Guide to the Best Church Live Streaming Equipment

Editor’s Choice

  • Straightforward to use
  • It has a picture-in-picture feature
  • The recording software works excellently in transferring feed into the computer

Best Overall

Church Live Streaming Equipment

  • Features a 3G-SDI output for connecting to switching equipment 
  • The camera lens provides a 20x zoom range
  • It does well in low-light conditions

Budget-Friendly

Church Live Streaming Equipment

  • It comes with an HDMI video output capable 
  • Robust
  • It comes with a built-in wide dynamic range and 2D and 3D noise cancellation

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best church live streaming equipment, then I’d recommend the PTZOptics 20x-SDI Gen2 Live Streaming Triple Camera Bundle as the best one.

For ages, people have been regularly attending worship services for prayers and fellowship. Being with others is one of the reasons people keep gathering together. However, life is unpredictable and the pandemic has accelerated the plans of many churches to begin a live streaming program. 

Ministries around the world are finding the value in live streaming to stay in touch with their congregation and community. Churches are deciding to stream their worship services online, as it allows them to reach and engage their communities in ways they weren’t previously able to.

Let’s take a look at how church live streaming equipment plays a pivotal role in delivering the preaching of the Word during live streaming worship services. 

Here is the best Church Live Streaming Equipment we will be reviewing:

What is a Church Live Streaming Equipment?

Church live streaming equipment is a set of tools or gears that help make the real-time online broadcast get into action. It enhances the quality of the stream. It helps deliver a professional output that creates a beautiful worship experience even in the confines of the home. 

Why is a Church Live Streaming Equipment Significant?

Church live streaming equipment is essential to give the worshippers that experience or feeling of being in a church even if they’re just watching in their homes or living rooms. The tools and gears should also be high-quality to deliver a professional production.   

What Composes a Church Live Streaming Equipment Setup?

You can choose to use a smartphone and free streaming platform for your online worship broadcast; however, there are limitations. Here are the gadgets that compose a church live streaming equipment set up, which you can invest in to give a high-quality online worship service. 

A computer for live streaming

The computer will serve as the hub or the central point of everything. A Mac or PC will work, whichever will run better for the church’s system and the whole setup. 

Internet connection

A stable and dependable internet connection is essential. Intermittent connectivity that causes the live stream to go on and off can affect the worship experience of the audience. The general requirement for internet upload speed for live streaming would be 6 Mbps for 720p or 13 Mbps for 1080p. But then again, it would depend and may still need more resources to upload a high-quality stream. The best way to find out would be to run many tests by private live streaming then observe and analyze the results.

Camera

The camera will be the most significant investment among the church’s live streaming equipment. There’s a variety of choices from camcorders, DSLRs, webcams, and action cameras. Then some brands and manufacturers design and intend some cameras for live streaming.

A webcam is one of the most affordable options, but it is not ideal since you need to attach it near a computer or laptop. Pros and experts favor DSLRs and camcorders. It is because manufacturers and brands designed them to produce high-quality videos. Those with HDMI or Wi-Fi capabilities are better choices for a more straightforward setup. 

Action cameras will be a great option if the preacher or speaker moves around often since they provide stability. 

It’s still best to consult an expert on cameras to ensure that the features and price match the church’s needs. 

Audio Interface

An excellent audio interface or audio source is essential in a live streaming setup. Even more so, when the church is also streaming some worship music. Poor sound quality can be a distraction. The audience may not understand the preaching, so choosing an audio source that works well is necessary.  

Software for live streaming 

There are different software for live streaming. Each offers various security features, professional tools, and storage capacities. You have the option to use free software or a paid one depending on your church’s needs. There are some things you need to consider when picking or choosing. These include the live stream recording feature, video hosting, and monetization.

It’s great to use software that allows live streaming and, at the same time, record it for later content. This way, people can re-watch the video or watch it later for those who missed the live broadcast. You can even use snippets of the recording and mix it with other content in the future. 

Video hosting is also one great feature where people can easily view past videos. This feature allows videos to be saved and organized, such as in a playlist. It makes it even easier for people to find related content and subject videos. 

While it may not be among the church’s goals, monetization can still be beneficial. You can host special courses, online talks, or seminars. Since these events need time and resources to prepare, you can host them for a certain fee. They can bring financial help to the church that you can use later for ministry purposes. 

