Don't you hate it when you're interested in something, but not sure how interested you are—but even getting started with it requires significant financial investment just to find out if you are interested? (That's exactly why Igniter Media has a 30-day free trial, by the way).
Luckily, if you're interested in livestreaming your church service, you can test the waters with very little upfront investment thanks to tools like OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software). It's a software-based streaming studio that functions as a video switcher and an encoder for streaming to various platforms. (If you're not sure what some of those terms are, start by reading this article.)
OBS has been around for a while—and has become a staple of the game streaming and YouTube-ing communities—so there are a ton of video resources out there to help you learn the platform. We put together this list of the videos we recommend as a good place to start.
Learn OBS in 30 Minutes
It's a bit of a longer video, but it gives you a good crash course in using OBS if you've never used it before. It's a really good place to start.
OBS Studio Tutorial: Understanding Scenes & Sources
Livestreaming is a lot less stressful if you're organized. This video gives a detailed walkthrough of setting up scenes, which are indispensable in creating seamless transitions in your stream.
OBS Setup and Troubleshooting Guide
There's some repeat information in here, but he also covers some OBS settings that you might find valuable, and equips you to troubleshoot some of the more common problems people run into while using OBS.
How to Live Stream a Pre Recorded Video on YouTube Using OBS
The title is pretty descriptive; HOWEVER, this video also shows you a way you might include one of our mini movies, sermon bumpers, or countdowns in your livestream—especially if you aren't using a presentation software in your streaming setup.
How to Add a Countdown Timer to OBS without Plugins
Exactly what it says. Create a countdown timer for your stream using scripts included with OBS. A viable alternative to the 1,200+ video countdowns you can find on our site.
How to Use Your Phone as a Webcam in OBS:
If you're just making the jump to an OBS setup from going live directly to Facebook from your phone and you're not yet ready to invest in a good camera, you can spend a few bucks on an app that will turn your phone into a decent quality webcam feed for OBS.
ProPresenter workflow within OBS:
A workflow for using ProPresenter with OBS—directly from the folks at Renewed Vision, the creators of ProPresenter.
Add Lyrics to OBS (For Free)
Streaming from somewhere you don't have access to ProPresenter? Here's how you can add lyrics to your video feed in a pinch, using Google Slides.
OBS Studio: Ultimate Presentation Guide
A solid guide if you use PowerPoint as your presentation tool of choice.
How to Connect Zoom & OBS
It is possible to get a Zoom call in your streamed service, but it's not quite as straightforward as some of these other videos. This one will walk you through getting set up.
How to Use OBS Studio in a Zoom Meeting with Virtual Cam
Conversely, if you want to use an OBS stream in a Zoom meeting, this video shows you how.
OBS is a pretty powerful program, and a great option if you're starting out with streaming (or just price sensitive), especially considering that it's free. We'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below—for OBS users, what's one thing you wish you'd known getting started? What videos/topics did we miss? For those of you new to OBS, what are some questions you have about it?