How to Set Up a Live Camera Feed and Webcam Stream in 8 Steps

how to set up a live webcam

Live camera streaming is the latest trend in the world of content creation and sharing. There’s something seemingly more authentic about watching an un-filtered webcam live stream in real-time that resonates with viewers worldwide. So much so that more than half of marketers report live streaming to be their preferred medium of sharing content online.

Webcam live streams are a great way to connect with your audience quickly via a live broadcast. If you have a designated spot you prefer to live stream from, you can set up your streaming space and just turn your webcam on when you are ready to go live. 

Online webcam live streams are a great way to achieve that goal when you just want to connect and talk directly to your audience. Engaging with your viewers is much easier when you’re not shooting off a pre-recorded, edited, and orchestrated video. You can also set up a continuous live webcam when you have a space where you want to record and share what is happening in real-time, such as with a nature camera. 

While webcam live streams have many benefits to companies, brands, and organizations of all kinds, learning the technical skills involved can seem challenging. Online livestreaming can open new horizons for you and help generate new revenue streams.

That’s exactly what we’ll help you overcome today by breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps. Today, we will discuss the advantages of using a live camera feed as a medium to share your content.

Don’t know how to set up a live webcam stream and what equipment you’ll need for your webcam live stream?  Read on live streamers! No worries! We’re here to help you learn how to set up a live feed camera and broadcast webcam, going over all the details, from choosing a hosting platform to promoting your live stream.

Table of Contents:

  • Why Use a Live Camera Feed?
  • Equipment and Lighting
  • How to Set Up a Live Camera Feed and Webcam Livestream
    1. Choose an Online Video Platform
    2. Learn How to Setup a Live Webcam
    3. Secure an Internet Connection
    4. Set Up a Live Channel
    5. Embed Your Video Player
    6. Promote Your Live Stream
    7. Test Your Webcam Setup
    8. Start Streaming
  • FAQs
  • Conclusion

Why Use a Live Camera Feed?

live webcam setup
Have you considered using a webcam live feed?

A webcam broadcasting setup is a continuous live stream that is captured on a webcam. If you’re unfamiliar, a webcam is a digital camera that captures photos and videos when connected to a laptop or computer.

The basic purpose of a webcam live feed is to connect with your audience by giving them direct access to your location or exhibit.

A webcam can also be used for a live feed. A few ways common uses of webcams include: 

  • Nature cams
  • City cams 
  • Animal cams

The point of a 24/7 webcam livestream is to allow you to observe a specific space or area over an extended period of time. Live feeds are not just for nature watching; they can also be useful for businesses. 

For example, schools and daycare centers can run private live feeds of their classrooms. This allows parents to peek in and see how their kids are doing throughout the day remotely. Creative businesses like glass-blowing glass blowing studios could use live cams to show the creative process.

One perk of streaming with a webcam is streaming live from your cam. There is usually no need to use an encoder with a webcam because they are digital cameras. That means that it captures “streamable” content, so no conversion is necessary. You need professional streamers, and content creators need less technical knowledge to start a webcam live streaming setup and less equipment as well.

It is easy to learn how to set up a live webcam, making this a great tool for new and advanced broadcasters. 

Equipment and Lighting 

Setting up a live webcam feed is straightforward as long as you have the proper equipment and tools. It’s not vital that you own the best broadcast webcam out there or that your camera boasts many features and add-ons. 

Technically, you don’t need fancy, high-end equipment for a successful webcam live stream. The webcam on your phone or laptop can do the trick. Especially if you only plan on live-streaming just a few times.

Using your phone or laptop’s webcam is also a great idea to test the digital waters of live-streaming if you’re starting.

Any camera that can do the above can be used to shoot a live stream:

  • Hook up to your internet connection to stream in real-time
  • Capture at least 720p at 24fps of footage.

We further cover webcams in more detail in this post with our top recommendations for the best video quality and set-up instructions.

Sound Quality 

Webcams built into your phone or laptop aren’t always very efficient in capturing good-quality audio for webcam live streams. If audio is important to your live stream, it might not be a good option to rely solely on your webcam to capture sound. Keep in mind that there might be factors in the environment that might further deteriorate the audio quality.

Traffic, aircraft, or passers-by are a few examples of how sound quality might get compromised. Unlike pre-recorded videos, you can’t edit out the unwanted sounds from the live video feed on your webcam live stream. So plan ahead and make sure you’re audible to your viewers.

