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Live Streaming through YouTube and Facebook
Module 5 - Lesson 4
12/15/2019 Module 5

Live Streaming through YouTube and Facebook

Live Streaming today is a big deal. A lot of churches are doing it, and I recommend that you do it too. Many ask if it's productive to have a live stream. I believe it is. Here is a great article from Carey Nieuwhof talking about how our "Netflix Culture". http://careynieuwhof.com/5-things-netflix-is-showing-church-leaders-about-the-future/. By the way, I also recommend that you follow Carey and listen to his weekly podcasts if you are truly wanting to move forward and grow as a church! There are multiple ways to live stream online today, but we're going to focus on the two most common options.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live has been around for several years now. It's a great option for easily live streaming and archiving your services. There aren't a lot of disadvantages to it other than the fact that you need to have 100 subscribers to your channel before you can name it, and that they are now forcing you to set up several linked accounts in order to embed your live streams into your website.

Facebook Live

Facebook has just recently opened up to live streaming... and in my opinion, it has the most potential for churches. There are several features that make it a great choice for your church. One, we already have a community built out on Facebook! If people are following you, they will see your live streams. Two, Facebook actually sends followers a notification when someone goes live. That is a huge bonus.

Live Streaming: Equipment

For a clear understanding of what you will need in order to live stream, take a look at this (not so good) drawing that I made. This is based on a 1 camera setup. Live streaming from your church - diagram To stream your video you’ll need several pieces of equipment.


You will need a fairly high-quality camera. Thankfully, you can get a High Quality, HDMI camera at only a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago. Today you can get a decent camcorder for a couple hundred dollars. There are a few options that are necessary for this to work: Live HDMI Video Out: If you want to live stream, you are going to need a camera that has Live HDMI Video Out. We are going to be connecting our camera directly to a transcoder that will convert our video into something that the computer can use and upload to YouTube or Facebook. Optical Zoom: You will also need a camera that has OPTICAL zoom. Optical zoom is when the camera actually moves the lenses to zoom in, and it gives a much better picture from afar. Digital zoom is useless.


The transcoder accepts a digital video input and outputs a stream that your computer can handle. The transcoder that I have used and recommend is the Blackmagic UltraStudio Recorder, although this needs a thunderbolt connector on your computer. If you don't have Thunderbolt, I would look at the Elgato Game Capture HD60 (USB 2) or the Elgato Game Capture HD60-S if you have USB-C. NOTE: This is based on a 1 camera setup. For two or more cameras, it get's a little more complicated, although not too much. You would need to add a device such as the Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio. That would receive all of the HDMI inputs from the cameras, and then output a stream to your transcoder.

Audio Adapter/Interface

You are also going to need to find a way to get the audio feed from your soundboard into the computer. There are several ways to do this, but the most common way would be to get a balanced output in the form of a TRS (1/4") audio or XLR (Microphone) plug. Then, you can connect your audio directly to your computer or through an adapter. You could use something simple such as the Sabrent Aluminum External Adapter or what I use and recommend, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo.


In order to process HD video in real-time and upload it to the internet, you’re going to need a decent computer. I have used a 2011 iMac, and it did the job, although I would recommend a newer machine if possible... probably 2013 and up. The computer can be Windows, Mac or Linux. If you are shopping for a computer, I would recommend that you look at a Mac. Apple is the leader in professional audio/video/design use. You may pay a lot more upfront, but you will save in the long run. I personally have three Macs in my home. A 2009 Macbook pro 15" and a 2009 Mac mini are my oldest. Both continue to run long and strong today. Go for a Macbook Air, a Macbook Pro or an iMac, depending on your needs (Do you want to edit the video too? How much will you be working on it? Does it need to be portable?). Visit your local Apple Store to figure out which one would fit your overall needs best.

Internet Connection

You are going to need a lot of bandwidth to stream your video in real-time. Make sure that you have at least a 5Mbps UPLOAD speed (not download). You can test your connection at speedtest.net to get a good idea of what your actual bandwidth is. Take into account that if you share your Wifi password with visitors at the church, they will absolutely put a strain on your Internet connection. Get a much faster connection if this is the case. Don't Use WIFI If you can at all avoid it, don't use wifi for your stream. Wifi, especially during a service, is going to get congested and your live stream will suffer. If you can connect to a wired ethernet connection, do it.

Live Streaming: Software

There are a lot of Streaming Software options out there, but I don't recommend them over the Open Source options. The one that I use and have grown to love is OBS - Open Broadcaster Studio. It's Open Source (free), and very capable.

OBS Software Setup

  • Download and Install OBS Software
  • Change Video Configuration according to your Camera, Computing power and Internet speed
    • If you have a 1080p camera, Decent Computer & Internet, choose 1080p
      • OBS Settings => Video
        • Resolution: 1920x1080 (Both Base Canvas and Output)
      • OBS Settings => Output
        • Make the Video Bitrate anywhere between 3,000 & 6,000 Kbps (Test to see what works well for you)
    • If you have a 720p camera, or a not as decent computer or Internet connection, choose 720p
      • OBS Settings => Video
        • => Base Canvas: (The Resolution of your camera)
          • 1920x1080 or 1280x720
        • => Output: 1280x720
      • OBS Settings => Output
        • Change the Video Bitrate to anywhere between 1,500 to 4,000 Kbps.
  • Configure Scenes to your liking (See Video)


On the server end of the live stream, you need to setup your event.
  • YouTube Live
    • Go to "Creator Studio" => "Live Streaming"
    • Stream Now or Event
    • Change the settings: Name/Description/Privacy
    • Grab the "Stream Name/Key"
    • Plug that into OBS Settings => Stream
  • Facebook Live
    • Go to your Facebook Page
    • Publishing Tools => Video Library => Live
    • Grab the Stream Name/Key and plug it into OBS Settings => Stream
    • Setup your stream from there

Embedding in Your Website

You can embed both the live stream and the recording in your website. I like to setup a Live page where I will embed every week... and I also like to setup my sermon archive with the live video. Let's see how.
  • Go to your website
  • Live Page
    • Create Page "Live"
    • Add Stack "Live"
    • Go to Homepage => Customizer => Menus
    • Add the Live page to your menu
    • Go to the Live page and create your Page
    • Add a Brick with a Video, Centered
    • Grab the Embed URL from Facebook or Youtube* and plug it in
  • Sermon Archive
    • Create a new Sermon
    • Name it, add all info necessary
    • Grab the Embed URL from Facebook or YouTube and plug it in.

Showing the Live Stream in Other Areas at the Church

One of the great things about LiveStreaming is that you can also show your service in the baby cry room or anywhere that you would like.


The process is very simple for YouTube streaming. Get any TV that has the YouTube app, or connect an Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or Roku... any device that has access to the YouTube app, find your channel and show the live stream.


It wasn't nearly as simple on Facebook before, but they are updating the process. Basically, you can do it if you have an Apple TV or a Google Chromecast. See the below video for more info.


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