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Streaming Church Media - Part 2 Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Friday, 20 February 2015

The Church has a keen interest in making the content on its websites, broadcast channels, and mobile platforms widely available in as many languages as possible. If you have a smart TV with a built in web browser, you need only connect the TV to your network and browse Church media. If not, you are a good candidate for an add-on product. There are a number of such devices; some are better or worse for streaming LDS media.

This article explores the more popular Internet TVs and how well they deliver LDS content.

 They are marketed as set-top boxes (iSTB), dongles, sticks, or game consoles. Common brands include Roku, Chromecast TV, Apple TV, (Western Digital) WD TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox. They connect to an HDTV with a cable, are configured on networks, and deliver content through channels, apps, or “mirroring” from mobile platforms. Here’s a description of each:


A Roku has the most built-in channels for media streaming, and both Mormon Channel and BYUTV may be added. A Roku comes with a remote to turn it on, add channels, and make selections. A Roku stick has much of the same functionality as the Roku box. Roku does not have a built-in web browser so you are limited to the two sponsored Church channels, both of which feature live streaming of general conferences, BYU sports, CES firesides, music, or talk radio. You may also plug in a USB flash drive to your Roku and stream media you downloaded from Church websites using the Roku media channel.

Chromecast TV

Chromecast TV does not have channels built in, nor does it have a remote. To use a Chromecast TV for Church-sponsored media, you use an Android mobile platform and Android apps for Mormon Channel, BYUTV, or the Google Chrome browser with a plug-in extension to mirror or “cast” from your mobile screen to your HDTV. Not all mobile apps “cast” their screens, but LDS apps do. The connection is made from an icon that looks like a rectangle intersected by an upward pointing triangle inside LDS mobile apps or from the mobile browser.

Apple TV

Apple TV comes with a remote and has many channels built in, but does not allow you to add Mormon Channel or BYUTV. To stream LDS content connect, use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to connect wirelessly to the Apple TV with Airplay and mirror from LDS mobile apps to your HDTV. Airplay is part of the iOS operating system, so you do not need to install a separate app, and mirroring works reliably over a range of Apple mobile products. Many stakes and wards use Apple TVs at meetinghouses because there are many iOS users. Streaming can be direct from Church websites, but best practice is to download content at home and use Airplay to mirror from a media player.

WD TV (Western Digital)

Western Digital supports the most media formats of all Internet TVs. A few entertainment channels are built in, but no provision is made for adding LDS channels. Instructions recommend installing a WD TV remote app to seamlessly control the WD TV from a Miracast-enabled smart phone, or use a USB flash drive with media downloaded in a supported format. Plug the USB drive into the port on the side of the WD TV and use the remote to select that port as your input source. On a home network, browse through shared folders on network devices and stream media directly to your HDTV.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire has many built in channels and the ability to add apps from the Amazon store. For users who have Amazon Prime with Amazon Instant Video, this may be excellent for entertainment. Voice commands to the remote make finding content intuitive. The only Church app currently supported, however, is Mormon Channel - Music, though screen casting on Miracast-enabled devices such as Kindle Fire is supported. The Church is evaluating, but at present Amazon Fire is not the best source for LDS content.

Other Internet TVs are on the market. The Church is currently evaluating Church media on Xbox. Gamers may find this welcome news. Before purchasing an Internet TV, look at reviews and talk to friends. From among the choices available, you are bound to find one that suits your needs.



# Michael H. Cox 2015-02-20 20:46
On Apple TV under "Radio" you can listen to the live stream of Mormon Channel.

A great addition to LDS Gospel Library for iOS would to be able to Cast to ChromeCast.

Amazon Fire TV does have Bible Videos and the childrens scripture stories available.
# James Walter Anderson 2015-02-21 13:22
Chromecast does have apps, you find them in the Crhome web store. There are already a number of channels.

On account of the fact that you can cast content from a website, this is sort of obscured, but Google has made an SDK available for developers to create channels and apps for streaming specific media and a number are already available in the recently renamed Chromecast area, Google Cast.

