Stream My Worship

Resources

Websites, equipment, services, & other useful things to know.

Cameras

Depending on your needs and desired outcomes you may want to consider a PTZ camera, or you may want to use a pro-sumer camcorder. These are the brands and models I typically recommend.

ptzoptics
PTZ Optics

PTZOptics is a highly recommended PTZ Camera brand. Their cameras offer multiple output formats, including HDMI, HD-SDI, and NDI. The cameras come in 12x, 20x, and 30x zoom models. Their cameras can be powered via an included power adapter or using PoE. The cameras also support multiple simultaneous outputs.

Cameras can be controlled over Cat6 cabling using their IP controller, computer software, or even a tablet. The image quality won't be as sharp as a camcorder, but that is the trade off for remote control capability.

Sony Camcorders

Sony camcorders are very good at image stabilization and low light scenarios. If you don't need PTZ Capabilities and are looking for a manually operated camera or a camera that can be used for a static shot, I recommend looking at Sony's PXW or HXR Series. An added benefit to these cameras are the dual XLR input in the camera handle. Routing your audio through the camera can ensure there's no audio sync issues and can eliminate an extra piece of audio equipment in some setups.

If you're looking to do 4K filming or have a streaming system which utilizes SDI, check out the PXW-Z90V or look for an PXW-X70. (Shop used to find these cameras at half their original cost.) If you don't need SDI, the HXR-MC88 has a full size HDMI out in the back.

Computers & Capture Cards

The type of computer you want is partially determined by your setup and partly by user preference. It's important to have a system that your tech crew (volunteers or staff) is comfortable with. If your streaming team is comfortable working with computers or afraid to touch buttons can have an impact on what type of system you want in place.

Logical Increments.com

If you are planning to build a streaming PC, Logical Increments is your best friend. The site offers regularly updated PC build suggestions, separating them out by price range. I typically advise churches to aim for the $1200-2000 range for their systems. In many cases this is more than enough horsepower and ensures that the system will last for many years without needing an update.

Elgato Cam Link 4K

If you have an HDMI source (a camera or in-house screen) that you'd like to stream, the Elgato Cam Link 4K is the easiest solution on the market. This is an external USB 3 capture card which takes in HDMI. When plugged in the system sees it as a webcam source. This works for Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, Skype, Discord, etc.

If you're looking for something with HDMI loop-thru or if the Cam Links are sold out, the HD60 S+ is also a good choice from Elgato.

Blackmagic Design (Capture Cards & Convertors)

If you're building a PC to stream you'll probably want an internal capture card. Blackmagic Design offers a variety of capture cards for SDI and HDMI under the DeckLink name.

Along similar lines, if you need to convert HDMI to SDI, SDI to HDMI, distribute SDI, embed audio, or do any live conversions, Blackmagic Design offers a plethora of small conversion boxes.

Switchers & Audio Hardware

If you have multiple cameras you will need a way to switch between them. This can be done in hardware or in software. Below are some hardware switch options I like.

ATEM Mini Pro
Atem Mini Pro

The ATEM Mini Pro from Blackmagic Design is an HDMI switcher that has a lot of great features at a very affordable price. The unit takes 4 HDMI inputs and can be connected to a computer (which will see it as a webcam) or it can be configured to stream directly to YouTube or Facebook Live. It will auto scale any HDMI input format and includes free control software that lets you control the unit from a computer. It also offers the ability to record directly to a USB drive.

Roland Video Switchers

Roland has a couple of SDI and HDMI video switchers which are rock solid and worth considering. These are all production switchers and do not stream, but the output of these switchers could be easily sent into a computer (maybe via an Elgato Cam Link) and streamed.

The V-1SDI is an SDI/HDMI switcher. You have the option of 3 SDI and 1 HDMI input, or 2 SDI and 2 HDMI inputs. (Input 3 can be either.) The unit has a small footprint, two SDI outputs, and a multi-viewer over HDMI. Unfortunately this switcher only takes in RCA or mini plug audio.

The V-1HD is an HDMI switcher. With 4 HDMI inputs, one output, and a preview/multi-view output. This is an older model, but it would certainly be a solid choice for a church looking to start streaming. Unfortunately this switcher only takes in RCA or mini plug audio.

The V-1HD+ Is the newest HDMI switcher from Roland. With 4 HDMI in, XLR inputs, and two HDMI outputs.

Scarlet USB Audio Interface

Getting audio from your sound board into your computer can be tricky. I typically recommend having a USB audio interface to avoid issues with sound cards and mini plugs. The Scarlet series by Focusrite is a solid option for converting XLR to USB.

