What is live-streaming?
Live streaming is a video broadcast that takes place in real-time. It can be viewed on many devices, including computers and mobile phones.
It has become increasingly popular over the past few years as social media platforms have made it easier to do so without having expensive cameras or software required for live video production. Today, people of all ages are using this technology to share their experiences across various sites such as Facebook Live and Snapchat’s Story feature, which lets users upload up to 24 hours of content directly onto their stories before they disappear after viewing them once by each follower who views your story during its duration (24 hour period).
How to get started with live streaming?
If you want to get started with live streaming, consider a few things: what type of content are you going to create, how will it be distributed, and where does your audience hang out online. Let’s explore these questions one by one.
If there is an event that has been bothering the mind for some time, then why not use this platform rather than writing about it in private or find someone who can tell others? One great example would be using Facebook Live broadcasts from terrible weather conditions like hurricanes Irma and Maria last year when they struck Florida after making their way across much of the Caribbean causing widespread damage. There was no power, but people still found ways through social media, especially Facebook which allows users access even when offline as long as they have the app downloaded.
You can broadcast on your own or create a live-streaming event where people can interact with you and each other. This would be ideal for businesses looking to build an audience, brands looking to promote products, nonprofits searching for donations, and so forth.
Setting up Your Live Streaming
- A video and audio source is the cameras, computers, and any other image sources that we’ll be discussing in this post. Audio includes microphones, mixer feeds, and sounds to play on your stream.
- A video encoder is a valuable piece of equipment that sends your video to the internet.
- A Streaming Destination – This is the video streaming platform you will need. A Streaming Destination
- Internet connectivity is central to the task of live-streaming your content. An unstable, unreliable internet connection will result in choppy video and poor video quality.
Your streaming setup workflow is all about setting up your audio hosting platform, video solution to the encoder, planning for a stream, and then establishing connections between everything. Once you’re connected, it’s time to hit record!
The type of live streaming you want to do will help determine what type of video equipment you need for it. Here are a few of the most common video setups you can use:
Webcam – This is one of the easiest ways to get started with live streaming. This is because when you use a webcam, it’s just an ordinary device that you already have on your computer. It could be a little USB camera or a built-in webcam on your laptop.
DSLR Camera – Some live streaming video setups use a DSLR camera. DSLR cameras let you capture HD video footage and upload it to your computer for editing. If you have a DSLR camera and want to stream, make sure that your camera is capable of outputting HD resolution like 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps. A good idea is to test your camera prior to connecting it to the streaming platform you are going to use.
Camcorder – Cameras like this work well since they’re designed for shooting video and include more professional features like XLR audio inputs that let you plug in an external microphone. Camcorders also tend to have better image sensors than DSLRs and overheat less.
Your audio equipment will depend on what type of live streaming setup you are using. You can use your computer’s built-in microphone or a separate device that captures audio from a different source, like the sound from your camera or an external mic.
The best live streaming microphones are categorized by their connection type and sound quality. In our guide, we discuss the three tiers of microphone types to help you prioritize your audio investment in future streams based on which tier is most important for what you’re trying to achieve with a stream.
Here are some examples of the top microphones in each tier:
Bronze – Example of this type is the built-in microphone of a webcam.
Silver – These microphones offer better audio fidelity over the bronze devices. USB microphones and 3.5mm microphones are examples of this type.
Gold – These microphones are more expensive, but they’re great for professional setups. They’re typically large-diaphragm condenser microphones that have high-quality sound and zero latency (meaning there isn’t a delay while the sound comes out of the speaker and goes back into the microphone). You’ll need a mixer or audio interface in order to connect it to your computer. XLR is the most common type of cable for Gold microphones.
Audio Mixer – With this type, you will need either a mixer or a video camera with an audio-in port to plug it into. A mixer works by receiving multiple input signals and combining them to output only a single signal. This allows you to adjust the volume of certain elements of your stream, like game sounds and microphone noise.
