Technology

The Hardware Behind Live Streaming Technology

The Hardware Behind Live Streaming Technology

Live Streaming technology has changed the way in which people and businesses communicate. Consumers can follow live announcements delivered in person by company bosses, making them feel more personally involved than if they were reading an article or watching a news report. Celebrities and influencers are able to connect with their fanbase through various live streaming platforms, and ordinary people can now share their passions and their work with other likeminded individuals anywhere in the world.

Live Streaming at Work

Some industries have changed the way they operate, fully embracing everything that livestreaming has to offer. Education and training companies are no longer limited by distance and can deliver fully interactive content livestreamed to multiple businesses at once. It’s made delivering training and professional development cheaper and easier to access, benefiting millions of employees worldwide.

One industry to have fully embraced all that live streaming has to offer is the gambling industry. Websites now offer their customers the opportunity to play casino games online with a dealer who will interact with them. Dealers and tables are set up in a room with a camera and a monitor, and players can stream the video from anywhere in the world. They can see and hear everything the dealer does, making online casino games feel much more like being there in person. 

This has vastly improved the online casino experience and allows providers to offer a service much closer to that of a land-based casino. Live casinos are definitely the best way to gamble online, and a fantastic example of how embracing live streaming technology can boost your business.

What You Need

In order to provide the best live streaming services, you need the proper kit. Laptop and mobile phone cameras have improved in quality over the years, but they don’t hold a candle to specialist equipment. If you want to offer the best live streams, you’re going to need the following:

  • Video Camera(s)
  • Microphone
  • Computer
  • Encoder
  • Mixing Equipment (if you’re using multiple cameras or audio streams)
  • Accessories – tripod, microphone stand, lights

Setting It Up

Livestreaming isn’t just used by companies; thousands of people stream from their homes everyday over YouTube, Twitch and other streaming platforms. The set-up doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated in order to look good, because the advanced technology does most of the work for you.

Connecting your camera and microphone to your computer should be straightforward, providing you’ve checked you have the right ports and that the models you’re using are compatible. Arrange the equipment to frame you in the best position – this is where your tripod and lights come in handy.

Your Stream’s Destination

When you’re streaming, you need to have a destination where the video will end up. You can use a streaming website, like Twitch, or you a streaming platform to host on your own website – it depends on the purpose of your live stream. For product launches, live Q+A sessions, or event streams, your own website is probably best, as you want to reach an audience of people who are interested in your product. General marketing, demonstrations, and play tests, could be streamed onto a public site, attracting new customers.

Why an Encoder is Necessary

Video encoders convert the images from your camera into streamable digital files. They work by compressing the video files into a single fluid video, rather than saving frames as separate images. This not only reduces the file size and helps prevent buffering, but it also maintains the original quality.

There are two different types of encoders – software and hardware. Software encoders can be downloaded onto your computer and allow you to adapt the setting to stream your desired bitrate and quality. They’re very easy to use and inexpensive, but they can be slow and may lag, because the computer is having to split its processing power between multiple tasks. Hardware encoders are external devices with faster processing speeds allowing them to produce videos of better quality. But they are more expensive and don’t offer the flexibility of being able to alter settings. Ultimately, it’s best to research both and decide what suits your business.

In Summary

Embracing live streaming technology can have a very positive effect on your business. It allows you to reach customers in a completely different way, one which allows them to feel more involved and gives them a more interactive experience. Even if you don’t have the technology for someone to respond during a live stream, simply having what feels like a more personal interaction will leave them feeling more positively towards you. 

Live streaming lets you deliver your message on your terms, and with personality. So, whether it’s training, marketing, or just delivering content, it is worth investing in the right equipment. Start with the basics – you’ll soon want to add extra hardware that lets you deliver more advanced content once you see how beneficial live streaming can be.

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