Things to Consider When Buying Church Live Streaming Equipment

When looking to buy a church live streaming equipment, here are the essential things to look for and take into consideration:

Budget

Work within the budget of the church. Expensive doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Given the budget you are working with, it may be best to consult with the pros and experts first to know which gadgets to consider. 

Choosing the right camera/gear

Selecting the right camera for your live streaming will depend on what you need it for. As mentioned previously, action cameras work best for shooting active live streams because they give the most stability. But if not, there are the DSLRs and camcorders that can help produce high-quality videos. 

The best option will be the one that has the features that match what the church needs and would work best with the whole live streaming setup. Again, it is best to consult first with an expert to get the most out of your investment. 

Choosing a live encoder (hardware or software)

Some high-end cameras include built-in encoders. If the church’s camera doesn’t have one, you can buy a separate one. It can be a software or a hardware gadget. High-quality videos are large and can be difficult to stream live. The encoder compresses its size for faster transfer or delivery to the web. 

But, the software encoders are as effective. Although, they need a capture device or capture card that would connect to the computer to run. Another thing is, that the performance would depend on the computer running the software. But the good thing about it is it’s a more affordable alternative and allows you to tweak its settings.

The software encoders are just as effective, although they need a capture device or capture card that would connect to the computer to run. Also, the performance would depend on the computer running it, but the good thing is it’s a more affordable alternative and allows you to tweak its settings. 

In choosing which one to use, consider your budget or resources. Check if your computer can handle the software encoder (should you pick this option). Also, do you need flexibility in fixing the video quality settings, or are you ok with a fixed setup? These are some things to think about when getting a video encoder. 

Choosing the live streaming accessories

Tripod

A tripod helps ensure that the camera stays held in one place during the live stream. Choose one that would work best for the church’s camera, which does what you need. It’s best to look for a durable one that allows to pan and tilt without causing the camera shots to look jerky. The tripod’s legs should also have the ability to telescope in and out. It is so there won’t be a problem with its legs getting stuck when you need to adjust it. 

Microphone for the pastor

Choosing an excellent microphone for the pastor is essential. It is so the audience can hear and understand him, especially while preaching the Word. There are also various microphone options to choose from. Selecting the right one would depend on the church’s need and setting. 

Lapel mics work great if the pastor moves around while preaching since most of them are wireless. It takes the distraction of wires away to talk and walk freely. They also bring the convenience of clipping into the shirt collar or lapel. Another option would be the handheld wireless microphones which also work great for moving around. 

HDMI cable

HDMI cables are needed to connect the camera to the computer to get the video signal out. Choose one that is compatible with both the church’s camera and computer. 

HDMI extender (optional)

The HDMI extender is optional and might be necessary if the camera is at a distance or away from the computer. 

Audio and video parameters

Selecting the bitrates that will be used to encode the signal before going live is also important. Bitrates measure how fast your Internet connection can upload and broadcast your live video to your audience. 

Bitrates for audio are lower than those for the video. The two most used are 128 kbps and 64 kbps. Although, some services for streaming, like YouTube, support bitrates of 320 kbps. You need to find out in advance what your streaming service recommends. It is so you can choose the best bitrate for your audio. 

Bitrate for videos would depend on the video resolution. The commonly recommended settings are 3 Mbps for SD (480p), and 6 Mbps for HD (720p). The critical thing to note here is that a high frame rate with high resolution plus high bitrate results in the highest video quality. 

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the setting that is essential for your encoders. The higher the volume of the data, the more it requires bandwidth. If the viewer’s bandwidth is limited, it will result in a lower frame rate and resolution for the live video. Good thing that there are streaming services and platforms that have adaptive bitrate. They allow automatic adjustment and optimization of resolution. This feature allows them to overcome network limits. 

How to Set Up the Church Live Streaming Equipment 

When Using a Software Encoder

  1. Set up your camera on the tripod.
  2. Using the HDMI cable, connect the camera to the capture device. 
  3. Next, connect the sound output or audio source to the camera. 
  4. Connect the capture card to the computer. 
  5. Install the software for live streaming. 
  6. Connect the camera by following the instructions or settings of the software encoder that you will use. 
  7. Select the streaming service or platform (e.g., Facebook, YouTube)
  8. Copy and paste the key for streaming from the streaming platform to the streaming software encoder.

