Updated: August 2021
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to stream lectures online, we recommend hiring a local Audio/Visual (A/V) professional to assess your situation and provide the best possible equipment for your unique location. (If you are interested in improving the online experience of your hybrid church services, please visit this resource page on christianscience.com specifically for this purpose.) You may also want to contact an international A/V company like bhphotovideo.com (800-947-5525) who has excellent customer service. Zsyst.com is another company, based in the US, we’ve found resourceful to contact when needing to talk through tech solutions.
While some branches have invested tens of thousands of dollars on professional solutions for livestreaming, we’ve also received questions from branches who are looking for lower-cost solutions. Below are some equipment options for streaming online that are relatively inexpensive. As you consider them, please remember to also factor in the need to identify individuals who will be able to learn and operate the equipment. Also, please note that the technology is developing very quickly. The ideas below are intended to give you a starting place for your own research of high-quality streaming solutions that may be right for your branch.
You’ll see there are wireless and wired options. Wired connections for microphones and cameras are always going to provide the best quality, but wireless mics are often needed for moving subjects like lecturers. These are decisions each branch church will need to consider when thinking about the different uses. The mics below have been tested and all work well when used properly.
Many branches already have a live PA system with microphones. To connect the sound from your PA to the computer that will manage the online streaming, contact a local professional or watch an online tutorial like this one.
Lavalier for smartphones (ideal for audio-only streamed lectures)
This kind of lavalier can be an excellent choice for connecting directly to a smartphone and streaming only audio, not combined with video. This lavalier is designed specifically for smartphones. See this tutorial for how this can be used with a lecturer.
Mic system (great for both audio-only and video streamed lectures)
WIRELESS RODE GO II (Version II is best): comes with two wireless transmitters with built-in mics: ≈$300USD
Optional handheld mic adapter for the Wireless GO: This is good for recording or streaming an introducer, audience question, testimony, etc. ≈$30USD
How to Get Better Audio Quality on Zoom and Online Calls Using a Rode Wireless Go (This speaker is using the older Wireless Go I here, but some points apply)
To livestream high-quality video, the internet connection at your location should ideally have an upload speed of at least 10+mbps. You can test your upload speed here.
An all-in-one video kit with decent video, but wonderful features and ease of use
MEVO KIT with one camera, stand, ethernet connection and plug-in power, etc. included ≈$700USD
This MEVO kit can automatically track speakers and pan or cut to the active speaker. It can use the microphone on the device or you can plug in a microphone like the Wireless GO II.
MEVO KIT WITH TWO CAMERAS (recommended ethernet connection and plug-in power can be purchased separately) ≈$1100USD
Helpful links to explore MEVO features:
An intro to MEVO for church
Higher-quality (and more expensive) video options
These options will produce higher quality video, but do not offer the easy app functionality that the MEVO has. Additional tripod and power source, etc., would be needed. A streaming box like the YoloLiv YoloBox can be used instead of a computer for dedicated streaming.