Getting Started with Live Streaming

July 26, 2016

This is a component certainly one of a two-part article on reside streaming. Check out half two, No More FOMO: Building a Modern Live Streaming Strategy, right here!

So, you’re serious about establishing a reside stream, however you don’t know learn how to get began?

Well, fear no extra. We’ve received you coated.

Live streams can vary from a easy speaking head video that includes your charismatic CEO, to a full-fledged manufacturing that includes a dozen audio and video feeds, lighting, particular results, and cuts to industrial breaks.

For all reside streams, there are basically 4 elements that come collectively to ship a secure and scalable expertise worldwide. These are:

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1. Video Camera

This is a no brainer. You really need one thing to seize the video and the audio. In extra superior setups, you would have a number of cameras connected right into a switcher earlier than it sends to step two.

2. Video Capture Card

The video encoder takes the video recorded by the digicam and prepares it to stream. For video capturing you could have two choices:

  1. Use an exterior peripheral hardware gadget, or
  2. An inner seize card within the pc.

USB enabled cameras like webcams can typically be plugged straight into your pc to work with your software program encoder. If you select a USB digicam, you will get away with out utilizing a Video Capture Card.

However, most Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) shopper, “prosumer”, and professional-grade cameras are outfitted with at the least one of many following outputs:

  • Composite
  • Firewire
  • Component
  • SDI
  • HDMI

And these outputs typically require a video seize card (both exterior or inner).

In normal, giant and extra complicated streams ought to use External Hardware units, whereas less complicated streams can get away with a USB digicam plugged straight into your pc.

three. Laptop/Desktop Computer with Encoding Software

Whether you stream by peripheral hardware or on to your pc, you’ll nonetheless have to ship the feed to software program to handle the video and audio inputs, transitions, and most significantly, ship the video feed to a reside stream enabled-player and CDN.

Encoding software program is the place you preview and handle the stream because it’s being despatched on-line, and the place you’ll add all the different fancy stuff like overlays, sound results, and star wipes.

four. Live stream Enabled-Player and CDN

Lastly, you’ll want a reside stream enabled-player and CDN, which can host and show the ultimate product from the encoding software program. This is what the viewer will expertise. This will probably be cloud-based device that can take the stream and generate embed codes and webpages the place the video will be displayed on-line.

This part can also be accountable for syndicating the content material to areas around the globe, so the stream will be successfully performed from anyplace.


Switching gears now, it’s your first reside stream, so what digicam do you have to purchase?


There are so many on the market in the marketplace that it’s straightforward to get misplaced. Thankfully, what’s necessary isn’t the particular model of digicam, however the output. Depending in your digicam’s output, you’ll both be capable to join it straight into your pc to encode the feed, or you have to to connect it to a video seize card or hardware peripheral. You can count on to come back throughout a lot of completely different outputs in your analysis, with some widespread ones being USB, HDMI, SDI, and analog.

USB cameras like high-quality webcams are the quickest and best approach to get arrange on a reside stream. They will be arrange in minutes and might join on to your pc with out the necessity for a seize card. On prime of all that, they typically price as little as $100 (or they’re already in-built)!

However, webcams aren’t good, and lack lots of the superior options you is perhaps in search of in prime quality broadcast. Most of them don’t have zoom or superior focus controls, and also you would possibly discover the image high quality to be missing.


If you’re in search of one thing just a little extra configurable, HDMI enabled cameras are an amazing alternative. You can get knowledgeable high quality image at a comparatively low value level. The execs will typically use SDI output, because the connections are missing and you may have very lengthy cable runs. However SDI cameras will be very costly, so a standard workaround is to make use of an HDMI digicam with an HDMI-SDI converter.

Video Capture Cards


If you might be utilizing any non-USB digicam, you have to to feed your stream by a video seize card to transform the stream right into a format that’s usable by your software program encoder. Video seize playing cards are additionally an effective way to handle a number of inputs and offset a few of the processing load in your pc. With video seize playing cards, there are two decisions: inner or exterior.

Internal playing cards are typically extra configurable and are typically cheaper than exterior playing cards. Unfortunately, they’re typically incompatible with laptops and require just a little little bit of pc “surgery” to get them put in. External seize units are plug-and-play and often simply want a driver to get them up and operating. Whichever card you find yourself shopping for, it’s necessary to first examine that it’s suitable with your software program encoder of alternative. Vendors like Wirecast have lists of tried-and-true seize playing cards available on their web site.

Broadcasting Software

Now that you simply’ve received your cameras arrange and feeding right into a video seize card, you want a program to truly handle the published and distribute it out of your pc. There are lots of high quality choices on the market, each paid and free. Here’s a short listing of some that now we have used right here and might advocate:

  • Telestream’s Wirecast
  • NewTek’s TriCaster
  • XSplit Broadcaster
  • OBS
  • FMLE

Although these merchandise all have completely different interfaces and options, their primary capabilities are related. They present you with a central location to handle all of your streams, combine them, and push the feed out in actual time to a participant. These packages even have a spot the place you may enter your RTMP credentials offered to you by Vidyard while you arrange a reside stream.

Live Stream Enabled Player

The remaining step in your reside streaming journey is what the top consumer goes to see: the participant. This participant will possible be embedded in your web site or a touchdown web page so that individuals can tune in when the stream goes reside. Vidyard is certainly one of many suppliers that may make it easier to with this step by offering you with a reside streaming-ready participant and a worldwide CDN to stream your content material the world over.


Live streaming can sound like a frightening activity at first and there undoubtedly are lots of shifting elements. With the proper expertise and set-up, it’s an effective way to increase the attain of your content material.

In half 2 of this text, we discuss some lead era greatest practices with reside streaming, test it out right here!

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Zack Lipton

Zack Lipton

Zack was a former Solutions Consultant at Vidyard. When he is not showcasing the ability of video to the lots, Zack spends his time perfecting regional dialects in Spanish, studying Stephen King novels, and touring to see Phish. His “lame-but-still-awesome” superpower is guessing the invoice at Costco (“Price Is Right” guidelines, in fact).

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