Guide to the Best Church Streaming Encoders

Editor’s Choice

Church Streaming Encoder

  • Simple and versatile
  • Includes two encoders in a single device
  • It can integrate seamlessly into virtually any SD and HD installation

Best Overall

Church Streaming Encoder

  • Real-time H.264 encoder
  • Built-in color grading
  • Rugged aluminum chassis and locking 2-Pin Connector connector

Budget-Friendly

Church Streaming Encoder

  • With encoder, switcher, monitor, and record built-in one
  • It is a studio and playback device featuring a full HD live stream
  • Seamless integration with major platforms

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best church streaming encoder is, then I’d recommend the Teradek Cube 605 H.264 (AVC) Video Encoder as the best one.

With the technology we have today, anyone is capable of streaming. While a smartphone is enough for some, it’s a different scenario for live church streaming. Churches need a reliable streaming encoder to deliver high-quality streams to the members. But first, what is a church streaming encoder? Why does your church need one, and what do you need to look for when getting one?

Here are the best Church Streaming Encoders we will be reviewing:

What is a Church Streaming Encoder?

What is a Streaming Encoder?

A streaming or video encoder compresses and converts your video file from one format to another. Video cameras record large and bulky video files and, at times, are not suitable for streaming. A streaming encoder will compress the whole file into one uniform format suitable for streaming. It will also allow you to stream on several sites like Youtube, Facebook Live, and Twitch.

Hardware Encoding

Hardware encoders are dedicated processors to encode video and audio data into streamable content. They are specifically made for live stream encoding, giving them an advantage over software encoders. Hardware encoders come in smaller portable boxes and larger permanent fixtures depending on your setup. 

Hardware encoders are more for professional use as they are more rigid and have a fixed system. It allows little to no adjustments, which would take a beginner much longer to design and customize a hardware encoder. They are also more expensive compared to their software counterpart.

Software Encoding

Software encoders are downloadable programs you use on your laptop or desktop. They are favorable to beginners as they are cheaper and have customizable features. Some popular software encoders are even free; you could simply download the program from their website. The only downside to using software encoders is that they aren’t as fast as the hardware type. Running other programs besides the software encoder will slow it down.

Difference Between Encoding, Codecs, and Transcoding

Encoding converts uncompressed video and audio into a coded format compatible with many devices. They help compress gigabytes of data into a sizeable amount that will be easier to transmit and playback. 

Codec is a shortened team for “coder-decoder, ” which compresses and decompresses your video file. Codecs are used to play and create media files and send those media files over a network. 

While transcoding is changing your encoded video from one format to another. Transcoding is necessary since it provides your viewers with different layouts and video qualities that best suit their internet speed and device.

How Does a Church Streaming Encoder Work?

Streaming for significant events and audiences like church services and special events, you’ll need a church streaming encoder. A church streaming encoder takes your audio and video file and compresses and converts it into a suitable digital format. You can use that final product and stream it to your audience when that’s all set.

How to Connect a Church Streaming Encoder to my Set-up?

Connect all your video sources

The first step is to ensure that all your video sources are connected. Those will be your cameras and your extra monitor. Usually, cameras are easily attached to the church streaming encoder, but some would need a separate capture card or device. It helps you connect your camera to the computer and encoder. If you’re planning to use a software encoder, you’ll need a capture card or device. 

Create a new live channel and connect your encoder

Create a new live channel and perform the necessary changes to the settings, such as the bitrate and resolution of the video. After creating your new live track, you’ll need to connect the encoder to your online video platform. Doing so will sync up your settings from your encoder and live channel. 

Select video and audio encoding options

After connecting the encoder to the online video platform, the next step is to select your video and audio settings. You could either go for a Full HD (1920×1080) video resolution or a standard resolution (720×480). You also can select the bitrate and codec during this step. 

Conduct a test stream

It’s always recommended to conduct a test stream first to see if the video and audio settings are to your liking. As it is a test stream, you could use any video to see if your stream is running smoothly. Be sure to check your test stream using both a desktop computer and a mobile device. Usually, higher resolution streams work smoothly on desktop computers better than on some mobile devices. 

Start streaming

Once you’ve fully configured the encoder for your church live stream, you’re ready to begin broadcasting the stream. You may now copy the video player to the web page or site and start the live church stream.

Can I Place Captions Using a Church Streaming Encoder?

Yes, you can place captions using a church streaming encoder. Encoders let you simultaneously broadcast the stream and put captions so that it’s displayed alongside the video in real-time. You have three general types: analog/modem, telnet, and software encoder connection. These three types let you easily place real-time captions on your church live stream.

