Are you considering streaming an event live to reach more viewers? Whether COVID-19 limited the audience or you want to share a conference meeting with employees around the world, broadcasting over the web can be the solution. Here is what you should know about the live streaming requirements to ensure everything goes smoothly!
If you want to stream a video, it is only normal that you will need a camera. Now, you have a variety of options here, and they largely depend on what you expect from the event.
The experts recommend avoiding integrated webcams on laptops since they won’t deliver the expected video quality. If you are streaming a small event, you can consider using a smartphone camera. Avoid holding the phone in your hand while shooting since the footage will be shaky. Instead, use a tripod, and install a microphone to improve the sound.
A more expensive option is to use a dedicated live camera. You can choose from hundreds of options available on the market, and some general tips include:
- Go with an action camera if you expect the streaming to be active. For example, a sports event is best suitable for this device.
- Camcorders specialize in shooting videos. It might be a bit expensive but go with a device that features HDMI and Wi-Fi capability.
- DSLR is a great choice if you are aiming to get the best quality from both videos and photos.
The price needs to be an important consideration here. You can get affordable cameras for around $100, but expect high-end devices to cost up to $1,000 or more.
PC or Laptop
You will need computer hardware to use for live streaming. It is up to you whether you decide on a laptop or classic desktop PC.
Laptops come with an obvious portability benefit. You can carry them from one location to another, which can be convenient if you plan on streaming from multiple locations.
As for desktop PCs, they are more affordable than laptops. That can be important because you will need a powerful machine for live streaming. The experts recommend a strong processor like Intel i7, as well as 8-16GB of RAM. Another thing to consider is that you will need multiple USB ports to connect cameras and other devices.
The downside of desktop computers is that they are not that portable because of their sheer size and weight. However, the ultimate decision is up to you.
Apart from a powerful machine, you will also need specialized streaming software. These apps are also known as encoders. Their task is to read the signal received from external video and audio devices and convert it into signal ready to stream online.
While you can get some low-cost or even free solutions, if you want to keep a high level of streaming quality, a premium package is recommended. The good news is that you can use free trials to test most programs.
The next thing you will need is a high-quality internet connection. Not only it has to be stable, but it needs to have the upload bandwidth sufficient to send the stream to the internet. The exact bandwidth will depend on the stream quality you want to achieve.
For example, if you plan to stream at 512kbps, it is enough to have a 700kbps bandwidth. However, if you are targeting HD streaming, you will need higher bandwidth. Think of it like this – always have upload capabilities of at least 1.5x of the desired stream quality. If you are going for a 2mbps stream, you will need 3mbps for everything to go smoothly.
The final requirement is related to streaming channels. We are living in times where you have options to stream for free. Facebook Live and YouTube are the two most common free options, while Twitch specializes in gaming. You can also pick third-party platforms to customize capabilities to your needs.
Here are some other live streaming requirements to consider:
- Lighting – you might need front and backlights to ensure viewers can see everything properly. Always check how the stream looks from a viewer’s perspective to ensure you got everything right.
- Microphones and speakers – these can take the sound quality to the next level. You can consider an audio mixer to combine audio from different sources.
- Cables – you will need sufficient cable length, which you should plan carefully, especially for large events.
As you can see, streaming an event live is not the easiest task. If you prefer to let professionals handle your stream, our company provides live streaming services of the highest quality. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss the details of your event and find out why we are the best in the business!