without a computer through Ethernet connection and the option of connecting a monitor to see all inputs simultaneously (multi-view). I decided not to spend an extra $300 for the PRO, and may regret it later.

There are still questions about sound in this setup. Especially regarding audio from musicians, the choir, and congregational singing and responses. One option is to use use mics on the camcorders as a background noice in addition to the sound from the sound system, be attentive to it during the worship and mix the sound according to what is going on. This can be done with the Blackmagic switcher but might be a bit complex.

Finally, to livestream from the computer, I will use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), an open source software. I will be using Youtube as the platform as it is free, but would prefer Vimeo PRO.

This was an overview of the equipment needed. I might write a post later on, how to set it all up.

Amazon Affiliates

As part of my website building projects I try to stay up-to-date on simple tools to use for my clients. One model that could be helpful for churches is a connection to the Amazon Affiliates program. A neat example would be for a Book Club discussion, were the church would be able to get a 4-6% referral rate on each sold book through a link on its website.

So for example, if a book club would like to discuss [amazon_link asins=’0684815001′ template=’NameLink’ store=’ispeculatenet-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’884e2f29-d9b2-11e6-8176-85f1b02b0c35′], the link would bring the user to the book on Amazon, and the church would receive a certain percentage of the price paid.

Bloggið fært enn og aftur / The Blog is on the Move

In English Below. Eftir að hafa notast við WordPress.com síðan 9. október 2012, þá er kominn tími til hreyfings. Í tengslum við aukin umsvif á sviði vefráðgjafar hef ég komið mér upp ágætis heimasvæði á ispeculate.net. Ég hef fært bloggið þangað í heild, en mun enn um sinn leyfa færslunum hér að standa. Nýja bloggslóðin mín er www.ispeculate.net/writings.

I have been using wordpress.com since October 9th 2012. As I have been taking on various projects involving more specified wordpress installations, I am moving the blog to www.ispeculate.net/writings, enabling me to use the blog as a laboratory for various themes and plugins.

www.ispeculate.net/writings

Vonlaus tímasetning – Um það bil árlega veffríið mitt

Sú hugmynd að fara í veffrí (web sabbatical) í miðri atvinnuleit var augljóslega mjög misráðin og óskynsamleg af fjölmörgum ástæðum. Af þeim sökum hef ég ákveðið að láta tæpa viku í veffrí duga að þessu sinni og lýk þessu veffríi formlega í dag, 25. febrúar.

Nú eru rúmlega 7 ár síðan ég tók veffrí (web sabbatical) í fyrsta sinn. Þau hafa gengið misvel fyrir sig en um leið hafa þau gert mér kleift að staldra við vefnotkun mína og endurskoða hefðir og venjur sem myndast yfir árið. Þannig hefði ekki mér ekki dottið í hug fyrir 7 árum að ég gæti orðið háður Sudoku tölvuleik. Continue reading Vonlaus tímasetning – Um það bil árlega veffríið mitt

Vef-sabbatical (Web-sabbatical)

Nú mun ég enn á ný fara í tímabundið vef-sabbatical frá 9. desember 2012-10. janúar 2013. Vefnotkun er mikilvægur þáttur í lífi mínu og ekki síst í þeim fjölskylduaðstæðum sem fjölskylda mín býr við nú um stundir. Hins vegar er líka hollt að skipta um sjónarhorn og það hyggst ég gera næstu 32 daga. Continue reading Vef-sabbatical (Web-sabbatical)

Samræming á orði og verki

Undanfarnar vikur og mánuði hef ég skoðað ítarlega margvíslega þætti Facebook-notkunar sér í lagi hjá börnum og unglingum. Einn vinkillinn sem ég hef velt fyrir mér er samskipti og samspil leiðtoga í félagsstarfi og þátttakenda í starfinu. Þetta er sér í lagi áhugavert hvað mig varðar persónulega þegar um er að ræða aðstoðarleiðtoga eða ungleiðtoga á aldrinum 15-18 ára, sem hafa margvíslegar skyldur og einhverja ábyrgð en eru um leið börn skv. lögum. Continue reading Samræming á orði og verki

Breytingar á bloggmálum

Vandamál í tengslum við hýsingu iSpeculate undanfarnar vikur og mánuði hafa aukist allverulega og því er svo farið að ég hef ákveðið að segja skilið við eigin hýsingarvanda og flýja til WordPress.com með þau blogg sem ég skrifa. Það merkir að ummæli síðustu ára á facebook munu hverfa og rss-slóðir munu þurfa endurnýjunar við. En þannig er það nú víst bara.

Social Media and Teenagers

The content of this post appeared in Icelandic undir the title “Facebook notkun unglinga” in March 2012 and focused solely on Facebook. It is now rewritten in (a broken) English with broader focus, looking at social media sites in general.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture through “Æskulýðssjóður” has given YMCA/YWCA in Iceland a small grant to create curriculum for youth directors, parents and children about Social Media use. The original post in Iceland is being used as an introduction to that curriculum. Continue reading Social Media and Teenagers

Hvað mér líkar (á Facebook)

Ég var að fikta í Facebook-inu mínu í dag, m.a. að skoða hvaða síður og hópa ég hef „Like“-að og skoða hvort ekki væri rétt að skipuleggja síður og hópa. Mér mistókst að finna út hvort hægt væri að útvíkka flokkunarkerfið umfram íþróttir, tónlist, bækur og bíó, en staldraði samt við hópinn annað, enda sýndist mér einhæfnin þar ríkjandi. Continue reading Hvað mér líkar (á Facebook)

Vefsabbatical

Nú er enn einu sinni komið að hinu mjög svo óreglulega vef-sabbatical. Að þessu sinni er slíkt frí nokkuð flóknara en venjulega, enda notast ég við Facebook í vinnunni og vinn að lokahönnun á nýrri vefsíðu KFUM og KFUK sem er væntanleg í loftið innan nokkurra daga. Þess utan er fjölskyldan í annarri heimsálfu og ég notast við Skype og gChat í samskiptum þangað á hverjum degi.  Continue reading Vefsabbatical