“Am I getting the most bang for my buck with this equipment?”
As a live streaming platform, we hear this question all the time. Everyone wants to make sure they’re getting the most out of what they’ve budgeted for their live broadcast equipment. And we take pride in helping our clients know where to splurge and where to save.
But if you’re beginning to fill up your camera bag, you may not even be to a place where you’re comparing cameras and converters—you may simply want to know what live streaming equipment you need to have and what equipment would be nice to have. Below, we’ve outlined both necessary and optional live broadcast equipment to ensure you have what you need when it’s time to record.
The Live Streaming Equipment You’ll Want & Need
Before you can broadcast your event, you need to select the right video source. There are several good options:
- A single camera on a tripod, which is the most common option.
- A tablet or smartphone, which may be used if you’re just getting started or you’re streaming a video without a physical location for your event.
- Multiple sources and multiple cameras, for events that require several camera angles or incorporate graphics, lower thirds, score bugs or other additional items for an enhanced user experience.
Check out the must-have equipment for live streaming and steps you need to take before, during, and after your event.
Video encoding is the process of converting a video input into a digital format for playback on various devices. To encode and stream your live video, you can use either a dedicated hardware encoder or a computer that runs a software encoding program.
In most cases, you’ll need a capture device—a small, affordable adapter that converts the video into a digital format that’s recognized by the computer.
High-Speed Internet Connection
You must also have a strong internet connection to get your live stream online. There are three options for connecting to the internet: Wi-Fi, Ethernet (hardwired internet), or MiFi (cellular internet).
As you know, equipment can—and does—break. And it typically breaks at the worst possible time! Having backups of all of your equipment is ideal but not feasible for most companies. HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 cables aren’t extremely expensive, so having backups of the ones you need is a great idea. If your budget permits, consider purchasing a secondary computer and secondary camera. They don’t have to be as high quality as your primary equipment, but you’ll be thrilled to have them on-hand if, for instance, someone trips over a camera cable and breaks something an hour before your event.
Having an HD camera (as opposed to an older, SD camera) increases the quality of your broadcast. Keep in mind that most consumer cameras built after 2010 are going to be HD-capable.
Depending on the distance between your video source and your encoder, you may want an amplifier to boost your video signal. This will help you avoid signal loss or degradation that can occur with lengthy cable runs.
Incorporating an audio mixer allows you to include one or more broadcasters and play pre-recorded commercials or interviews. It also gives you more precise control over your audio levels.
We’re a little biased—but we believe a streaming platform provider should be so much more than just that. They should advocate for their clients and provide top-of-the-line support—and this includes equipment recommendations! If you’re still searching for that mystical, awesomely helpful provider, give us a shout!
Keep in mind that once you purchase your live broadcast equipment, you’ll need a workflow in place to keep you organized before a live stream. Our free live streaming checklist lists all the things you’ll need to remember before your event. Download it now—for free!