How to Live Stream church service to Facebook With TVU Producer

Facebook Live, the social media site’s video distribution platform, has been used daily by millions to stream video to viewers since its launch in 2016.
The screenshot of TVU Producer, live streaming church service to Facebook live
TVU solutions make it easy to stream your church service to Facebook Live

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the video streaming platform has played a particularly important role for houses of worship. Government-ordered lockdowns and social distancing mandates have taken a heavy toll on in-person church attendance, and video streaming offers an alternative.

Data from a survey conducted in late April and early May 2020 by Barna, a research organization with 30 years of experience tracking the role of faith in America, reveals one in three practicing Christians stopped attending church during the pandemic.

Further, the researcher found nearly half of churched adults, which Barna defines as “those who say they have attended church in the past six months,” had not streamed an online service in the past month.

While there are likely a wide variety of factors at play, such as age, comfort with computers, pre-pandemic attendance habits, inability to participate in sacraments and others, contributing to the number of service-streamers not being higher, there can be no doubt that millions appreciate and partake in streaming services to keep the fires of faith burning.

Anything houses of worship can do to make their Facebook Live video streams of services more like attending in person should cement their bond with congregants viewing from home and potentially give others who aren’t participating in the video stream a reason to get involved.

 

Advantages of using TVU solutions to live stream

  • No need to buy any hardware or software, it’s all cloud-based
  • Produce your live stream remotely, from anywhere you’d like
  • Affordable – live stream church service with TVU Producer, is a great solution for entry level live streams , who’d like to pay-as-they-go
  • No expensive cameras needed – just use a smartphone and the power of the TVU Anywhere app
 

Setting your live stream up for success

Before diving into the how-to aspects of using multiple cameras to produce a church service, it’s worthwhile to consider how this sort of production emulates what a churchgoer in the pew experiences.

Sitting inside a house of worship, a congregant will have a primary focus of interest, which likely will shift about as the service progresses, and several secondary focuses—things as diverse as a list of hymn numbers, stained glass windows, iconography and more. Further, before ever sitting down for the service, the church member entered the building.

Organizing the production of services with those primary and secondary areas of focus in mind will help identify camera positions and shots, stills that should be captured prior to services and pre-recorded and edited footage to be used for an establishing shot at the beginning of the live stream.

Make a list of the production elements to be created prior to the service, such a hymn numbers, Scripture readings, post-service announcements and still images of stained glass and iconography. Gather the required information, create the graphics and text and shoot and edit the pre-roll footage.

Determine how many cameras will be required. They probably will include a camera for the altar, the pulpit, the lectern and the choir. Of course, this will vary from church to church.

For the sake of simplicity, cost and quality, houses of worship should strongly consider using smartphones and iPads mounted on tripods and elevated to a height approximating a worshipper in the pew.

Employing this strategy eliminates the time, effort and concern involved with running video cables in a house of worship. Using the wireless connectivity features of smartphones and iPads –whether that’s Wi-Fi or a cellular network—removes cabling from the equation.

The combination of TVU Anywhere, TVU Networks’ broadcast app for mobile devices, and TVU Producer, the company’s cloud-based, virtualized production switcher, is a powerful, pay-as-you-go solution that creates professional productions for very few dollars.

It is also possible to use TVU One, TVU Network’s professional live streaming solution with six built-in wireless modems, support for four USB modems, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, per camera. However, except for the very largest of churches, this approach is probably outside budgetary restrictions.

Multi-camera production isn’t the only part of the equation. The other critical piece to the formula is streaming services from the house of worship live via Facebook Live and other social media platforms.

 

Using TVU Producer to live stream church service to Facebook

Doing so from TVU Producer is quite simple. First, your church will need its own Facebook account and you will need to know the user name and password for that account.

Go to the TVU Networks website. Click on the TVU Producer icon at the top of the page. Click Sign Up/Login. If it’s your first time, sign up for a TVU Producer account. Otherwise, click the Login button in the upper right corner of the screen.

Once inside TVU Producer, the interface will ask if you wish to create a program or resume one you’ve already created. Follow the steps outlined in the blog referenced here to set up a program and connect TVU Anywhere cameras.

To set Facebook Live as a social media streaming destination for your service, click on the Output icon on the upper left of the vertical interface strip. A box will open to the right. At the bottom on the box, click +Add. Click the link above +Add that says Import social media accounts.

A new interface box opens that says Bind Social accounts. Click +Add at the bottom of that box. If you don’t see it, be sure you have scrolled down on your interface to reveal +Add. Clicking +Add will reveal multiple social media sites from which to choose. You may select more than one.

Click on Facebook. You will be asked to enter the Output Name, perhaps something like SundayService. Select your desired resolution, ranging from 720×480 to 1920×1080. Enter the desired bitrate using the slider and click on Authenticate under the word Account. Wait a moment and enter your Facebook account name under the word Account. Click Save.

From the Bind Social accounts interface screen click on the account name. A green check mark will appear. Close the Bind Social accounts interface. Repeat the process for other streaming platforms, like YouTube, as desired. You are ready to go.

With streaming church services filling such an important gap for so many congregants during COVID-19, knowing how to stream a high-quality live service has never been more important. Tools like TVU Producer, TVU Anywhere and Facebook Live make that possible for a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional video production and distribution.

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