Looking to stream services? Here’s our quick list of puzzle pieces to build make a simple and high-quality setup.
We’ll highlight three important tools: Camera, Switcher, and Computer.
Canon XA11 Pro Camcorder – Shop on Amazon
Features excellent image quality, even in dim lighting conditions. A long zoom range gives flexibility for placement in most sanctuaries. The microphone attachment allows you to connect up to 2 XLR microphone cables directly from your audio system.
Be sure to use a tripod designed for video cameras, which usually come with a “video head” or “fluid head”. This will allow you to pan and tilt your shot smoothly, and support the heavier weight of a camcorder.
Video Tripod – Shop on Amazon
Note: Due to HDMI cable limitations, if your camera is more than 30ft from your switcher, we recommend the XA15 model. This allows you to connect a SDI cable for longer distances. You will also need an SDI to HDMI converter to connect into the switcher.
Live Production Switcher
ATEM Mini – Shop on Vistek
This is an incredible value product released in late 2019. Connect up to 4 video sources through the HDMI slots (make sure the audio from your sound system is coming through one of them). Switch between any of the 4 sources (ie. camera angles, media slides) to instantly display them on your live stream.
The ATEM will also serve as your capture card, which allows your video signal to connect to any computer via USB-C. From the USB-C port, the ATEM will register as a “webcam” on your computer. Utilize streaming software like OBS and Wirecast for more customization, or use the ATEM directly as a webcam on your streaming platform.
If it’s in the budget, consider upgrading to the ATEM Mini Pro. While the extra features aren’t necessarily “essential”, the Multi-view feature will allow you to see all your video inputs on one monitor. This is a powerful tool when using multiple camera angles operated by a team of volunteers. It also makes the process of matching your shots much easier.
A more recent laptop or desktop computer will work best for your live stream set up. Specific brands won’t matter as much as the components inside the computer. If you’re looking to purchase a new device, a desktop tower will typically meet these specifications at a better price than a laptop.
Look for these minimum specifications:
Processor: 7th Generation Intel Core i5 or newer
RAM: 8GB (preferrably 16GB)
Storage: 250GB SSD
At least 1 USB-C port
These specifications will provide a smooth Live Streaming experience. Ensure the computer you select does have that USB-C port, which guarantees the connection of the ATEM to the computer without the need of any adapters.
The Final Setup
For a description of the cables and peripherals needed for setup, please refer to our Simple Church Live Stream Setup Guide (Coming Soon).
Send audio from your sound system to the XLR input on the Canon XA11 Camcorder. Run an HDMI cable from the camera to the ATEM Mini. Both audio and video will then output from the ATEM via the USB-C Webcam Output. Connect that USB-C to your computer. Select the “ATEM Mini” as your webcam in any streaming software, or directly on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
This equipment list will help get you started in the world of Live Streaming. We encourage you to read the user manuals of the Canon XA11 and ATEM Mini. While they can be a boring read, many small features found inside will be key to fitting these products into your context.