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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: July 10, 2019.

Get digital platforms for ministry content!

Why subscribe to expensive cable service for 100’s of television programs when you don’t care for most of them and only use a few of the channels? Why not use streaming services that are far less expensive to connect online your television screen to the programs you want to see. Often the only cost involved is a streaming media player (such as Roku on Amazon for around $25).

Produce Your Own Digital Series

Why not produce your own digital series on a cost-effective, user-friendly platform to tell your own wonderful eternally significant stories? With aesthetically pleasing backdrops; interviews with well-spoken, engaging leaders; and footage of vibrant, active examples that will also build in intensity to a climactic point. It is not difficult to film an engaging documentary. You can also produce original dramatic stories for various audiences with a good writers, skilled actors, and experienced filmmakers.

Shining a Light For Jesus Series

As more young and older audiences are viewing TV programs and movies over digital streaming devices, more Christian organizations can easily share wonderful content and programming via streaming to a range of devices. Christian and redemptive digital channels can safeguard content, while keeping their copyrights, delivering programming quickly and cost-effectively. These can serve audiences without cost to their patrons. It is a win-win paradigm for producers of church and Christian consumers.

A role model series, Shining Light, from the First Methodist Church (FUMC) of Temple, TX, is serving as a pioneer, front-running series as it is added to the world-wide United Methodist publishing house’s new digital channel being rolled out summer 2019.

If you have not seen the first three episodes of Shining Light and the promo and teaser films for the series, you can see the historic teaser and the first two films on the FUMC website. The third episode and promos for the series can be seen on You Tube. These films are being added to the new digital platform for the publishing house of the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) for world-wide distribution and access, especially to UMC publishers and churches as it rolls-out this summer.

Digital Platforms Create Opportunities for Churches

The formats for these films are designed to be replicable and doable for all churches and organizations, while at the same time adding more creative elements with each succeeding episode. Digital platforms are providing a more doable way to produce and distribute content for the eternal Good of our world. IMDb sites for digital platforms and their programs can provide extra videos, photos, links to stories, and more resources.  

At the beginning of the 21st century, TV programs became available via the Internet. For example, ITunes offered a paid service for some TV programs and series in 2005. Netflix began providing streaming content in 2007.

Digital media players became available, such as Apple TV in 2007. In 2008 the Roku streaming device emerged. Amazon offered its digital media player, Amazon Fire TV, in 2014. Such digital media, streaming devices have continued in updated versions.

Access to TV programs has developed from more traditional TV access to computers, smartphones and computer tablets. Apps for mobile devices in app stores emerged in 2008. Amazon Video launched worldwide until 2016.  In 2017, YouTube launched YouTube TV. In 2015, traditional cable and satellite television providers offered Sling TV (Dish Network). Another satellite television provider, DirecTV, developed a streaming service, DirecTV Now.

Since 2016, “Smart TVs” have been taking over the television market. More viewers of all ages are using streaming services as their main means for watching TV and movies. As of 2018, Netflix is the dominant streaming, internet media and entertainment company with more and more competitors.

Courtesy of FUMC Temple, TX

Companies, such as Katapy, which FUMC and UMC are using and others can use, enable content providers on digital channels to serve Video On-Demand (VOD), Live, Live Linear (24/7 Programming), and Live Event-Based Media to computers, tablets, mobile phones, OTT devices, smart TVs and more.  They build custom apps and channels.

With Katapy, content providers stream to digital audiences to watch on their own time, on any device they choose, keeping full control over their content selection. They can help audiences get the most out of their content on their smart TV, OTT device, tablet, smartphone or computer with their own digital streaming media service powered by Katapy.

Their mobile apps support a consistent look and feel across all iOS and Android devices. Their connected TV channels support Roku, Apple TV, Android TV and Fire TV. Their mission is to create the best video-streaming experience for your audience across all devices.

They are experts at building video-based apps and channels and use their combined experience and lessons learned from previous projects to deliver the best possible results in record time.

After development, they publish mobile apps and OTT channels in the appropriate app or channel store for their clients, so that audiences can purchase and/or download them for their devices. They make video apps and channels available in popular app and channel stores.

They can design and implement video websites that render and stream video perfectly on any device; applications for smartphones and tablets including iPhone®, iPad™, Android and Amazon Kindle Fire; and applications for Internet set-top boxes such as Roku® streaming player, AppleTV, FireTV and GoogleTV.

In summary, Katapy, does the following:

  • Provides efficient, cost-effective digital platform technology for screens of all sizes anywhere in the world
  • Presents, distributes with features beyond what we see today on many digital platforms
  • Can process all formats of film very quickly
  • Takes content on film and/or audio and processes them effectively
  • Provides range of digital platforms, small and massive
  • Can stream meetings in real time or delayed time to viewers all over the world
  • Has educational features, like learning management systems
  • Can use videos as stand-alone film segments or pieced-together for documentaries

Ongoing film/video documenting and program development for digital platforms is more necessary than ever for Christian organizations because it is becoming the dominant form for seeing tv, movies, and Christian channels.

Further, with the latest developments, innovations with digital platforms, it is more important than ever that content is shared by those with good communication skills and effective camera presence skills. These are not difficult to teach or learn. Even a little training goes a very long ways to reach, engage, and motivate audiences.

Shining Light Shares Tips on Christian Ethics

FUMC’s Shining Light shares tips on Christian ethics, meaningful spiritual growth. With a unique documentary approach, the digital streaming is aimed for universal application and encouragement.

Here is the teaser for the digital series. This is the general format for the first seven episodes for the digital series. The series is using the aesthetic backdrops of the church and locations where featured activities are held; interviews with well-spoken, engaging leaders; and footage of vibrant, active examples. See the descriptions and links for the first seven episodes (a work in progress).The first three episodes, teaser, and promos for Shining Light are now streaming from Youtube, the FUMC church website, Roku and Firetv. Soon it will be streaming from the UMC publishing house’s digital platform.

One of the goals of Shining Light is to encourage other churches and Christian organizations to use new cost-effective, user-friendly digital platforms to tell their eternally good stories. We don’t need to allow media to hurt or dominate our lives, families, or world. There are many viable solutions, alternatives taking their place today that we need to utilize and support. Today we can use cost-effective, user-friendly digital platforms to tell Good News stories for the Eternal Good of our world.

By Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies)

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