Churches must move into the digital age if they hope to keep members in their congregation. Live-streaming equipment for church is often the main barrier in the way of a place of worship offering their services to thousands of potential people online.
In this guide, you’ll learn the exact equipment that you’ll need to get started on your first film.
What Equipment is Needed for Church Live-Streaming?
A lot of different church video recording equipment is needed for your first live-stream, including:
Each of these components requires an investment, so you need to know how to choose each item properly.
Best Computer Specs for Live-Streaming Church Service
One of the most important pieces of church live-streaming equipment will be your computer. A top-end computer will be a must-have item. You can choose from numerous systems, and you’ll need to look at the specifications.
Ideal computer specifications for live-streaming include:
- i5 processor with 2.5 GHz for a 720p stream
- i7 processor with 3.0 GHz for a 1080p stream
- 8+ CPU threads
- 4 – 16 core processor
- 16GB+ of RAM
- Solid state drive
However, your graphics card will also do a lot of heavy lifting and processing here. You’ll want to choose a high-end card with 8GB – 12GB of VRAM if you plan on using multiple 4K cameras. You can also choose a graphics card with more specs if you want to stream with even more cameras.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a computer for your streaming. Ideally, you’ll choose a high-end system with more than enough power to handle your stream while it’s small and grows in the future.
Fast and Stable Internet Connection
Church streaming equipment relies heavily on your Internet connection. If you were to run your service off of satellite Internet, there’s a good chance that the service will suffer drastically.
Satellites require a clear connection from the dish to the satellite, and you’ll have to deal with higher latency and ping. When streaming, you need to have a solid Internet connection, ideally a wired connection.
Wi-Fi works great for most applications, but when you’re trying to live-stream, a wired connection will allow for the best:
- Upload speeds
You’ll need to meet some minimum requirements for streaming based on the platform that you plan on using. For example, the list below is a good indication of the speeds you’ll need to broadcast your sermon to the world:
- YouTube requires upload speeds of 2Mbps – 61.5Mbps for streaming.
- Facebook recommends 6 – 7 Mbps for 1080p resolution streams.
Upload speeds for most platforms are rather similar and will be within this general range.
When looking at these ranges, be sure to consider the quality of the stream. If you’re using an Internet connection with 2Mbps upload speeds, this will allow for standard definition quality. However, if you want viewers to be able to view your stream in 4K, you’ll need to be on the higher end of 61 Mbps.
PTZ Camera System
Your camera system is the most important component in your entire setup. A PTZ camera for church services is a must-have. PTZ cameras offer:
SDI cabling is ideal because you can extend the cable hundreds of feet without impacting the signal quality. HDMI cabling is another choice, but you’ll need to keep the cable from the camera to the system spacing 35 – 50 feet.
You’ll want to consider the following camera specs:
- Remote control
- Mounting systems
- Zoom options
- Single or multiple camera setup
- Software availability
Finally, consider the camera’s maximum resolution for streaming, such as 4K. If you have a system and Internet connection that is able to provide 4K quality, you should stream using it.
Audio interface and clear audio are also important. You want the audio to be clear and crisp for your audience. Many streams will use USB audio interfaces that connect to the computer system and allow you to control the quality of the stream and ensure clear audio.
Church Seating Layout
While this may seem trivial, you need your church chairs and pastor in view when live streaming. Spend time considering the angle of your camera and seating layout to provide a stream that makes your online audience feel like they’re at the service.
Church Streaming Software
Finally, you need software to help with the control of your cameras and the stream. Multiple options are available, which you’ll need to compare for yourself, including:
- OBS Studio
- Vimeo Livestream
- Multiple others
Conclusions: What Do I Need to Livestream a Church Service?
Once you have live-streaming equipment for church broadcasts, you can begin broadcasting:
- Church services
- Help services
- Group services
If you start with one camera and a suitable computer for streaming, you can begin transmitting your service to the world. When you want to expand your broadcast or enhance it, you can begin to use two or three PTZ cameras.