Now a day live webcasting of events like wedding, inaugurations, funerals etc are very much popular. Live video streaming provides the facility for view the event as live on internet from anywhere in the world. Now many companies and even small professionals like videographers providing live event webcasting services with nominal fees. Here is a quick note about how to start live webcasting services and what are the basic things you require.
- A Laptop with internet is required to receive the video and send the live video to streaming server. There are some other devices available as “streaming box” which can use instead of laptop. But here I am telling “how to setup live streaming using laptop”.
- TV tuner cards or external video capture cards. Normally events are covering using professional cameras. Our first requirement is that How to connect camera output to our computer or laptop. Here is the use of TV tuner or external video capture cards. TV tuner cards are less expensive and will be available in most of the computer hardware shops. It is the best option to start with less investment.
- Live encoding software. We need to install software to process the video input and send to our streaming server.This software is basically called as Live encoding software. There are several softwares available like FMLE, Wirecast, Vidblaster etc. FMLE (Flash Media Live Encoder) is free to use and you can download from the Adobe website. In this software we need to mention some details like Our server rtmp url, stream name, Video bit rate, Sound bit rate etc. It’s all pretty easy to understand and you will be confident after your first attempt itself.
- Live streaming Server. You need a streaming server which contains streaming software like Wowza. There are various options available for you to pick a streaming server.
- YouTube: You can do live stream via YouTube. It is absolutely free and there is no investment required. But YouTube is really strict in usage of copyrighted materials like songs in your live stream. If they detected any issue like that, your stream will be stopped instantly. Still YouTube is the best pick for starters with less investment and knowledge. Livestream ,justintv are some other websites offering free live stream servers. But there will be some limitations for free accounts.
- Paid streaming servers. Websites like livestream.com and ustream.tv provides several types of paid accounts for live streaming service. They are charging on monthly basis and you can select the package as per your requirement.
- Amazon EC2. You can do live streaming using Amazon EC2 instances of Wowza server. There you require a monthly charge of $5 (as per the current rate) for using Wowza server and additional charges for the bandwidth usage and instance running time. This method requires bit technical knowledge, because creating and starting and instance in Amazon EC2 will be hurdle for non-techy people.
- Your own server. If you are planning for something big and ready to invest, you can create your own streaming server. For that you need to purchase a dedicated server with high end configuration and install Wowza like streaming software.
- Your own website. You need to have a website to show the live webcasting for your customers. You can go for free blogs or register a domain name and host the website. There will be embedding codes of the live videos to paste in your website.
That’s all, by having these equipment and software you can start you own live event webcasting service in your city. Here are some more points to be noted.
- The workflow of live streaming is like Camera -> TV tuner -> Laptop -> Encoding Software -> Streaming Server -> Your Website -> Viewers.
- Video quality need to adjust as per the internet uploading speed getting
- Video quality can be adjusted by bit rates, video size, frame rates etc.
- Sound quality can be adjusted by bit rates and format
- Always there will be an rtmp url and stream name you need to fill in encoding software to connect our streaming server.
- Embedding codes will be available from the streaming server providers.
- Video quality depends on the cable length.
- You need to check the settings of TV tuner (select the correct input) to get the video input from camera in encoding software.
- Always make sure the internet connection and its speed while you are doing live webcasting.
Wish you all the best for a successful Webcasting business in advance.