Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the basic steps to begin streaming?
A: You'll need a camera, a computer, a video adapter and an internet connection. You begin by connecting your camera to your video adapter and the video adapter to your computer. Then you'll load some encoding software on the computer and enter the configuration information we provide. You can then use our provided embed code to embed your streaming platform on your church website.
Hit the "broadcast" button on your encoder and you're live streaming!
Q: Can I keep my existing web site with StreamingChurch.tv?
A: Yes. If you are happy with your existing church web site, you can easily integrate your streaming area into your existing site. We provide the html code you'll need to put on your existing site to either link your streaming site or completely embed your streaming area on your existing site. We also provide an automated countdown timer to include on your existing site that will display the time until your next live service.
We also provide the ability for you to embed the automated cover-flow media vault on your existing site.
Q: Can I broadcast to the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and other mobile phones?
You can view your stream from just about any device from mobile phones, to tablets, computers and even the Amazon Kindle. Any Android or Apple iOS device can view your stream easily!
Q: How do I integrate the streaming service into my existing web site?
A: We'll provide you a customized administration guide with customized instructions and the html needed to integrate (embed or link) your streaming area onto your existing site. You can embed your streaming platform, your media vault and even countdown timers onto your site.
Q: What type of camera do I need to stream my services?
A: When choosing a camera, keep this in mind: The darker your service and the further the camera is from your subject, the higher quality video camera you will need. If your service area is fairly bright and your subjects are not too far from the camera, a consumer grade camcorder will suffice. Although the better your camera, the better your broadcast quality. There are also other considerations that will affect your broadcast quality including lighting, your upload broadcast speed, etc. We recommend that you start with the most affordable camera per your budget and experiment with lighting, camera positions, etc.
Q: What is the recommended equipment (camera, computer, encoder) to stream my services?
A: Streaming Equipment recommendations are much like car recommendations. What's your budget? What's your expectations? We've found that there are good solutions for every size budget. You'll be surprised how easy and inexpensive it can be to stream your services. Check out our equipment recommendations here.
Q: What type of internet connection do I need to broadcast?
A: Your internet upload speed is the primary factor with broadcasting (download speed is not a factor). You will need at least a DSL speed internet connection at the church to broadcast a high quality stream. We recommend that you broadcast at 600 kbps for a medium quality stream. At this rate, you would need a consistent upload speed from your church of at least 900 kbps. If you are broadcasting multiple streams at various bandwidths, your upload speed will need to accommodate the sum of the all streams.
Q: How much will it cost me?
A: During the 30 day free trial, everything is included for free. After the free trial, the basic package is only $79 per month with unlimited bandwidth. For the premium package, it's $99 per month and includes 20Gb for free (overages are $0.77 per Gb). The premium plus package includes 100Gb bandwidth included for free.
As a rule of thumb, most ministries can take their average weekly attendance in person (ie - 150 currently attend my services in person on a weekend), and divide that amount by 10 to estimate your monthly bandwidth requirements. In our example, a church with an average weekend attendance in person of 150 guests would normally require about 15Gb (150 / 10) per month for their online viewers. The best practice is to broadcast your services during your free trial and view your usage statistics during this time to better estimate your on-going bandwidth usage.
Q: Can I broadcast my services during my free trial?
A: * Absolutely! We recommend that you first test your system prior to broadcasting your service to ensure you have the setting correct. Then go ahead and broadcast your services during the free trial to get the full experience. *Please understand that your 30 day free trial is intended for your regularly scheduled church services. If you desire to stream special events please contact us first.
Q: What type of computer do I need to broadcast my services?
A: You can use just about any computer that has been purchased in the past 5 years or so. You'll need a computer that will accept the connection to your camera. Depending on your camera, you may need a video card that can accept your camera input (HDMI, S video, composite video, etc.). Or you can purchase a video capture device. We recommend the Magewell.
Q: Can I use my Mac to broadcast?
A: Absolutely! There are several great encoders available for the Mac (free and paid).
Q: Can the streaming area be customized to match my existing church site?
A: Absolutely! We provide a tool where you can upload and customize your designs to completely match any website and design theme.
Q: Can I archive my services for on-demand viewing later? Is there an additional cost to archive my services?
A: Yes, you can archive your services! It's simple to archive/record your services for on-demand viewing. Simply record the service on your local computer as you broadcast (just check the box on the encoder to "save the file"). You can also use our DVR feature to record your services on the server. We also provide a great looking media vault for your on-demand streaming services. There is no additional cost to store your video and there is unlimited space provided.
Q: I'm new to streaming, where can I get help?
A: We provide all the technical help you'll need, but it's actually very simple to get started. Just download and install one of the recommended software encoders and configure it by making just a few selections (we'll provide the specific settings when you decide to stream). You'll also want to setup your streaming area for your guests. Here's a Streaming 101 Webinar that can also help with the basics of streaming,
Q: Where can I view my detail attendance reporting?
We provide admin access to tons of reports including attendance graphs, attendance details (including city, state, country), attendance by device, complete chat log, most active attenders/chatters and tons more reports.
Q: My church speaks Spanish, will it work for us?
Absolutely! We provide an option to select your default language and everything on the streaming platform converts to that language automatically. Right now we offer an English, Spanish and French version.
Q: Can I use your services for my podcasts?
Yes, our media vault can host your podcasts and there is also an RSS feed we provide. We can help you set it all up! We can help you get it in the iTunes store as well.