Live streaming of Church services is becoming a standard feature of many church/ministry websites. Here in India for example, the New Life Assembly of God church's website has a video steaming page to webcast their Sunday services live. There are services which can help facilitate this feature, but most of them are either very complex or expensive to implement. Thanks to Yohan from Virtual Preacher, I got to know of this free service, which should meet standard live streaming needs.
Freedocast is the name of the service - it's basically a platform that facilitates live video streaming and it's pretty uncomplicated:
- Signup for a free account.
- Create a schedule of events that you want to broadcast.
- Inform your audience.
- Hook-up a camcorder/webcam to a PC or MAC and connect to the Internet (at least 100kpbs upload bandwidth) - Adobe Flash Player is required.
- Stream your live or recorded event.
Watching a Freedocast stream is possible on both Mac and PC; requirements are only a browser and Adobe Flash Player. The program can be made public for all or private for a select group; Embed code is provided to publish the program on your website and a live chat functionality rounds off the basic feature list.
It gets better with Freedocast's free software, Freedocast-Wirecast, a live production tool to "stream multiple live cameras while dynamically mixing in other media such as movies, images, sounds, etc. Features including Chroma Key (blue/green screen), transitions and built-in titles allow you to create beautiful, professional broadcast productions for live on-demand distribution on the web.
Freedocast-Wirecast uses multiple and customized shots to enable professional-looking broadcasts. A shot contains media and settings for that media. A shot can be as simple as a still photo, or very complex such as a live camera with a title and background music. In its simplest form, a shot contains one piece of media, such as JPG."
Some of Freedocast-Wirecast's features:
- Browse, drag and drop audio & video files
- Switch between various shots in real time
- Edit and customize your shots
- Add smooth transitions between various shots by customizing transition speed
- Run your advertisements using Freedocast-Wirecast at the time of broadcasting
- Run your banner ads, pre-roll and mid-roll video ads, L-shaped ads, square shaped ads, text ads, split screens, videos in videos, also switch between ads, add effects in ads, run ads in ads and much more
- Share your desktop to enable an interactive session for various presentations
- Broadcast yourself or your events using picture in picture
- Make changes ‘live’ easily using an excellent feature called "Auto live", which automatically makes any changes you make on the main live in your broadcast
Once registered, there's a helpful 'how to use' page to learn the basics of Freedocast-Wirecast and get started. A premium ad-free service is also available.
Here's the link: http://www.freedocast.com/
What service do you use for your live webcast needs?