Benefits of Using a Church Streaming Encoder

Better quality video and audio output

Now that most media content is live-streamed, there’s no excuse for not producing high-quality video content. There are many options of encoders to choose from, and with the right church streaming encoder, you can easily stream high-quality video and audio to the audience. 

Church services and events are more accessible to members

Physically attending church services is usually limited to the space available at a given time. However, watching live church streams is more convenient and accessible to members, especially those who live far away. By streaming church services and events, you can reach more members.

Ease and convenience of streaming

Anybody can stream; you don’t have to be a professional. As long as you have a stable internet connection and all the necessary equipment, you can stream any time you like. Church live streaming is easy, especially when you have a streaming encoder. With a church streaming encoder, you can change the video and audio quality to ensure high-quality streams every time. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Church Streaming Encoder

Compatibility with your chosen platform and setup

Firstly, when choosing a church streaming encoder, assess your setup. Is it your church’s first time streaming? Do you have the space for a hardware encoder, or will a software encoder be sufficient? Does your desktop computer or laptop have enough memory space to accommodate a software encoder? 

Some situations, such as harsh environments or operating outdoors, would require a rugged streaming encoder. But if you’re a beginner and your church has a more straightforward streaming setup, a good quality software encoder is enough.

Ease of use and support availability

In a church setting, it’s safe to assume that the people who will use the encoder are volunteers. Software encoders are best for beginners as they are user-friendly and easily customizable. This way, the learning curve wouldn’t be as steep, and your church can conduct a stream as soon as possible. 

Video quality

Video quality greatly influences the type of encoder you wish to get. Many church streaming encoders in the market offer up to 4K UHD quality video. Although, HD quality is enough for most viewers as this wouldn’t put as much a strain on their internet connection compared to a 4K live stream.

Low video latency

For a church stream with minimal delays, choose a streaming encoder that has a low video latency. Some encoders add latency which will cause a delay later on during the streaming process. If you want to prevent that, ensure your church streaming encoder has low latency.

Security options

Having security options on your church streaming encoder protects intellectual property and lessens unauthorized access and download to your videos. Make sure you choose a steaming encoder with encryption to ensure that your live church streams will be protected.

Budget 

Your budget depends on what type of encoder you’re planning to get. Software encoders are more affordable; some are offered free on their respective brand’s websites even better. They are also user-friendly, easy to set up, and customizable. Although hardware encoders are expensive and have little room for customization, they’re faster than software encoders. So if you do have the budget and space for one, it’s good to get a hardware encoder. 

Teradek Cube 605 H.264 (AVC) Video Encoder

Church Streaming Encoder

The Teradek Cube 605 H.264 (AVC) Video Encoder can encode up to 1080p video resolution at a 15 Mbps bit rate. High-quality videos and audio is easily streamed over Ethernet or USB. It also has an adaptive feature that automatically changes the video resolution to the next highest quality once it detects that the connection has dropped. 

A recorded stream for post-production is also available due to the SD card slot on the Cube 605. It also has a configurable test pattern generator, so you can do a test stream without using a video source. This feature also helps prevent interruptions if the connection is lost. Another helpful feature is that you can monitor the video stream in real-time using the app available for both iOS and Android users. 

Pros:

  • Real-time H.264 encoder
  • Built-in color grading
  • Rugged aluminum chassis and locking 2-Pin Connector connector
  • Compatible with IOS and Android
  • A built-in SD card slot gives you the option to save high-quality backup recordings

Cons:

  • The transmitter and receiver take a long time to sync up.
  • The video latency is not low enough to prevent stream delay.

Ephiphan Systems VGADVI Broadcaster Streaming Device

Church Streaming Encoder

Capture, record, and stream full HD videos with the VGADVI Broadcaster. It’s a portable recording and streaming device that directly streams to viewers using multicast or CDN. 

The VGADVI Broadcaster can simultaneously stream up to two sources with time-stamps and a multi-source layout. Depending on your preference, the streams can be assessed through media players or mobile devices. Recorded streams are easily stored and accessed to local storage.

The VGADVI Broadcaster is easy to set up; it’s practically a plug-and-play! After configuration, power it on and start encoding and streaming right away, even without using a computer. Its portable design allows you to use it anywhere without installing separate software. All controls can be accessed either locally or over a network. 

