Simple, easy-to-use Facebook Live streaming for worship

See how Bridgeway Church uses Webcaster X1 to broadcast their Sunday services live to Facebook.

Bridgeway Church is a non-denominational worship centre in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2016 they began a journey towards live streaming Sunday worship services to their congregation of 1000+ members. Their goal was to provide something inclusive for members who couldn’t join in person due to travel or sickness.

Getting started with live streaming

For the first six months, Bridgeway used a paid CDN service for live streaming. Soon after, their Pastor of Development, David Sisson, and his colleagues wanted to also take advantage of the newly available YouTube Live and Facebook Live services. They started by adding a YouTube RTMP stream to their streaming software. Although this process worked well, they wanted a simpler solution for streaming to Facebook. Specifically, with so many other moving parts involved in their live broadcasts, they wanted something they could just plug in and start streaming on without the need to manage more cumbersome RTMP stream keys.

Live streaming to Facebook, the easy way

The Bridgeway team searched Google and B&H Photo for encoders that work with Facebook and found Webcaster X1 for Facebook Live. A simple HDMI video feed to Webcaster X1 and people watching on Facebook get the full benefit of the professional AV stream. The Facebook Live stream automatically gets the same live, multi-camera production that their software is streaming out to YouTube.

And now that Epiphan Video has released the next generation Webcaster X2, church streaming solutions like this have even more opportunities to stream to a growing list of destinations.

“Webcaster X1 came into our process beautifully. It’s so simple to connect to the account and to configure and stream to our page. We can just hit start and I know with a dead-set level of confidence that we’ll get a consistent signal to our Facebook page.”
– Pastor David Sisson
What does the end-to-end solution look like?

Bridgeway’s live streaming production solution uses video feeds from multiple cameras and an audio feed coming in from their mixing panel. They use Livestream Studio software to produce and switch their show and stream to YouTube. Using a BlackMagic Decklink Quad in their studio computer, Bridgeway outputs their video stream over SDI, then converts this signal to HDMI before connecting it to Webcaster X1 for Facebook Live.

After completing the simple one-time authentication to pair Webcaster X1 with their Facebook account and choosing their Facebook page as the streaming destination, the Bridgeway Church broadcast team finds that week to week there is very little set up to do: the live stream to Facebook just works.

Every Sunday before the 9:00 am and 11:00 am services, the broadcast team uses a monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected to Webcaster X1 to set the description for the day’s live stream. When configuration is complete, they simply click start when it’s time to go live.

Introducing Webcaster X2, the follow-on to Webcaster X1!
Want the flexibility to stream to either YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, or to your choice of an increasing number of exciting new third party platforms all from one device? Choose our all-new Webcaster X2™.
The result?
Bridgeway Church is consistently reaching more than 100 live viewers each week, and even more who watch the video live on demand after the service.
Their initial goal was to service their local congregation, and this has been a huge success, as evidenced by comments from the congregates both online and in person with pastors at the church. Church members are pleased they can watch and join in the service while they are on vacation or have sick children at home.
The live stream also brings joy to those not in the South Carolina area. Some remote viewers watch to see family members who may be serving that week, while others simply find peace and harmony with the messages shared by the Bridgeway pastoral team. As an added benefit, Bridgeway Church has also found that the live streams bring their worship to viewers as far away as Peru, Nigeria, Taiwan, Germany, and Switzerland.
““For us, the big deal is Webcaster X1’s simplicity of use. And the ability to set titles and descriptions before broadcast has proven to be very flexible. We’re really pleased with it.”.”
– Pastor David Sisson

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