In this case study, first published in Worship AVL, Gospel Ministries International explains why they chose Zixi for live streaming of worship services from remote locations.
Gospel Ministries International (GMI) has turned to Zixi’s software-defined video platform to help ensure reliable and stable streams for its events that are streamed over the internet. GMI is a faith-based, volunteer-driven organisation that leverages technology to advance its mission work around the world. As well as orphanage projects, educational and prison programmes, and evangelical and medical aviation services, GMI’s largest ministry is through a number of television and radio channels, broadcast in various languages. The programmes include children’s shows, music videos, healthy lifestyle and cooking programmes, documentaries and Biblical preaching. GMI also livestreams its events, including two regular monthly shows from the Spanish Network studio in Bolivia and up to three larger events per year from various locations in South, Central and North America.
“We often don’t have control over the location chosen for the events, as we go where we are invited by a church or ministry. Often, they prefer the event to be held on their property or choose a location that they can afford, which sometimes means that the event is held in remote locations or places with weak internet connections. Because of this, we knew we had to find a very reliable and robust solution,” said Derek Solomon, systems engineer, GMI. “We wanted a solution that could ensure packet delivery of our main IP broadcast stream during live events, and which also offered real-time feedback.”
GMI’s satellite service provider, MX1, was using Zixi to deliver the broadcast stream from GMI’s playout computer to MX1’s satellite uplink facility over public internet, so Solomon already knew that it worked well. “It made sense for us to test out Zixi, since MX1 was happy with it – and it turned out to be a perfect fit for our workflow,” he added. “All we need in order to broadcast a live event is a laptop computer loaded with our capture software and Zixi Feeder. On the receiving end, we have installed Zixi Broadcaster on the same computer that we use to receive and manage our live input streams. It was very simple and very cost-effective, with no need to buy any extra hardware for either the sending or receiving side, which kept our travelling kit inventory down.”
Since the installation was completed, GMI has been enjoying the benefits of the system. “We have really pushed Zixi to the limit, with a number of live events located a distance outside the nearest city, streamed over some very weak, non-dedicated wireless, LTE and other poor connections. Every time, Zixi has provided reliable packet delivery, as well as outstanding packet recovery and real-time feedback, with no or very little noticeable result to the viewers,” continued Solomon. “We can monitor the packet loss and recovery on a graph in real time and prepare to react to possible stream interruptions, and we can also inform the production team at the live location about the packet loss so that they can find and eliminate all non-essential bandwidth users before the stream gets interrupted. It’s a very efficient way of working.”