Here’s the guiding question for this blog post: how can I broadcast live video on the internet? In recent years, the process of live streaming has become easier than ever before.
In this article, we’ll walk you through why live streaming is growing so rapidly. (Here’s a hint: companies that use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than those that don’t.) Next, we’ll delve into the main topic of this blog: how to get started with live streaming solutions today. Finally, we’ll also briefly discuss basic equipment and settings for successful live broadcasting.
Why Live Streaming is Gaining Popularity
Live streaming is growing fast.
For example, one 2019 report found that “live video grew by 93%, with an average viewing time of 26.4 minutes per session.” That’s a significant amount of time, and it’s reflected in the success that businesses are finding with live video. Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs), in particular, can greatly benefit from live streaming. Animoto’s Social Video Forecast suggests that 76.5% of marketers and small business owners get positive results with video marketing.
Relatedly, there are plenty of statistics that demonstrate the success of live video today. For example, over fifty-five percent of enterprises are now using live video for their company or division-wide broadcasts. Relatedly, experts predict that the video streaming market will be worth $30.6 billion in total by 2022.
Overview: How Can I Broadcast Live Video on the Internet
In general, live streaming requires 4 main elements:
- A camera, with audio recording equipment
- An “encoder” designed to stream live video over the internet and, if necessary, do mixing and production
- An internet connection
- An online video platform that supports live streaming
You’ve probably used a video camera before. However, the other elements here can be complex. Let’s now look at each, in turn, to introduce you to the essential tools for live streaming.
1. Camera and Audio Equipment
Unsurprisingly, a video camera is essential for live video. There are thousands of different live streaming cameras available. Many include a built-in microphone of decent quality as well. However, for high-quality audio, you’ll want to use an external microphone of some sort. This will also allow you to adapt to the circumstances at hand. For example, you can use a lavalier mic for interviews, or a directional mic to cut out background noise.
We don’t have space in this article to cover the details of audio and video equipment for streaming. However, we’ve covered this topic in detail in earlier blog posts. Check out our guide to live streaming equipment for more information.
2. Encoding (and Mixing) for Live Streaming
Next, let’s take a look at encoders. An encoder is a tool that prepares your video stream for broadcasting and delivers it via a live broadcast protocol. Broadly, there are two types of encoders: hardware (like the Teradek VidiU pictured here) and software.
Software encoders are apps that run on a computer or other devices. These apps include mixing and production tools for such tasks as splicing together multiple video feeds, adding lower thirds and other embellishments. Encoding hardware, on the other hand, can be more mobile and doesn’t require a full-fledged computer (laptop or desktop) to run on. This often makes it a better choice for broadcasting from a remote location. Rack-mounted hardware encoders are also preferred for broadcast studio use.
Some of the better encoding software programs include Wirecast, vMix, and VidBlasterX. As with cameras, you can find encoding software in a wide price range, from free to quite expensive. The best choice depends on what kind of broadcast you want to put together, how many sources of video feed you are using, and how much fancy video footwork you want to include.
3. Internet Connection for Live Streaming
No matter what type of encoder you use, a good internet connection is essential. To broadcast live video, you need a reliable internet connection with enough upload speed to do the job. You can calculate your necessary upload speed using the formula we describe here. In general, you want your upload speed to be twice as fast as necessary.
As long as your wireless connection gives you reliable upload speed, that approach can work well. If you’re wondering about the exact speeds, here’s one example: we recommend an upload speed of roughly 20 Mbps for reliable full-HD live streaming at 10 Mbps. If you’re doing multi-bitrate streaming, however, you’ll want a higher upload speed.
What about if you’re broadcasting from a remote location where your usual Internet link isn’t available? In that case, one of the best options is a smartphone with a mobile hot-spot. If you need higher bandwidth, you can use a cellular bonding solution.
4. Broadcasting Live via an Online Video Platform
A reliable internet connection is valuable because it delivers your live video to an online video platform (OVP). An OVP is a video service that hosts your video, delivers it to viewers, and makes it easy to embed live videos on your website.
For businesses, the best option is a white-label professional video service, such as Dacast. Dacast supports both live streaming solutions and VOD content. It’s a “white-label service” because the service’s logo or identifier doesn’t appear to your viewers. You can easily add your own logo. When compared to social video platforms, Dacast offers plenty of advantages. These include:
- Video monetization tools
- Security tools
- Video API and SDKs for mobile apps and custom integrations
- SEO benefits accrue to your website
- No distracting “recommended videos”
- You retain all content rights
Conclusion: How to Broadcast Live Video with Success
In this post, we’ve covered four elements that represent the foundational basics for live streaming. You need a camera or other source of a video feed, a good Internet connection, an encoder or encoding software, and a streaming platform.
Everything else about live streaming involves the art, rather than the science, of streaming quality content. Whole books can be (and have been) written about using video cameras and video graphics software to produce high-quality video. Likewise, there is a wealth of resources available about organizing and directing a live performance for broadcast.
In short, this post is just the beginning. But as with anything else, mastering the essentials is a good place to start.
Do you need an online video platform for hosting and live stream delivery? If so, you can check out the Dacast platform! Dacast includes CDN-delivered live streaming and VOD hosting, video monetization, analytics, and more—all at affordable prices. Plus, we offer a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. You can set up an account and start streaming live in a matter of minutes! Click this button to sign up for the free trial and start streaming with Dacast today!