Online funeral streaming
Understand the ins and outs of online funeral streaming, including how to do it, how much it'll cost and which companies can give you a helping hand.
Whether it's geography, timing or financial challenges, it's not always possible to say goodbye to a loved one the way we'd like.
Online funeral streaming is the next best thing for those who can't be there in person and can provide some much-needed closure.
How does online funeral streaming work?
When you book an online funeral service, video cameras are mounted at strategic and respectful positions in the chapel.
When the funeral begins, the cameras start to live stream the service over the Internet so those who can't attend can watch everything as it happens. The service is usually recorded at the same time.
Benefits of using a professional funeral streaming service
There are many benefits to using a professional online funeral streaming service over doing it yourself. Some of the main ones to consider include:
- Designed to be simple and straightfoward. You won't have to worry about technical issues or managing the stream yourself.
- A high-quality video and audio experience. This can be important if you want to ensure everyone can hear and see the service clearly.
- Customer support provided. If your guests have issues or anything goes wrong during the funeral, your streaming service will take care of it so you won't be distracted.
- Additional services. As well as the live stream, you can also take advantage of features such as photo slideshows and video tributes or an online guestbook.
How to live stream a funeral service
There are a few ways you can live stream funeral services, it generally depends on how the funeral provider operates and which option feels right for you:
A funeral home's streaming service.
You can usually access the stream via its website and you'll need to pay a small fee for the service.
Doing it yourself.
The easiest way to do this is usually with a phone, tablet or laptop. If you want to stream it live, then platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live make sure those who can't attend the service can still observe the funeral and pay their respects./p>
How much does online funeral streaming cost?
Live streaming a funeral can add to the overall cost of a funeral and can set you back as little as $80 or more than $1,500, depending on the set-up. How much you'll pay depends on how you choose to live stream your funeral service.
If you're on a budget then streaming the funeral over Facebook Live or Zoom could save you money, provided you already have a phone, tablet or laptop to use. Remember to check if your chosen funeral home allows you to do this.
If you're looking for a mid-range option, funeral homes set their own rates but can charge anywhere between $80 and $350 to live stream the service for you.
For a professional set-up, online funeral services like Tasteful Transitions charge upwards of $750. This usually includes live streaming from three different angles, a DVD recording in a leather case and USB drive and digital photographs of the service. For $1,650 (+ GST), Event Video Production provides one videographer, two cameras, multiple microphones and a live stream operator.
If you're worried about adding to the cost of a funeral in the future, you might consider planning ahead with funeral insurance which can help cover costs such as funeral streaming.
How to watch a funeral online
Several funeral providers now allow you to watch the funeral live online from your laptop or computer and many funeral homes have their own streaming service.
You'll normally receive a link to a page that streams the service. You can forward this to your family and friends so that they can view the service as well. The live stream is sometimes from one main camera, though others may have more than 1. Live streaming usually starts around 10 minutes before the funeral or memorial commences.
Some will also provide a DVD and USB drive containing all the photos and video. With a USB drive, you can make copies for family and friends.
Who offers live funeral streaming services?
As it's a relatively new space, there aren't many official streaming services. A few services that we found available are:
- One Room Streaming. A video recording platform designed specifically for churches and funeral homes.
- Tobin Brothers Funerals. A funeral home that also offers webcasting services to its customers in Victoria.
- Tasteful Transitions. Videos and live streams funerals in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. It also photographs funerals and creates personalised funeral slideshows.
- Event Video Production. A small video production company that offers its services in Sydney, Brisbane and along the Gold Coast.
- Jum Media. Jum Media offers a professional streaming service across New South Wales.
- Ceremony Cast. A small production team offering webcasts for funerals in Sydney.
- Funeral Cast. Operating out of Sydney, this established team can facilitate webcasting services anywhere in Australia.
How to invite guests to a live stream funeral
It's easy to let family members and friends know that they can join the online stream by following these steps:
- Your live streaming service (e.g. OneRoom or Tasteful Transitions etc.) will send you a personalised link – this is the link you'll need to access your stream on the day of the funeral.
- Send this link to friends and family at least a few days before the funeral takes place.
- For security or privacy reasons, you may choose to protect the stream with a password, so you'll need to send this to friends and family as well.
- To avoid any timezone confusion, make sure you're clear about the start time and location - you may want to include some examples of timings for common cities your guests live or a link to a simple time zone converter.
- On the day, those who can't attend the service in person should click on the link around 15 minutes beforehand and wait for the funeral to begin.
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