This community site specializes in helping churches gain a significant Internet presence through web sites and webcasting. A webcast can bring the Word to the homebound, those off at college, those on the other side of the globe, and show prospective pastors that your church has a will to survive. Help us make webcasting easier and more affordable for even the smallest churches by sharing your experience and knowledge with us.

Up Your



MarvinD's picture

The difference between RG-6 and RG-59 coaxial cable -

A thought about gold. Do the cable companies use gold connectors? Telephone companies do for the clip in... Food for thought. How are they different? A malfunction means a service call for both companies.


MarvinD's picture

Summary: The DMA controller on 2 motherboards blew within a week of each other on our webcast computer. Since this computer had been running for a year without any problems, we were stumped. Thus, we need to eliminate any external ESD problems and replace the old Osprey card just in case it was the cause of the problem.

We also would like to run Linux (Ubuntu) using VLC for the encoder to gain more stability and flexibility. 

Operating Systems

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  • Pros
    • Windows Media Encoder runs natively
  • Cons
    • Popular
      • Operators can get bored and play with it during the sermon.
    • Unstable
    • Requires Updates
      • Can ruin webcast
      • If disabled can get malicious software
    • Requires anti-virus software


MarvinD's picture

Know exactly what you want before you find a developer. Be a good businessman and look at the competition's websites. Make your choices and be specific, complete with references to existing sites. (Web developers love knowing exactly what is expected and will knock down their bid accordingly.) Ask the developer if you will be able to use one, and only one, administration panel for the entire site. Next, ask the developer what tools he uses and how popular they are.


MarvinD's picture

Server performance is critical now that websites are becoming more complex. A single web page can involve the execution of thousands of lines of code and hundreds of database calls. This complexity presents itself in page loading delays. These delays drive away clients and inflate development costs because the developer is forced to wait between each test of a page.

Performance also includes security. Having online donations, adding a church directory containing email addresses, or perhaps a secure section of the site to handle the notes from a 'Session' meeting makes security critical.


MarvinD's picture

Would you go to a website to read 'Our Church History' or would you go to find out what is happening today and tomorrow? Do you really care what happened last month? Perhaps a newcomer might read the 'What We Believe' page just to be sure he isn't joining a cult, but he will read it once and only once. Do you want to have to search ten different pages to find new stuff, or would you rather all the 'news' be on the front page?


MarvinD's picture

The day of the 5 page static website is over. Users come to a website expecting both interactivity and timely, easy to find information. They come with a purpose and expect that purpose to be fulfilled quickly. They look at a page for about 5 seconds and if they do not see something to hold them; they are gone.

A simple 5 page website can be created by nearly anyone. Adding calendars, commenting systems, an on-site search, blogs, forums, video, and webcasting requires a professional for a well integrated and successful result.

Electrostatic Discharge, Electromagnetic Interference and Ground Loops

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Electrostatic Discharge

If your computer's motherboard dies, the repair technician may point to the A/V input wires and tell you electrostatic charges coming down those wires caused the failure. This could be true for equipment sold in the United States, but not for equipment sold in the European Union. Since 1995 all consumer equipment sold in the European Union has to pass stringent testing for both electrostatic and electromagnetic interference.

Solution to the Halfway Failure?

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Here I am, three weeks after a webcasting failure which occurred midway through a service. These last two webcasts have been perfect. As with most failures to a complex system, the solution becomes one of probabilities.

There are two facts that come into play:

Printed Instructions

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Once you get your system up and running, the last and ongoing step is creating a set of printed instructions. I would recommend creating these instructions as a simple web page or a document stored on the server so that they can be found and reproduced at a moment's notice. 

The following link is to the printable instructions for a weekly webcast at the First Presbyterian Church of Pampa Texas.

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