Streamer™ is a website you'll use to provide captioning and translations for anyone participating in your church services and meetings, plus a lot more. These individuals can be in attendance at your campus, or in a remote location such as their home or a medical facility. In each case, you’ll use Streamer the same way.
We've created a website specifically for your church along with the number of rooms you requested (if you need more, let us know). You'll be using these rooms to caption and translate services, small group discussions, announcements, as well as sharing documents and sending out notes of encouragement and daily bible verses to your church members.
To view the captioning, each person joins you in your Streamer room. They do this by logging into your website with a User Account. This may be a private account created specifically for that person (such as a pastor), or a shared account multiple people will use (such as, all the attendees at your service). User accounts are completely free, they're easy to create, and you can have as many as you want.
And because Streamer is a website, it works with almost any device that can connect to the Internet including iPads, iPhones, Android phones, Chromebooks, laptops, desktops and tablets. Click here to watch a short overview video on how it works (for captions, click the “CC” icon and if they’re going too fast, slow the playback speed to 75%).
Let’s Get Started
- Step 1: Download the Streamer Quick Start Guide by clicking here.
- Step 2: Sign into Streamer™ by opening a Chrome browser window, going to www.streamer.center and entering your account information. This will place you in your church's Lobby, which contains all your Streamer™ rooms plus an open and public room called Demo. Each additional subscription that you order adds another room to your Lobby.
- Step 3: Step into Your Captioning and/or Translation Room by clicking on the Room name.
- Step 4: Start Captioning your Speech by clicking on the microphone icon in the lower left corner. If Streamer™ asks for permission to access your microphone, say yes.
Create your First User Account
User Accounts are the way you share your room(s) with others. They are free and easy to create. You will most likely want to create personal accounts for each member of your staff, plus a few shared accounts that all your attendees will use to view (and hear) the captioning in their desired language.
Here’s a Video that goes into more detail on creating user accounts, or read the steps below. As always, if you have any questions, just let us know and we’ll be glad to help.
- Personal Accounts: This is an account made for a specific person, such as a pastor or team member.
- Shared Accounts: This is an account multiple people can use to view the captioning or translation of your services. For example, everyone in your congregation (both in person and remotely connected) can log into the same shared account to view an English captioning of the message.
Step 1: Create the New Account
- Open a Chrome browser window, go to www.streamer.center and click the Login button. If you see the login form shown below, then skip to Step 3.
- If the above step automatically logs you into your Lobby, then exit Streamer by clicking the Sign Out arrow (located in the upper right corner of the screen), and then click on the Login button.
- To create the new account click the Create One link. Account names cannot have any spaces, a common format to use it firstname.lastname or churchname-Guest. The Email Address is only used if the person forgets their password and it needs to be reset, and the Preferred Voice is used for speech generation (e.g., for spoken translation of your service or a non-verbal person who is using Streamer to speak for them).
Step 2: Give the Account Permission to Use the Room
If you are currently logged into Streamer using the account you just created, logout (click on the sign-out arrow located in the upper right-hand corner of the interface), and re-login using your Admin account. Then from the Lobby click on your Room to enter it and type the following commands where user is the name of the new account. Note that each command starts with a forward slash, like this /, and each user account starts with an ampersand, like this @. These special characters let Streamer™ know you're entering a command or user account instead of plain text.
All the commands can be viewed by clicking on the help menu, which is the ? near the upper right-hand corner of the Streamer™ interface.
- /allow @user This gives the person permission to see and enter your room.
- /makesuper @user This command gives the person extra features they can use with their account, such as changing their password. You'll use this for most personal accounts.
- /makenormal @user This is the opposite of the /makesuper command. Use the /makenormal command to limit users to only being able to view the captioning – it removes the microphone and text entry box. You'll use this setting for most shared accounts.
- /setdownload @user yes This optional command lets the user download a copy of the transcript.
- /setclear @user yes This optional command lets the person clear the transcript.
- /addowner @user This optional command lets the person invite others into the room and to set room permissions. This is typically done for most personal accounts, but it's completely optional.
Captioning Your Services
There are two parts to captioning your services: (a) generating the captioning and (b) showing the captioning to your guests. In the following examples I'll use the name of my church, which is Elevate, but of course you'll want to replace that with the name of your church.
Part (a) Generating the Captioning
Most churches have a sound system for their auditorium. If that's not your situation, contact us and we can help. If you do have a sound system, then connect an audio port from your sound panel to the mic-in port on a computer (laptop, Chromebook, etc.). Typically that means that you'll need an XLR-to-3.5mm audio cable. It's possible that you may also need a USB adapter. Then on the computer use the Chrome browser to connect to your Streamer website. Here’s an operational checklist for your media team.
Part (b) Showing the captioning to your guests:
You can either display the captioning on a front projection screen, or have it streamed directly to each guest that wants to view it. By far (as in 99% of the time) churches are doing the later. Streaming the captioning directly to individuals allows them to view it in a font and language they prefer, plus this is a great way to include people that are home-bound or in a medical facility.
- Streaming Directly to Individuals: Each guest can view the captioning on their own device (e.g., laptop, tablet, phone, etc.). It's also common for churches to purchase some very low-cost tablets, such as an Amazon Fire, and offer these to guests that may not have their own system. You do not need a high-end tablet; a $49 tablet works just fine. Guests view the captioning by logging into Streamer using a shared account that you set up for them, such as Elevate-English or Elevate-Spanish. We recommend that you make the password very simple and only use numbers, something like 12345678. That way there is no UpPeR cAsE or LoWeR CaSe confusion. If someone should guess your password to a shared account, all they'll be able to do is view the captioning of your message, which is probably a good opportunity to witness to them. Let guests know about the account by displaying a pre-service slide (here’s a PowerPoint version of the slides).
