Tips for a video livestream of an in-person lecture

Updated: August 2021

Unlike audio-only livestreaming, video livestreaming is generally expensive and requires an attractive, well-lit venue with strong internet service.

Things you will want to consider before livestreaming in video:

  1. The venue

  2. Your budget

  3. Whether or not to livestream or record and post after the event

Questions to ask when looking for a venue

  • Does this venue have any built-in cameras or microphones for livestreaming? This is becoming more common and could be a cost-savings if available.

  • Is there a non-distracting, pleasant background where the lecturer will speak?

  • Is the stage area (or section where the speaker will share) well lit?

  • Are there reliable wall outlets available for powering the livestreaming equipment?

  • How fast are the internet upload speeds? Ideally, upload speeds should be at least 15 mbps with a very low Ping rate, preferably below 15 ms. You can test your upload speed and Ping here. (If hiring a videographer, they might have their own requirements.) Hard-wiring your internet connection, instead of using WIFI, is highly recommended to increase reliability.

  • Have there been any power outages in the area? (You don’t want the internet to cut out midway through your livestream!)

Costs for a video livestream

  • Hiring a professional video production company to do a two camera shoot:
    ≈$1500-5000. If you’re interested in hiring a professional video company, see:

Hiring a professional to livestream your in-person lecture.

  • Buying semi-professional gear to stream your church services and lectures yourself:

    • Benefits: It’s possible that some of the equipment could also be used for church services.

    • Disadvantages: The equipment available in medium price ranges uses lower quality video. May require substantial time and learning.

    • If you’d like to stream the lecture yourself, see Recommended audio/video equipment to livestream lectures

  • Hiring a remote video technician to stream your lecture to a website and add music/graphics before and after presentation, etc.: ≈$300-1000

    • Benefits: These are individuals who have provided technical support for online Christian Science lectures. They have knowledge and experience that individual churches may not have learned on their own. They may be able to integrate the livestream video onto your website.

    • Disadvantages: It can be difficult for a remote tech to troubleshoot local problems like internet connection and mic/camera issues.

    • Talk to your lecturer if you’d like to explore this option, as some lecturers have worked with a remote technician.

    • Please note that these technicians are independent contractors whom you would hire directly. The Mother Church doesn't warrant the services of anyone a lecturer might recommend. Please ask questions of anyone you contact about their qualifications, services, and charges.

Other general tech considerations for video streaming

Hardwire your connections

Whenever possible, hardwire your connections. This includes hardwiring your ethernet to your computer or tablet (instead of using WIFI), and using wired mics and video devices when possible.

Video quality

Aim for the highest quality possible for streaming. High definition (1080p resolution or above) is highly recommended. Vimeo and YouTube offer 1080p. Facebook can be a good secondary stream, but currently only streams at 720p. Webinar services like Zoom or GoToWebinar do not offer 1080p. Your available bandwidth from your internet provider may inform what is possible for your church. Your tech will advise.

Creating a backup recording

Most livestream platforms can also create a local recording to the hosting computer. If there is any interruption with the livestream connection, the web recording might be interrupted, but the local recording would continue. If possible, a backup local recording should be taken, choosing the highest quality.

Number of cameras

Ideally, two or more cameras are used, one for a close up and a second for a wider contextual shot. Ensure the speaker is correctly framed in the shots. See Christian Science Board of Lectureship guidelines for hybrid lectures for some composition ideas.