How to use video compression for better streaming results.

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With more and more churches producing video, we're finding that it's one thing to self-produce successfully, but quite another to self-encode and stream with predictable, high-quality results.  About a year ago, we began to dig into existing video set-ups to help support some of our clients (and a few referred to us through from video streaming provider WorshipStream).  What we found was that very few were pleased with the results they were getting with Flash Media Live Encoder or Wirecast to stream from services like WorshipStream, LiveStream, UStream, Vimeo, etc. 

And it's not anyone's fault.  Getting good results is dependent on a variety of things.  Everyone has a fairly unique set-up of projectors, cameras, computers, and switchers, and the successful use of all of that for live streaming is dependent upon both local and remote internet bandwidth.  All of the best HD video gear can be completely hamstrung for live streaming by poor Internet connectivity.  Public internet is fairly inexpensive, but it's still a shared pipeline and isn't completely predictable in terms of performance.  Think about that like water pressure; the more people who take a shower at the same time, the less pressure there is for everyone. 

Click right here for a basic primer on video compression from Vimeo.  It's geared specifically to improving performance for users of the Vimeo platform (which many churches are now using for archived service videos), but can help you find your way through settings for other services, and will define some terms with which you might not be familiar.  Also on that page, there are a bunch of separate tutorials for many of the most popular video editing programs.  And at $199 per year, Vimeo Pro is a truly professional hosting platform that's both easy to use and affordable. Vimeo Basic and Vimeo Plus might also meet your needs.