With the shape the world is in right now, there is no telling when “normal” will return. So we need to be able to continue with life, but take into consideration this “new normal.” This also means we need to figure out the most economical and budget-friendly ways to stream church services without breaking the bank. How can you accomplish this when donations aren’t coming in because everyone is strapped for cash? Hopefully, this post will help.
Starting out using your personal computer, or a computer within the church is a good start for a single camera shoot. There is no need to spend a lot on a camera. After all, you and a skeleton crew are the only ones in the building. For those that have gone back to service in a limited capacity, you still can make this work.
We recommend purchasing a $30-$100 USB webcam and connecting it to your laptop or a church laptop. This will give you the ability to move the computer/camera closest to the pastor without spending lots of money.
Using this, coupled with Wirecast Studio, can get you started at just under $700. This is very affordable for a single camera, high-quality production.
We would love you to use our product, but we understand, sometimes that’s not financially feasible.
So, there is an option where you can stream directly to Facebook or Youtube, with just your USB webcam. This setup will get you going for the $30-$100 range. This will help get your message online, using the built-in broadcaster on those platforms. Keep in mind with this setup, you won’t be able to use graphics, switch cameras, bring in scriptures or anything else that will enhance your broadcast. This is just a simple camera streaming. If this isn’t appealing (it’s ok I have you covered). Read on!
I brought up the last point of going direct to the platform because I wanted to show you there is another option if you have an iOS device. iPad or iPhone. Wirecast Go. Wirecast Go is a powerful iOS application that allows you to use that single camera shot but mix in graphics, instant replay, while also allowing you to switch between prepared or live shots. It’s a switcher for your iPhone! Oh, did I mention it’s free? Now before you get too excited, there is a paid version. I know, I know, I had you at free. The free version allows switching between 2 saved shots and broadcasts to YouTube, with the ability to place and modify graphics. For $5.99, you can unlock expanded destination options, replay, and unlimited shots. So, if you’re a struggling church and don’t have the finances but have an iOS device and want the professionalism of Wirecast, you can get it for free or $5.99.
Two to Three Camera Basic Setup
Ok, now that we have options, maybe you have a $1000 budget. You’re not sure what you can do with that. You already have the computer, but you would like to do at least two cameras, but don’t want the expense of two cameras and would like to keep it under that $1000 budget. Remember that Wirecast Go application I spoke about above? How about that USB webcam for $30-$100? That’s right, for a maximum of $106 for 2 cameras, Wirecast Studio for $599, you come in under budget. Your pastor will be thrilled! So, where does the third camera come in? You have the iPhone with Wirecast Go, the webcam… But your iPad over there is looking kind of lonely. That’s right, you purchased Wirecast Go under your account. Now you can install that on your Ipad and have 3 cameras! How’s that for budget-friendly? Now you can have the power of mixing in 3 cameras, graphics, recorded content, capturing scriptures, and song lyrics, all for under $1000!