|By PR Newswire||
|February 26, 2014 01:47 PM EST||
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Live Streaming and online media has been embraced by early adopting churches and ministries since the technology became available. With smart phones and tablets increasing the ability of attendees to connect to their faith based-communities, the technology adoption rate doesn't appear to be slowing. But until now, the technology infrastructure, skill set required and bandwidth charges have been seen as complex and expensive. Many current providers are consumer-based applications, and while vendors have developed options for the Church, it's seen as a niche market and the specific needs of the Church are slow to mature in product offerings. With the high-cost and complexity of using existing services, this leaves the majority of churches unable to participate in this exciting technology, unless you're a large church with a paid-media staff and large budgets. This is no longer the case. Today, UpperRoom Technologies, a technology development firm dedicated to ministry based-projects, released the much-anticipated Live Streaming extension of its popular Media Fusion product for churches. Since 2010, Media Fusion has been used all over the world by churches to organize archive videos for a low monthly fee directly to an existing church website. Media Fusion also has unlimited bandwidth for podcasting. The online players and navigation utilizes Responsive Design which allows the church's media experience to re-size to any device, eliminating the need for costly apps or separate designs. Now, after 12-months of development and collaboration with partners and churches, Media Fusion Broadcast simplifies a crowded market of complex live streaming offerings. "While others are costly, with multi-year contracts, requiring expensive server based encoders, Media Fusion changes everything for churches and online ministry," explained, CEO Melissa Ivankovich.
Media Fusion takes advantage of Content Delivery Network (CDN) services provided by Akamai Technologies, Inc. to help ensure a high quality viewer experience. "The UpperRoom and Akamai teams worked closely to integrate our CDN services into Media Fusion. This product will allow the faith-based markets to access the same technology in use by many major content providers," stated Frank Paolino, senior manager, Service Delivery, Akamai. Media Fusion also leverages Akamai's Adaptive Media Player (AMP) for live streaming and makes it available to each client using Media Fusion. "AMP ended up being the differentiator from other CDN platforms. Akamai has a dedicated team ensuring our client's content will play on any device and future media formats that develop. Plus AMP's features such as live streaming integration with social networks to include Facebook are something our clients will enjoy," said, Ivankovich. In most cases, churches that wish to take advantage of the most advanced streaming technologies are deterred by cost. "Our work with Akamai allowed us to create a ministry CO-OP for the many churches that are Media Fusion customers. We pass that savings on directly to the churches and ministries we serve," said Ivankovich.
Continued Ivankovich, "What's more exciting, is for churches who are not ready for live streaming but still want to do online ministry, we have developed a proprietary process for simulated live streaming that actually does not trigger bandwidth charges. For example, churches, including Life Church.tv, North Point, Community Bible and others made the approach of simulated live streaming popular. With Media Fusion Broadcast, organizations can simply schedule pre-recorded sermons to play at selected times.
Tackling the high-cost of encoding, UpperRoom partnered with Irvine based Teradek. Media Fusion works with many of its revolutionary non-server based encoders lowering the cost to $699 for HD encoding of H.264 versus $5,000 to $25,000 and up for most server applications. All with just a simple click of a button. Media Fusion is an authorized reseller of Teradek encoders and can provide churches and ministries with access to this new technology. "We are excited to be partnering with UpperRoom to help churches stream at the highest quality for a very affordable price," said Jon Landman, VP of Sales at Teradek. Media Fusion also can work with existing server-based hardware including companies such as Digital Rapids for more advanced streaming.
Once a church is on Media Fusion the solution acts like a distribution hub for all media including PDFs, channels for multi-ministries, Roku, Google Chrome Cast and iTunes. It allows for popular features such as event countdown clock, e-mail notification subscription, linking to online giving and powerful stats through dashboards. "Our church averages more than 10,000 attendees per week, and with the same streaming capability we have as a large church, Media Fusion now makes it affordable for any church of any size to start an online ministry," explained Gerry True, Minister of Communications at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio where author and pastor Max Lucado preaches. There are no long-term contracts with Media Fusion, you pay as you go with no-minimums. Pricing for Media Fusion Archive is $30 per month, extending to Media Fusion Broadcast is an additional $30 per month. Live streaming bandwidth charges apply. Try Media Fusion free for 30-days, no credit card required. MediaFusionApp.com or 1.877.878.4007
Got a minute? Check out our video that explains everything about Media Fusion! www.mediafusionapp.com/press
Media Contact: Jonnie Wheeler, 877.878.4007, [email protected]
About UpperRoom Technologies, the makers of Media Fusion:
Founded in 2006, UpperRoom develops Christian based tools for churches and providing technology & development services to some of the largest ministries and non-profits to include: Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), Taylor's Gift.org, MaxLucado.com, Blue Fish/Right Now Media, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Fellowship One, ACS Technologies, Kay Warren Ministries, The United Way, FM USA, Oak Hills Church, Community Bible, Probe Ministries, Life Without Limbs (LWL), Hope International and many more. The company is based in San Antonio, Texas and includes some of the brightest minds in technology and ministry strategy. UpperRoom was founded by former USAA executive, Andrew Ivankovich and a group of individuals and investors focused on making an impact with non-profits. Andy, also a US Air Force veteran, while at USAA managed a $12 Billion portfolio and was responsible for transforming the consumer lending online experience for over 9 million of the firm's members. Andy is named an inventor on several USAA technology patents supporting the renowned firm's branchless banking environment. Andy, while still involved with product design and business development for UpperRoom, consults with the largest banks in the United States dealing with online lending innovations, specializing in affinity markets. Andy is pretty passionate about solving big problems, he is active with the United Way and travels extensively abroad, including Africa developing micro-lending strategies with some of the largest non-profits in the industry. For over 8 years, UpperRoom has helped churches, ministries and non-profits with some pretty cool projects that connect over 4 million people on a monthly basis. Inquire about what UpperRoom can do for you at [email protected] or by calling 877.878.4007 www.uroomtech.com
About Akamai Technologies:
Akamai® is the leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimizing and securing online content and business applications. At the core of the Company's solutions is the Akamai Intelligent Platform™ providing extensive reach, coupled with unmatched reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud.
Teradek is an innovator of wireless video devices and platforms that facilitate creative acquisition and live event broadcasting in full HD. Teradek's H.264 encoders, bonding devices, and latency-free transmission systems are used throughout many industries for aerial video capture, live ENG backhaul, real-time monitoring, proxy recording and webcasting. For complex wireless workflows, Teradek's cloud-based workflow management platform provides a powerful option for remotely managing a fleet of Teradek devices in real-time. All Teradek devices are designed and manufactured in the USA.
SOURCE UpperRoom Technologies