With so many churches looking to live stream their services, one important question always comes up.
What software do we need to live stream?
In the live streaming world there are two applications that dominate this corner of the market: Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder and Telestream’s Wirecast.
Lets compare these applications across four factors:
Wirecast vs FMLE
For some the price tag between these two programs is enough to make a decision. Touting a hefty $995 for the Pro version of Wirecast this application is expensive compared to its rival. Wirecast does offer a somewhat striped down version of their streaming production software for $495, but that’s still quite a bit more than FMLE, which by the way is a free program offered by Adobe.
So what makes Wirecast so special to charge so much for something Adobe gives away for free? Wirecast is more than just a live encoder. It’s an actual video production switcher in software form. With Wirecast you have the option to fade between multiple camera angles, overlay text or graphics, and you can output to multiple bandwidths simultaneously.
Flash Media Live Encoder is simply just an encoder. While you do have the ability to push a stream and save to disk simultaneously, there aren’t many other great features. But hey, its FREE!
FMLE is an extremely resource hungry application. Once FMLE has maxed out your computer’s resources strange things start happening to your feed. Often times the audio will lose sync with the video, or your video will take forever to buffer. Wirecast has a much greater tolerance for average computers and handles resources in a more efficient way. As long as your pipe to the net is big enough, Wirecast can push your content through no problem.
4. User Interface
Even though Wirecast offers a ton more features, its extremely well designed. Training volunteers on the various settings and controls has been quite easy. Flash Media Live Encoder is designed for the technically inclined. While settings can be saved and recalled easily, FMLE offers quite a bit of control over your outgoing media. This is a good thing for those of us who have changing specific needs, but its overkill to the everyday church volunteer.
Often times live streaming can be an after thought with today’s technology. When you’re just trying to slap something together for the sake of seeing how it works, Flash Media Live Encoder does a great job. But when live streaming is a part of the master plan and can be budgeted for, Wirecast is the application you’ll want to look more into.
Have you used either of these applications?
What has your experience been like?