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Old July 25th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #1
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Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

I'm thinking of offering live streaming of wedding ceremonies, but don't quite know where to start. I mean, I could use a laptop and broadcast via Skype (which I've done before for non-wedding stuff with mixed results), but is there a more preferred and reliable way? I was looking at stuff like MarryMeLive and so forth.

What has worked well for you?
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Old July 25th, 2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

Bill, the aspect about your proposed offering that intrigues, indeed bothers me, is who will you be streaming to?

Won't most of the client's guests that are important enough to spend not inconsiderable money streaming to already be at the wedding?
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Old July 25th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

I haven't considered doing this, but it seems like if you were just going to use Skype, why would they pay you to do it when someone that will be there could just bring their laptop?

(I get that you are looking for a more sophisticated or reliable way.)

I would definitely think there is a market for it though...We have had several weddings where the brides and grooms were from different countries...Scotland, Nigeria and India so far this summer...and no matter how close you are to the couple some people just cannot afford to travel, even across the country let alone the world...I would think this would be a great addition if you could find some sophisticated way of offering it...some sort of live switcher would be awesome, and recording the takes on the spot so you already had your ceremony edit done when the wedding was over :-)

It will be interesting to hear how someone does this, if there is anyone out there who does.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
Bill, the aspect about your proposed offering that intrigues, indeed bothers me, is who will you be streaming to?

Won't most of the client's guests that are important enough to spend not inconsiderable money streaming to already be at the wedding?
I'm not sure why it would bother you... every wedding has invited guests who are unable to attend, whether because of distance, illness, etc.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

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Originally Posted by Katie Fasel View Post
I haven't considered doing this, but it seems like if you were just going to use Skype, why would they pay you to do it when someone that will be there could just bring their laptop?
Yep, that's why I'm asking for advice. ;)
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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

USTREAM: Your own Free Live Broadcast in 3 minutes. Sign up NOW, plug in your camera, enable the widget, click Start Broadcast. You are now LIVE
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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

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Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds View Post
I'm not sure why it would bother you... every wedding has invited guests who are unable to attend, whether because of distance, illness, etc.
Bill unless you had in mind a single camera feed I would have thought that the cost of on-site audio and video switching makes a relatively straightforward two or three camera recording into a fairly substantial live event.

My point was simply that that becomes a significantly different scale project. If Katie is right, and I bow to her experience, and there are many weddings which can justify such expense due to the high number of guests unable to travel (despite the low cost of air travel these days), then it could be a useful earner. The virtue of steaming compared to Skype is that one feed should accommodate all the far-flung guests. AFAIK Skype video is still limited to a single pair unless you pay for the premium service.

If it's viable I congratulate you for your enterprise though the technology involved does rather contrast with the tales we read here of unhelpful and restrictive churches etc.

Finally, could I ask what problems you encountered with Skype? My experience is limited to private use with my family in Hong Kong. Presumably this was a single-camera feed?

Last edited by Philip Howells; July 26th, 2011 at 02:43 AM.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

Would one use 4G or WiMax to connect to the internet from within the church?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

Rather than streaming live, I shot and edited ceremony highlights as soon as it was done, then uploaded it to vimeo. The advantage of this is that you can have multiple camera angles, which makes a much more interesting video than a stationary camera in one position. In addition, friends can play it back over and over as many times as they want, and link it to facebook. All you need to do is send the link to the bride, and she can forward it to everyone that wasn't able to attend the wedding.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

Warren, I think your idea is a good one because it means that guests around the world can watch the wedding when it's convenient to them and their own time zones/schedules etc.

On the other hand we increasingly live in a world which accepts rolling news 24/7 regardless of our own time so perhaps streaming albeit a single camera of the wedding actually in progress would mitigate the inconvenience for a viewer up to 12 hours out of sync.

It's an interesting topic - maybe someone has some examples?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 03:56 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

I've been asked a few times about live streaming. I did a lot of research, and basically you really need a wired internet connection if you want to guarentee an acceptable quality. Which in a wedding situation, you do.

Use uStream - it's free. Then have a laptop with HDMI input and a looooong Ethernet cable to connect to the church/venue's broadband modem - and a person to take care of setting it all up.

Then offer it to clients @ $400ish to cover cost of hired help and hassle.... OR the option of free, but slightly delayed upload to Vimeo/Youtube. Guess what 10 out of 10 people choose!

I do heaps of wedding here in New Zealand for strange UK clients (who think that speeches should last 3 hours - how do you cope Philip??).... and because of the 12 hour time difference, I can upload the ceremony footage for viewing in the UK so they can be watching at the same adjusted time anyway. No brainer.

Live streaming video is awesome.... in the movies!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

I've done 3 live streams ever. 2 were on skype nd for close family that couldn't make it from abroad...Skype worked well in the one instance because they did a reading on the projector while watching the ceremony unfold. The second instance had poor wireless and kept cutting out.

The last one I did was for my sisters wedding and I went live to ustream and it was pretty cool. The audio feed was cutting in and out but the internet was reasonably stable and when we went live I posted it to her facebook page and we had 19 viewers and a lively chat discussion going on during the broadcast. Talked to a few people who watched it and they really liked that they could do that, there's nothing like knowing what you're watching is unfolding while you watch it.

But unless i have a dedicated person to run the whole (single camera) operation (and charge good money for it) I wont do it again. But I still offer it, but since I raised my price I have had no takers.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 01:57 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

I actually offer this but charge an arm and a leg to do it because it seriously takes away from your ability to be somewhat mobile and capture other necessary moments. You're basically anchored to one spot and then have to break down and pack the equipment before moving on to continue shooting. Furthermore, there's always the possibilty of the 3G or 4G network either down or being overloaded to where you can't get a stream up. Now you're left having to issue a refund and possibly offering something else to satisfy the dissappointed couple.

However, when I've done it, I've designed and set up a wedding page for the couple hosted on my site that has pics, graphics, a live stream viewer and a chat box so those watching online can live chat about the wedding. Just did this a few weeks ago because the bride's parents were in Mexico and couldn't get here for the wedding. It's very useful to couples who have family spread out across the country. My headache was that I was managing this, two other videographers, and my crew of three photographers (we offer photography too) all at the same time. Most stressful wedding I've ever shot even though it turned out great.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 04:16 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone producing live wedding streaming?

You can do "poor man's switching" using Microsoft's free Expressions Encoder and multiple live video sources. I have done three live sources before. Obviously you need the inputs on your computer. I used a desktop and had one camera on firewire, one into a cheap(er) Osprey Card, and one into a TV tuner card. All three used the same audio source which was coming from my mixer into the Osprey Card. It worked okay, and a few dozen people overseas were able to watch the event here in the US.

The other nice thing about the encoder software is that you can have video file sources as well, so if there's a slideshow or something that rolls during the ceremony you can run a file right off your computer instead of trying to film the slideshow.

I like the idea of embedding the stream into a website and having a chat room next to it. That's actually pretty cool.
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