Live streaming a church service through advanced audio visual installation systems

Live Streaming in Church – Is it here to stay?

None of us need reminding about the difficulties faced throughout 2020, in particular for any establishment or event that relies on a congregation getting together to celebrate, worship or simply be with family and friends.

Houses of Worship is a sector and community that has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic; however it has also brought closeness amongst people due to many churches engaging in streaming technology. Streaming, live or otherwise certainly isn’t new. Before this year virtually everyone with a smart phone, tablet or laptop has at some point streamed music via you tube and probably face timed friends or relatives.

Online engagement with the church has significantly increased  and this is markedly with people who would not normal regard themselves as “church goers”.  This shows the power of engagement through online services and particularly streaming. We’re seeing investement into church audio visual installations as a result, hopefully we can help people to understand this a little easier on this page.

Find out more with us over a FREE consultation meeting via video chat.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does the church need to be on the Internet?

Yes, an internet signal is required but you don’t need an ultra fast connection – anything greater than 4mbps upload speed will normally work well.

What equipment do I need to live stream?

In reality most modern phones will be able to stream but the quality of both the video and audio may not be to the standard you want for your service or event. Consequently, you will need the basic elements of a camera; a capture device; an encoder; a connection to the internet (generally a computer); and some good quality cables. A good camera is important.  This could be a good quality webcam, although nowadays DSLR (Digital single lens reflex) cameras with video capability or PTZ (Pan, Tilt & Zoom) cameras are becoming more cost effective and give great results.  These cameras will most likely require a capture device, which converts signals such as HDMI into a digital format.

Good quality cables, such as HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), from your camera to your capture device, as well as USB and ethernet cables will be essential in the reliability of the system. An encoder converts your content into a format to enable you to stream.  This can be either dedicated hardware or software (such as OBS) on a computer.Finally you probably need a computer to manage the content and provide a network connection to one of the many internet streaming platforms, such as Zoom, FaceBook or YouTube.

A church service being streamed live through video conferencing audio visual installations
Facebook live streaming a church service on a laptop after an av installation
Live video streaming church services with help from church av installations

Does the church need the PA system on for the sound?

No, not necessarily although picking up sound from the camera device is not that effective. So sound can be sent from the streaming equipment but ideally it needs a good microphone connected that is close to the subject. Also it is important that whoever is listening and watching will need to make sure that their speakers are not on mute. 

Can I stream to more than one camera?

Yes. There are a variety of video mixers or switches available. Some have the facility to connect multiple cameras and you can switch between these in real time and allow for video editing and mixing also.

Is it expensive to set up?

Like anything, there are cheap options (try to avoid them!) and there are very expensive options (think pro broadcasting). With a couple of good cameras and a video mixer/encoder, leads and a few more ancillary items, an excellent result can be achieved for between £1,000 – £2,000

What is a streaming platform?

The streaming platform is where your stream is broadcast to, YouTube and Face book being the most popular ones, although Zoom is also very popular.

Do I need all of this equipment?

There are plug and play systems that combine all the elements of streaming into one unit.  These can be set up to automatically start streaming to a defined platform.  However, this does limit what you can do and these systems can be just as expensive as a more flexible system.

Does the system have to be Installed?

Not necessarily.  Where there are constraints in fixing equipment in churches there are several options, particularly for camera placement.  However, a installed, fixed system will ultimately be more reliable.

Find out more with us over a FREE consultation meeting via video chat.

Do I need special skills to operate?

It depends on the system.  However, most systems can be operated by just one person.  If you have someone who operates your church sound system then they will be able to operate the video system.

Is training available?

There is a lot of information out there on the internet and You Tube have some great tutorials that have been created in real situations. Here at Music Gear Installations we consider it to be part of the service to train the potential operators within the church at no extra cost.

Do I need a licence?

The simple answer is “Yes”.  Any material that is broadcast on your stream which includes music or video will need a licence to do so legally, even if this is to a closed group of members.  However, what licence you need will depend on a number of factors, including the streaming platforms that you use and the type of content that you expect to stream.  If you have a current CCLI licence then you will most likely need to add the streaming element that they offer.  You should also look at “PRS for music” which provides a licence to use material for audio and video streaming that is not covered by CCLI.  This is called a Limited On-line Music Licence (LOML).  You should check with both CCLI and PRS for your own specific licence needs.

How can I get specific advice?

We will always endeavour to visit your church to enable us to get a real feel of your environment, your current set up to see how we can integrate with it and advise you every step of the way. It’s what we do!

Recent Church Install Projects

an audio visual installation service to a church in warwickshire

St James’s Church Warwickshire

Church Audio Visual Installation Project

Apostolic Church of Fellowship Worksop

white wall mounted pa speakers installed to the edge of the church for better sound distribution

St Michael’s Church Doncaster

Audio Visual Church Installation Nottingham

St Mary’s Church Nottingham

Salvation Army Microhpone and Speaker Install Nottingham

Salvation Army Church Nottingham

Install Church Nottingham Mansfield

The Crossing Church Nottingham

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We are all so happy at the amount of options and variations we have with the system. It was quite a wide list of requirements that we had and Music Gear Installations managed to tick every box for us and keep within our budget. The Music Gear team were a pleasure to work with and nothing was too much trouble. Thanks again for a job well done.

Darren MangoldThe Church Parishioner

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