You can improve audio quality drastically by investing in a mid-range microphone or even dual mics to record audio sound instead of your built-in microphone. Depending on your budget, many options are available in the market.

If you want to invest in better quality equipment, it’s best to research before spending on any gear. You can doctor up your gear as much as you want to. Here is a checklist of the bare minimum you need in the way of equipment when setting up your webcam live stream:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Lighting source
  • A stable place to set up your equipment
  • A reliable internet connection


The next item on the checklist is lighting. The best gear will be useless if your lighting game isn’t on point. The good news is that this element is relatively straightforward to tackle.

We highly recommend investing in a three-point kit to upload high-quality streams if budget isn’t an issue. Otherwise, a simple ring light combined with natural light can do the trick. Remember how light shifts and changes throughout the day when shooting longer streams, especially 24-7 webcam live streams. This is even more important to note if you’re using natural light as your primary lighting source.

How to Set Up a Live Camera Feed and Webcam Livestream

Let’s take a look at the steps for setting up the best webcam live feed of your own. 

1. Choose an Online Video Platform

online video platformA reliable OVP serves as a foundation for successful live broadcasts.Choosing a reliable online video platform with live streaming capabilities to host your video feed is very important.

The platform you use to get your webcam live streaming online can make a huge difference in your viewer’s experience and video quality. Make sure you select a forum that can support the genre of live-streaming you wish to do.

If you want to run a continuous live cam, you need a platform that supports live streaming and one that supports linear or continuous live streaming

One of the top features to look for is a platform that supports browser-based streaming, also known as webRTC. With browser-based streaming, you can start your live streaming directly from your web browser without using any third-party live broadcasting software. This makes webcam streams easy and accessible. You don’t even need to download any software to get started with your stream when you opt for Dacast’s web-based streaming. All you have to do is open Dacast in your browser and select the live streaming option. Just select your audio and video streams and you’re all set to go live. 

Some other features to look for in an online video platform include:

You also want to pick from streaming solutions offering a reliable content delivery network (CDN).

A CDN ensures that your content will be broadcasted live all over the globe without clogging your servers. Dacast, for example, has partnered with Akamai, Limelight, and other top-tier video CDNs to deliver global content.

Check out our online video platform comparison post to learn more about Dacast and how it stacks up to other solutions on the market. Take your time and choose a quality online video platform running webcam streams easier. If you’re on the fence about trying out Dacast’s service, we offer a free 14-day trial, so you can invest in the platform with full confidence.

2. Learn How to Set Up a Live Webcam

Setting up a camera for live broadcasting is a simple process. As mentioned above, you will need a high-quality webcam for streaming. Depending on your strategy, a microphone might also be needed but not be required. In fact, many live feeds are done with no audio at all. 

Indoor Webcam

If you are streaming indoors, then you have a lot of leeway in your camera setup, audio, and video quality. In fact, just about any webcam will do for your broadcast.

You can also use professional cameras as well, although you will need a capture card to ensure quality and encoding equipment if you do.

Outdoor Webcam

Learning how to set up an outdoor webcam is easy to do when you follow our IP camera streaming guide.

If you are streaming outside, IP cameras, or security/surveillance cameras, are a good option. They offer flexibility and stealth regarding location, especially if you want to stream vibrant, colorful video. They are a little different to set up for livestreams compared to most sources. We recommend checking out our IP camera streaming guide if this is the direction you want to go.

As you compare webcam options with various price points,, make sure that you’re looking at IP cameras that are compatible with your online video platform and your operating system.

Connecting to a Broadcasting Platform

Once you’ve chosen a video capture device or camera, connect it to your online video streaming platform. You will connect it as a source or an input. This verbiage varies from platform to platform. 

You can either use a cameraman for your live feed or set the camera up in a secure place if you want to stream live 24/7

Also, ensure your streaming setup is secure from its surroundings, and make sure your streaming equipment can withstand harsh outdoors conditions, if applicable. You never know when it might rain or worse. When setting up an outdoor webcam, you need to account for the weather’s variability in the live streaming experience.

3. Secure an Internet Connection

These days, viewers are spoilt for choice regarding live-streaming options to watch. Make sure you never lose viewers just because of a spotty internet connection and slow internet speed.

