Video technology has made it easier for anyone to pick up a camera and live stream, streaming audiences have grown, with an impressive 1.1 billion hours of live video consumed in 2019 alone. If you were thinking about live streaming content, now is your time to shine.

Live streaming is a great way to connect with your audience, and can be used by businesses as a way to offer exclusive events, collaborative how-tos, behind-the-scenes looks, and much more. With 90% of consumers saying product videos help them make purchasing decisions and 87% of marketers reporting that video gives them a positive ROI, it goes without sayin that the green flag to get into live streaming is out. 

Getting into live streaming could be overwhelming for new comers; by the end of this article, you’ll understand how to live stream, what gear you may use, and the different live streaming platforms so you can find the right destination for your awesome content.

Getting started with live streaming

Bearing in mind that your gear and setup will determine the technical quality of your broadcast, it is important to note that what really matters when live streaming is the content you prepare. 

Live streaming's soul purpose is to connect in an authentic way with your audience, creating easy conversation and high engagement.

Once you have drafted your content, then you can think about your setup gear. Here’s a checklist of the gear you’ll need before you start live streaming:

  • Audio input
  • Camera input
  • Switcher and encoder 
  • Internet bandwidth
  • Live streaming platform

Picking your camera and audio

Here are the best options for your streaming setup if you are beginning with live stream. Should you want to worry less about the camera and audio gear, you may always have your smartphone or built-in webcam to start. 

Whatever material you choose to use, make sure your broadcast looks professional by using the following tips:

  • Use a clean, interesting background
  • Make sure you speaker/presenter is set up in the center of the frame
  • Set up lights or try to use natural light in front of you, not behind you
  • Find a quiet place and remove background noises
  • Try to keep things static and minimize movements

If you decide to use your mobile phone to start off with live streaming, apps like Vimeo for iOS and Android will allow you to simulcast to reach broader audiences. 

If you want to take things a step the extra mile and bring your image and audio quality to a professional standard, here are some great ideas you can explore for your cameras, audio and lighting setup.

Choosing a switcher and encoder

Once you have your audio and video sources locked in, you’ll need to look at switchers and encoders.

An encoder is the device that processes and transforms video data into a format that is more compatible with different platforms like Vimeo, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch, etc, so your viewers can watch your content.

While some cameras have built-in encoders, you may need to work with a hardware encoder (more on that in the next section) or a software encoder.

When looking into how to choose a software encoder, there are three factors to focus on.

  • Ease-of-use
  • Accessibility
  • Evergreen software

These three factors will ensure you have an encoder that’s easy to use with the technical support needed.

Hardware encoders are best used when broadcasting high quality video, audio, and multiple camera and video sources into your stream.

And for those looking for some great gear recommendations for your hardware encoding kit, here’s the full list for all the essential gear for your live streaming equipment setup from Vimeo.

Checking your internet bandwidth for live streaming

No matter how qualitative the setup is, your live stream will only be as good as your connection.

Four tips to optimize your internet bandwidth for live streaming

Plan to test out your stream on all your devices : your smartphone, web cam, or external camera before your go-live date.

1. Connect directly to the router when possible

Connecting directly whenever possible is the easiest step to take. This means going directly from your router or modem to your computer with an ethernet cable. Connecting the ethernet cable to your computer rather than relying on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is a better option. In general, it’s preferable to work with physically connected devices over wireless connections. This will help you maximize your streams.

2. Close and remove other connected devices

Closing and removing other connected sources which occupy internet speed and connectivity will help you connect more efficiently. This includes all other Wi-Fi connected devices, computers and any and all background programs that might be automatically synced and using up internet connection.

3. Upgrade your upload speed and bandwidth

No matter where you choose to stream, remember to check internet speed and bandwidth caps outlined by your internet service provider (ISP). If you plan to go live on a regular basis, consider upgrading your plan or finding an ISP that can give you a higher upload speed and bandwidth.

4. Test extensively

By testing your live stream it will help you find out what maximizes elements such as resolution, frame rate and bitrate without the risking live problems, and waiting audiences. Rehearsal is key, the more the better. 

Starting your live stream

Once you’ll have considered the different facets of live streaming, you’ll be ready to choose your live streaming platform. 

To begin, you’ll want to make sure everything is synced and your encoder is properly connected with the stream key (or RTMP URL or stream address) for each platform.

Use any live streaming production studio. Here are the services mostly used by our clients:

  • OBS Studio : an open source software for video recording and live streaming which supports any streaming platform. 
  • Vimeo Live : with Vimeo Premium and Enterprise, streamers have access to a suite of live streaming tools for your videos and events. In addition to live streaming features, Vimeo Premium also includes all the video hosting and collaboration tools to support your entire workflow.

Live streaming can prove to be surprisingly simple. By investing the right amount of time to get the right equipment sorted, you can focus on the bigger picture. This implies drafting your live stream content in your own style and creating a clear identity for yourself. 

Video broadcast with Shoply.tv

Shoply.tv Live Shopping solution is compatible with any live streaming software via RTMP protocole and our service comes with several live streaming solutions such as OBS Studio, Switcher studio, Streamlabs and Teazit box.

To know which solution better fits your needs, book a demo with our team at https://www.shoply.tv/demo