Diving into Professional Video Streaming
If you began with a humble YouTube channel or Facebook page, you probably only needed a webcam and a Wi-Fi connection at first. However, now that you're crossing into professional video streaming, it's a different ballgame. Before you go pro, you'll need to consider a few key points, and potentially acquire additional equipment.
What's a Video Streaming Server?
You'll need to decide on a streaming server before acquiring any hardware or software, as not all accessories, especially encoders, are compatible with every platform. When it comes to streaming services, YouTube and similar free platforms come to mind, but they tend to have their challenges. Unlike free options, professional video streaming servers offer many benefits, including retaining full rights to your content and more flexibility regarding advertising-related profits. Many platforms also have round-the-clock support, as well as built-in analytics, which are handy for improving your feed.
Necessities for Professional Video Streaming
Although each person has precise needs and requirements, there are several key tools that you'll need down the road. When it comes to video streaming, there's no one-size-fits-all package.
You can use any video camera, even a smartphone, for video streaming. Keep in mind that unless you shoot in a well-lit location, you'll need a higher-quality camera. Streaming camcorders are a top pick for live videos because they're easier to use, produce high-resolution recordings, and can usually connect to Wi-Fi directly.
If you work with multiple video and audio inputs, streaming media switchers are a necessity. Available as both hardware and software, they allow you to change between, or combine, various camera angles and audio sources. They also allow you to add external videos and graphics.
Streaming encoders are responsible for converting video files between different formats, as well as compressing and decompressing them. They're necessary if you're not using a digital camera. With switchers and encoders, you might only need one or the other. In addition, all-in-one devices combine the benefits of both.
Wireless Streaming Devices
You probably already have one for entertainment purposes at home, but you can also use a wireless streaming device for professional purposes. Some examples of situations to use them include lectures or building-wide broadcasts in businesses and conferences.
What's Video Streaming Software?
To create the most professional feed, you'll likely need editing software as well, so you can get creative with your feed by integrating graphics, text, prerecorded videos, or guest chats. Both switchers and video encoders are available in software form, which is ideal if you don't want to carry too much equipment. In addition, software, which may require more computer processing power, is generally less expensive and more functional than hardware. Although most video encoding software has editing features, you should consider if you need something more advanced.
When it's time to create your setup, browse B&H Photo and Video's professional video streaming software and equipment to get started.