It’s important to have an internet reliable connection when live video streaming. Blackouts and blank screens are some of the worst things that can happen during a live broadcast. 

The best internet options are: 

  1. Tethered ethernet
  2. WiFi
  3. 5G wireless internet

Tethered Ethernet is the most reliable internet connection, and Wifi comes in as a close second. A strong internet connection is essential for live feed cameras. No matter how you go, you will want to pay close attention to your upload speed

We recommend using an upload speed that is around double what you plan to use for the live streaming session, so you can comfortably use 50% of the speed. That will leverage great scalability options without needing to make any changes to your current set-up if you need to use more. You can push this to up to 80% of your internet connection speed if need be. For example, a 1,000 kbps connection would let you stream from 500 kbps all the way to 800 kbps.

To check your internet’s upload speed, you can search “speed test” on Google. The first result is a built-in Google tool that can help you test your internet upload speed.

If you are streaming from a remote location without access to Ethernet or Wifi, we recommend checking out our remote streaming guide that provides information on circumventing these issues.

4. Set Up a Live Channel

After getting your internet and equipment into place, it’s time to set up your live channel. This can be done via your online video platform. This process varies from platform to platform, but if you’re streaming on Dacast, you can reference our live stream setup guide for a tutorial paired with pictures.

No matter your streaming platform, you’ll be prompted to configure your live channel with your preferences. You can name your live channel and add a description. You also want to ensure that your live channel is set to “Online.”

Here are a few tips for writing an effective channel description that will let viewers know what your channel is about and that will help your channel be found in search engine results: 

  1. Complete Keyword Research: 

Complete keyword research to better understand what your audience is looking for, and find what keywords are trending in your industry. You want to choose keywords with high search potential. Use these keywords in your live broadcast’s description to increase its chances of showing up in your audience’s feeds. Also, use them while promoting your broadcast to help it rank higher in search results.

  1. Be Specific:

It’s the era of defining your designated niche. Use specific keywords that relate to the content you will be using on your channel. Be very specific by using long-tail keywords to ensure you find audiences in your niche. 

  1. Include a Value Proposition:

Tell viewers why your content is valuable. In other words, sell your live streaming content as you would market a product.  What will your live stream teach them? What will they get out of watching your content? What value can your live-stream add to their lives? Find answers to these questions and use them to market your live stream in advance. It can help you drive more viewers to it.

  1. Focus on the Top 150 Characters: 

Remember most viewers’ short attention spans? That applies here as well. The top 100-150 characters are what will show up in search descriptions, so be sure that the first characters of your channel description describe what your channel is all about.

  1. Add a Call to Action: 

Add a call to action to your channel description. Make it that much easier for your audience by adding a CTA that seems like the next natural step. Do you want people to check out your blog? Buy something? Connect on social media? Tell them! The CTA must relate to your goal so, make sure you choose the text for it accordingly.

5. Embed Your Video Player

Embed video player
Embed your HTML5 video player on your website or app for easy viewing access.

Once you have a live channel, you can generate an embed code and share a link. You can embed your video player on your website or app with the embed code.

First, you’re going to have to choose an embed code. Two types of embed codes are available: JS (Javascript) and iframe.

We recommend using the JS embed code because it’s more universally compatible with the full-screen feature. The JS embed code is also a requirement for the URL referral restriction feature to work (which restricts content based on the websites allowed to host it). 

Although the JS code is more compatible with stream content, there are some specific situations where you should use the iframe embed code. The iframe embed code is more compatible with and/or required for some frameworks, including WordPress and WIX.

Once you have chosen a code, it is as simple as copying and pasting it into the HTML of your website. More instructions on embedding can be found in our video player embedding tutorial.

Once you have done that, you now know how to set up a live cam and start online live streaming. 

