Greetings from the church office!
On March 27 (this coming Sabbath), we plan to add video to our Sabbath service streaming options. We have been testing our equipment for the past few weeks and have reached the point where we are ready to provide it for all our services that originate from our church office.
With this in mind, we would like to provide guidance to each of you who host services each week from your home or help to facilitate services from a hotel meeting room, to make sure you can seamlessly incorporate a video stream into your weekly routine if desired.
We will discuss some technical issues as well as the possible need for revising your current seating arrangements.
First and foremost, you will need a reliable computer with a robust internet connection, along with the understanding that video streams require more computer processing and internet bandwidth (or speed) than the simpler audio-only stream we have been providing for many years.
We recommend a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps, but the higher, the better. If you need to test your speed, you can utilize any of the many services—like Speedtest.net—to do so. If it is feasible, you may want to consider upgrading your internet service.
While wireless internet connections are common and convenient, they quickly get bogged down with too many users (especially in hotels), which may cause minor issues with audio-only streams, but larger issues with video streams. If your video freezes up at times, it is often due to a lack of bandwidth from your internet service provider.
If your internet service is at or just below the recommended minimum of 5Mbps, we strongly suggest using a hardwired connection—an ethernet cable that runs from the router to the computer—if possible. For those of you gathering in hotels, we understand that this may not be feasible. If you experience interruptions (freezing), it could be that you will need to revert to the audio-only stream, which will still be available on our website, or as mentioned earlier, you may desire to upgrade your internet service.
Most of you use a desktop computer, laptop, or notebook to stream our weekly audio broadcast to a pair of computer speakers. If your group is small (less than 5 or 6 persons) you will likely only need to reconsider your setup and seating arrangements to ensure that everyone has a seat close enough and in a good position to view the video if they desire. Obviously, the location of the computer and the screen size become factors in your planning.
Those of you with larger groups (and some technical prowess) may want to consider adding a television screen or large monitor and maybe even a soundbar.
Keep in mind that you will only be able to stream the video through one computer per room. Suppose you try to stream through multiple computers in the same location. In that case, you may suffer interruptions, and more importantly, the computers will not be synchronized with one another, which will cause much confusion for the viewers.
If you run into any issues while trying to set up the video stream and fear missing any part of the service, we strongly recommend that you quit the video stream, note your issues carefully on paper, and then use the audio-only stream. Then, on Monday, please call or email Joe Baity at 803-802-7075 or email@example.com to discuss the technical issues. God willing, he will be able to assist you in finding a solution.
Because of the potential complexity of any given video-related challenge, we ask that you refrain from calling or texting the AV crew during services for help with the video.
We plan to begin the video stream each week at about 15 minutes before services start. The video stream will be available on the same web page that you currently use to access our audio-only stream each Sabbath.
We hope that the addition of video will enhance your Sabbath service experience!
Your Audio Visual Crew