Thanks to increasingly affordable methods and steadily improving technology, live-streaming is becoming more and more popular for high schools to broadcast events.
In order to make sure your broadcast runs smoothly, here are five tips to help you produce a high-quality stream.
1. Test your equipment
If you’re producing events on a regular basis, it’s always a good idea to test your equipment. Make sure your camera focuses, your laptop runs efficiently, any cords aren’t frayed, etc. You can’t run a broadcast if your gear isn’t working properly.
2. Secure a good vantage point with a power source
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to make sure you have a good location to broadcast your event from and that it has a power outlet. You may have space reserved for you, but if you don’t, arriving early to ensure a smooth set-up is recommended.
Always be prepared with a power strip and extension cords so that powering your equipment doesn’t become an issue. Chances are that not all of your equipment is battery powered.
3. Make sure you are connected to a fast and reliable internet source
This is THE most important thing when it comes to streaming. When streaming live video, an internet upload speed of at least 1mbps is needed to broadcast. A good resource to check your internet connection is Speedtest.net.
Ethernet (hard-wire connection) is your best source, but strong Wi-Fi connections work just as well and can even be better depending on speed. If you don’t have an Ethernet or Wi-Fi source, a mobile hotspot is another option that can purchased through most major wireless carriers.
4. Keep your set-up organized
This tip is another one that may seem obvious, but making sure that your equipment is set up neatly eliminates a lot of headaches. The last thing you need is for cords to get tangled or something to become unplugged.
Keeping your broadcast area organized makes it easier to troubleshoot potential equipment issues and makes tear-down that much easier when the event is over.
5. Monitor your stream
This is effort takes multiple team members, with one person working as a “quality assurance” engineer to assist the producer. The producer and QA must both be attentive monitors of the broadcast and communicate effectively to thwart any potential issues.
The QA’s job is to watch the live stream and look for any problems with the video and audio quality and work with the producer to mitigate them.
As you can see, producing a great live stream has a lot to do with preparation in terms of making sure your equipment is ready to go and getting familiar with the broadcast location. Once you’re up and running, having a teammate serve as quality assurance, helps to maintain a high-quality live stream.