St Michael’s regularly livestream its Sunday morning services from the main church building. This is because many in our congregation may still feel unsafe in large groups for quite a while yet.

To do this, we use a program called OBS Studio. It’s a popular platform used by practically all YouTube livestreamers and is free to download. A quick tutorial can be found below –

Livestreaming is an extension to what we currently do on the mixing desks during services, so prior knowledge of this is key. To livestream from the church, the basics steps to follow are –

  1. Ensure you have a laptop which has OBS Studio installed and is connected to a charger.
  2. Plug in the USB splitter to that laptop, which you should find nestled top left of the shelf above the sound mixer. There is another USB cable, which needs plugging into the USB slot middle right of the vertical panel, if not already – this controls the image, so is key. Also plug in network cable if available.
  3. Turn on all the mixing desk equipment. The image showing in the pew televisions is the image we’ll be livestreaming.
  4. Open OBS Studio and create a Scene by pressing ‘+’ in the bottom left of the window. You can add different Sources by using the box to the left of that. Think of a Scene as a blank canvas, and Sources as elements of your image. Sources can include –
    • Video Capture Device, with the device set as ‘USB Video’ this will input what can be seen in the ‘Preview’ screen into the laptop
    • Audio Input – with the device set to ‘USB Audio’. There will be two of these available so test which one works.
    • Text to overlay onto the live video if required
  5. Streaming requires access to the church YouTube channel. If you have this log in at https://studio.youtube.com and hit Create then Go Live top right of the screen.
  6. You’re able to name your stream, and set whether it’s Public. A church service should definitely be Public, but note its not classed as Made for Kids. On the next screen you’ll see Stream Settings as below. Copy the stream key.

7. Paste this key into OBS Settings in Stream > Stream Key. Ensure the service listed is YouTube/YouTube Gaming. This conects OBS to YouTube.

8. Next select Output in the left column. Under Stream> Video Bitrate select 1000 kbps. Then in Video on the left column ensure Output (Scaled) Resolution is 960×540. Hit OK

9. To ensure the video shows on se3.org.uk, head to Youtube Studio’s main page in a new tab – https://studio.youtube.com .

10. Return to OBS. Once you hit Start Streaming, you’re live! Select videos from the left bar and Live along the top. Your upcoming stream should show top of this list. Hover over the thumbnail, select the pen icon which appears and in the next window add the video to the Services playlist then hit Save.

11. To end the stream, hit End Stream in the streaming YouTube Studio web browser window left over from step 5. This is also a useful window to have open during the service, to monitor how many concurrent viewers are online and strength of connection. Connection strength is also shown at the bottom of the OBS window.