My name is Michael Kelley and I am the volunteer tech director for Fields United Methodist Church located in North Ridgeville, Ohio. We have been live streaming our services for about 2.5 years now so we have a little bit of experience under our belt and I want share our live streaming setup with you. If you aren’t already live streaming, or if you have been and are not happy with your setup, maybe this will give you some ideas that you can implement to help you get up and running easily. Before we started live streaming, we would record our services to tape or DVD, then upload the videos to YouTube and pass the tapes along to the local Cable TV company for the local channel.
We wanted to include all aspects of our service in the live stream, and that includes our presentation software, EasyWorship. After trying some of the free or shareware projection software out there and realized we needed something with more features and polish in order to do more than just display lyrics, we started using EasyWorship 2009. Then, when we upgraded to EasyWorship 7, we added several features/options, and probably have barely scratched the surface of what we COULD be doing, but for us, this is what works.
In EasyWorship, we have:
- 4 different Bible versions. We recently added the Message Bible to our database.
- Multiple static and loop motion backgrounds from a variety of free resources.
Below is a picture of one of our Easter schedules in EasyWorship that includes an MP4 video intro that loops on the screen, a number of hymns from the United Methodist Hymnal which we purchased on CD, PowerPoints of contemporary songs, a video clip our music director created at home of a classical solo that he uploaded to me, and a clip of the “Hallelujah” chorus that our choir did in 2015. I normally build our schedule using a remote connection from my home to the church computer during the week, transferring the necessary files to EasyWorship 7 on the church projection computer. If we need to make changes on the fly, EasyWorship makes that easy to do.
We have an HP desktop computer with a Radeon HD 5500 graphics card that we use specifically for EasyWorship. This is our control setup for EasyWorship with the opening loop projected on the front wall of our sanctuary.
At the back of the sanctuary, we have a simple Sony EVI-D80 pan, tilt, zoom camera mounted above the door, connected to a dedicated laptop that controls the camera via free software and a mouse. The video is viewed on an HD TV just above the control laptop shown below.
PROJECTOR & AUDIO
Our projector is an NEC 6,000 lumens mounted just behind (or in front of) one of our overhead lights.
Our audio is controlled on an Allen and Heath QU-32 digital mixer (shown below) that we are still learning the ins and outs of. 😊 Sometimes we may have some background music played through our audio console during the opening loop.
LIVE STREAM SET-UP
So now, how do we live stream and have EasyWorship in that mix? We use the Boxcast live stream encoder. This is not what you might think is the traditional setup where everything gets incorporated into EasyWorship and then sent out.
With the Boxcast, we can run a video signal directly from our camera to an HDMI amplified splitter (shown below) that sends the camera signal to our video camera control monitor, AND to the Boxcast encoder at the same time. We send our audio from the Allen and Heath QU-32 mixer using a cable that connects to one of our mix outputs, converts to unbalanced component plugs, and then plugs into the Boxcast. Using the Boxcast webpage and our order of worship for the week, I then schedule our live stream to start automatically on Sunday morning (or Holy Thursday, Good Friday, etc.) to broadcast out on two Facebook pages, our YouTube channel, embedded in our www.fieldsumc.org website, AND the Boxcast app on Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV (Firestick, etc.).
Easy Worship makes projecting our copyright info simple by doing it automatically as needed once we have it input properly in EasyWorship. We have the following licenses, for displaying on the projector and for live streaming: CCLI license – CCLI Streaming and Podcast License – CVLI License – WorshipCast.
There are also some other components we use to send audio and video to two of our classrooms via coax cable for teachers to watch the service while taking care of toddlers and infants.
We have a dedicated computer operator that sends all visuals from EasyWorship to the front wall through the NEC projector.
The Sony camera is used to create what is shown on the live stream by moving via PTZ throughout the sanctuary, zooming in on the projection for lyrics, Bible verses, etc. as well as the Pastor, musicians, readers, and so on. This involves a dedicated video operator.
Our audio system sends all sound to the mix for the live stream and the audio system in the sanctuary itself, which involves a dedicated audio operator to make sure both sound good.
In addition, we have a foldback monitor in the back of the sanctuary that our praise team leader calls a ‘confidence’ monitor that EasyWorship sends everything to except motion loops. That ‘monitor’ is actually a 70” LED flat panel TV.
The end result? As long as everything works well and we have the necessary volunteers, we are live streaming with EasyWorship handling the presentation/projection work and the Boxcast encoder sending it all out to where we want it to go. Is it difficult to do? Once it’s in place, no. And I have operators that range in age from 14 to 62 for all 3 positions.
It might sound more complicated than it actually is, but there you have OUR setup, featuring Easy Worship 7 and the Boxcast encoder.
Please send any questions or comments you have about our setup to firstname.lastname@example.org.