Online funeral streaming 

How to watch a funeral live online

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It's a particularly tough time to lose a loved one. Current restrictions and coronavirus concerns are forcing families to make choices about funerals they haven't faced before. It's not ideal, but online funeral services can provide some much-needed closure. Most importantly, it ensures that people are able to pay their respects and honour their loved ones.

How does online funeral streaming work?

Online funeral services involve having video cameras mounted at a strategic and respectful distance in the chapel where the funeral service will take place. When the funeral begins, the cameras will be set up to switch on automatically and transmit the funeral service live over the internet. It is usually also recorded at the same time.

The funeral provider usually gives you access to the event's recording for a period of time after the day, so that you can also view the recorded version online at a more convenient time.

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.

You can often live stream funeral services via the funeral homes' streaming service, which can be accessed via their website. Most of the time, you'll have to pay a small fee for this service. If your funeral home does not provide live streaming, or you're looking for a more personal experience, professional online funeral services like Tasteful Transitions and One Room might be a more suitable option.

If you feel it is appropriate, and possible, you can livestream the service yourself. The easiest way to do this is probably with a phone or tablet. If you want to stream it live, then platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live ensure those not in attendance can still observe the funeral and pay their respects.

How much does online funeral streaming cost?

Streaming a funeral can add to the overall cost of a funeral and the price of the streaming service can vary widely. Funeral homes and directors may have their own prices for offering this type of service and they may use different methods to make streamings available to customers.

You may be able to reduce costs if you use free services such as Facebook Live or Zoom, but you will have to check with funeral homes if they will permit this. If you are 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.

Tasteful Transitions' quotes one hour of streaming at a cost of $750. This includes live streaming of the service from three different angles, a recording of the service provided on a DVD in a ceremonial leather case and USB, as well as digital photographs of important moments during the service.

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.

Often, an email will be sent to you containing 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 central camera; others may have more than one. Live streaming usually starts around 10 minutes before the funeral or memorial commences.

Some will also provide a DVD and USB containing all the photos and video. With a USB, 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. Three services that we found with a quick search were:

  • One Room Streaming. A video recording platform designed specifically for churches and funeral homes.
  • Tobin Brothers Funerals. A funeral home who also offers webcasting services to its customers.
  • Tasteful Transitions. Videos and live streams funerals in Brisbane. They also photograph funerals and create personalised funeral slideshows.

What is OneRoom funeral streaming?

OneRoom is a video recording platform that specialises in funeral services. It's available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and has streamed and recorded funeral services for hundreds of thousands of online guests. It allows you to watch the funeral service live if you are unable or not allowed to attend. It's also recorded so you can watch it later.

OneRoom stores the video recording online and you can access the stream with a password, allowing you to share with your family members and friends. You can revisit the recording when it best suits you.

How to invite guests to a live stream funeral

Notifying those who might want or need to view an online funeral service can be done in several ways. So that other family members and friends can also watch the funeral online, you will sometimes be sent a link via email, which you can then forward to others. When you click on the link, it will sometimes require a password so you can gain access to the video. This will also be provided via email by the funeral home or video service provider that you use. Live streaming usually begins around 10 minutes before the funeral commences.

Other times, you can email them a link to the funeral provider's website, which will allow them to log in at the appropriate time. You can also announce the streaming details in your public funeral notices or if you wish it to be a private viewing only, you can distribute a password to those you would like to have access.

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