Trader’s Point Turns to LA1 During COVID, Streams to Prisons

“People are pretty excited and pumped. Our pastor is getting emails from people in the prison of just how much the stories have already changed their lives. That was just one (prison) block that we had been in doing the test.”

Kris Dunlop

Broadcast Producer at Traders Point Christian Church

Like many church tech directors at the time, Kris Dunlop was left in a lurch at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as he was faced with rethinking how church will happen. Transitioning to online-only services, he knew that their web streaming had to be rock-solid. “With our previous provider,” Kris explains, “I knew that there was no way they were going to be able to handle that demand. Of course, they crashed. And so, we switched [to Living As One] in the middle of the week.” 

 

Moving to Living As One (especially mid-week), Kris explains that although he was worried about the transition, the process was simple and seamless. “In an hour conversation, in a meeting, everyone was up to speed on how we’re utilizing it.” Trader’s Point was set up by the weekend, and Kris mentions that they immediately saw the viewer experience improve. “Viewing experience was the main reason we wanted to move when we could,” he mentions. “We’re sending out one stream, which is converted to 5 different bitrates in the cloud, and that has helped us to not get people saying, ‘hey, it’s not loading’ all the time. It’s been great.” 

 

Recently, Trader’s Point was presented with the opportunity to stream their services into a local jail. “About three or four years ago, the captain of the Boone County jail, who attends our church, was sitting with one of our teaching pastors out in the lobby talking to an inmate,” Kris says. “He just got to thinking, these people need this message more than anybody. Their jail is a revolving door.” Kris and his team installed a Roku in the main cell block with a customized Trader’s Point app for the inmates to view live services each week. Kris had a few requirements for the jail project, chief among them was reliability. “Having something hands-off was the biggest thing,” he states. “I didn’t want to put something in there that they’re going to have to trouble with. Our IT team has a lot to support on the weekend already, so we really have to make sure that it’s something solid.”

“People are pretty excited and pumped,” Kris explains, “Our pastor is getting emails from people in the prison of just how much the stories have already changed their lives. That was just one block that we had been in doing the test.” Trader’s Point continues to support the inmates in the jail during and after their incarceration, including preparing care packages and connecting them with support after their release. “We’re sending out these people that have nothing at midnight and they’re just going to end up back here or in a bad situation before the sun even comes out,” Kris mentions. “So we’re trying to do what we can to change that.” All of this is possible because of the connection that Trader’s Point is able to establish with inmates in the jail through its excellent programming of hope delivered through their high-quality, consistent online experience.

 

Overall, Kris has been most excited about how no matter where they choose to stream to and what the circumstances will be, they will get a reliable, excellent stream. “It’s great to able to throw out the net and stream to our website, Facebook, YouTube and our app all from one place and not worry about troubleshooting,” Kris says. “Reliability is the biggest thing for us. With Living As One, everyone from IT to executive level has been just extremely happy… and knowing, if there’s a surge in any viewers, we’re not worrying about that. Even if the internet goes down for a second, with most providers, that’s going to cause issues and packet loss, and so not having to worry about any of that with Living As One has been great.”

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