Boxcast Live Streaming Solution
By Evan Schwartz
Current – A Christian Church is located in Katy, TX. Our service style is contemporary: from week to week, services are never the same, and we strive to keep worship fresh and different. We run three services every Sunday, at 9:30am, 11:00am and 12:30pm. At all three services, we offer an upbeat, contemporary worship experience in our main auditorium; Current Live. We also offer a more laid back, acoustic style of worship with live preaching via a video screen in The Source, which is directly behind the main building at 9:30am. All services in our main auditorium are streamed live on the internet, while The Source is not.
The way we have come to understand how people are going to church in 2017, the front door of the church is now the website. We want people to feel like they are coming into our church when they visit our website, so our website must be a digital front door. Having our services live on-line is an extension of that. Having the ability to run our worship services live gives people an opportunity to check us out before they have to even walk into our facility. Hopefully they have a good enough experience they want to come check it out in person. Secondary to that, having the live feed available on a couple of different platforms allows current members to still maintain a connection with our church community even if they can’t physically attend services on Sunday.
Our live feed can be accessed via our app made by Subsplash, on Facebook Live, and on our website. We use the Church Online Platform, a free resource from Life.Church that allows us to take any live feed and embed into a digital church experience. This allows us to run a chat option right next to our video window, add sermon notes, have people send in prayer requests, etc. This makes our online services a personal, attended experience rather than just a viewed experience. We currently use five cameras for our broadcast- three Blackmagic Design Studio Cameras, a Canon 5D & a GoPro. We also have two ROSS Pivot Cams being installed. We use the BMD ATEM 2/ME switcher, a MIDAS M32 board that allows us to use a bus mix just for our live stream, and graphics for names, social media info, lyrics, etc. Our entire feed is split and recorded for our TV’s in house, and into the Boxcast system. Our online church experience is the same as our IMAG experience right in the sanctuary.
We’ve been using Boxcast for the last five years. There was really no training involved with our volunteers at all. The BoxCast is on the desk right near the switcher. The only time our volunteers ever have needed to even touch the box is if the feed is down. We schedule in advance when our services are going to run with BoxCast, and that’s really all we need to do. Now, with BoxCast integrated with Facebook Live, we can run feeds on both our website and Facebook at the same time without any additional effort.
The beauty of BoxCast is that as long as you’ve given it power, internet, and content, you really can’t go wrong. This is a turn-key product, and you are in charge of what you put on it, but they’ve made it very easy to start a live feed regardless of the experience of your volunteers.
We’ve thought about changing to a different live feed system but have always stayed with Boxcast. Any time we’ve had an issue or suggestions, they have met or exceeded our expectations. The product speaks for it is usability and reliability. If you want to create an online campus for your services, Boxcast is a fantastic resource to begin that process.
EVAN SCHWARTZ IS THE WORSHIP & CREATIVE ARTS MINISTER AT CURRENT – A CHRISTIAN CHURCH. HE IS ALSO A CUBS FAN, COFFEE DRINKER, HUSBAND AND DAD. CURRENTCHRISTIAN.ORG/ WATCHLIVE