What is online funeral streaming and why would someone use it?
Live streaming is a term used to describe the transmission of data over the Internet (usually audio and video) in a continuous flow. Online funeral streaming is when this live streaming is used to transmit actual footage of a funeral service as it takes place in real time.
It is a relatively new technology now being adopted by a number of funeral providers which allows mourners who are unable to attend a funeral for any reason to watch the event remotely from a device connected to the Internet.
Who offers online streaming services?
As it's a relatively new space there aren't many official streaming services. Two 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 it's customers.
How does online funeral streaming work?
Online funeral streaming involves having video cameras mounted strategically in the chapel where the funeral service will take place. Software allows those organising the funeral to program the system to begin operating at an appointed time. When that time arrives, the cameras will switch on automatically and transmit the funeral service live over the Internet, also recording it at the same time.
The funeral provider usually gives mourners access to the event’s recording for a period of time after the day, so that those who are not able to view the service live can still view the recorded version online at a more convenient time.
The quality of the transmission will depend on the speed and quality of the Internet connection and the number of people watching, but some providers sacrifice a percentage of quality to allow those with slower Internet connections to participate. Buffering is the most common problem with streaming, which is where the program's temporary memory doesn’t fill up quickly enough, leading to a break in the stream or a reduction in quality.
Who is online streaming for?
Online streaming can be used for funerals or for virtually any event where a percentage of the participants cannot attend. It can also be used by churches to broadcast sermons, baptisms and christenings and provides a cost-effective viewing alternative for those who may be overseas, medically unable to travel or have commitments that prevent them from attending the event.
How can you let people know about the stream?
Notifying those who might want or need to view an online funeral service can be done in several ways. 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.