In our last post, Getting Your Church An Online Presence Part 3, we looked at setting up a web site and hosting for your church. We also covered some services to help you with those tasks. In today’s post, we will look at some live broadcasting services and archiving services that you may be interested in using as part of your online ministry.
Going online with a live broadcast can be a daunting task, especially if the person assigned to do this is not familiar with podcasting or videocasting. Podcasting is a way to put audio MP3 files online for others to download and listen to, on their phones, tablets or MP3 players and iPods. Videocasting is like podcasting, however, this is done with videos and not just audio files.
There are a number of services available to let you do live broadcasting. Let me just say, that before you jump in and grab a free account at Justin.TV or Ustream.TV or one of many other free services, there is a “price” to pay to use these services. The “price” you pay, is that during your live broadcast, banner ads will run across your viewer’s screens and some of these ads may not be appropriate for church use. Also, you will find your church’s live broadcast along side of many other live broadcasts that again, may not be showing church appropriate content. You really don’t want the word to get out that your church condones this kind of behavior or content, even though you aren’t directly condoning it. It may look that way!
That being said, try to choose a service that is geared for churches. One such service is SermonCast. I have talked about them before. You pay according to your congregation size and their fees are very reasonable. SermonCast will also give you archival space and do audio podcasting and videocasts for you along with your recorded broadcasts!
I have used this service for a while now and they are very good with their tech support and handling any issues that may arise. They are worth checking out!
You can Google Live Church Broadcasting Streaming Services and you will find many services waiting to help you out. Keep in mind that most all of these services usually starts at $99 per month, where as SermonCast starts at $15 per month! Something to think about come budget time!
You can use Google Hangouts or the YouTube Live Broadcasting to do this too. This is free, once you are accepted as one of their broadcasters, however, if you broadcast ANY music, their copyright engine will catch it and not allow the broadcast to continue or to be recorded. If you are only broadcasting the sermon, you should be ok using these services. Again, you will have ads that may not be appropriate for church use!
If you choose to record your services and not do live broadcasting, you will still need a way to put them online. If you aren’t using ANY music, you can use YouTube at no cost for this. You get up to 2gb per upload per file, so this should cover even the High Def (HD) files you upload. It may take some time for it to post, especially when they are busy with thousands of other videos being processed at the same time. If this is the case, you might consider using another service, such as Vimeo or Blip.TV. Vimeo and Blip.TV both have free versions of their service, however, due to the limitations, such as Vimeo’s 500mb per week upload limit, may prevent you from getting some of your HD videos onto their service. I chose to go with Vimeo’s Pro package that allows me 20gb upload a week and priority processing on all of my uploads. This way, I can upload virtually as many videos as I want or need to, without running into the upload limit. Your budget may suggest something different, so I suggest that you check each of the various services out thoroughly before making your decision.
The services mentioned above are not the end all be all of what there is being offered out there! I have personally used all of the services mentioned in these posts and I am using them only as a recommendation for you to check out. I am not affiliated with any of these services except as a subscriber and I am not getting any reimbursement for using them in my posts.
In our next post, we will talk about Internet Radio, live audio streaming, live podcasting and audio podcasting in general.
Be a Blessing and Be Blessed!
Rev. Dr. Robert White, Senior Pastor