You’ve got indoor live video streaming down. You’ve mastered the sound, established where to put the cameras for the best shots, and determined when to switch angles for the best effect.
But can you take it outdoors?
Now that it’s summer, your church might host various outdoor activities you want to stream: a wedding, a sunrise service or even a church picnic. This poses a whole new set of challenges for your crew. Pulling it off will require some planning and maybe even a rehearsal or two.
Below are the challenges you might face and tips on how to overcome them.
A glade in the forest might be a beautiful setting for a wedding, but it’s probably got poor Wi-Fi (if any at all). To live video stream, you’ll need to be connected to the internet, wired or through Wi-Fi. Wired is preferable, as it provides a more reliable connection and can be done as easily as plugging a long Ethernet cable into your BoxCaster. If that’s not practical, you’ll need to go wireless with Wi-Fi.
Don’t trust whatever public Wi-Fi network you can access. Set up your own dedicated access point, which can be done a number of ways. Whichever setup you choose, it’s important to test upload and download speeds ahead of time to make sure they’re adequate. You can do this for free at speedtest.net.
Once you move outdoors, there are a number of things out of your control when. Direct sunlight and glare can ruin a stream and even damage equipment. Position the cameras so that you’re not shooting into the sun and be mindful of the natural light exposures.
Background noise you barely notice in person can absolutely ruin a live stream. Try to set up away from any noise sources and invest in windsocks, pieces of foam that cover a mic and reduce unwanted noise.
Bring lots of long, weatherproof extension cords if you’re plugging into an outlet. If you’re relying on batteries, make sure everything (cameras, mics, laptops) is fully charged beforehand. And always bring extra batteries.
This has been just a quick summary of the problems posed by streaming outdoors. To learn more, go here and here.
Note: Even if you successfully navigate all these challenges before the stream starts, it's always smart to have someone watch the stream online as it's going and check in with you to report any problems.