Live streaming has become very common, as online communication is on the rise.
In business, video streaming helps people stay connected with customers, employees and perform virtual events. On other social media platforms, various influencers live stream entertaining content for targeted viewers.
Live streaming videos are fun and, in some instances, can help you earn easy money as well. Although a mobile phone with a camera can assist you, it is not enough. If you are keen on taking up live streaming seriously, you need to invest in specific equipment. These tools will help you record professional, quality and enjoyable videos for your audience.
For this, you need to spend your money wisely on such streaming equipment and choose only the best. But what are the typical components that require these tools?
The Best Live Streaming Equipment That You Need to Start with:
A video camera is a must for professional live streaming. Many people believe that cameras attached to smartphones can do the job. Although that can be true to some extent, they have limitations in recording professional videos.
Here are the video cameras you can select accordingly:
Beginner-friendly video cameras– These are simple cameras that are cheaper, smaller and lightweight. While the video quality is average or sound, it largely depends on the lighting as well. Beginners starting live streaming for the first time can efficiently operate these cameras. Webcams and smartphones fall into this category. There are many screen recorders available that capture audio and video simultaneously. Further, you can also share your screen with viewers while live streaming.
Pro-consumer video cameras – These cameras lie in between consumer and professional cameras. They are included in the mid-range option and appear smaller than the big production cameras. Image quality is excellent and comes packed with various features. Unlike a pro-level video camera, there are few manual controls.
Professional video cameras – These include XLR and SDI pro connectors. They have high-resolution sensors that offer top-notch image quality even in poor lighting conditions. These are more durable as their build is higher and have manual controls. They have Interchangeable lenses, which give room for more creative flexibility.
Studies show that a good audio source is much more important than a video. Even if your video appears shaky or of low quality, the audience will stick to your content as long as your audio is clear. You need a good mp4 recorder to get the job done.
Based on sound quality and connection type, there are three types of microphones:
While streaming a simple video, a built-in microphone connects directly to your device and produces the lowest audio quality. These fit the budget and do not require any additional gadgets.
USB and 3.5mm have medium to high quality and record semi-professional live streams. These are easy to use and budget-friendly.
XLR microphones provide the maximum and highest sound quality and prove to be durable. They require an audio mixer. You can create professional videos and stream them live without experiencing any audio issues.
Mixing Equipment and Audio Mixers
Mixing equipment allows you to capture multiple audio and video sources. You can switch between them on live broadcasts. Mixing is necessary when you are recording a sizeable live camera shoot.
When you have several camera angles, Hardware switches become ideal. You can easily switch between multiple cameras by pressing only one button. It would be best if you looked out for the following while considering video mixing equipment:
Automation and connection
Inputs and outputs
When it comes to multiple audio sources, you will need audio mixers. The benefits of an audio mixer include the ability to adjust the volume of each microphone or EQ. It ensures that sounds coming from instruments or mics are at the same level and become manageable. Look out for the following when selecting audio mixing equipment:
The number of input and output channels
Turning on or off and mute buttons
Controlling through network app
You will also need an audio mixer with USB and XLR compatibility depending on the microphone you are using.
Video encoders compress video files so that you can save them as one smooth video. Encoding helps shrink the video without losing its quality. It becomes significant for live streams in business or any main event. Here is why you must encode your videos:
Reduces buffering that occurs in videos
Compresses file size
Change aspect and resolution ratio
It makes the video compatible with a specific device
Change audio quality or format
There are two main encoders used for live streaming:
Hardware encoders use an algorithm to encode live stream videos. They come in portable, smaller boxes and support a wide range of sources. Hardware encoders last for 24/7 hours without crashing.
Software encoders run on computer or desktop devices. They need to pair up with capture cards or other mediums of connecting to your device. They are usually low-cost and come with customization features.
Content Delivery Network
You need a capable and professional platform to get your content across the audience.
You can use consumer platforms or a professional streaming platform. However, do keep in mind that the platform you choose should be beneficial for you. They must offer tools for monetization, customization and video security. You can usually find them on white-label platforms.
Other Miscellaneous Streaming Accessories
You will need a variety of other accessories that can assist in your live streaming. These small yet crucial pieces of equipment tie up your production together. They include tripods, cables, batteries, and light stands.
There are various other setups you can work on to make your videos better.
Equipment used in live streams is the key to produce quality live streams. If your video and audio aren’t presentable, the chances are that viewers might soon become disinterested.
In a live stream, the first one minute is crucial for the audience as it attracts their attention. It means you need to make it compelling and entertaining.
Pick equipment that you need. Focus on the features you need to have. A considerable investment does not always equal unlimited likes and viewers. Carefully consider each piece of equipment before you select them for your live stream.
Ultimately, you play a vital role in live streams. You should have the confidence to stream live and can start by practising and testing the equipment.