church on tv

Is Your Church Ready for TV?

For years Apple has been saying that Apple TV was just a "hobby".  Apple TV was cool and other devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV have come along and a hobby began to change living rooms everywhere.  Applications like Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV have begun changing the way people watch TV and leading to millions "cutting the cord" when it comes to cable and streaming more media on TV.

Then, just a few months ago Apple made an announcement that they are releasing a new Apple TV and opening up development to Apple TV Apps.  Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, made this bold statement:

"The Future of TV is Apps"

I took that statement very seriously and if the future of TV is apps and I wanted to help ministries create TV Apps that will engage these audiences everywhere.  This won't look like TV as we've always known it, but opens up new and engagement opportunities beyond what we can currently dream.    

For more than 6 months I have been working hard with 3 friends to create a powerful, flexible and affordable TV Application for Ministries!  A little more than a month ago we on boarded 3 beta church apps and have since launched about a dozen more TV Apps (including the Social Media Church TV App). Today, we are excited to open this platform up to all churches and ministries that are ready for TV!  

So, let's talk about where we are and what we have created:

  • A Powerful Platform - In about 15 minutes time you can create an Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV App with On-Demand video through Vimeo Pro and Live Streaming through Media Fusion, Stream Monkey or Brightcove.  By the end of this month we will also have the option to create a Roku Channel from the same platform and integrations. Distributing out to these platforms opens up the opportunity to stream into living rooms, conference centers, waiting rooms, and anywhere that there is a connected TV.  

  • A Flexible Platform - While creating your app you will be able to customize the layout and design within a template system and arrange the media in whichever way you like. Your TV App doesn't have to look like everyone else's and won't be limited to just one form of media integration.

  • An Affordable Platform - We debated greatly over pricing as we need capital for ongoing development and support, but also want to minimize costs allowing more ministries to be able to afford to have a TV App.  Our starting price point for all ministries is no setup fee and starts at $75/month.    

If you have questions we would love to answer them.  If you want to know more simply click the link below and we would love to help get your church on Apple TV!

P.S. If you would like our team at Dunham+Company to help you with your app at no extra charge we can setup the channel for you and manage everything. Simply send me a message on my contact page and we’ll get you started today!


The Future of TV

A lot has happened in the world of the television in the past 10 years. Consider these advancements:

  • The Television Itself - we've gone from projection TVs to Plasma, then LCD, and now LED.  Look at how inexpensive they have become as well.
  • Connections - we used to connect devices to the TV through Coax and RCA,  then Composite, and now HDMI.  
  • High Definition - we were introduced to HDTV and now many levels of High Definition. 
  • Devices - the devices have dramatically changed from VCRs to DVDs, to Blue Ray and now Connected TV Devices (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) steaming video from the cloud
  • DVR - remember when we recorded shows on VCRs or actually watched live TV?  Now we just DVR and fast forward through commercials watching whenever we want.  I can actually now record a show from my iPhone when I'm not home.
  • On-Demand -  I think this might be the biggest game changer with cable offering On-Demand along with subscription services like Hulu and Netflix being able to watch whatever you want whenever you want.
All of these advancements are incredible and I think bringing more clarity to the future of TV.  I think what we are seeing is that our TV is transitioning from what used to be a completely different experience from our computer to a universal one.  Our TV is essentially becoming a large computer monitor for us to engage with.
Think about it this way: you cell phone is now a computer in your pocket, your laptop or desktop is a device you use when sitting down at a desk or table and your TV is a screen that you watch while sitting on a couch or in a living room.  When you think from this perspective your computer in your pocket (smart phone) is useful for quick messages and interactions, your laptop or desktop is good for focused productive work, and your television is for consuming longer form video content often with others.
So what does this mean and how does this change things?
  1. Our television becomes a computer.  This is where Apple TV, Roku, X-Box come in connecting our TVs to the internet.  I think we will see more of these devices just built into the TV units themselves. There will also be no need for wires as they will connect to the internet through wireless internet.  Connecting to the internet allows us to not only bring in content, but also send out content (game changer).
  2. Our smart phones become a remote/controller.  They actually do this already, but I think you will see this become more of a commonplace rather than something that just nerds do.  Gaming will also be a big part of this and I also envision our phones often serving as the game controllers.  Think about 10 people gathering in a living room to play a game and they all have an interactive controller in their hands.
  3. Our tablets become a second monitor.  If you're like most people you're already using Social Media at the same time you watch TV.  Tablets offer the screen size to not just serve as a viewing screen but create a very interactive social experience alongside your video viewing experience on your TV.
So what happens to cable?
Nothing.  Time Warner actually integrates already with Roku and we'll see the same thing begin to develop with other cable providers and connected TV devices.  Cable subscriptions will function as an app so that we can still stream live programs and events.  So no more old cable boxes to deal with!
What does this mean for the church?
Ever thought your church should be on TV?  Now every church can be!  You will only need a camera and an internet connection.  I think you should invest in a lot more, but the reality is that every church will be able to stream easily to living rooms around the world instantaneously.  The opportunity already exists, but will become much easier and available very soon!
One of the exciting developments that I see developing is an opportunity for a combined home church/ multi-site movement.  I see churches creating multi-site experiences designed more for the living room with 15-20 people gathered than the 150-200 seat venue.
So what do you think about the future of the TV?  Do you agree or disagree with me?