Lights, Camera, Action: How to Do a DIY Live Stream

By October 19, 2020 March 29th, 2021 News & PR

Fifteen or so years ago, when online and mobile video first started catching on, no one foresaw a day when everyone would stream live video from their living room or workshop on their smartphone. That’s partially because no such thing as a smartphone yet existed and partially because private connection speeds had yet to reach the necessary speeds.

We merely dreamed of the day when it would not take finagling use of the workplace or school T1 connection to simply download a movie to watch. The first YouTube videos consisted of homemade videos much like those 8mm ones some of us’ parents once made. It was goofy to watch other people’s home movies, but they took little time to load and let us know that most families are just as dysfunctional as our own.

One day, a site sprang up called Livestream. It only hosted short-form live videos of the clean variety. Like most websites, it banished porn from its servers so it would not have trouble with the federal or state governments. Instead, it focused on encouraging businesses to host meetings online using the then-new technology of webcams and high-speed business Internet.

For those of you who Fleet on fleek and post live Facebook vids daily, your parents knew a time when it took hours just to download a ten-minute video. No person live streamed. Ever.

Few, but the visionaries could envision live streaming meetings or television shows online, but 2005 gave way to 2020 and now, pre-teens have their own live streaming shows. They run them from their iPhones.

You can join this merry band of videographers. You only need a bit of equipment and the right website to host it.

Why Would You Create Live Video?

You would stream live video so your business joined the ranks of fashion designer Nicole Moan and classical/jazz guitarist Larry Hammett in keeping in touch with fans by creating short live broadcasts with integrated chat or comments. Your brand or celebrity benefits from these videos that let fans inside your process.

A business might show the manufacturing process. A designer might show the sketching and fabric cutting or kiln process. A musician might show rehearsals or the recording process.

Creating a stream of live video provides a method of direct contact with fans between public relations campaigns. It gives you an option that every business or celebrity can access. Live streaming also helps you build an audience because it allows people to whet their curiosity while leaving you in control of what they see.

How Do You Make a Live Stream?

Although you could create one with any smartphone, in order to make it look professional, you should purchase the right equipment to do the job. You can use either a single camera or multiple cameras set up.

To use separate cameras, you also need a computer and software designed for creating live streams. This software processes the video from the computer’s integrated camera or the attached web camera, so the server at the video hosting site you use can parse and playback the video. The process accomplished by the software is called video encoding. You will also need a high-speed video connection. You can purchase an integrated method called a streaming box to accomplish this.

Top Choices in Video Equipment for Live Streaming

One of the bastions of the television and video industry, “Videomaker” magazine, released its updated equipment reviews in late fall 2020. This product research provides a widely anticipated update among those in the video industry and provides an ideal starting point for determining which options work best.

NewTek TriCaster Mini Advanced HD-4

Use this streaming box as your video set up if you do not want to install video-making software on your computer nor do you want to need to consistently upgrade your computer. A streaming box provides all the functions of a computer and the peripherals needed to create a live stream. The NewTek TriCaster includes four video and audio inputs so you can use up to a four-camera setup.

This turnkey solution provides presets for popular sites like Facebook and YouTube. It has a 750GB internal hard drive and you can connect external hard drives via USB 3.0. Switch between eight NDI video sources or four HDMI sources. The box includes preset options for animations, special effects, and virtual effects. It comes with a keyboard and mouse for information inputs, but you could purchase the optional

Mini Control Panel with T-bar.

If you do not know much about computers or video production, but want to look professional in the videos you create, this choice provides the solution.

Best Software for Live Streaming

You cannot beat free so long as the software works well. Streamlabs OBS provides an open broadcast systems application with a simple user interface. It takes little time to set up and includes built-in audience building tools for those on Twitch and YouTube. If you do need to stream on the go from your cell phone, you can use the Streamlabs OBS mobile app so you still get access to the editing and promotion tools.

Best Computer Hardware Set Up

Best of all, Streamlabs OBS works with all of the latest top-ranked equipment. You probably already own a computer whether a laptop or desktop. Since you need to upgrade the system to use a high-end I/O device, you need a desktop for video production. Your computer choices remain up to you, but you will need a large hard drive, so avoid solid-state drives. The computer you choose also needs a fast processor and video graphics card.

I/O card

Speaking of that I/O card, this year’s best-ranked device is the Blackmagic DeckLink Quad HDMI Recorder. This PCIe card adds four HDMI inputs to your desktop computer. The Blackmagic card can handle any common type of video input:

  • SD
  • HD
  • Ultra HD
  • 4K
  • Computer formats

Live Stream Encoder

Once you have the camera ports added to your system, you need a live video stream encoder. Try the Datavideo NVS-33 H.264 Video Streaming Encoder and MP4 Recorder. This handles the video encoding automatically so you can stream live video in real-time and record to your SD card. This saves you steps since you automatically have an archive of the broadcast. The encoder uses a cloud interface for firmware updates and user settings. You can use video with embedded audio via the HDMI or SDI or use the left/right RCA audio inputs for external microphones.

Call Bake More Pies with Questions

Of course, you might want help getting started or creating your marketing strategy. Contact Bake More Pies. We can help you decide on major decisions like whether to use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, etc. or a combination of sites. You might want to stream live video to Instagram, then upload the archives to Vimeo.

While kids make live streaming look easy with their Twitch videos, you need a more professional presentation than your ten years old’s video of himself playing World of Warcraft. Those types of live streams can help you find new gaming buddies, but they are not for building a business or brand. Let Bake More Pies help you develop a marketing campaign that includes live-streamed video.