If you’re considering adding funeral webcasting as another service to your client families, you probably want to know what equipment you’ll need. It’s a surprisingly short list.
In order to begin broadcasting funeral services over the web, or webcasting, you’ll need to install a ceiling-mounted camera that will let you tilt it, pan the room and zoom in on specific areas. Since it will be connected to your desktop or laptop computer, it should allow you to control it with your computer mouse. The camera must also adjust to varying lighting, including natural and artificial light.
A video decoder connects the live feed from your camera to your computer and converts the images so that they can display on your monitor. In essence, it creates a network between the camera and the computer. A USB decoder device, which you plug into your computer, receives the signals from the video decoder. It’s the middleman between the images being received by your camera and your computer.
You’ll need to connect the camera to your computer with network cable. You can purchase cable in varying lengths, depending on the distance between the two. If you don’t have a power source near the camera mount, use a midspan and splitter on your cable. It will deliver power to the camera and return data from it. This handy piece of equipment will give you the freedom to install your camera anywhere you choose.
You might choose to use your existing desktop or laptop for funeral webcasting, but consider purchasing a laptop to use just for this purpose, because you’ll need a considerable amount of RAM for the webcast software — at least 6 GB. If you place it in the same room with your audio equipment, you can then connect your dedicated laptop to your existing audio system for each funeral webcast.
The software you choose for funeral webcasting may be the most important of all your equipment purchases. For example, if you find you need to use more than one camera to provide the best coverage of a funeral, your software must accommodate multiple video feeds. The software you choose will also determine whether you provide a webcast only or offer additional services to your clients such as DVDs. Having the convenience of a funeral webcasting software program that can not only present the funeral webcast but also record it and allow you to edit the webcast and burn the DVDs in one package is decidedly the best type of webcasting software.
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