Posts Tagged ‘livestream guide’
Live online video offers an unprecedented level of connectedness between users, events, and the brands that host them. Modern processors, webcams, and bandwidth speeds now allow companies large and small to become their own Live TV studio. Businesses can now stream company announcements, educational seminars, and valuable Q&A sessions directly to users on their website in real time.
Want to broadcast live video around the world but don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick guide to getting started with live streaming video, following the process used to get The Unidev Live Channel up and running.
Hardware and Equipment
Though the equipment is fairly simple, the hardware involved in the live streaming process is very important. The major elements needed are a camera, a microphone, and a PC robust enough to process the video.
A high-definition webcam is a simple way to capture video that is easy to encode and broadcast. For Unidev live we used a Logitech 1080p Webcam Pro C910 that cost around $70. This was a fairly inexpensive way to capture high quality video, and its USB output made it simple for encoding and streaming.
Next an audio capturing device is needed. While most webcams have a microphone, higher quality and flexibility is achieved with a dedicated microphone. For Unidev Live we used a MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone for about $75. This microphone captured the ambient noise in the room, which was ideal for our discussion based events. Again, the USB output on this microphone makes sound capture and encoding very simple on a PC.
A fairly powerful computer is needed to process and encode the video and audio on the fly. The CPU is the most important component. To achieve a desirable frame rate (at least 30 frames per second), the computer should be equipped with a dual or quad core processor. The computer should also have a decent amount of RAM (4 GB) and a dedicated video card with at least 512MB VRAM.
Streaming video also requires a certain amount of bandwidth to broadcast a quality video. Upload speeds should be around 1.2 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps. As always you can test your bandwidth speeds at speedtest.net.
Software and Service
Once all the hardware is in place, it’s time to select a streaming service to host your live channel. Justin.tv, Ustream.tv, and Livestream.com are all popular services that allow for free live video broadcasting. We decided to host on Livestream.com for The Unidev Live channel due to the simplicity of the interface and software, but all three services are capable and free.
It is possible to broadcast live video from the webcam on the Livestream.com website right away. However, if you would like to incorporate a feed from the desktop to include videos, slides, and graphics you will need to download capturing software.
Livestream.com offers Procaster, a small program that connects directly with your Livestream.com channel. Procaster captures, encodes, and streams the webcam video feed, the audio from the mic, and a feed of the computer monitor. This allows for live editing between video of the presenter and presentation slides on the computer, including picture-in-picture.
Live streaming allows businesses to create content in real time with their fans in a high impact medium. Additionally, the live player is fully embeddable on your website and the broadcasts are recorded and archived to show other viewers later.
This technology offers a great opportunity for brand building and consumer engagement. Overall, live video broadcasting does have some technical demands, but the content produced is very valuable.
Questions regarding live video broadcasting or video optimization? Contact us today!