To get a video source into your computer for recording or streaming purposes you may need a device that converts the analog signal to a digital signal that the computer can understand. There are a number of USB based devices that work well. The one the synod uses with their TriCaster equipment is AverMedia DVD EZMaker USB Gold. We have found it works exceptionally well for use with laptops. It essentially creates a video source that your software recognizes and reads.
Free computer-based recording software is available that will capture video/audio feeds and turn them into digital files for use in streaming or archiving for playback on the web. Depending on your preference for either Windows Media or Flash, both are available. The Windows Media Encoder records files in the wmv format, while the Flash Media Live Encoder stores FLV files.
Video or "web" streaming is pretty easy these days and free. Services include:
Almost all of them stream via flash and come with their own web-based encoders. One other thing to note about most of the above is that they all were created with social networking as a goal. This doesn't always fit well with congregational streaming usage, but since you can somewhat insulate the stream from the site with a portable viewer, they can fit the bill.
In case you were wondering what the synod uses for their live streaming of events like Call Day, etc., we use a premium version of Livestream. We pair that subscription with a dedicated livestreaming box from Livestream called the HD500 (now replaced by the HD510).
2/23/09 - From Pastor Chris Koschnitzke, Christus, Delavan, WI -
12/09/13 - Pastor Rob Guenther from Grace in Kenai, AK shared instructions he uses for live streaming video from his congregation.