Pros:

  • Capture from screens or cameras at full HD resolution
  • Capture presentation camera, slides, and voice simultaneously
  • Supports VGA, DVI, HDMI, S-Video, composite, & RGB component
  • Use it everywhere – it’s portable with no software to install
  • Supports streaming directly to set-top-boxes, smart TVs, and electronic signs via MPEG-TS

Cons:

  • You may experience delays on the audio.

Matrox Monarch HDX Dual-Channel H.264 Video Encoder

Church Streaming Encoder

The Matrox Monarch HDX is the improved version of the Monarch HD. It’s a bigger model with HD-SDI and HDMI, an auxiliary connector, and a 3.5mm connector on the back. On the front, everything is straightforward and labeled accordingly. 

Recording and streaming with the HDX allow up to 1920×1080 at 60 frames per second. You can also stream and record two files at the same time. But there is a downside; the maximum data rate drops to 10 Mbps from its usual 20 Mbps.

To configure the Monarch HDX, users are provided with a corresponding browser that’s simple and easy to use. From here, you can create and customize presets you frequently use for each encoder. There’s also a status screen that allows you to check for errors such as an incorrect address, stream name, or credentials.

Pros:

  • Simple and versatile
  • Includes two encoders in a single device
  • It can integrate seamlessly into virtually any SD and HD installation
  • It can share 30 Mb/s of encoding capacity across the two channels

Cons:

  • There are no settings available for audio.
  • This streaming encoder is not easy to set up.

Magewell Ultra Stream 1-Channel 3G SDI Encoder

Church Streaming Encoder

The Magewell Ultra Stream Encoder simplifies streaming for beginners with its one-click on-device buttons and its dedicated smartphone app. The simple push buttons are on the unit itself, making it quick and easy to start or stop the stream. 

This streaming encoder is ideal for church because you can operate this with minimal technical knowledge. You won’t need any other hardware besides the Magewell Ultra Stream, as long as your desktop computer or laptop can support 4K resolution. 

Its custom-specified server allows you to stream to popular sites like Youtube, Facebook Live, and Twitch. You can even stream to two serves simultaneously with the Magewell Ultra Stream Encoder. 

There’s also a real-time video preview in the designated app for easy monitoring. Lastly, there’s a USB drive directly connected to the Ultra Stream to store recorded streams.

Pros: 

  • Streams to 2 servers simultaneously
  • Simple to operate
  • Expect great results for wired or wireless connections
  • USB flash Supports inputs up to 2048x1080p60 Loop
  • There’s a custom-specified server for streaming to Youtube, Facebook Live, and Twitch

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have a built-in battery supply.
  • Connecting via WiFi is not very reliable; it frequently falls off.

YOLOLIV YoloBox Portable 4 in 1 Live Stream Studio Equipment

Church Streaming Encoder

The YoloBox is a stream encoder, switcher, monitor, and recorder. The touch screen interface is a studio and playback device that lets you stream in full HD. The large touch screen provides you with an image of the stream and the control interface. 

Easily switch between the info sources with a touch. You can also connect up to six video sources and easily upload the stream via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or LTE. But if you prefer a direct connection, you can also hook up the YoloBox via HDMI to stream locally.

The YoloBox lets you stream at 540p, 720p, and 1080p, dependent on your choice of resolution. It has a built-in SD card slot to store recorded streams in mp4 format. The YoloBox has various picture templates and graphic layers as a switcher. It’s a valuable feature to brand your live stream with watermarks and rolling captions. 

Pros:

  • With encoder, switcher, monitor, and record built-in one
  • It is a studio and playback device featuring a full HD live stream
  • Seamless integration with major platforms
  • Multi-camera capture
  • Picture-in-picture templates, custom graphic layers, watermarks, and much more
  • Independent Audio Input/Output

Cons:

  • The audio reproduction is subpar
  • It takes longer to charge fully

Conclusion

The best church streaming encoder helps guarantee that all your streams are of the best quality every time. Besides video quality, it should also seamlessly adjust the resolution when it detects a drop in connection or bitrates. It’s why the Teradek Cube 605 H.264 (AVC) Video Encoder is the best church streaming encoder. 

The Teradek Cube 605 can encode a video of up to 1080p resolution. It also automatically changes the video resolution to the next highest quality once it detects a drop in connection. Easily stream your video and audio over Ethernet or through a USB port. 

Doing a test stream is not a problem since it has a configurable test pattern generator. It allows you to test your stream without using a video source. There’s also an SD card slot to store recorded streams for post-production editing. 

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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.