Need advice on what our church needs

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,795
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Moondoggy51 wrote:

First and foremost I know absolutely nothing about video equipment so if you respond please keep your response as simple as possible.

The church I attend has been recording our church sermons and uploading the video to YouTube. We've already burnt up an Iphone I've been told that the video and audio is not great. We only used the Iphone that we burnt up because someone had a old Iphone that they no longer needed and because of Covid our budget didn't allow us to spend any money on anything other than necessities. Now that things have returned to normal and we have some extra funds in the budget we would like to buy an camera to be used to handle our video needs that has an external microphone on it but we have no idea what to buy. I was looking at some on Amazon tonight but again we lack knowledge on what to look for in the way of specs and features. What we want to do is shoot the video, do whatever we need to upload the video to our PC and then do whatever is needed needed and then upload the video to YouTube. The current setup has the iphone attached to a tripod and a church member starts and stops the video process.. We want whatever we get to be extremely easy to use. Lastly, we want to have a easy to use, quality device that isn't necessarily low ball cheap but not not real expensive either. Can anyone help us out by telling us what we need and buy and/or what to look for so we don't buy something we regret.

This is an opportunity to spend huge amounts of money.  Or not.  Our church went into "Covid" without any sort of organized "broadcast" ministry.  Initially our Junior Warden (one of the two primary  Vestry (lay) leadership positions) with experience in the video arena began by doing a simple pre-recorded service and then we added zoom group efforts together and/or full pre-recorded then assembled/edited services including different clergy, readers from home and the organist/choir director sending out instrumental, by parts for some of it, music, that musicians or singers played or sang to then sent him there recorded part and he assembled them.  All of that was done with camera phones or tablets.

Even after we got back into the building and then until recently, it was done for the most part with phones and tablets.   Some personal, some "extras" people had replaced, etc.  And a range of other gear  Not having actually put it together but having been roped into assisting, now,  I have some insight into what's going on.    (Incidentally, with work or school at home, you may have some resources in your congregation who have been doing similar sorts of things that might be able to help?)

Now that we are back in the building, we broadcast the full services to/with both You Tube and Facebook.  We do use several "cameras" and operators, now fixed  PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras but before inexpensive (cheap!) tripods with camera clamps for phones/tablets and sometimes a bit of camera/tripod movements, too.

Some questions:

Is the facility already miked for sound, from speaking points like a lectern, musicians, clergy miked wireless, etc.?  Is this mixed or run through a PA system or sound board of some sort?

You mentioned your computer.  One or more?  PC or Mac? Any networking, wired or wireless in place?

So, for sound we have an output from the existing sound system

Turns out when using the Iphones/tablets (happened to settle on Mac products because that's what they had more of and for consistency of connectors), ethernet worked better than trying wireless, apparently they got delays with wireless that they couldn't easily work around.

On the computer, they are using OBS Studio (IIRC?) , I don't remember the phone camera ap, I've got IP Webcam on my phone but it's not the one they are using.  NDI? on tablets/phones? and Restream.IO for scheduling and handling feeding the broadcast to YouTube and Facebook but believe that can be done directly, too.  These are all free programs.

OBS Studio takes the audio from it's input, and while we are controlling the cameras and some video feed externally, I believe OBS will allow and control several video feeds.

Since you are only (at this point) doing the sermon, you could maybe do this live, starting streaming from the already running camera and audio and stopping streaming at the end of the serman.  We just do the full service.  Incidentally both FB and YT record the uploads.  Not sure how long they would be kept on your account.

Kind of late so may need to revisit this tomorrow to see if it makes sense.

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