Whether you’re a new creator to the world of streaming live or a budding brand looking to step up your video marketing game, there are a few industry-standard tools you’ll need. Especially in order to share your content with the world.
This checklist is designed to serve as a beginner’s guide for those who wish to produce high-quality live video streams on a regular basis. While utilizing entry-level equipment and leaving out the next-level frills.
With time, live streaming has become a popular feature of many apps and platforms. By understanding why it is popular and what potential risks your child may face, you can help your child have a more positive online experience.
The following streaming necessities will give you the power to simulcast with multiple cameras, display on-screen graphics, and capture high-quality audio.
What does Streaming Live mean?
Streaming live is the broadcasting of live video to an audience over the internet. It can also be a one-on-one live video chat. Unlike pre-recorded videos that can be cut and edited, live streaming is just that – live and uncensored. All you need to be able to live stream is an internet-enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet, and a platform (such as a website or app) to broadcast on.
Notably, streaming live is so appealing to young people as it gives them the chance to be a creator, a presenter, and to be seen and heard by an audience. Many live streamers love the sense of being ‘at the moment’ and interacting with family, friends, or even a global audience.
Not forgetting, many apps enable audiences to engage immediately with live streamers too. By commenting and making suggestions while the stream is live. May it be a birthday message to loved ones, a topical Q&A, or a talent showcase. There are endless opportunities to broadcast fun, important, or exciting moments live.
When used in positive ways, live streaming is an excellent tool for young people to create an identity and develop confidence and communication skills. It also enables them to gain insight into their own favorite celebrity speakers or live streamers.
Increasingly, talented lives streamers can even charge audiences for exclusive, on-demand access to their streams. For young people and adults alike, the potential to earn money from their live streams is an exciting goal. Below are the requirements for streaming live;
1. A computing device
While exact technical requirements vary depending on the software you use, almost any new laptop computer available today will work. Look for something with an Intel i7 CPU, at least 8GB of RAM, a solid-state hard drive (SSD), and as many USB ports as possible.
A desktop computer is also a good option if you don’t need the portability a laptop provides. Desktops typically have more USB ports and more options for expansion, both of which are great assets if you plan to level-up your streaming activities in the future.
For individual creators and small brands, the easiest and most cost-effective cameras to use are standard USB webcams. A quick Google search will tell you which is the latest, greatest, and most popular camera for your live streaming needs.
If you’re not broadcasting from your desk or stable surface which you can affix your webcam on, or if you’re using a digital camera, you may also want to purchase a tripod.
Note: USB cameras don’t typically come with a long cord. To position them in various places you may need a USB repeater extension cable. This has a built-in component that boosts the signal.
Audio quality is one of the most important and most overlooked items in live streaming. Depending on your budget and streaming setup, there are a few different options to capture audio correctly.
If your stream involves people are sitting behind a desk or table — a stationary setup in which people aren’t moving around too much — you can use condenser microphones with a tabletop stand. These microphones are great because they don’t pick up a lot of background noise.
Lapel microphones are another great option, especially if your stream is more dynamic than the stationary sit-and-chat setup. These are little clip-on devices, and you’ve probably seen them on TV broadcasters. You can get these microphones in wired and wireless options, which make them a great choice if your stream features people standing or moving around.
One thing to note, however, is that these microphones tend to pick up a lot more room noise. If you plan to use microphones with a mixer, you’ll need to make sure they feature an XLR or ¼ audio connector. USB microphones will not work.
You will also need audio cables to attach your microphones to your mixer/laptop, and these are sometimes sold separately.
4. Audio Mixer
An audio mixer will allow you to use multiple microphones and other audio sources in your stream. It also allows you to adjust each individual’s microphone volume to ensure everyone is at the same level.
There’s an endless number of mixer options for the modern streamer to consider. The biggest consideration for a beginner? How many inputs it has. To determine how many inputs you need, estimate the number of people you may want to have on microphones at the same time.
You should also look for a mixer that has a USB output, as this is the easiest way to get the audio to your computer.
The software is where the magic happens. This is what allows you to take your multi-camera inputs and create a polished stream for broadcast, complete with scenes and transitions. This is also where you can take your logo or other graphics and overlay it on the live video.
