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Live Broadcasts with Sling Studio and BoxCast

Like every church, we were thrown into the live broadcasting world quite suddenly. There are so many different ways it can be done, some more effective than others. Here's a quick description of what we do at First Baptist Thomson. I'm writing (1) so our church members can know how it works, and (2) so other churches who are still searching can have more information.

Sling Studio is both a production studio and an encoder. They have plenty of information about themselves on their website: The important thing is that you need both functions to take a camcorder video and go live on a platform like Facebook or YouTube. Sling Studio adds the ability to connect video sources wirelessly, so cameras can be placed further from the tech booth. It can also receive a video from someone's iPhone! The console that actually controls the Sling Studio is just an iPad. One person can choose between video sources; they can fade from one to another; they can combine two sources with a picture-in-picture; they can show up to four at the same time in quadrants. Most importantly for a location like our sanctuary with a lot of reverb, we can plug our sound board directly into the Sling Studio and have complete control over what goes out to the internet.


Boxcast, on the other hand, is a distribution service. With Boxcast, we can send one signal, and then they redistribute it to any number of platforms we choose. That's important because we don't have the internet speed necessary to be streaming multiple things at the same time. Boxcast also has a great website with lots of information and tutorials: Most importantly, Boxcast is a scheduled service; we set what we want it to do, and it does it automatically every week. That's important to us because we have learned that things can get hectic on Sunday morning at 10:30, and the last thing we need is to make a mistake rushing through a stream key sync at the last moment.


I made a short video with a description of what the tool acts like in our sanctuary along with some examples. I hope it will be of use to you!


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