Blog Post: Getting the Big Picture on Streaming Worship Services

Getting the Big Picture on Streaming Worship Services

For Houses of Worship, streaming media via social and online platforms opens the door to connecting with new souls, expanding the congregation, and serving the needs of the spiritual community like never before. In the age of COVID-19, in places where social distancing requirements limit attendance within sanctuaries, streaming may be the only way to keep followers engaged.

While streaming is nothing new, some churches have been sitting on the sidelines, unsure of how to launch an online streaming presence and select the best video equipment to support it. It’s always best to start at the beginning of the production chain—the cameras. That’s because, once cameras have captured the images, the live video quality never gets “better” from there.

A common misconception is that if you're creating video just for streaming—as opposed to viewing on a large display—you can get away with using a lower-quality source signal. In fact, the opposite is often true. As the video flows from the cameras through your production workflow and out to your desired online sites, any noise or artifacts in the source signal may be even worse in the compressed stream and detract from the full message or experience you’re trying to convey.

Lower-end camera options ranging from smartphones and DSLRs to PTZ cameras and camcorders may seem attractive for their pricing. But while these deals sound enticing, it’s important to understand the technical limitations of low-cost cameras and their impact on your productions.

To determine whether certain camera options will adequately meet your current and future needs, ask yourself:

  • Do you want to produce media streams that truly share the intensity and fulfillment of your in-person worship experience with online viewers?
  • Will you be using the same cameras for large-format IMAG for in-person attendees?
  • Would you want to capture your worship team, musical performances, and inspirational speakers in action from multiple angles in the sanctuary? And…
  • Will your cameras be shooting directly towards IMAG screens displaying video, or in dynamic, theatrical, or low lighting?

The reality is that low-cost cameras come at the expense of not being able to deliver your live online services in the most creative, engaging, and compelling way. With our commitment to making high-end, broadcast-quality video acquisition affordable to churches large and small, Hitachi Kokusai offers high-performance camera systems that provide everything necessary to capture imagery that wows.

Our broadcast camera systems are very popular with HOWs due to their exceptional imaging, dynamic range, volunteer-friendly ease of use, and a comprehensive range of adjustments that give operators full control over picture parameters. For a deeper technical dive into the advantages of broadcast-class camera systems for streaming, check out our white paper “Streaming Success Starts with the Camera” to learn how a reliable, uncompromising camera system will serve your church’s media production and streaming goals now and well into the future.