Getting started in live streaming can be a daunting task to say the least. You want to make sure your stream, video and audio quality are up to par with your brand, and that your live stream is a good representation of your mission statement. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to gear that will get the job done.
Recently, Telestream published a great guide to getting started and jumping in head first to the world of live streaming. The article details some great options for cameras, mixers, and audio interfaces. We're taking a look at some highlights from that article, below.
Computer and Camera
One of the first things to consider is the hardware that will be required to create a live stream. There are plenty of great cameras to chose from, including PTZ cameras, which will add motion to your production, and were designed with live streaming in mind.
As for a computer, the device you'll need will depend on your workflow, namely a software or hardware encoder. A software encoder running from your computer will require a more powerful machine, whereas a hardware encoder will offload the pressure of the stream from your PC.
"A desktop or notebook computer will work just fine for your beginner setup. You’ll want to have an i5 processor with 4-8 GB of ram, and enough hard drive space for your programs and recordings – today’s computers usually come with at least 1TB of space which should be sufficient."
Lighting is as important as a clear, 4K or high definition camera. The look of your stream depends on it being well lit and clear, and with so many options on what content to consume, building your audience is going to depend on things looking their absolute best.
"No need to spend a lot of money on lighting, just make sure you’re in a well-lit room. Today’s web cameras have “auto gain” controls that will brighten your picture or they have “backlight” functions to boost the lighting. It’s not until you get into a more intermediate/advanced setup, that you would need to branch off to get some external lighting."
Audio is one of the most overlooked, but most important elements of any video production, live or post produced. For those streaming from a computer directly, there are built in microphones, the same is true of most cameras. However, this audio quality is the bare minimum, and often times an external mic will be the element to separate your stream from the crowd.
NDI sources are an excellent way to set your stream apart, step up the quality, and make the process of creating your stream more efficient. NDI allows broadcasters to bring in sources from anywhere on the network with no additional connections. This includes camera feeds, computer screens, audio and more.
"It’s really simple to use, and there are free NDI scan converters that can be downloaded from many sources. For a beginner setup, look through the free apps before moving to paid because most of the free apps are more than proficient."