IP Video Application: Funerals

By John Honovich, Published Jan 24, 2011, 07:00pm EST

Streaming funerals is an interesting and controversial application of the growing IP video market. In this note, we examine its use, potential benefits and criticisms.

Many funerals are adding this ability, either directly and independently from a funeral home (see examples in Illinois and Virgina [link no longer available]) as well as through dedicated funeral streaming services (e.g., the 'Funeral Streaming Network [link no longer available]', FuneralOne and 'FuneralRecording.com [link no longer available]'). Here's an example of a recorded funeral available 'on demand'.

A January 2011 survey article in the NY Times provides a good overview of the approach:

  • The service is targeted towards people who cannot make it but who want to see / experience / virtually 'attend'
  • Some funeral homes charge a few hundred dollars, others offer it as a value added service at no additional cost
  • Viewers receive a URL, some require passwords, some are publicly available

The image below shows a funeral service being filmed and streamed:

In the NY Times comments section [link no longer available], the article triggered a passionate debate with a clearly majority of respondents finding this service problematic, distasteful or disrespectful.

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