An emerging feature will be casting for audio. Tunein has signed on and you can stream Mormon Channel, Mormon Channel Music (as the music feed is called on Mormon Channel), Mormon Tabernacle Choir (harder to find) and the Spanish feed. You can stream pretty much all the podcasts through the speakers that are and will be made available through the first part of this year and beyond.
# James Walter Anderson 2015-02-21 13:24
Errata on post above. Mormon Channel's music feed is called 'Mormon Channel Music' on Tunein, thoguht that was in the post when it posted.
# Paul Christopher Whiting 2015-03-01 12:11
Another Roku channel you should consider is one called Gospel Library Videos. I've been developing it for the last few months and it works reasonably well. Currenlty you can only add it to your Roku by going to

More information can be found on the project's main web page at Major features include watching and listening to online LDS media as well as offline viewing of videos with subtitles/closed captions.
# David Alexander Rush 2015-03-05 00:23
For streaming content from your iOS device to Apple TV as described you normally need to connect both devices to a wireless access point - however the later Appple TV devices support peer to peer connection ie you can stream content between an iOS device and Apple TV without requiring a wireless access service - especially useful if the meeting location etc has no internet service or is out of range
# Darren Cluff 2015-03-05 08:58
In my stake I have set up a Plex media server and use the Plex app on a Android set top box to connect it to the TVs. There is a Plex app for every device shown above except the Western Digital. The benifits of using a local media server is faster internal speeds of you network. You can pre-download huge amount of data over a slow connection then internally stream it all your devices. Because it has a a web interface all mobile devices can browse to the local ip address (I am working in a domain) then browse and play media from the web browser. That anything with a web browser (cross platform) can play videos and stream locally in the church building. There are tons more features that I am not mentioning here. I also use Bit-torrent Sync to synchronize all my media servers so I download in one place and everyone gets it. It works really well. Reply if you want to know more or get in on my BTSync group.
# Richard Gutknecht 2015-03-06 06:23
We are also using a Plex media server running on Linux and use Amazon Fire TV Sticks with the Plex app. I have compared performance between the ROKU Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick and found Amazon's performance to be superior. Another option to Bit-torrent Sync is SyncThing it is open source and multi-platform.
# Darren Cluff 2015-03-06 10:06
I will try the Syncthing. BTSync is still a work in progress. I would like to talk more can you email me at
# Gregory Lynn Hancock 2015-03-05 10:59
I find there are limitations with each device. My go to preference is either the Netgear PTV3000 or slightly better Microsoft Wireless Display. The advantage of these devices is that they work with Miracast enabled devices including most all Android Phones and Tablets and Windows Laptops that support wireless display (I use a MS Surface Pro). The big difference with these devices with the laptops is that it displays anything you can display on your laptop and not just miracast enabled content. No WiFi or internet connection is needed. Just plug the device in to an HDMI port (and USB for power) and enable miracast or the wireless display (no software or app needed). (See and )
# Daniel Keith Patrick 2015-03-05 22:44
There are also a number of android tv boxes on ebay hooking up through HDMI or RCA turning any tv into smart tv I have byu tv and lds tools gospel library all on my 55 in. Tv in living room full internet capabilities. For less than 60 bucks
# Neal Sorensen 2015-06-30 20:57
The FireTV has a 'Mormon Channel Videos' app and an 'LDS Music' app let lets you stream the Mormon Channel radio stations.
# Nate Pomeroy 2016-01-06 20:47
AppleTV section is out of date for the newest AppleTV.

The newest AppleTV running "tvOS" allows for channels/apps just like the Roku does.
# Jared Steven Osguthorpe 2016-05-23 12:11
Is there any hope of getting chromecast support for the iOS (iphone) version of mormon channel application in the near future?
# Kent Rogers 2016-11-26 16:16
Jared, good question. I am wondering about this as well. Chromecast has over 1/3 of the digital media streaming market, and nearly twice the market share of the next competitor (Apple TV). I hope the Church will soon implement support for their iOS apps.

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