As the coronavirus continues to spread, virtual memorials are becoming a solution for families who want to witness the departed’s service. While there are free ways to live stream, which work fine for normal marketing efforts, protecting families’ privacy with a type of password protection is a key security element that needs to be considered.
There are professional funeral videographers that can create full packages with streaming and recap videos for a full memorial bundle, but for those who want to offer a video streaming service internally, there are constantly improving solutions that can be implemented.
Streaming Service Options
A video streaming service is what takes the live video and makes it available all over the world to all kinds of devices and platforms. You can use a free service like a social media platform or you can have more control by paying to use a content delivery network (cdn).
Private video streaming providers that offer password protection
The benefits of private streaming are not only high quality, secure connections, and more versatility, but they also allow for more customisation. Allowing for titles, photos or company logos (known as overlays) to be placed on top of the video. It all comes down to your company’s needs and the resources available.
If there is no reliable internet at a location or maybe a family member isn’t on the right time zone there are also ways to save the live stream and play it as if it were live at a later point. And if there is a chat, a family member or preacher can now engage with the audience at this point since they are no longer at the event.
A strong brand in the video streaming service offering is Livestream. Owned by Vimeo since 2017, it offers a plethora of easily implementable solutions and includes tech support for those looking for more assistance in the setup of their streaming. The service also offers the capacity to host multiple streams at once, which is ideal for a property looking to provide multiple funeral streams at once.
An incredible multipurpose provider that hosts on-demand and live streaming video. It has a full range of tools that can be used to easily create additional products from funeral services, for future use. The program offers the capacity to have Single Sign-On (SSO) password protection. As well as paywall options if a funeral home would like to charge for the service to viewers directly in the future.
JW Player is a video player and live stream that can transcode videos to multiple resolutions and bitrates while maximizing quality up to 1080p High-Definition. The platform offers password-protected sharing.
Incredibly flexible with a live streaming pricing plan that could be as low as $19 a month or priced individually per “event”. All plans offer 1080p full HD broadcasting, as well as 4K broadcasting. There is of course password protection, in addition to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection which establishes an encrypted link between a server and a client for every stream.
A popular live production software their program includes LIVE mixing, switching, recording and LIVE streaming of SD, full HD and 4K video sources including cameras, video files, DVDs, images, and powerpoint. vMix also offers a free 60 day trial, giving your team 2 months to really make sure it fits your needs. They also have a plethora of Youtube tutorials that make it quick and easy to create whatever elements you would like on your stream.
For a more robust and long term setup that could be very useful for a multi funeral home company IBM Cloud Video offers a great service. Primarily catering to live events, corporate communication, marketing, media & entertainment. They have a free 30 day trial and then monthly membership.
SlingStudio offers an awesome video production system. There is a cdn service to share your live stream, but to utilize it you need to also be connected to their camera tools. They have a device which connects to your camera or you can download an app on a smartphone and the video is wirelessly sent to the hub. You can connect up to four video devices. Then through their app you can see all the videos at once and click between the inputs to have a truly directed stream experience. This is a definite investment, but once set up could create high level productions with minimal skill sets needed.
How to make a streaming service with no password protection private
If you want to use a different streaming platform which does not offer password protection it’s also possible to create a page on your website that is password-protected. Then you can use a private RTMP key to stream it privately there.
Private(ish) funeral video streaming via social media platforms
Social media platforms are free and have built in chat features so that guests viewing a service can communicate with each other. They are also able to automatically reduce video quality to adjust the level of internet available by the viewer so they can still watch, even if it’s low quality. One big downside though is that they also have a copyright algorithm, which listens for any copyright infringement. So if any mainstream music is played in the background of a video it will be pulled down immediately after the stream. So for guests with specific funeral playlists this is certainly an issue.
Facebook does not offer a private streaming option, but you can stream to a particular group. So one way to make Facebook work as a private streaming option is to do a live stream of a funeral for a specific private facebook group.
Groups can easily be created from your funeral home or death care business page. Create a group specifically for the families service. Then you have a few options, make one of the family members an editor of the group so they can accept who is family, you can make a secret group which is unsearchable or findable without being invited so then the family member can invite who needs to join, or if the family is not Facebook savy you can have an agreed upon password which members who want to join have to enter to be accepted,
Searchable private groups are easy to see from the company page. You can archive these pages at a later point if desired.
The live stream can then be directly turned on from the group page where a post is made, via a smartphone or tablet, which can be placed on a tripod to keep a steady basic viewing.
You can also utilize the group aspect to create privacy if you are already using a cdn that does not have password protection for a live stream by setting up live video broadcast.
Youtube offers a private link option, which can be accessed by anyone who is given the HTML link. You only need to create a live video that is unlisted and from any device or via the Youtube App a basic stream can commence.