Learn about the different free or inexpensive solutions for live-streaming from a computer for a more polished video presentation.
- For a lot of people live streaming from a mobile device is good enough. But if you want to make a bigger production out of your live streams a desktop set up can give you much better options for a slicker presentation. Also, if your content is more based on how-to's or demonstrations with visual aids. Or screen capture, as necessary streaming from a desktop can be a much better fit for you. At the high end, there's Livestream.com which has several hardware and software based solutions created to produce multi-camera productions both on their proprietary platform and on systems like Facebook and YouTube.
Livestream has some free software but the service requires a monthly membership fee which varies based on how elaborate a set up you need. They also make streaming cameras and streaming encoder boxes for your professional video cameras. Then there's Telestream. I showed you their wire cast app in the last segment. They also have a hardware product called Wirecast Gear for high end live casting. But their wire cast desktop software is very versatile. Live cast is feature packed with limited inputs for about $500.
And for about twice that you can get a version that does 3D virtual sets and a bunch of other crazy stuff. These can broadcast to any platform but they also have a stripped down version that is just for YouTube called Wirecast Play. I'll be showing you that later. There's a free version that's watermarked, or you can remove the watermark for just $10. Then for a few hundred dollars more you can upgrade that to Wirecast's Studio. Which lets you switch between multiple live inputs and has a lot of other special features.
But if that's too rich for your blood, there's also a free solution. Open broadcaster Studio or OBS. Now OBS doesn't have as nice an interface as Wirecast. But it's a little bit more versatile. It can broadcast to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and about 20 other platforms I've never heard of all for a price of zero dollars. Now what all these different pieces of software have in common is their core functionality. Unlike with a smartphone app desktop streaming requires two elements to work together.
One is the streaming software that formats and compresses your video. And the other is the video serving platform that broadcasts it out to the world. In order to broadcast you need to connect the one to the other. And that's where the most complex part of the set up is. I've been doing live casts for years and sometimes I still think I'm broadcasting when I'm not. Or I start broadcasting before I realize that I've gone live. So once you find a set up that works for you it's a good idea to stick with it and do it the same way every time.
I'll be getting into the details of a few different configurations that you can use in the next section.
- Best practices for mobile streaming
- Operating the YouTube and Facebook streaming apps
- Operating Periscope
- Live streaming with Instagram
- Desktop streaming best practices
- Streaming with Wirecast Play
- Streaming with Open Broadcaster in YouTube and Facebook
- Advanced streaming options