Due to the nature of the world today, live streaming is a highly popular service nowadays. However, if you do not know the basics of how it works, starting up can be quite difficult. An important thing that you must secure is getting the right broadcast video equipment. If you are planning to stream an event live and you do not know how to start, you have landed on the right web page. At Enhanced View Services, we will be sharing with you an article discussing the preparations required for live streaming.
What Do You Need to Begin Live Streaming?
- Audio and video sources – The equipment you will need are the following: a camera, computer screen (PC or laptop), other image sources, microphone, mixer feed, and sounds or music that you will be playing during the stream.
- Video encoder – Hardware devices or computer software that you will need to encode real-time video you have recorded and send it to the web.
- Streaming website – This is the platform where you will upload your live video. The most popular streaming websites include Facebook Live, Vimeo, and YouTube. A popular streaming website among gamers is Twitch. Each platfrom has its own set of rules, so make sure to learn as much as possible about your chosen video platform so that you can customize your content accordingly and maximize results.
- Stable and fast internet connection – You will need a fast and stable internet connection so that you can stream properly and avoid any issues such as stream freeze, buffer, or drop off.
- Audio and video sources – When you stream video data from your video camera during the live stream, it is called a video source, while the stream of audio data, is called an audio source. If you want to do simple live streaming, you can use one audio and video source, while a complex one can use up to two or more sources during a live stream. Combinations of audio and video sources are collectively known as scenes or layouts.
Examples of Audio Sources For a Live Stream
Audio sources can come from an audio file, a handheld, or a USB microphone. You can connect your microphone signal through your camera. This way, the audio will be embedded in your video source, combining them through a single cable, which is a common way live streamers use to capture both the audio and video.
You must be careful when using background music for your live stream as online video platforms always monitor and flag copyrighted content, which can result in you receiving a copyright strike violation and may result in a live stream ban.
Video sources can come from different equipment such as a camcorder, DSLR camera, computer screen, webcam, professional PTZ camera, smartphone, or tablet camera. If you need to live stream, a storage card in your camera is not required. If you need a camera or a camcorder, you can check out Enhanced View Services Shop.
How Do You Capture Audio and Video Sources?
For you to start to live streaming your content, you have to capture the signal from both audio and video sources. Some video sources nowadays are known to use HDMI cable or SDI cable for an external connection. Both cables are capable of carrying both audio and video. If you use a laptop or PC with a software encoder for streaming, then you can connect your camera using the HDMI or SDI cable and you will have to use a capture card, which is an intermediary device.
A capture card is needed to capture what the camera you are using is recording. You have to connect it to your camera on one side and the PC or laptop using a USB cable on the opposite side. If you have a hardware encoder, they usually have interior capture cards that allow you to connect to video sources straightaway. If you will be using a USB microphone and camera, you can capture their signals by connecting both to your computer.
A video encoder is a device that you use to translate the video signal properly for the internet. It will compress and convert the audio and video signal into an accepted digital format. A video encoder is necessary because some video sources are not usually ready for live streaming; you need to convert them to web-friendly files. Video cameras are known for recording big video files which are not ready for live streaming and must be converted accordingly.
What Are the Different Types of Encoders?
- Smartphone or tablet
- PC or laptop with streaming software
- Hardware encoder
A smartphone or tablet can be a simple video source and encoding device. However, you need to consider that its production capabilities are very limited.
Software encoders are applications installed in your computer and it compresses and packages the video source and sends it to the internet. You will need a capture card to capture the video signal from your source to your laptop or PC.
There is plenty of both free and paid streaming software that you can use, which includes Streamlabs, Wirecast, vMix, OBS Studio, etc. If you are a beginner streamer, you can go for OBS Studio so that you can learn about encoding. It is free, the settings are easy to understand, and you can rely on some online tutorials to help you use it.
Streaming software will require you to use a powerful computer to handle it properly, if not, your viewers will experience buffering and dropped frames while you experience lag on your computer. You need to at least use a PC or laptop with Intel Core i5 2.8 GHz with 8 GB Ram so that you can have a smooth live stream experience.
Hardware encoders are devices that you use when you need to encode a video and audio. If you have a hardware encoder that you can connect your audio and video sources to directly, there is no need for capture cards. Hardware encoders can accept different video input formats such as HDMI, DVI, SDI, VGA, etc. You must connect to the internet to stream.
There are different types of hardware encoders. Some are simple and easy to use, portable, and small, which are capable of taking in one or two video sources, while others come with a cellular signal for internet connection. Others are complicated and bulky, which can take a lot of video and audio sources. Hardware encoders are convenient to use as they are designed for live streaming.
A streaming destination is a platform or website where your real-time video will be available to your viewers. They are also known as content delivery networks. There are free and paid streaming platforms. The most popular ones are Facebook Live, Twitch, Vimeo, and YouTube.
How to Choose a Content Delivery Network
When choosing a CDN, you need to keep in mind that it caters to specific viewers. You have to figure out what you will be live streaming and who your target audience is.
For example, if you want to focus on gaming, then you can use Twitch. On the other hand, YouTube is for lifestyle, reviews, personal vlogs, music, or shows. Facebook Live allows you to connect with your followers, share news, or grow your brand. Paid CDNS like Vimeo is focused on large events like concerts and sports. You can start with a free CDN, especially if you are a beginner, and then figure everything else and then move on to a paid one if necessary.
Fast and Stable Internet Connection
You must get a steady and fast network connection as it can affect the outcome of your live streaming. The most reliable connection is a hardwire Ethernet line. If you will opt for cellular or Wi-Fi internet, you must keep in mind that their signals can fluctuate. Make sure to perform a speed test before live streaming. If your live stream has a bit rate of 7 Mbps, then you must ensure that you have at least 10.5 Mbps upload bandwidth so that you can have a smooth live stream.
If you want to focus on live streaming, then you must also ensure that you have a good working camera. A DSLR is an excellent choice for live streaming since it can provide great image quality and flexibility for footage than a webcam. A DSLR is capable of swapping out lenses that will be appropriate for your live streaming. It also has the settings like white balance and aperture that will give a professional look to your footage while live streaming. When using a DLSR camera, you should prepare it for effective live streaming; you may have to download a firmware update.
You can also use a camcorder like this one, if you need one, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Make sure to fill up this contact form if you have any questions or inquiries about our products. You must also use external microphones to improve sound quality. If you need a DSLR camera or a camcorder that you can use for live streaming, you must check out Enhanced View Services. You can check out our shop by clicking this link here.
If you need video equipment for live streaming, make sure to check out Enhanced View Services. We are a professional dealer of broadcast audio and video equipment. If you need specific equipment, please let us know and we will help you find it. Our policy is always to check and test the quality of the products before we offer them to the public.
If you have any questions or inquiries about our company or the products that we are currently offering please do not hesitate to reach to us. You can call us at 305.971.2916 or send an email at [email protected] If you need audio or video equipment, make sure to choose a company like Enhanced View Services. What are you waiting for? Contact us today, and we will do our best to provide you with your audio and video equipment needs!