Communication Tools

As worshipping in person is limited, we are all having to learn new and innovative ways to communicate online.

Just as every church is different, every online communication tool is different. Some churches have studio cameras, while others have no cameras whatsoever.

The Coronavirus is pushing us into a new frontier, and it can be intimidating for those of you who might know what is available or what you can afford.

We have put together a list of resources that will help you.

This list is not exhaustive, but it does cover a great deal of ground. If you have a question, please reach out to the Communications Department for help.

Someone from the department will try their very best to get back in touch with you. 



Facebook

Facebook is a great platform for connecting to the outside world. The platform is stable and is growing in popularity during the COVID-19 outbreak (as if it needs to be more popular, right?) Here in Louisiana, Facebook has always been the platform containing the most Methodists. We recommend Facebook for LIVE prayer vigils and streaming your services online. 

  • Download this quick resource to help get you started with Facebook Live. Download here.
  • Looking for a solution with Facebook for Media? This tutorial will help.
  • Sometimes you just need to go to class. Enroll in FREE online tutorials.
  • Todd Rossnagel reviewed two platforms for going LIVE on Facebook that will allow you bring in remote guests and roll video clips. Watch the video here.

 

Zoom 

Zoom is essentially the new Skype. Remember when you would jump on a teleconference calls? Zoom does this and does it the best. It’s incredibly simple to use and very stable. Plus, there are free accounts. We recommend Zoom for meetings that you would like to keep private, such as Bible studies or church council meetings. Zoom offers 40-minute meetings for free and its a great platform for Bible studies and covenant groups as its private and secure. 

 

Camera Suggestions

The best camera is the camera that is in your pocket - don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. Sometimes in a pinch, content rules over quality.

If you go LIVE on Facebook, you will need what’s known as a “clean HDMI” camera. Here are some that are affordable:

 

Audio 

The one aspect of any video production that will make people cringe and go away is bad audio. Please be aware that better audio will always improve your videos. Here is a list of microphones that we recommend: 

 

Tips for Live Streaming

Live streaming can be intimidating but also a technical challenge. We found five great tips from epiphan video and wanted to share them as they’re to the point and can sometimes be forgotten: 

  1. Keep your setup simple. Every piece of equipment you add increases complexity in your setup. And if one of these parts fails, then the success of your entire live show is at risk! It’s always best to keep your setup simple to lower the odds of technical errors.
  2. Have backup equipment available. Even with a simple setup, there is still a chance your equipment may fail. It’s always best to play it safe and keep backups of your gear whenever possible.
  3. Ensure bandwidth availability. Know your network! Test your upload speed to ensure you have consistent upload bandwidth or your live stream may not be viewable by your audience.
  4. Budget extra time for audio. Audio setup sometimes doesn’t receive all the attention it deserves. Audio is essential to delivering a professional live stream, after all. So make sure you remember to give yourself ample time to minimize room noise, test acoustics, and configure your audio encoding settings, and more.
  5. Test your stream with a backup account. A good way to test your stream before going live is to stream to a backup account. In Facebook, for example, create a new account with no friends and set all publishing notifications to private. While your backup account is streaming you can log into your main account and view your broadcast from the perspective of your audience