15 August 2018
At this year’s Liberal Judaism Biennial Weekend you may have noticed something very different in addition to the amazing sessions and speakers… three people sitting at the side behind a couple of cameras.
That’s because the Biennial was being live streamed, out to the world, so that those unable to attend could follow online using their computers, tablets or mobile phones.
While not a new innovation – and maybe not quite as big a draw as the World Cup games on that same time – the feedback from members and friends of Liberal Judaism watching from afar was wholly positive.
And the good news is that live streaming doesn’t have to be confined to big annual events like the Biennial.
It has now become extremely cost effective to live stream events, including synagogue services, to those not able to attend.
For communities wanting to join in, the simplest way is to use a smart phone and “go live” via Facebook. You will need to ensure the phone is held in a mount, to avoid tired arms during sermons, and that the battery is fully charged.
The biggest downside to this setup is the sound quality, which can be poor on a mobile phone.
The next step up is to use a PC or Mac to encode. You can plug in a £100 webcam and take a feed from the Shul PA. In most cases, this will provide a reasonable entry solution.
This can then be stepped up with a fixed HD camera and software that automatically stops and starts at the right times. My community, Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS), are one of the pioneers of live service streaming and this is how theirs has been set up by NPLS member Richard Conradi.
For the Biennial, I was delighted to provide the streaming – assisted by my son and daughter. We streamed the event live to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using HD cameras and professional software. However, unless you have an energetic Rabbi who uses all four corners of the Bimah, this is not needed on a weekly basis.
If you would like further information on how to live stream your service for under £150 please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
- To watch highlights from the Biennial Weekend recorded by Leo and his team, please click here.
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