Pre-recording and streaming later

Our studio space doesn’t have reliable internet. We also want our staff to be able to participate in church on Sundays. We switched from performing live services to pre-recording services and presenting them later.

We were using Church Online Platform’s simulated live feature to do this last Sunday. However, using simulated live has some drawbacks:

  • Simulated live does not work with AirPlay (in our limited testing)
  • Simulated live requires everyone to be on Church Online Platform, which may not work for our entire audience which is used to watching on their own platform with simulcasting
  • Church Online Platform (version 4) has recently had reliability issues on Sundays (March 22, March 29) which prevented people from watching there

Instead of Platform’s simulated live, we are streaming the recording as live. Here’s our flow:

  1. Record the service using our live PC
  2. Upload the recording to Vimeo
  3. Download the recording to my personal MacBook Pro
  4. Use Livestream Studio on macOS to stream the recording to Vimeo from a media bin

We configure Vimeo to simulcast to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. This means we can reach folks on all platforms.

We also create a separate live event in Vimeo instead of using a recurring event. We have noticed recurring events typically auto-play other previous streams to the same event. Using a separate event per stream tends to work better.

If your recording space has good internet, consider streaming to your live video provider as your record to a private video. This way you can avoid the upload step all together.

Finally, it’s important for the space you are streaming from during your service has reliable power and internet. At my home, I have a UPS battery, AT&T Fiber, Ubiquiti’s UniFi Security Gateway, a carrier-grade switch, and a wired network all the way to my Mac. Avoid using Wi-Fi for streams!

We used this strategy yesterday for our midweek broadcast.

Preparing for Church Online Platform outages

If you’re simulcasting, you can direct people to other platforms if Platform is down — but the best strategy is to direct people to your website instead of Platform directly. If Platform has issues, switch links or redirects over from Platform to your own site. Even without live chat and prayer, folks will have a good experience watching the video and you can use an online form to capture prayer needs for volunteers to follow-up on right after your service.

What about you?

How do you folks run pre-recording? Have you tried any of these steps? How has everything worked out? Let me know!