Solutions for Religious Services during COVID-19 times
- 12 Feb, 2021
Has the recent pandemic COVID-19 virus affected religious services in your community? Have you considered broadcasting your ceremonies directly to congregants’ cellphones inside their cars at your church parking lot?
COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on religion and on our daily lives in multiple ways. Social distancing has become a buzzword of these strange times forcing churches to offer drive-in services in lieu of in-person worship services at the sanctuary.
Parking lots at houses of worship are being turned into outdoor churches in the age of coronavirus.
But how can technology support this shift in the way people attend their religious services? What if you could broadcast the pastor’s voice directly into congregants’ cell phones while they are in the safety of their cars in the church’s parking lot? Or even on the street nearby?
Wi-Fi Server vs. FM transmitter
During this pandemic, many churches are considering the possibility of broadcasting their ceremonies using an FM transmitter, this way congregants could gather in the nearby church's parking lot and listen using their car radios. While this might seem like an ideal solution at first glance, there's a catch: car radios can only pick up commercial FM frequencies, and it's illegal to transmit on one without an FCC license. This is the reason you probably won't find what you're looking for online. The only exception is that you are allowed to broadcast on FM without a license if the FCC ID Granted transmitter produces about 1 milliwatt. This is only enough power to go about 100 feet, under normal conditions. To complicate things further, It is actually not the power but the field strength that the FCC limits. Even if you broadcast with and FCC ID granted transmitter and comply with the maximum RF field strength, you still need to make sure you are not interfering with any other transmission. Any infraction to FCC rules may result in a $10,000 fine per day.
It is possible that you might come across some stores selling transmitters that will allow you to broadcast in the commercial FM band, but an investigation performed by our technical staff concluded that the vast majority of the transmitters sold online do not have a valid FCC ID which makes them illegal in the USA so we emphatically recommend avoiding them.
On a different note, FCC approved assistive listening FM transmitters like the Enersound T-500 that can reach up to 1,000 feet, are limited to broadcast in the 72-76 MHz range that lies outside of what a regular car or handheld FM radio can pick up. That range is reserved by the FCC for such uses as assistive listening and simultaneous Interpretation, which makes them completely legal and for drive-in church applications, but to listen to it you will need special FM receivers such as the Enersound R-100 receivers that work in the same frequency band.
So this is where Wi-Fi servers come into play. Wi-Fi signals are license free, and you can use them for this application. So instead of transmitting your ceremonies to your congregant's car radios, you can make use of another electronic device your congregants will bring along: their cell phones or tablets. By just downloading a free App in a single cell phone per car they can receive the audio and all the people inside the car can listen to it through the cell phone's speakers or bluetooth in the car.
The WIFI broadcast server allows you to do just that. You won’t even need to distribute any devices to them; they can use their cell phones to receive the transmission.
How does it work?
It’s very simple: people need to download a free App to their cell phones or tables, available both in the Apple Appstore and Google Play for Android devices. The house of worship only needs to connect the 8-channel Wifi Server to the church’s Wi-Fi network and to the preacher’s microphone or PA system. It’s that simple. People will open the App in their phones and tune in to a specific audio channel to receive crystal clear audio; they will be able to listen through their headphone, through their phones speakers or even connect it to their car’s Bluetooth system for a shared worship experience.
These new and difficult times require innovate and smart solutions to help us adapt for as long as it lasts and the 8-channel Audio Over Wi-Fi Broadcast Server provides exactly that, it helps us to communicate through the necessary safety barriers that are being enacted for all of us safety and health. For further information or to purchase this server, you may contact us at 1888-737-4030, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the product link above.