Webcast – Equipment setup

The setup for webcasting Lansdowne’s Sunday services is pretty straightforward.

We take a composite video signal from our main video switcher and feed this via an AV switch box to a PCs TV capture card (which has a composite video input). Also attached to the switch box is another PC that we use to show a slideshow of introduction images before we switch to the live feed. We use a VGA to Composite converter on the second PC to create the composite video feed that we need for the switch box.

Audio for the recordings (DVD and CD) is distributed via an AV distribution box – one of these feeds is used to provide audio to the webcast PC. We put this via a small audio mixer as this gives us the flexibility to fade down audio or insert music if we wish.

So, three inputs are available, 1) the video feed from the AV distribution box, 2) the PC screen from the second PC – showing a slideshow and 3) the audio from the AV distribution box. See this post for a diagram of the whole audio/video set up.

We use Adobe Flash Media Encoder v3.1 to provide a feed to livestream.com, sending 25fps video encoded at 300 bps with MP3 audio at 64 bps. This is the maximum we can use with our internet feed and to stay within the 500 bps limit imposed on free accounts.

We use the embedded player on our website (http://www.lbconline.co.uk) and can monitor the feed directly from livestream.com, including any chat.

This setup has the benefit of being low cost (livestream.com is free, with adverts), but sufficient to provide a service for those shut in, unable to attend the services, or who have no bible believing church in their locality.

A simpler setup, which can be used almost anywhere, is to attach a webcam & microphone to the PC and use livestream.com’s standard ‘Broadcast’ option to show a live event. This will be poorer quality, but can produce quite acceptable results.

If you have any questions, please send me comments below.