How to Start Streaming in 6 Steps

How to Start Streaming?

Live Streaming is sending video data over the internet in real time to different platforms where people can watch you live. Like TV news, where news reporters broadcast live, and you see them on your TV.  The same goes with live streaming, except everything is happening in front of your computers or mobile phones. 

A bit of history, live streaming dates back to 1993. A bit hard to believe, but yes, it was 27 years ago. It was a group of engineers who tried to test and broadcast an event over the internet, and they were successful, making that the first ever live stream in history, but it was in 2008 when YouTube launched it’s first ever live stream event and from then on had played a major role in the world of live streaming. Now there are many platforms and software that you can use to go live.

It’s like Vlogging, except there are no edits and prerecorded stuff. Just live and uncensored. If you’re wondering how they do it, and how you can go live, then read on. 

THINGS YOU’LL NEED:

1. Laptop / PC

Most laptop and computers these days are already good, however it would still depend, if you’re planning to be a gaming streamer, I don’t think a normal computer with basic specs will exactly meet your needs. Anyway, for a not-so-hardcore live streaming setup, you need to find at least a device with an 8GB RAM and at least i7 processor. You’ll also need USB ports, the more the better.

A laptop on it’s own is already a setup. It has a mic, it has a camera, and it can transmit your data. Those are the basic things you’ll need. That’s it. You’re good to goHowever, if you want your feed to look and sound more professional, read items 2, 3 & 4.

 

2. Webcam

How to Start Streaming
How to Start Streaming

As we have been saying on our posts, built in cameras on our laptops and phones are not good. If you’ve ever seen a professional live stream you’ll notice that the video quality is good, it’s clear, bright, visually good to watch. In order for you to have that video feedback you’ll need to get a separate camera. Some people use DSLR cameras and connect it to their computer, if you have one, use it.  Though you’ll might need a Capture Card for your setup. But an easier and cheaper way is to get a good webcam.

 

3. Microphone

How to Start Streaming
How to Start Streaming – Blue Yeti

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Just like built in cameras, built in microphones are NOT ideal for professional use. A good and clear audio is just as important as a good and clear video quality. If they can see you and your screen, but can’t hear you, it won’t be good. Video and Audio always goes hand in hand.

 

4. Lights

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When live streaming, one of the most overlooked elements are lights. A good lighting setup can do so much for your video. It makes your video look more professional. If you’re conducting a conference, or an online class, this will make your viewers more engaged, and if you’re streaming publicly, this can also attract a larger audience. One of the famous and budget friendly light setup are ring lights, these are okay. but a problem with it is it cast a circular light on your eyes, it’s bad if you’re wearing glasses. It could be distracting. If you want to add lights, our recommendation will be the Elgato Key Light. 

 

5. Software

This is something that you will need to download, this will be your encoder. What an encoder does is it takes all your video input, and converts it into a format compatible to different platforms. It’s like a video editing tool, but it does the work in real time, you can add animated titles, intros, chroma key, live switching, you can add the layers to your social media comments on your live feed, etc, many stuff you can tinker on with these software. Some of the most used software are:

  • OBS Studio
  • VMix
  • StreamYard
  • BeLive
  • Wirecast Studio

 

6. Streaming Channels

The big question to live streamers, where will you broadcast? You have many options, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Periscope, LinkedIn, all of which are free. There are paid options as well.  In choosing your channel, you have to keep in mind who are your audiences. If it’s more on businessmen and professionals, you might want to opt for LinkedIn. if you’re a Gamer, Twitch is a good platform.

Can you simulcast? Definitely. If you want to broadcast on multiple platforms, say Facebook, YouTube and Twitch at the same time. Some software that you could use are:

  • Switchboard
  • Castr
  • Restream

You can set your live stream either on public, or private. Also, do not forget that you need to have a good internet connection to be successful in this field.

 

Live Streaming is now being used for many different purposes. It can be use for conferences, webinars, online classes, online selling, gaming, events. It generates more engagements, comments, shares, and viewing time than normal videos. It’s a great way to build your audiences, it’s a new form of reaching out to customers and building your brand. It could be a business for anyone who knows how to use it to their advantage.

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