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Aug 08

Mobile Broadcasting

In the fall of 2004 I had the privilege of attending The Lutheran Communicator’s Conference in Phoenix, AZ.  As I reflect on that conference a mere 7 years later, it was certainly an interesting time in history to be at such an event.  I remember hearing Shel Holtz speak about the then-emerging internet-based, free publication genre of blogging and the brand new concept of audio podcasting. And I remember contemplating the potential of each of these amazing communication tools as platforms for sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

I also remember another featured speaker at the conference (sorry, his name escapes me),  and the vision he shared of reaching the world via a satellite television channel.  He had a television broadcasting background, and he was excited about the reductions in barriers to entry.

Even though he was just as enthusiastic about his topic as Shel was about blogging and podcasting, the idea of a satellite television network didn’t capture my attention in the same way.  The barriers to sharing live video of church-related events were still too great.

Until now …

Recently uStream.tv updated their iOS app and now users can broadcast live via the iPad!  What does this mean?  It means that using a tablet device over a wireless internet connection, we can now broadcast live our church services, Bible classes and school events!

uStream and other similar live streaming services have been available for a while, and you may be aware that my church has been using uStream to broadcast live for a couple of years.  But that broadcast was done using a traditional camera hooked up to a converter box which feeds a computer.  Not an unreasonable setup, but not for the faint of heart and also not without a fairly significant amount of dedicated equipment that wasn’t very portable.  This set up has worked well for us when we want to broadcast live from our sanctuary, but each summer we have experienced gaps in our broadcast schedule when the heat has required us to move worship from our non-air conditioned sanctuary to our air-conditioned church basement.

With the new iPad app, I can now easily broadcast from the church basement!

I expect that the entrance of mobile live broadcasting will be the real game-changer that will allow congregations to enter the broadcast spectrum!

An added bonus:

As if the news of live streaming from the iPad wasn’t amazing enough, my friends at Skype also recently released an iPad app that rocks the personal communication world by introducing Skype video calls to the iPad!  Here’s a screen shot of my Mom and I chatting.

It’s almost like I’m home in Mississippi!  I even used my rear camera to give my Mom a tour of my house and show her those precious grandsons of hers!

The tech in ministry applications abound with this technology as well.  Imagine the ease of conducting long-distance counseling sessions or Bible classes.

The power of tablet computing is just beginning to take shape.  Watch “live” with me as the future unfolds!

This post is a part of the Summer 2011 WELS Hacker series on the WELSTech Podcast.


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1 comment

3 pings

  1. Karen

    Wow! That is great news Sallie! I don’t know much about the iPad (only what you showed me while I was in Sleepy Eye!) but that much equipment investment might be easier for a small congregation like ours to “swallow”! Thanks for the ideas!!

  1. WELSTech » Blog Archive » 196 – WELS Hacker: Re-sizing and Re-broadcasting

    […] Mobile Broadcasting […]

  2. Wi-fi only vs. 3G iPad? « iPad in Ministry

    […] doesn’t have wi-fi, which I suppose limits some of the things I could do with an iPad (like streaming worship services), but I can make do without for now. For a while I used a personal mi-fi card which worked great in […]

  3. WELSTech » Blog Archive » 197 – WELS Hacker: Be a SMART Listener

    […] In response to Sallie’s post on Mobile Broadcasting, Mark Buske, Marketing Director at Northwestern Publishing House, reminded us of copyright […]

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