Video Encoder/Streaming Destination
The video encoder that you use will depend on the streaming platform you choose, as well as how much of a priority resolution is for you. If you prioritize quality over everything else, then a professional-grade encoder may be the best choice for you.
For example, Xsplit Broadcaster and OBS Studio are popular streaming platforms that have free versions available to everyone. They’re both capable of streaming live video at resolutions up to 1080p at 60 frames per second (fps) or 720p at 60 fps.
If your streaming destination supports streaming video at up to 1080p at 60 fps, then your live streaming setup will also need these minimum specs:
- A high-performance CPU (Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II X4)
- At least 4 GB of RAM
- A graphics card that can support the video encoder (NVIDIA GeForce 480, ATI Radeon 5870, or better)
- An audio interface (if you’re using a separate microphone and want to do live commentary while streaming)
- A webcam (optional)
- A USB or 3.5mm audio output (optional)
You’ll need a certain amount of Internet connectivity to stream live. You can get away with about 5 Mbps for streaming live video at 720p and 3 Mbps for streaming at 480p (lower resolution). That said, the more bandwidth available you have, the higher quality your stream can be.
- Cable/Fiber Optic is highly recommended
- 5Mbps is the minimum speed you’ll need to stream live video at 720p with a webcam.
- 3 Mbps is the minimum speed for streaming live video in 480p without a webcam.
- A DSL connection should suffice if it has an upload speed of more than 2 Mbps. A dial-up connection will not work.
Mobile Live Streaming Equipment
Mobile live streaming requires a different setup than what you’d need for studio-based live streaming. It is possible to do mobile live streaming with just your smartphone (especially if it has a high-quality camera like the iPhone 12 Pro), but there are some tools that can help improve the end result, such as:
- A tripod
- An external microphone (doesn’t work well with the iPhone’s built-in mic)
- External speaker (for commentary on mobile live streaming)
Your Internet connection also needs to be taken into consideration. Mobile internet speeds can vary depending on your location and which mobile carrier you use, but a minimum of 2 Mbps for 480p video is recommended.
How to make money from live streaming?
If you want to make money from live streaming, you need a very good internet connection and your computer or mobile device needs to be powerful enough to deal with the video and audio upload. You also need a good camera that can capture your world in all its detail. You will also need to get familiar with streaming software like Wirecast or XSplit because this is a requirement if you’re interested in monetizing your work on YouTube or TwitchTV. You’ll also need to be good at engaging with your live audience.
If you want to make money on YouTube, then monetizing your videos is the best way. In order to monetize your video, all you have to do is add in adverts in a certain format and they will appear on your video. You can only start monetizing your videos once you have 10,000 public views.
A live stream on TwitchTV is similar to one from YouTube because it also allows you to monetize the video with adverts but there are additional requirements that must be met in order for this to work. According to the TwitchTV website, on your Dashboard page under Stream Key, there will be an option to “Enable Revenue Generating Features” and by clicking the box on this page you can turn on the option for advertisements.
Tips for Becoming a Successful Streamer
1. Have a plan – Know what you want to live stream, when, and where.
2. Find your audience – Who is going to be watching? Is it brand-related or chat-related?
4. Quality and content – Do you have the equipment needed to make it high quality?
5. Engage – Involve your viewers by actively communicating with them in live chats.
6. Spread the word – You can use social media to promote your live stream, however, you have to be careful with spamming.
7. Promote – Promoting a live broadcast is very similar to promoting any other video and it’s done on Facebook or Twitter for example.
8. Monetize – In order to make money from live streaming, you need to have a large viewership.
9. Measure – Find out the number of people who watched your live stream and how many new followers you got as a result of it. This will help shape future live streaming plans.
Live streaming can be a great way for businesses and marketers to engage their audience in real-time. The best live stream equipment depends on what type of live stream you want to produce and the type of audience you’re trying to reach. Once you have your stream setup, tracking KPIs will help you see the impact of your streaming efforts on your business or brand.