Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

No to hosted livestreaming

with 4 comments

If you’ve read the last few posts, you’ll know we’ve been discussing whether to go live for our internet campus launch in January.

In our team’s Monday morning meeting, we decided to nix the idea of using a hosted livestreaming solution, after considering it for three days.

Instead, we’ll move forward with our plans for “simulated live,” with the intent of launching a custom livestreaming solution shortly after.

It took about an hour of live testing Sunday with U-Stream and Mogulus to realize that:

  • we didn’t like using the 4:3 aspect ratio
  • we didn’t like the quality of the video. Even the highest quality stream available through those services wouldn’t meet our standards for full-screen viewing.
  • we didn’t like the uncertainty about the reliability of the hosted streaming services. Stuttering on both services, but especially with Mogulus, didn’t appear to be connected to our (admittedly less than ideal) network bandwith.

Obviously, there are plenty of churches using Mogulus and U-Stream. That’s not a knock on the streaming services or the churches that use them. We simply believe we can develop a modestly priced live-streaming custom solution of our own that meets our needs better. And we think we can do so relatively quickly, so we’re happy to wait.

The bonus: starting with a simulated live worship service will offer priceless learning opportunities for us as we consider webcasting “simulated live” video events, such as membership and discipleship classes.

Does your church have any insights for us about a custom live-streaming solution?


Written by NickCharalambous

November 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Posted in web campus

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4 Responses

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  1. We’re currently using …. the downfalls are well known … 4:3 (Although not a current problem, it will be soon) and its sintermitten drop outs, the number of which have dropped out since we started using the flash media encoder.

    I’m simply unaware of a solution with a reasonable price and similar service.

    Joshua Withers

    November 18, 2008 at 4:27 am

  2. We’ve been going through a similar problem. We have used U-Stream for about a year now and a few months ago started looking into a paid hosting provider to offer better quality and decided to go with a company called MultiCast. We just started using their service last week and then discovered lots of network issues with hosting our website onsite and streaming. And we are still working on things. Check it out sometime

    David Slone

    November 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

  3. Hello Nick! I’d love to hear from you sometime about the details of the testing you did for live streaming. It would be a big help to me and my current project at my church. Also, will you be offering a breakout session about NewSpring’s internet…err…um…”campus” thing a the Unleash conference?

    Chris Hill

    November 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm

  4. Thanks for the question. I will be doing a breakout for unleash, but I’m going to wait until our Internet campus is launched before deciding what I’ll speak about. Look forward to connecting if you are coming!

    As far as the streaming tests, they weren’t particularly extensive or scientific. We just hooked up our video feed, played with the settings and asked our testers in various homes to tell us what they saw on screen and whether it was a quality viewing experience. Full disclosure: The lack of control over the quality and reliability was our greatest dislike … We have the resources to pursue other solutions. I certainly wouldn’t want to dissuade you from using them.

    We’ll be taking a look at other live-streaming solutions than Mogulus or U-Stream (or similar). I’ll be posting as much detail as I can as we make discoveries.


    November 25, 2008 at 7:12 pm

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