The cost of video equipment can be a deterrent to churches when they're considering broadcasting services. While most churches aren’t putting on movie-quality productions that require top-of-the-line gear, decent equipment will go a long way toward improving the quality of any broadcast.

Not every church has the budget to buy new equipment. The good news is that there is plenty of high-quality, used equipment out there. You just got to find it. Video lovers and audiophiles tend to be gear junkies and regularly upgrade to the latest equipment. The gear they sell or trade in to finance their habit is often only a year or two old and nearly as good as the latest model.

Here are some tips for finding affordable, reliable used video equipment:

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1. Know what you need

It is essential to have a shopping list before you start. Unless you are a professional or serious enthusiast, video equipment can be intimidating. Find an expert who can determine what you need and, just as importantly, what you don’t need. Stick to that list and don’t be distracted by bargains. A good way to research is to ask other churches about their setups and whether they’re happy with their gear.

2. Look online

Whether or not you end up buying online, the internet is a great place to gauge availability and prices. Two of the biggest and best sites are B&H and Adorama. Their used equipment selections are enormous. There are other sites as well, many of which offer online reviews.

3. Don’t overbuy 

If your budget is limited, concentrate on getting the best, essential equipment. It’s easier to upgrade later as you determine what you need.

4. Check the goods

If you’re buying from a local store or private seller, make sure the gear works. Check out the equipment with someone who knows how to use it. If you’re buying online, buy only from credible sites and from sellers with high ratings. Use safe ways to pay, such as PayPal and credit cards.

5. Make sure everything is compatible

If you’re assembling a setup from different manufacturers, make sure it all works together and you have the proper cables.

With a little knowledge and patience, you can assemble a setup that will serve you well at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.

Not sure what equipment you should even be looking for? Check out this list of our favorite streaming equipment for ministries.

Published by Jim Sweeney on October 20, 2016 in Streaming, Church

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