HOW TO START STREAMING?
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streaming video equipment
So, you’ve decided to start live video streaming, or you at least started to do your research? As
you’ve probably already discovered, choosing equipment can be challenging and time consuming.
The Streaming Store can help you review products you are interested in, or compare
recommended solutions other customers selected. We make is simple to browse, compare, select
and purchase equipment. Products are grouped by categories, or manufacture name. On the
product page find short and long description, list of features, brochures, manuals, and detail
specification list. In addition, we post 3rd party video review that show the Pro’s and Con’s of the
product. The Streaming Store ships merchandise to over 180 countries. But before you go any
further, let’s first talk about education. An educated customer makes the right decisions, doesn’t
return items they bought because they don’t fit their needs, and keep coming back as a loyal
customer. Therefore, we love educated customers!
There are 3 levels of streaming customers: novice, intermediate, and advance. At the Streaming
Store we cater to them all. Here are few tips that will help the novice/intermediate customer
select the right gear for their next project:
1. Draw a Workflow: before you buy new gear, put on paper your objectives. We always
recommend beginners to use the step by step approach. No need to go spend LOT of money if you
don’t need that much equipment. You may have already cameras, but don’t have a mixer, and an
encoder. Make a list of what you are trying to achieve, what equipment you have, and what is
2. Decide if you want to use an “internal”, “external”, or “turnkey” capture/mix/stream gear.
Internal gear tends to be cheaper and it includes capture cards and mixing/streaming software.
This requires a good and powerful Windows/Mac computer, and knowledge of assembling and
operating this kind of solution. An external solution is less committed, and will include standalone
components that can normally be operated by pushing few buttons. This is a recommended
solution for government or educational institutions, or house of worship that rely on multi-
tasked employees or random volunteers to produce content and transmit their streams. Turnkey
streaming solutions are more expensive but offer headache free portable style suitcase or rack-
mounted solution that includes all the necessary capture/mix/record/stream options in 1 box.
Turnkey solutions such as vMix GO, Livestream Studio, Niagara Video, or Wirecast Gear are
recommended if you have the budget, and are looking for a fast and efficient deployment.
v 3. Match your workflow with the suitable number of cameras. 2 or more Blackmagic cameras will
give you few points of view. For simple “Presenter + Power Point” style presentation you will only
need 1 camera. If you have dedicated camera operators get a camera with tripod. If you plan to
have a “one man show”, you will need PTZ Optics cameras remotely controlled by the same
operator that will be mixing the signal and monitor the streaming/recording process. Important
note: estimate the distance of the camera(s) from the mixer or capture device. HDMI cables are
limited to 24 feet. SDI cables can run few hundred feet without signal booster. The type of cable
(HDMI/SDI) will also determine the type of camera you will choose.
4. Select a mixer depends on the number of sources your workflow requires. Software mixing such
as Telestream Wirecast (Windows/mac) orvMix (Windows only) offer a desktop solution to capture
and mix multiple sources. Roland and Blackmagic have excellent external A/V mixers.
5. Select a monitor to see incoming signals, and final program output. Use an in-house LCD with
HDMI input, or buy the ikan, or Blackmagic SmartView rack mounted monitors.
6. Select a streaming encoder. Internal computer based solutions include free software tools from
Livestream, Ustream, YouTube and others. These software encoders install on a computer and if
they can see your input signal, they will send out to a streaming provider one single program feed.
If you are looking to mix before you stream pick vMix or Wirecast (paid software). Among the most
popular external encoders we recommend the Teradek Vidiu or Cube, Matrox Monarch, Osprey
Talon, and Aja’s Helo. These palm size portable encoders provide up to 1080p H.264 output at a
reasonable price. Some support proxy recording to a local SD card, or to a connected LAN.
7. Select a high-end recording drive: if you are looking to record high quality video (MOV or MP4,
or ProRes quality) the Blackmagic Video Assist or HyperDeck, or the Atomos SSD products offer up
to 4K resolution recording at low cost.
What about accessories? As you grow your production base and add more video outputs and staff
that participates in your project, you may want to look at video routers from Roland and
Blackmagic, at point to point wireless video from Teradek, Hollyland, and Paralinx, and at wired
or wireless comm systems from Eartec. The sky is the limit, but that is a topic for another blog
Complicated you say? Now that you’ve seen what it will take to put all this together, do you feel
lost and need help? Take advantage of our free consultation and call a Streaming Store sales
representative for assistance at +1 (813) 616-1395 ext. 1.