- Displaying the Captioning in a Separate Front Projection Screen: A common thought is having a separate screen in the auditorium displaying the captioning. We recommend against this because that means people who need the captioning are then forced to sit in a special area reserved for their usage. We like to think of a church service as being a family event, so we kind of like it when anyone can sit anywhere. However, if you do want to display the captioning in a front screen, it’s really easy. Simply connect a computer using Streamer to your projection system. Note that you can increase the font size by using the Chrome settings to zoom in on the window.
- Displaying the Captioning in your Main Front Screen: You can use the Overlay Feature to do this. To launch the Overlay window, go to the Streamer Settings menu and select Launch Overlay Tool, drag it to the desired location, resize it to your preference, and choose your preferred settings. The figure below shows the Overlay settings we recommend.
Additional Tips and Help
- The Line Spacing setting sets how close you want each line to appear in the window: "1" means condensed lines, and "9" means double spaced. A setting of “3” is single spacing.
- The Transparency setting is for the background shading – ranging from completely transparent (meaning no background color) to a solid color. We recommend a setting of 70%.
- The Caption Buffer tells Streamer™ how many words of context should be buffered before displaying the captioning on the screen. Streamer™ always uses context to generate the transcript. As new words are added to the sentence, previously captioned words may be dynamically updated; for example, perhaps changing the spelling of there to they're. When previously typed words are updated, the transcript "jumps" a bit. The buffer smooths out this process. The larger the buffer, the smoother the captioning appears to the guests. If this is set to zero, there is no buffer and each word is immediately displayed. Adding a buffer delays the transcript a bit, but it makes it much easier to read. We recommend the Medium or Long buffer.
- Avatar Size selects the display size of the presenter’s picture. We recommend the medium or large setting. This lets guests know who is speaking at any given moment (which can be very important in remote captioning situations). The picture that is being displayed is the one entered in the user’s Account Settings page.
Here are some additional tips for you as the host of the captioned event:
- Create Command Shortcuts: You can easily create shortcuts for commands you commonly use, such as /allow and /clear. Here’s a video showing how to do this.
- Create a Desktop Shortcut: Just click on the icon and you’ll be placed directly in your room, no need to open a browser and login. To do this, go to the Chrome Settings Menu, select the More Tools option and then Create Shortcut. Here’s a video showing the steps.
- Sharing Documents: To send a document to everyone that is logged into your Streamer room (such as a church bulletin), just drag-and-drop it into the transcript window. If you want to send a document to just one person or a specific group of people, in the command bar (1) type their account names such as @user1 @user2, (2) Click the Upload icon (the "cloud" at the right-edge of the command bar) and select your document, and (3) click "Send". When you do this the document is saved in their Messages page.
- Bright/Dark Setting: If you are captioning an event in a darkened auditorium, you can change Streamer's display to a dark blue background with yellow text. To do this, type /setdisplay dark into the command bar. This reduces the amount of light emanating from each person's device. To go back to the bright display (dark gray text on a white background), type /setdisplay bright.
- Download Transcripts by clicking on the Streamer Settings menu (see Item "G" in the Quick Start Guide). Note that Streamer can automatically generate a summary of the message which is then inserted at the top of your transcript.
- Have Streamer™ ask where to save transcripts. By default, transcripts are saved to the computer's Downloads folder. To change this, on the computer open the Chrome Settings menu, click on Settings, then Advanced (it’s at the very bottom of the screen) and in the Downloads section select Ask where to save each file before downloading. Now each time you save a transcript Streamer™ asks which folder to use.
- To Clear the Transcript, type /clear into the command bar. There is no undo command, and we never store any backups of any of your data. Your data is yours alone, we do not make any copies or save any records. When you clear a transcript, it's gone forever.
- Church Friendly Filters: Your room has already been set up to use a strict word filter, meaning any inappropriate words will be automatically identified and replaced with asterisks. Changing the filter settings is done using the /setfilter command. You can learn more about this command by watching the Using the Setfilter Command tutorial video.
Here are some additional tips we recommend you share with your guests:
- They can change the font size by clicking on the Chrome Settings Menu (the three dots in the upper right-hand corner) and zooming in on the webpage.
- Create a desktop shortcut by opening the More Tools option in the Chrome Settings Menu and selecting the Create Shortcut option. Double-click on the shortcut and you’re automatically placed directly into your Streamer™ room.
- Show/hide the right side panel by clicking on the Streamer Settings menu(see Item "G" in the Quick Start Guide).
Click on the ?
in the upper right corner of the Streamer™ interface to see the complete set of commands that you can use. Also, several short tutorial videos on using Streamer™ can be viewed by clicking here.
That's It for This Article
to read the next article in this series, which covers personalizing your Streamer™ accounts.
If you have any questions contact us by typing @Tech-Support
in the Streamer™ text box followed by your question (this is the way to get the quickest response), by sending an email to email@example.com
or by calling +1-952-381-1234.
And thanks again for being part of our Mark 16:15 team!
Thanks for Being Part of our Mark 16:15 Team
By working together, we can ensure that everyone hears the Good News.
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all" Mark 16:15