How to Set Up Online Streaming for Funerals

In this day and age, more and more funeral homes are opting to add live streaming a funeral or memorial service into their packages so that loved ones who cannot make it to the funeral can still feel close to family by watching the service from their home. Live streaming is different than a video that you might take at the memorial service and then post online after the fact because it is as close to real time as you can get. There may be a few second delay as the video is uploaded, but viewers will not notice since they are not at the actual funeral. Live streaming allows people from all over the world to participate in an event at the same time, giving everyone a sense of unity.

If you want to live stream your loved one’s funeral, but can’t find a funeral home in your area that has the capability to do so, here’s a step by step guide on how to set up live streaming on your own so that you can let others participate in the funeral.

There are three big steps that you’ll need to consider in order to be able to live stream and they’re included below.  Some of them cost money, but you can also use your network of friends to see if anyone already has this equipment so that you don’t need to purchase it for one event.

Step 1: Input

For this part, you’re going to need a webcam and a mic (to enhance the sound quality). You can convert a regular digital camcorder for live streaming, but the process is kind of arduous, so it’s best just to use a camera that is designed to hook right into a computer.

Step 2: Processing and Encoding

This is the part that can be a little costly if you don’t already have this equipment. In order to process all this data and get it back out to your audience quickly, you need a pretty powerful computer. Here are the minimum specs that you’ll need for your computer:

  • Dual/Quad Core Processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 512 MB VRAM (this is RAM specifically designed for video processing)
  • Bandwidth upload of 1.2 Mbps – 1.5 Mbps

Step 3: Output

Once you’ve got your input and the computing power behind it to get your video out in a live stream, then you’re going to need an output. This is when you’re going to pick the website that you prefer to broadcast the funeral. There are several sites that do this for free and the top three are:

  • Ustream.tv
  • Justin.tv
  • Livestream.com

Once you’ve created an account with one of these services, they will give you step by step instructions on how to connect with their servers and create a unique link to your live broadcast so that viewers can click the link and attend the funeral even if they are hundreds of miles away.

As you can see, live streaming a funeral takes a little bit of tech savvy, but we’re certain that if you’re not comfortable with tackling the highly technical areas of this process, you’ll be able to find a close family friend who would be more than happy to help you out.

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