VIDEO: Equipment Needs

Interested in a practical look at some gear & setup options for Church Online Platform? Life.Church Broadcast team did a YouTube Live answering your technical questions. View the full video below and check out their recommendations for church online equipment.

No matter your budget, you can get started with streaming your online church services today.

By leveraging simulated live services, you can get started today completely for free.

Simulated live services are prerecorded services that you can stream as though they are live.
  1. Film the service from your phone.
  2. Trim the beginning and end of the video with your phone’s built-in app. 
  3. Upload the video to a Vimeo or YouTube account.
  4. Connect that video to your Church Online Platform account.

If you’re wanting this “Simulated Live” experience on Facebook or Youtube you’ll need to leverage some sort of broadcast software. OBS (Open Broadcast Software) is a free app that you can use and you can easily find tutorials online for getting started with OBS. 

Live Services: Low Budget

If you’re able to spend a little bit of money and want a truly live experience, here’s some equipment to get started:

For a higher quality USB-based live webcam:

  • Logitech C920 (or an available DSLR camera that is able to give you a clean HDMI feed)
  • El Gato Camlink (This will turn your DSLR camera into a high-quality live webcam)
You’ll need an HDMI cable to connect the camera to the El Gato Camlink. For both of these options you will need to use OBS studio. Find a way to connect your front of house mix to the computer running the live service to ensure you have excellent audio. 

Live Services: Medium Budget

If you have a budget for a new camera, start with a simple DSLR:

  • Sony A 6600
    • This camera can double as a great video camera outside of the live service. By purchasing this camera with some additional gear, you’ll be able to produce other high quality videos throughout the week. 
  • El Gato Camlink
  • OBS Studio

Live Services: Higher Budget

With a larger budget, you can do things like create multiple camera angles to switch between.

  • Sling Studio
    • This will give you the ability to switch cameras live
    • You’ll have two wireless transmitters
    • Sling Studio has an app that will allow you to switch between your shots, use lower third graphics, and cue pre-recorded videos.
    • You don’t have to use OBS to go live but it is recommended.
  • iPad/Windows Surface
    • It can be easier to use the Sling Studio app on a tablet. 
    • iPad
  • Cameras:
    • All of your cameras should match. If you’re moving from the medium budget to this higher budget, the Sony A 6600s are a good choice.
  • El Gato Camlink
    • Sling Studio has an HDMI-out. Use an HDMI cord to the camlink connecting to your computer running OBS. 

With this setup, you’ll need a few people to make this all happen: 

  • Switcher
    • You’ll need someone using the iPad/Windows Surface to switch between camera angles
  • OBS Operator
    • You’ll need someone to transition the different scenes in OBS
  • Producer/Showrunner
    • It’s best to have someone running the whole show to communicate which shots are next and the flow of service.

We know that starting online ministry can be a big job, but there’s a huge range of options available from free to higher end. Special thanks to the Life.Church Broadcast team for this list of options!

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