When Using a Hardware Encoder

  1. Connect the audio or sound source and the camera to the hardware device. 
  2. Connect the hardware encoder to a WiFi network or LAN. 
  3. Log in to the live streaming platform (e.g., Facebook, YouTube) and choose the name of the hardware encoder as the live video source. 
  4. Select auto-configure and start streaming on the chosen streaming platform or service. 

If you’re looking to purchase church live streaming equipment, we’ve listed here some of the best gadgets that you may want to consider.

PTZOptics 20x-SDI Gen2 Live Streaming Triple Camera Bundle

Church Live Streaming Equipment

The PTZOptics 20x-SDI Gen2 Live Streaming Triple Camera Bundle features a 3G-SDI output that allows connection to switching gears or equipment for broadcast conferencing. This PTZOPtics Gen2 model is capable of 1080p60/50 recording and streaming in MJpeg, H.264, and H.265 HEVC or high-efficiency video coding.

The lens of this camera is 4.4-88.5mm and provides a 20x zoom range. It allows wide-angle shots and effective close-focus. It works great even in low-light conditions. On top of this, it has a built-in 2D and 3D noise cancellation with a dynamic range feature that enhances the conferencing and streaming experience. 

This PTZOPtics camera is versatile and supports a wide variety of software. That includes mobile applications for network control, online meeting software, and the advanced VISCA control and PTZOPtics Network Control applications. It comes with an IR remote control that allows you to adjust various settings through an on-screen display. It lets you set, call presets, and even control up to 4 cameras. Up to 64 presets in the camera can be set up, and you can call up to 10 presets using the remote. 

Pros:

  • Features a 3G-SDI output for connecting to switching equipment 
  • The camera lens provides a 20x zoom range
  • It does well in low-light conditions
  • It has a built-in wide dynamic range and 2D and 3D noise cancellation
  • Includes an IR remote control 

Cons:

  • It tends to have video latency and audio delay while streaming
  • There is also a seconds delay with the autofocus to adjust correctly 

Roland Professional Steamer Bundle

The Professional Streamer Bundle by Roland comes with an HD AV Mixer (Roland), HD Block Camera BC-80 (DataVideo), and the Dual Wireless Microphone System (Shure). It has the complete essentials needed to stream like a pro. 

The Roland VR-4HD Mixer is an all-in-one, complete audio and visual mixer. It’s like a portable full HD studio in a compact package. It’s all that you need from several gadgets in one stand-alone device. Roland has designed this mixer to be operated by a single person. It allows easy mixing and switching of video and sound and has dedicated buttons, hardware control faders, and a touch screen interface. 

It’s a beautiful integration of a video switcher, digital audio mixer, USB video and audio streaming interface, and multi-viewer touchscreen. This mixer’s professional quality broadcast switches and controls ensure faster and more accurate operation than those with a computer mouse and keyboard style. 

The DataVideo HD Block Camera that comes with this set has an excellent resolution of 1080p HD and 30x zoom with a built-in noise reduction feature. This camera’s optical zoom can be mounted near or far, and it would still capture excellent, sharp shots. It even works great in low-lighting conditions. It also has an HDMI and 3G-SDI output and can be used in any broadcast or AV workflow. 

The Shure wireless microphone that this bundle comes with produces a transparent, 24-bit digital audio and RF performance for various applications. It works for stage performances and all-day conferences. It’s easy to set up, has optional rechargeable accessories for wireless use, and can operate up to 32 compatible systems per 44Mhz band. 

Pros:

  • Straightforward to use
  • It has a picture-in-picture feature
  • The recording software works excellently in transferring feed into the computer
  • Setting up the Shure wireless microphone is easy and works great in a medium-size church

Cons:

  • The devices included in the bundle are pretty bulky and may not be easy to move around. 

PTZOptics 20x-SDI Gen2 Live Streaming 2 Camera Bundle

Church Live Streaming Equipment

This PTZOptics Gen2 Live Streaming Camera in Gray – Two-Camera Bundle is another high-performing, versatile product of PTZOptics. It features a 3G-SDI output that allows switching gears or equipment for broadcast conferencing. On top of that, it also has an HDMI, LAN, and composite outputs, an RS-485 port, and RS-232 input and output that has daisy-chain capability. On the other hand, its LAN output can stream 2 H.265 or 2  H.264 RTSP signals: one in SD and one in HD, or a single MJpeg signal. It allows direct distribution to streaming services, CDNs, and their destinations using just the camera. 