There are plenty of video streaming and video switching software options out there, both free and paid, each designed to meet a variety of different needs. Before you go live, you’ll need to select and configure one of these packages. Most options offer free trials, too! Make use of those when deciding which package is best for you.
6. Internet Access
You need a quality Internet connection with enough bandwidth to put out a stable live stream. It’s highly recommended that you use a wired network connection and avoid Wi-Fi at all costs!
Once you have your connection, test the speed before you go live. While you can stream with less bandwidth, it’s recommended that you maintain an upload speed between 3 and 5 Mbps.
7. Streaming Channels
Where are you broadcasting to? Where do you want people to watch and react to your live stream?
Want to stream to multiple destinations but don’t have the excess bandwidth or input capabilities to make it happen? That’s where Switchboard Cloud comes in.
Switchboard Cloud is a one-input, kabillion-output platform that simultaneously sends your live stream to all the destinations you choose to broadcast on. Get the most out of your live video content, extend your reach, and maximize the number of potential viewers!
How useful is Streaming Live?
First of all, let’s all face it: a successful business or brand is all about growth. And to boost your position in your industry, you need to expand your reach. The webinars you’ve created are already high-quality and valuable for your target clients. So now what you need to do is expand your content visibility and engage your social media network to achieve it.
Of course, you have heard and read a lot about the most effective and perspective digital marketing channels to embed in your business strategy. Whereby, all the reports and forecasts sing along this catchy tune about the ultimate power of video marketing and even social media marketing. Now, you can join those two in one razor-sharp game plan.
Synchronize your webinar events with your social media network on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Just like on-demand webinars, the live streaming feature enhances your lead base. While at the same time building a solid foundation to land serious B2B Marketing relationships.
With Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Live you will:
- Reach a wider audience
- Boost your content visibility
- Engage your social media network
- Generate more leads
Start streaming your webinars live on Facebook and YouTube and influence a much wider audience!
One thing for sure, in the early days of streaming media — the mid-to-late 1990s — watching videos and listening to music online, wasn’t always fun. It was a little like driving in stop-and-go traffic during heavy rains.
For instance, if you had a slow computer or a dial-up Internet connection, you could spend more time staring at the word “buffering” on a status bar than watching videos or listening to songs. On top of that, everything was choppy, pixilated, and hard to see.
But, thanks to these platforms that offer streaming live services. Things are now more easy and simple!
What are Live Streaming Apps?
A picture speaks a thousand words, and a video displays millions! Live video streaming needs no formal introduction today. The mainstream tech world has blessed us with instant connectivity and live streaming apps. Mobile phones have transformed the way people used to communicate and entertain and expanded the horizons for mobile app marketing.
What a better way to boost your business sales or connect with your audience than with a live broadcast, from your phone from anywhere you want using live streaming apps. Now, we all know that live video streaming doesn’t need any further introduction. It simply can display million of words with the help of instant Internet connectivity.
In general, thanks to mobile phones we can now have communication that can easily be broadcasted and enjoyed. All the live streaming apps work just fine with any regular phone camera and microphone, unlike desktop computers and laptops that require a dedicated webcam and external microphone.
In the midst of emerging technology, Android and iOS phones have opted as the favorite and reliable sources of entertainment. However, streaming videos on these phones require live-streaming apps. With this in mind, you can see the Best Mobile Live Streaming Apps for Android Phones.
Mobile Live Streaming Apps
Yes, the Internet is a step forward from network television, but now and then, surfing will resemble choosing from different video channels. Television networks stream many popular episodes and movies online. But, also short clips are included almost anywhere on the sites and online courses are soaring in numbers. As well as webcasts, webinars, video chats.
The streaming video technology on the internet came a long way from popping up progress bars or buffering statuses on your screen. Speedier internet connections, enhanced decoders, and plugins, better-equipped computer machines, all contribute to putting the fun back to streaming video online.
Here are the best mobile streaming apps;
When it comes to streaming live, streamed files will always differ from the original (raw) file. But if the loading is done well and the round trip of data is minimized, the user shouldn’t even notice.
The raw video files are compressed and decompressed constantly during the streaming. And usually played in a smaller frame, so the lowering of the quality is avoided. Also, a lower frame rate is sometimes used. For example, how quickly images move from one to the next, but the streamed files should never flicker.
Ideally, the video will look and sound good, but be minimized in format and delivered as quickly as possible.
Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Live (the best live streaming apps)
Does it look like we can’t get have enough of the new features offered by the various platforms offering streaming live services? Like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We really hope so! I also love the moment of introducing them to webinar enthusiasts like yourself.
And from now on, you can combine the power of webinars with the most popular social media channels. And engage your audience like never before! Say hello to Facebook Live, Instagram Live & YouTube Live. Yes, it’s been very busy days working from home for most of us! Particularly, with the new risks affiliated to Coronavirus.
And after launching paid webinars as a tool to monetize your know-how, and on-demand webinars to boost your lead base, now it’s time to kick off another exciting feature. The most prominent of them all being Facebook, Instagram & YouTube Live.
How does Streaming Video and Audio Work?
Basically, streaming live on video and audio has come a long way. According to Bridge Ratings, 57 million people listen to Internet radio every week. In 2006, people watched more than a million streaming videos a day on YouTube [source: Reuters]. The same year, television network ABC started streaming its most popular TV shows over the Web.
People who missed an episode of shows like “Lost” or “Grey’s Anatomy” could catch up on the entire thing online — legally and for free. The success of streaming media is pretty recent, but the idea behind it has been around as long as people have.
When someone talks to you, information travels toward you in the form of a sound wave. Your ears and brain decode this information, allowing you to understand it.
This is also what happens when you watch TV or listen to the radio. Information travels to an electronic device in the form of a cable signal, a satellite signal, or radio waves. The device decodes and displays the signal.
Streaming video and audio
In streaming video and audio, the traveling information is a stream of data from a server. The decoder is a stand-alone player or a plugin that works as part of a Web browser. The server, information stream, and decoder work together to let people watch live or prerecorded broadcasts.
If you have a connection to the Internet and you want to find streaming video and audio files, you shouldn’t have to look far. Sound and video have become a common part of sites all over the Web. And the process of using these files is pretty intuitive. You find something you want to watch or hear — you click it, and it plays.
Unless you’re watching a live feed or a webcast, you can often pause, back up, and move forward through the file. Just like you could if you were watching a DVD or listening to a CD.
But if you’ve never used streaming media, your computer may need a little help to decode and play the file. You’ll need a plugin for your Web browser or a stand-alone player. Most of the time, the Web page you’ve visited points you in the right direction. It prompts you to download a specific player or shows you a list of choices.
You can read and learn more about How Streaming Video and Audio Work.
Video Streaming Process Simplified
First, the end-user selects a type of file to be watched on the computer, either .mov, .rm, .wmv, .flv or more, he owns a player such as QuickTime, RealMedia, AdobeFlash or similar, and uses a web browser plugin, in order to successfully stream a video.
Since the copy of the video never actually exists on the end-user computer, only fragments of data are displayed as they arrive. And are immediately discarded as the streaming files. For all this, a streaming server and real-time protocols are used.
The web server sends the selected file to watch to the streaming server, which in turn sends back the selected file directly to you in real-time, using either a real-time protocol (RTP), a real-time streaming protocol (RTSP), or a real-time transport control protocol (RTCP).
Instead of a streaming server, the streaming service can be rented. Especially, from streaming service providers who will then host the video “on the cloud”.
Worldwide revenues from mobile TV and video services are expected to reach $9.5 billion in 2017. This is up from $4.5 billion in 2013. And the demand is growing with the appearance of mobile markets. Truly, as mobile devices account for 10% of all global online video plays.
Also, 25% of viewing time of streaming video on tablets, for example, is spent with content over 60 minutes long. This is according to the Global Video Index (2013). Time spent streaming will thus often outpace the number of streamers.
Eventually, the amount of digital content we consume is always on the increase. And apparently, Livestream is the most powerful online video broadcast solution available. And in a need to satisfy this live streaming video demand, vendors are more and more turning to content delivery networks for video delivery.
Simply, because this technology hosts the streamed files on the cloud. As well as, packets scattered among many surrogate streaming servers around the world. And served to users from the server nearest to him.
The varying round-trip of streamed data is thus minimized and the compressing/decompressing methods optimized. And this is a top streaming service that can be rented for a monthly fee. Video content delivery is the largest contributor to commercial CDN revenue.
It’s my hope that the above-revised guide on streaming live was useful to you or even your online marketing team.
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