Scalable Multisite Streaming for Flatirons Church
When it comes to choosing equipment for Flatirons Church, broadcast-grade reliability and scalability are at the top of Robb MacTavish, Live Production Director’s list. Flatirons, based out of Lafayette, CO, is a rapidly-growing church with 5 physical campuses throughout the Denver/Boulder area and more planned soon. When the church began to consider live streaming their message between campuses, MacTavish knew that he had to find a solution he could trust to deliver a consistently high-quality, rock-solid stream that would not glitch, distort, or buffer.
Unfortunately, these systems often come at a very high cost, but MacTavish knew that a robust streaming experience was necessary for the Flatirons to offer confidence in the multisite experience and positive guest impressions that don’t end in awkward interruptions. It wasn’t that the church hadn’t attempted other options. According to Matt Strong, Summit Integrated Systems Technical Engineer (former Flatirons Technical Director), “In previous solutions, we ran into issues with both the streaming solution failing or a server on the end of the streaming solution being either difficult to use and failing.” Reluctantly, the church began streaming using a Metro Ethernet (dedicated internet) line and an encoder/decoder system that required an exorbitant monthly fee.
When MacTavish first heard about Living As One, he was skeptical of a solution that claimed to distribute over the public internet. “Our first concern,” as he explains, “was whether or not this could compete with a broadcast industry standard.” Motivated by the prospect of saving thousands of dollars per month, MacTavish decided to compare Living As One to the church’s existing platform. “We actually put the two boxes side by side, and we used them simultaneously on the weekends,” he notes. “At the end of our analysis, there was no question. We have a broadcast industry standard product with Living As One, as well as the support to go along with it.”
From that time, MacTavish has trusted the Living As One Multisite Platform to stream weekly services to Flatirons’ multisite campuses. Powered by the patented Resilient Streaming Protocol and leveraging a short delay, the platform consistently streams using HEVC/H.265 compression, ensuring no pixelation, framedrops, or interruptions — at a fraction of the cost of the previous system utilized by the church. As Strong explains, “With Living As One we can now move to much cheaper internet connections at higher speeds, saving us thousands of dollars a month at each campus while consistently getting good quality video.”
Cost isn’t the only advantage of the Living As One platform, as MacTavish explains. The platform was specifically designed with volunteer usability in mind — a huge necessity for Flatirons. “As a church, one of the passions we have is leading and developing volunteers. One of the things we love about Living As One is the simplicity and use of their product. If you bring a volunteer and they’re not on every weekend, sometimes the use of technology can be challenging. With the simplicity that Living As One has packaged into their product, it’s really easy for a volunteer for a walk in and be successful.” According to Strong, the platform’s ability to easily add shared event cue points has been especially valuable for the volunteer workflow. As he explains, “all the volunteer at each campus has to do is hit ‘goto’ on that one cue, and hit play at the right time. It’s been simple and easy.”
As Flatirons continues to expand, MacTavish knows that Living As One will be able to grow with the church, providing an easy to use, reliable, cost-effective streaming solution for future campuses. And, with support designed specifically for churches (including weekends), he knows that the church can depend on the platform. “I’d honestly say, having as many campuses as we have, that you can’t underestimate the importance of the product, delivery, and support,” MacTavish notes. “With Living As One, it’s just been rock solid since we’ve started. I don’t know of anybody else that can give that level of product and support that we’ve received.”
We actually put the two boxes side by side, and we used them simultaneously on the weekends. At the end of our analysis, there was no question. We have a broadcast industry standard product with Living As One, as well as the support to go along with it.
Years Since 1st Multisite
With Living As One we can now move to much cheaper internet connections at higher speeds, saving us thousands of dollars a month at each campus while consistently getting good quality video.
I’d honestly say, having as many campuses as we have, that you can’t underestimate the importance of the product, delivery, and support. With Living As One, it’s just been rock solid since we’ve started. I don’t know of anybody else that can give that level of product and support that we’ve received