What Equipment Do I Need to Use Faithlife Live Stream?

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As you’re looking into live streaming for your church services, you may be wondering what kind of equipment you need to get started. The truth is, you can live stream with as little as a computer with a built-in webcam and microphone, and the sky's the limit in terms of the complexity and sophistication of what you can do with live streaming. Depending on your existing church setup, you may already have most, if not all, of the equipment you need to live stream. Regardless, Faithlife Live Stream will work with any range of live stream setup.

 

Skip ahead to:

Stream with a webcam

Stream with a dedicated camera

Stream with multiple cameras

 

Stream with a webcam

This is a great place to start if you’re on a budget and want to live stream from your office or a similar location. Here’s what you’ll need:

 

Webcam (or other camera that connects directly to your computer). The webcam you already have will probably work great. But if you need to purchase one, here are several we like:

Computer (Generally, you want at least 8GB of RAM and a decent graphics card).

Reliable internet connection. Typically, you can use the internet connection you already have, but try to avoid putting additional loads on your connection while you’re live streaming.

Software Encoder like OBS (free) or vMix (paid). An encoder takes your audio and video input and converts it into a format that can be streamed across the internet. A software encoder also allows you to show input from both your video camera and from Proclaim.

A Faithlife Proclaim subscription (if you want to show your song and sermon slides).

A Faithlife Live Stream subscription, which allows you to distribute your live stream to your church website, Faithlife group, and Faithlife TV.

 

Stream with a dedicated camera

Recording on-stage, streaming higher quality audio and video, and generally bringing your live stream up to the next level requires a more complex setup. At the least, you’ll need:

 

Video camera. Here are a few things you should look for:

  • Clean HDMI or SDI Output: Some cameras show crosshairs or a timestamp in their output. This is handy in some situations, but not when you’re live streaming your service.
  • Good Video Quality - when performing a live stream, you are already losing some pixels, so grab a camera that records in at least 1080p (HD) to ensure high video quality.
  • External Power Adapter - Make sure your camera has the ability to plug into an outlet. Live streams can go on for hours and you don’t want your camera to die in the middle of your service.
  • Easy Operational Use - Find a camera that matches your technical expertise (or the time you’re willing to invest in learning how to use it). The last thing you want to do is spend hours learning how to use it effectively and possibly face the need to troubleshoot during your service. Choose one you can set up and use in 30 minutes or less.

Here are a few cameras that we like:

Tripod. Pick a sturdy tripod that is able to pan smoothly.

Microphone. If possible, we recommend microphones with an XLR output to provide the strongest audio signal. You’ll run the audio from these through your soundboard to your capture device.

Capture Device (external or capture card). A capture device translates the signal from your video camera into a signal that your computer can understand. Choose one with an input that matches the output from your camera (HDMI or SDI.) 

Here are two we recommend:

Reliable internet connection. Typically, you can use the internet connection you already have, but try to avoid putting additional loads on your connection while you’re live streaming.

Computer. (Generally, you want at least 8GB of RAM and a decent graphics card).

Software Encoder like OBS (free) or vMix (paid). An encoder takes your audio and video input and converts it into a format that can be streamed across the internet. A software encoder also allows you to show input from both your video camera and from Proclaim.

A Faithlife Proclaim subscription (if you want to show your song and sermon slides).

A Faithlife Live Stream subscription, which allows you to distribute your live stream to your church website, Faithlife group, and Faithlife TV.

 

Stream with multiple cameras

If you’re picking this option, you likely have a good idea of the equipment and setup you want. Generally, this setup will include:

 

Video cameras. You’ll connect these to a video switcher, which allows you to toggle between the different video inputs.

Video switcher. Your video switcher takes your video inputs and sends the one you select to your capture device.

Microphones. You’ll connect these to your audio mixer, then send the output to your video switcher.

Audio mixer. Your mixer allows you to manage multiple audio inputs and select which one to send to your video switcher.

Capture Device (external or capture card). A capture device translates your audio and video input into a format that your computer can understand.

Here are two we recommend:

Computer. (Generally, you want at least 8GB of RAM and a decent graphics card). At this level, you may want to use two computers, one for recording and streaming, and the other for running your presentation.

Software Encoder like OBS (free) or vMix (paid). An encoder takes your audio and video input and converts it into a format that can be streamed across the internet. A software encoder also allows you to show input from both your video camera and from Proclaim.

A Faithlife Proclaim subscription (if you want to show your song and sermon slides).

A Faithlife Live Stream subscription, which allows you to distribute your live stream to your church website, Faithlife group, and Faithlife TV.

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