The camera also has a 3.5mm audio input for embedding audio into a LAN stream or an HDMI signal to deliver audio and video to their destination. Its LAN port can be used for control and streaming and has the Power-over-Ethernet capability. Aside from direct streaming through LAN, you can also connect it to external devices for advanced conferencing. Its USB 2.0 port, though, is strictly just for firmware updates. 

This set also comes with an IR remote control that allows you to adjust various settings through an on-screen display that allows arranging and calling presets and controlling up to 4 cameras. Up to 64 presets in the camera can be set up, up to 255 via the RS-232, with a 0.1° preset accuracy. In addition, up to 10 presets can be called using the remote. 

The camera can be desktop-mounted but can also be ceiling-mounted using the ceiling-mount bracket by PTZOptics, which is an optional feature. 

Pros:

  • The remote that comes is straightforward to program and control. 
  • The set-up of the camera is easy and works right away. 
  • There are a lot of features that you can use for other church purposes and events in the future.
  • Zooming even at a distance still works great. 
  • It still gives excellent image quality even with simultaneous outputs. 
  • It is very durable. 

Cons:

  • It can be challenging to set up on a Mac or iOS device. 
  • The picture quality tends to lack details in bright areas.

PTZOptics 30X SDI Gen 2 Live Streaming Broadcast Camera

Church Live Streaming Equipment

The 30X SDI Gen 2 Live Streaming Camera is a bundle with a camera with built-in 2D and 3D noise cancellation features. This feature enhances the quality of the images and videos, delivering a clear output. The camera also has a wide field of view or FOV of 60.7° and a tight FOV of 3.36. It works excellently even in low light conditions. 

The camera also comes with a 3.5mm audio output that you can use for embedding audio. You can use an HDMI line-level output and Ethernet for IP streaming. 

This joystick camera is built and designed with various setups for conferencing to work for any situation. It’s got four keys for easy keyboard switching function and can control up to 255 cameras. 

It also comes with 3G-SDI cabling for 1080p video. This connection type is preferred because it is much more durable and does not easily come apart without rotating the connector to detach it from the port. In addition, it also comes with an HDMI cable for video output of up to 1080p. 

Pros:

  • It comes with an HDMI video output capable 
  • Robust
  • It comes with a built-in wide dynamic range and 2D and 3D noise cancellation
  • It offers a wide 60.7° field of view
  • Easy control

Cons:

  • Poor customer service 

Roland V-1SDI Web Streaming Bundle

Roland’s V-1SDI online streaming bundle is a versatile and flexible video switcher that makes connecting and switching playback sources and professional 3G SDI cameras and HDMI sources a breeze. These sources can vary from smartphones, computers, tablets, cameras, and Blu-ray players. 

This V-1SDI device is portable and compact and produces professional switching output. Its user-friendly hardware interface is complete with easy-to-see buttons backlit and a T-Fader. It has support for 3G-SDI that allows operation of up to 1080p resolution. Also, the SDI’s long cable distance makes this portable device a great compact solution for applications and events that use even the most sophisticated SDI camera sources. 

This bundle combines SDI to 3.0 USB capture device and the impressive V-1SDI with a scaled HDMI delivering an affordable streaming and recording live broadcast system. Just connect an SDI output to the capture box attached to the USB 3.0 on the computer or Mac, and it’s now ready to stream and record the live event directly to the streaming platform. 

Pros:

  • Support for SDI and HDMI cameras, smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs
  • Easy to operate with hardware controls
  • Compact size
  • Supports up to Full HD 1080p
  • Input 4’s scaler now supports a wider range of video and VESA resolutions 

Cons:

  • The fan of the mixer tends to be loud

Conclusion

While all of these are great church live streaming equipment, the PTZOptics 20x-SDI Gen2 Live Streaming Triple Camera Bundle entirely stands out. Firstly, it already comes with three cameras of the same model. There is no need to buy individually and more, not to mention checking if they’re compatible with each other. This set saves time and energy. Another thing is, it’s easy to set up, which is just plug-and-play. Finally, even with the ease of use and effortless setup, it still produces excellent image quality.

Remember that the goal is to produce an output that would make the online worship experience similar to what the congregation experiences inside the church. Whatever tools we use or plan to use, we need to ensure they serve their purpose and aids in delivering the preaching of the Word clearly and effectively. 

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.