/ video case study

Supporting churches with reliable live streaming services

banner for Omnia
companyOmnia
productChurch applications
locationBattle Ground, Washington
industrySoftware

Omnia is a suite of software applications specifically geared to support churches, including live streaming services.

When founder and CEO Josh Torres first built live streaming into his application, he built his own solution using an OVP and managed the servers himself. However, Josh had two major issues with his setup:

  1. How the live streams were being saved
  2. Manually managing servers for scale

For the first issue, when a church stopped streaming but started streaming again right away, their previous stream would get overwritten. “I could spend thousands of dollars trying to come up with a custom Java solution but I don’t even know Java. So I’d have to trust that the developer working on it knows what they were doing, plus I’d have to support it.”

For the second issue, during peak holidays, like Easter and Christmas, Josh had no way to predict how many churches were going to sign up for his live streaming service. “Some would sign up the day before, and I’d get 200 more churches out of nowhere. I’d have to try and spin up new servers really fast and the way it worked, if a church started streaming, I couldn’t touch the server anymore. It became such a hassle doing all the load balancing myself. So I looked into solutions that were more streamlined and where I didn’t have to manage the servers myself.”

“Because I'm a programmer, when I need a new solution the first thing I look for are APIs. Once I found Mux, it was an easy decision especially when I saw you offered stream targets (aka simulcast). Streaming to Facebook and Youtube while also to their website is by far, the number one requested feature from churches.”

Features plus reliability

Not only did Mux meet all the feature requirements, Josh also chose Mux for its reliability. Unfortunately, Josh had experienced the negative impact of providing an unreliable service:

“Last Christmas, a bunch of customers joined unexpectedly and even though I had a load balancing plan in place, servers still crashed due to overload. One of my biggest customers, a cathedral with a 5k audience, was one of those and it resulted in them switching off of Omnia. That really taught me a valuable lesson. Reliability is king. No matter how many fancy features you have, if you don’t have bullet-proof reliability, it won’t matter. Soon after, I did extensive research on other options. After switching over to Mux, I haven't had one complaint and that's huge for sure.”

Besides peak holidays, in general, churches can have unreliable internet connections, especially in rural areas. “With the previous OVP, it would restart the episode if it cut out, so that church would have 15 episodes for one service. I would try to help by manually downloading all the episodes and mix them together to create one episode, but that became burdensome pretty quick. The fact that Mux auto-saves the video as the stream is being encoded was a huge win for Omnia.”

Focusing back on building software

An additional impact of Mux is that it’s helped Josh get back to building software. “I realized that for the last year I’ve been so focused on server infrastructure, we haven’t been able to build nearly as many new features as we had hoped. I started Omnia to help make complex things that churches need extremely simple, and Mux helps me do just that. Mux has helped me get back to building products and the tangible result is that customers see more features.”


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