AT-PRO45(Congregational Mic)

If you need an ambient/congregation mic to pick up liturgy responses, choirs, or instruments the Audio Technica PRO45 mic is a wonderful hanging mic that is unobtrusive and offers great sound.

Software

If you have multiple cameras you will need a way to switch between them. This can be done in hardware or in software. Below are some hardware switch options I like.

OBS
OBS

OBS Studio is free open source software for live streaming and recording video. It offers a lot of great features and has a number of plugins. It works well with PTZ Optics cameras. The downside is that it is not as intuitive as other systems, but it is free.

Livestream Studio

Livestream is now owned by Vimeo, but if you subscribe to one of Vimeo's plans that includes live streaming you can download and use their software. This is a very powerful tool that allows for software video switches, live graphics, and a lot more.

vMix

vMix is Windows only Live Production and Streaming Software. It is much more affordable than some of the other software options and offers a lot of great features.

Wirecast

Wirecast is one of the easiest to use streaming programs and it's also complete garbage. Sorry. I've been a fan of Wirecast for close to a decade now and they are by far the easiest option when it comes to training users in.

That said, the software is extremely expensive and is plagued with bugs. If you're just using it for live streaming you should be fine, but I've found recordings have variable frame rates, PiP settings behave poorly in some versions, and updates to new versions can be expensive.

Wondershare UniConvertor

This is an amazingly simple piece of software for trimming videos. At my church we use this to trim out the sermon and any special music pieces we plan to post separately. This is paid software but they offer a perpetual license if you don't want to pay annually.

iMovie

If you have a Mac, iMovie is your best option for easy to use video editing. The software has a lot of great features, and while it might be a little daunting at first, it is fairly easy to learn. I've helped a handful of teachers and community members learn to use iMovie, if you'd like a walkthrough give me a shout.

DaVinci Resolve

This is high end video editing software. This software has actually been used to edit many TV shows and movies. And they offer a free version. It's a little more difficult to learn than Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere, but it is free and it offers a TON of amazing, high end features. It does take some getting used to, but if you're not familiar with any other products this wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Audacity

Audacity is a free audio editing application. It's bee around for ages and has a lot of great features. Plus, it's free. If you need a way to edit audio this should be your first download.

Streaming Services

There are a lot of streaming services out there. Some are free. Others are paid. It really depends on what where you want your videos and where you audience is.

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to stream for free. Videos are archived for later viewing and easily shared. Downside is not everyone has/wants a Facebook account.

YouTube

YouTube will let you live stream for free and will archive your live streams for later viewing. Your videos will likely be flagged if they contain music, but that shouldn't impact their ability to be watched.

Vimeo Live

Since Vimeo purchased Livestream they offer a streaming solution. Cost is $75/month, but they offer the ability to stream to Facebook and YouTube simultaneously.

Castr.io

A streaming solution which allows you to stream to multiple services at the same time.

Restream.io

A streaming solution which allows you to stream to multiple services at the same time.

Dacast

An online streaming platform that is easy to use and allows for embedding video into your website. A great alternative to other services. Especially if you don't like Facebook or YouTube. Monthly cost is quite reasonable.

Free Stock Images & Video

If you need free stock of photos or videos, we have you covered.

Lutheran Stock Photos.com

Free public domain images for Lutheran churches. A new site I started in 2020.

WELSTech Challenge Album (Flickr)

A collection of public domain images donated for church and school use

Pixabay

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images, videos and music. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes.

Pexels

Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Pexels license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover.

Unsplash

The internet’s source of freely-usable images.

Adobe Stock Free

Adobe Stock offers high-quality free stock photos, vectors and videos you can use for commercial purposes with confidence. (Over 70,000 photos/videos/vectors are available for free from Adobe.)

Christian Stock Images & Video (Paid)

There are a handful of artist who offer Christian themed artwork for sale on their websites.

Lutheran Synod Digital Publishing

LSDP is a website dedicated to developing and publishing digital resources for Lutheran congregations. The name “Lutheran Synod” shows that our resources can be used in various synods, but “the Lutheran Synod” also is an homage to the “nickname” of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the early years.

Corissa Nelson

Corissa is a freelance artist, illustrator, and graphic designer.

Christian Photoshops.com

Kevin Carden is an amazing photographer and digital artist. You've likely seen his work before. In addition to his Christian themed images he sells tutorials at very reasonable prices. His artwork can also be found on Adobe Stock.

Lightstock

Lightstock is a Christian & faith based stock photo site.