7 Tips for Using Cellphones for Live Multicam Success

With a rise in live streaming and remote communication becoming absolutely necessary, some people have begun using their mobile phones as their device of choice for streaming.

However, a high quality stream can be difficult to achieve for a live stream from your cellphone. Streamingmedia.com recently posted a great article detailing how you can create a quality product for your mobile phone stream. We're going to take a closer look at the finer points of that article, below.

7 Tips for Mobile Phone Multi-Camera Streaming

Rule #1: Bring your Own Good Wi-Fi

WiFi is the backbone to creating your successful stream. We urge you not to rely on the WiFi provided when creating a mobile stream.

Using an iPad’s built-in Wi-Fi may work, in some cases, with one external camera or two. But it is a real compromise compared to using a good, high-end wireless router. Currently, good wireless routers start at about $150 each. Also consider mesh Wi-Fi systems. 

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In addition to a solid router, a truly mobile solution may be what you are looking for- with devices such as the LiveU Solo. Paired with the SoloConnect bundles, its an out of box experience for mobile streamers using MiFi as opposed to a hard wired connection.

Rule #2: Don't Trust the House

As established, never trust the WiFi of the venue you are streaming from blindly. The same goes for gear. Always report to your shoot for your stream with all of the necessary equipment, even when the venue promises resources.

Rule #3: Backups

What if your smartphone or batteries fail? Nothing is worse than losing your gear mid way through a high stakes stream. The best thing a mobile streamer can do is be familiar with your gear- this includes short comings.

Working around problems is essential, and key to creating a professional stream. Always have effective backups and contingency plans.

Rule #4: Test Everything

A cardinal rule in all streaming- both from the studio or mobile streams- is to always test your gear, repeatedly. Tests should include the best conditions, closest to the conditions of your live stream. Try to fully duplicate the scenario you will be in when creating your stream, to the last detail.

This is also where you figure out which pieces of the puzzle you don’t yet have. Are you going to use house audio? What if they give you an XLR? With line-level audio? What if it’s balanced 1/4"? Mic-level? What if it’s unbalanced audio? And if there’s a hum when you plug it into your mixer? What if it’s an RCA jack in the wall? You need to be prepared to convert all of these sources to what your mixer expects.

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Rule #5: Site Survey

A site survey can be crucial when trying to minimize potential hiccups and problems. You and your team must be familiar with your setting- including where cameras and microphones can be place, and what angles will be available for your multi-camera stream.

Is there an IT person you can talk to? Can they give you a dedicated line? What upload speeds can you get? Are those speeds guaranteed? Have they apportioned the proper QoS for your feed? Where does the feed come in? Where do you get to set up?

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Rule #6: Dedicated Devices

Make sure your devices creating your stream are dedicated to that one sole purpose. Especially when using mobile phones and smart devices, a phone call or text can be the perfect way to interrupt your shoot. We suggest only using gear with the sole purpose of creating, unless you can guarantee no interruption.

Rule #7: Reboot and Update (With Caution)

All of your gear should be updated to the most recent resources available- within a certain window. It is important that you do not update your gear the day of your shoot, as live streaming is often time sensitive. Make sure your gear is updated the day before- latest.

Learn more in this article from streamingmedia.com.

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