Live Streaming From Your Camera

8/04/2020 7:11 AM

Live streaming is increasingly popular in the modern age with many people turning to this medium for everything from staying in touch with friends, family and colleagues, to developing a captivating online presence.


Why live stream?

From a business perspective, live streaming can help you with the following:

 

  • Reaching a wider audience
  • Adding a human face to your brand
  • Providing a tailored brand message
  • Providing personalised service from a distance. ie. Tutorials, reviews etc.

Youtube, Facebook and Twitch are online platforms with large audiences that offer a live streaming service, so how do you start live streaming yourself?

Live Streaming

Choosing the best streaming camera

Live Streaming

 

 

Webcams - Popular due to availability, most modern cameras have built-in cameras that make this option the easiest. They are, however, not the best choice if image quality is of importance.

 

Camcorders and dedicated cameras - Chosen by most live streamers. Superior to webcams in terms of sharpness, resolution and low light performance. This choice is also best for versatility, as Mirrorless and DSLR cameras, in particular, have numerous lens options and add-on accessories that can be used.

 

Using one of these options allows you to mix live streams with pre-recorded videos and maintain a consistent level of quality.

How does live streaming work?

Live streaming commonly relies on a protocol called Real Time Messaging Protocol to stream video and audio over the internet. This protocol is free and open to the public. RTMP is allowed by popular streaming platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo, and as it splits a stream into smaller bits of data, it limits connection issues and offers low latency transmition.

 

Another protocol that exists is RTMPS, which is an encrypted protocol, protecting data transfers using TLS/SSL - this encrypted option is offered by Facebook.

Live Streaming

Multi-casting AKA Simulcasting

As the name suggests, Simulcasting or Mult-casting is the process of streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously.

 

To make this process easier, you can look into services such as Castr.io. With this service you can stream to multiple platforms, and engage with viewers adequately, with comments only being visible in one centralised location.

Other live streaming options

Live Streaming

If you do not want to use common and public platforms, such as YouTube, for your stream, you can implement a Content Delivery Network or CDN. This option helps you control who has access to your content and is good for paid services.

 

Castr.io, which we mentioned earlier, is able to integrate CDN into their platform.

 

Other benefits of using a CDN are as follows:

 

  • Set Up a paywall to charge for access to your stream
  • Utilise your business logo/branding
  • 24hr streaming/restreaming options
  • Limit access based on viewer’s location (Geofencing)

Different live streaming methods

Depending on your streaming platform, you may have the choice of which method of streaming that can be used. This will have an impact on which camera you can use for your streams.

 

Direct streaming (over IP) - An easy option, direct streaming does not require a computer or card. Your camera is linked to your streaming platform, credentials are set up and you can start streaming your live video over the internet.

 

Live streaming (computer + capture device) - This will provide you with more professional results, but it will require you to have access to more equipment, such as a computer and video capture hardware/card. This is a common method of live gaming streams on YouTube or Switch, as well as Q&A or chat sessions.


CDN Business services (computer + capture device) - This option is perfect for businesses, as it allows you to set up a paywall to offer paid access to your content, and to best customise your user experience. This is the chosen method for big businesses and organisations, such as universities.

Streaming with a capture device

Capture cards are used to convert an HDMI signal into a video source on your computer, which you can then stream to your selected platform using specialised software, called Open Broadcaster Software.

 

For a camera to be compatible with the option they must have the following:

 

  • Clean HDMI out
  • Constant power supply (AC adaptor)
  • The ability to disable sleep mode
  • 1080p output minimum
  • Vari-angle screen
  • White Balance control
Live Streaming

Camcorders are a great starting point and are popular for ease of use, while most serious streamers will opt for a Mirrorless camera, due to their enhanced image quality, lens choice, and the ability to develop a desired or unique look for live streams.

HDMI Capture device options

Live Streaming

Capture devices transfer your display into a video feed that can then be broadcast or recorded - this is usually done via HDMI. Some are costly and need to be installed in your computer, while others such as the Elgato Camlink can be connected to your computer’s USB port.

 

Features of the Corsair Elgato Camlink -

 

  • Easy to use
  • USB connection
  • Up to 4K 30fps
  • Ultra-low latency

Start live streaming today

For more tips on setting up your home office or growing your photography skills from home, don't forget to check by our Photography Blog regularly.


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