Your Church Can Simulcast (And Probably Should!)

As local churches, it can often be easy to unknowingly disconnect your the local church and the global church. We know and love that we are all part of one body with many members, but how we find avenues of connecting can feel overwhelming. However, ways to connect locally and globally are popping up more and more. Your local “community” is no longer defined entirely by your geographic area, but for most people it is also defined by affinities and interests. Most of us are better acquainted with people of similar interests online or at work regardless of distance, than we are with someone who lives at the end of our street. So how can churches reach these new communities where they are? 

Through simulcasting, live-streaming and webcasting, people can enter into a uniquely unifying experience when they otherwise might be unable to participate due to expense, time, or travel. Despite the overwhelming benefits, these resources often go untapped due to misconceptions.

When do you use which medium? What are the pros and cons, similarities and differences between them? We’ve put together a simple go-to list to highlight the advantages and challenges of using live-streaming, webcasting and simulcasting for you here.

Live-Streaming:


Live-streaming broadcasts content in real-time over the Internet. According to Google, live internet streaming requires “a form of source media (e.g. a video camera, an audio interface, screen capture software), an encoder to digitize the content, a media publisher, and a content delivery network to distribute and deliver the content.”

Advantages

  • Easily accessible via the Internet
  • Time and cost saver
  • Minimal equipment
  • Expands reachability
  • Allows engagement with a digital audience

Challenges

  • Internet connectivity disruptions (low bandwidth, poor connections)
  • Without proper gear, can lower the quality of video and audio
  • Requires compatible computer or software systems

Webcasting:

“Essentially, webcasting is broadcasting over the Internet,” says Wikipedia.  It is the delivery of a media presentation, in audio or video form, over the Internet to numerous simultaneous participants. A webcast uses streaming technology as well, but is not always live; it can be distributed on demand. Online TV and online radio streaming are examples of non-interactive webcasting whereas business presentations and conferences held online can be interactive. Webcasts usually include live and online audiences.

Advantages

  • Easily accessible via the Internet
  • Time and cost saver
  • Increases reach and scale of an event and its content
  • Useful for e-learning seminars, conferences and presentations
  • Production value is higher than webinars
  • Recordable and replayable
  • Provides audience metrics, chats and polls


Challenges

  • Internet connectivity disruptions (low bandwidth, poor connections)
  • Can feel “corporate” and impersonal
  • Low attendance can discourage online interaction
  • Costly equipment and requires professional expertise

 

Simulcasting:


Simulcast, according to Wikipedia, is the live, simultaneous broadcast “of programs or events across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at exactly the same time.” A concert aired on two TV stations at once and/or a radio station at the same time is an example of simulcast. It uses satellite, digital broadcast systems, and spectrum to deliver a live broadcast to cinemas equipped with receivers and high spec digital data projectors and screens.

Advantages

  • Hi-def, highest quality live digital experience
  • Highest exposure to new audiences
  • No Internet connectivity disruptions
  • Has the potential for greatest reach


Challenges

  • Because of copyright and intellectual property issues, recording is not permitted
  • Can be expensive, but with our friends at InciiteEvents.com, it’s not
  • Sometimes, cancelations are non-transferable

Our partners at InciiteEvents.com have overcome most of the hurdles for Churches and simulcasting for you! From working through all the technical details to helping with promoting your event! They partner with your church to make simulcasting easy, they even offer a handful of events for FREE to bless your local community!


Recap:

In a booming digital culture, more and more churches are establishing a strong streaming presence online. Depending on the scope and type of the event, live-streaming, webcasting and simulcasting are fantastic mediums through which we can engage with new audiences and expand our ministry’s reach!

Wanna dig a little deeper? Our friends over at inciite are one of the top full-scale media production companies serving Churches and Ministries. Check out (and consider hosting!) their 2019 Simulcast “Empowered to Connect”, a conference, bringing healing hope to children experiencing trauma and loss.



Epic Life Creative is a web development and graphic design agency that partners with churches and ministries for all their visual and digital needs. For more information, click here