Streaming Video Switchers a Solid Option for Many Churches

No matter how you do it, today there very few excuses for a church to not have streaming content in one form or fashion.

Streaming Video Switchers a Solid Option for Many Churches
Among the stream capable options for streaming is the Epiphan Pearl, it can be controlled from the front touchscreen, making it a very user (read volunteer) friendly solution.
Streaming Video Switchers a Solid Option for Many Churches
Among the stream capable options for streaming is the Epiphan Pearl, it can be controlled from the front touchscreen, making it a very user (read volunteer) friendly solution.

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Streaming Resource

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The most important thing, though, is to recognize that cameras allow our worship services to reach beyond the four walls of the local church.
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Video switchers have changed in recent years to where it was not that long ago, that the idea of video switchers delivering content directly to the internet was far-fetched. Now, it’s a standard sales feature that many end-users consider a “must have.”

Typically, streaming is a feature that is seen more on smaller video switchers, rather than the full-size production switchers. This is great for churches, because many churches don’t need a full-blown large production switcher to fulfill their needs.

No matter how you do it, today there very few excuses for a church to not have streaming content in one form or fashion.

Most of the streaming switchers stream one of two ways: The first option is for the switcher to have an Ethernet port that can directly deliver encoded web-ready video. The second option is a USB connection to deliver video in a format that a computer can ingest and then stream. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these as capable or enabled, respectively.

A note about streaming: Just because the switcher is capable or enabled, does not really get you anything, but the ability to stream. It also requires that you have a platform to receive the video and either archive or deliver it as you choose. These could be as complicated as having a Content Delivery Network, or CDN, that handles automated multicast delivery and archive or as simple as sending it to Facebook Live, or YouTube. Regardless, the point is if you are considering a streaming switcher, be sure you have a solution in mind for handling your video, once it gets to the web. In other words, make sure you understand where you are planning to send it.

Stream Capable: The six switchers noted in this category have an Ethernet port for web delivery.

Telestream Wirecast Gear

This recent release from Telestream is a great turnkey solution. It combines all the hardware I/O you need, with the industry standard Wirecast software for control streaming. It would be possible to piecemeal together a similar system, if you build it yourself, but the Wirecast gear is optimized for use with Wirecast software. I used this system for a review and found it to be feature rich and incredibly stable.  These systems are available in a few different options with respect to I/O, but the Wirecast software is handling the control and streaming.


More About Mark Hanna
With 20 years technical ministry experience across multiple churches, Mark Hanna now operates his own company, FxN Productions. The company focuses on creative services, training and consulting for corporations and churches. You can follow his blog at www.fxnproductions.com.
Get in Touch: Mark.hanna@fxnproductions.com    More by Mark Hanna

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Streaming · Team Management · Budgeting · Team Development · Blackmagic Design · Broadcast Pix · Epiphan · Ethernet · Facebook Live · Livestream · All Topics

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