Live streaming your production is a complex task, but we are here to help make it easier.
1. Good Lighting. Before you even consider how much to spend on a new camera, good lighting will help you provide crisper video whether you are using a Sony Handicam or a Professional ENG Camera. Adobe Flash does not handle low lighting situations very well and you will see additional compression artifacts. Dynamic lighting helps as well, like having your subject(s) with bright light and a contrasting background to help them stand out. Never forget the basics of production.
2. Quality Audio. I think Audio is always the most important and most underrated aspect of a video feed. Use a quality microphone and be sure to have a simple mixer to guarantee higher quality audio. Wired is always more reliable and cheaper. If your production already has a soundboard in the mix, be sure to take advantage of their feed and connect it to your system! I recommend going to Amazon.com for low prices on some prosumer audio gear and excellent return policies. You can also visit a local dealer if you want to test everything.
3. A Good Camera. Assuming your lighting is optimal, now you can start thinking about a camera. Most streams are in 720p, so you will want to make sure your camera is able to do 720p. 1080p cameras are ok, as long as your setup has a switcher or converter that can accept the signal and output 720p to your streaming device. Try to avoid filming in 1080i, interlaced frames perform poorly on encoders and players for streaming.
4. More Camera Angles! The more angles you have to cut to, the more fluid and larger your production will feel. A single camera in a small venue or studio will feel small, multiple cameras will help show the space and the audience will be more engaged with the content.
5. STABLE CONNECTION! Always go for straight Ethernet, and avoid wireless signals and connections of any kind. Make sure you keep other Internet traffic on your connection to a minimum; preferably no other users should be on your network. Your Internet will need at least a 5Mbps upload speed to get a stable connection for live streaming.
6. Don’t Publicize Too Early. Since you have a live show, people definitely need to know the event is occurring in advance. However, if you publicize your event two weeks it advance, your promotion may lose its momentum. If you are launching a stream, this may be OK, but for your regular and weekly show airings, 2-3 days in advance is sufficient. Remember, if you can do shows on a regular basis, it will be easier to build an audience of loyal followers. You can do shows every Tuesday or Wednesday at 8pm, or any other time to meet your demographic. Be predictable and convenient.
8. Start streaming your feed 15 minutes before the event. You can have a “starting soon” banner, images, countdown timers, live audience shots, or media clips… anything to keep people interested so they stick around for the start.
9. Use Social Media to promote! Twitter and Facebook are excellent resources to reach your viewers and let them know you are live. Remember to add the show link to your entries so people can navigate to the show with one click.
10. Re-Stream your events! Your channel is still there whether you are streaming or not, so why not have content! Not everyone will be able to watch your stream at the time it goes on live. Like a television show, you can do re-runs the next day for those who missed it live the day before. This will also help promote your next live streaming show and build an audience!
Happy streaming everyone!