Setting up a live stream is a straightforward affair, as long as you have all your elements in place. With technologies such as StreamNow making the rounds in tech circles, live streaming is proving to be more affordable and relevant for companies across the board. That said, it can often be daunting for a novice to procure the necessary live streaming equipment, technology and content to set up a streaming platform. If you just felt a twinge of recognition, this guide is for you. Here, we walk you through the video broadcasting equipment you’ll need to establish your very own live streaming service.
Live Video Streaming Equipment
You already knew this, but what you may not know is that you needn’t invest in obscenely expensive live streaming camera equipment to set up a streaming platform. You can use your smartphone or a budget webcam just as well. Of course, if you are inclined towards rendering your stream professionally, an HD camera is your best bet. There are hundreds of models that you can choose from, and if you’re especially strapped for cash, it’s worthwhile to wait for a sale to clinch a great price.
If you’re tempted to settle for a cheap microphone, think again. A good quality microphone can take your stream from good to fabulous, lending a certain continuity and voice to your delivery. Granted, your camera most likely comes with a microphone inbuilt, but go for an external microphone if you’re seeking superior voice quality. This way, you can cut out the noise and channel sound effectively. Again, there are a host of microphones available in the market and waiting to catch a discounted price is a good idea. If you’d rather pick now, Micro Boya BY-M1 and Micro Audio-Technica AT2020 are favorable options.
An encoder forms the confluence of your audio and your video, meshing your sound and your images together. There are two types of encoders you could consider.
A physical encoder is a cuboidal device that contains jacks for your camera and your microphone. It can be connected to the web, allowing for a stream to be transmitted in real time. Here, it is important to note that a wired connection between an encoder and a device works best; alternatives like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can create lags, as can a shared internet link. If you’re conflicted about which encoder may work best for you, look at models by Vbrick, Tricaster or Matrox.
If you’d rather avoid the hassle of purchasing a physical encoder and would prefer to take a less expensive, yet just as effective route, an encoding software is your answer. While some come free, the more sophisticated ones come with a price tag. The catch here, though, is that a streaming software is intrinsically tethered to your computer, and you must carry your computer with you wherever you go in order to stream. Your microphone and camera, too, must be connected to your computer. Keep in mind that an encoding software requires a resilient, powerful computer, so if you have a limited RAM or have a computer with a low processor, this option may not be for you. Some good options as far as encoding software’s go, are Adobe Flash, Xsplit and Open Broadcaster.
4. Internet Link:
Without a strong internet connection, you may as well kiss farewell to your live streaming service. Make sure you pick an internet connection adequate enough to support content in HD or 4K. An upload speed of 2.5 Mbps is a good starting point, and to make sure that your bandwidth remains consistent, protect your internet link from others. To know your bandwidth speed, take a speed test online on speedtest.net. Another point to consider is getting a rock-solid wired connection. A wired internet link is far more sturdy than a wireless one and will offer you a lower latency in comparison. If your streams are captured on the move, then a wireless connection may be your only option, but even here, make sure that you don’t share access with other users to maintain optimal internet speeds.
5. Live Streaming Software:
Typically, setting up a live streaming service would entail dozens of man hours of coding, designing and developing, in addition to various other resources. Luckily, the advent of turnkey frameworks has made setting up a live stream easier for businesses. StreamNow, a product developed by parent company StreamHash, is a welcome innovation for tech entrepreneurs. The framework fits easily into a company’s existing technology stack, offering it a real-time interface with customers.
When it comes to live streaming, it is important that you build your infrastructural ecosystem to be robust, especially if you plan to broadcast streams on the go. As you set sail on your new broadcasting adventure, make sure that you have all the right equipment for live streaming. This way, the winds will always be in your favor.