6. Promote Your Live Stream

Next, you must promote your live stream, so your viewers know you are going live. There are lots of ways to promote your live streaming content; here are a few of our favorites:

  • Schedule your stream: Not all streaming time is created equal.  Although it can be great to go live spontaneously, you will get more viewers if you schedule the times you go live.  your live stream. That way, people will know when to tune in. Make sure you stick to this schedule as your stream won’t be available to your audience on demand.
  • Share it on Facebook: Facebook is one of the world’s largest networking sites. Make sure you use that to your advantage. Although it might seem too mainstream, be sure to create a post with a link to your stream. You can also simulcast with Facebook Live, extending your reach.
  • Tweet it out: Twitter is great for real-time updates. Leverage the power of hashtags by creating one for every live streaming session you upload. Share a link to your live stream on Twitter, and include industry-relevant hashtags. Create a separate hashtag just for your channel, so as you gain viewers, they can search for that hashtag to get information about your channel.
  • Create an engaging thumbnail: Thumbnails are what introduce your content to all potential viewers. When you share your live stream live video content on social media, the thumbnail will show up. Be sure your thumbnail includes images related to your live stream and includes a short text message about the content.
  • Share in community settings: People gather in many digital communities, from Discord to WhatsApp. Be sure to share your live stream in the communities you are connected to before you plan to go live. Always specify the time of your live stream and give some context to attract viewers to it. 

Need more tips? Check out our post on increasing live viewership by 800% and getting more people to watch your stream. 

7. Test Your Webcam Setup

With everything in place, it is time to do a trial run. Test your entire streaming setup to identify weak links.

If you’re doing a live feed that will only last part of the day, make sure your test run is at the same time of the day and have a ring light available for emergencies. A 24/7 webcam requires you to run a more in-depth test to ensure you can produce a quality live stream all day.

That gives you an idea of how the lighting and sound will be. If you plan to do 24/7 streaming, run a 24-hour test run and check in on it periodically.

Also, make sure that your internet connection is stable and doesn’t get disconnected often. It helps to have a backup connection to ensure an uninterrupted live broadcasting feed. 

Doing a test run will help you identify problems within your set-up and make contingency plans accordingly. In the event that you identify weak links, figure out if you’re better off having a backup on hand or replacing it altogether.

8. Start Streaming

Now, the hard work is done. Once you’ve confirmed that everything works as intended, it is time to start streaming. On most live streaming platforms, getting started is as simple as clicking “Start Streaming.”

If you are having trouble getting started, go back through and check all your configurations to ensure that you have everything properly set up.


1. How do I broadcast my webcam?

To broadcast your webcam, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Choose an Online Video Platform
  • Learn How to Setup a Live Webcam
  • Secure an Internet Connection
  • Set Up a Live Channel
  • Embed Your Video Player
  • Promote Your Live Stream
  • Test Your Webcam Setup
  • Start Streaming

2. What does a camera need to live stream?

Some of the things a camera needs to set up a live streaming video are:

  • High speed internet connection
  • Live streaming software
  • HDMI cable
  • External microphone
  • Webcam app
  • Equipment for stabilizing the video like tripod 

3. What is the best camera for broadcasting?

There are numerous cameras that can help you with broadcasting. In fact, smartphones with great cameras are suitable for live broadcasting setups as well. But if you want a professional camera, you can choose a DSLR or mirrorless camera. You could also opt for webcams that shoot high definition video.

4. Can I use a webcam for live streaming?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to use a webcam for live streaming your videos. All you have to do is connect the webcam to your laptop and use a live video broadcasting software to start capturing video from the webcam. Just make sure the webcam can shoot high definition videos to ensure the quality of your stream is top notch.

5. How do I connect my camera to live streaming?

To prepare your camera for live streaming, all you have to do is connect it with your laptop with an HDMI cable to facilitate the fast transfer of audio and video from the camera. The laptop should have a live streaming platform that can encode this stream and send it to the receivers instantly.


live cam setup
Are you ready to get your live webcam feed up and running?

Live camera streaming is a medium of getting your content out there that’s just hitting its full potential. Make sure you claim your space in the digital arena by learning how to maximize the impact your live stream can have on your audiences. Learning how to properly set up webcam live streams can help you achieve that.

Setting up a webcam live feed is fairly straightforward. You should be good to go if you have a strong internet connection, a high-quality live streaming camera, and a reliable online video streaming platform.

Ready to give the Dacast online video platform a try? With secure video upload, many customizable features, and even private video hosting for VOD, we’re here to help.

We invite you to take advantage of our 14-day free trial to test out all our features for you. Create a Dacast account to start today. No credit card is required.


Finally, for regular tips and exclusive offers for live streaming, you can join our LinkedIn group. Let us know your comments, questions, and feedback below.

Philline Managuelod

Philline was a marketing intern at Dacast and helped the marketing team in various areas: SEO, SEM, content production.