Streaming live over the In

Luis Maymi LopezLuis Maymi Lopez

Streaming live over the Internet requires not only extra equipment, but also more crew members. Is not to be giveaway for a cheap price and like Don mentioned, there are a lot of technical difficulties involved and you will probably need a web designer (I will explain why later). I have done this a couple of times and basically you need three things; (1) An insanely good Internet UPLOAD speed (2) A device or switcher connected to a computer (laptop is ideal) (3) Audio device to capture audio separately. Let’s go one by one

(1) A good UPLOAD speed (not download speed) is necessary to stream your video without any interruptions. If you have a slow upload speed your video will freeze from time to time. We use (believe it or not) an iPhone 4 and I must say it works great. One very important note, the iPhone we have has unlimited internet bandwidth because the service provider contract is from the first iPhone that hit the market (which had unlimited Internet bandwidth). In my country (Puerto Rico) there are no more unlimited plans from service providers that has iPhones. If this is your case, you will need to charge your client the extra MB of Internet bandwidth that you use, which could be a lot depending on the leght of the wedding.

Another approach is using the Internet from the establishment the wedding will take place (if they have one). By all means do not use wireless Internet to stream, use an Ethernet cable when possible. Doing it wireless increase the amount of video “freezes”.

(2)Now that you know you have Internet the next step is the fun one, what to use to stream. First let’s check the hardware. You can do this totally pro using a switcher such Black Magic ATEM 1 M/Eor go a la cheap style using a device called EasyCAP. Since my budget is small I have use the EasyCAP and have figure out a couple of ways to make it look a little more decent. By connecting an RCA cable (longer is better) from your camera to the EasyCAP you now have a “webcam” that you can use with any streaming program. Basically with this you will be able to use softwares, such as BoinxTV for Mac or Wirecastfor Windows to make you production look very professional by adding titles, bugs, lower thirds, etc live and also use more than two cameras. One thing to note, I use the EasyCAP because my camcorder (Sony AX2000) does not have firewire, but if your camera and computer have firewire ports then there is not necessity in buying an EasyCAP. Almost all the programs identify Firewire cameras. Anyway, I will continue with the EasyCAP approach, but is basically the same thing with firewire (with more technical steps to take).

Now you need a services where you can host and stream your video. I have use with great success uStream, which is free by the way. With the EasyCAP all I need to do is use a little program called CamTwistand Ustream identifies the camera. After that is just start broadcasting. If you are using a broadcasting software (BoinxTV in my case) all I need to do is tell BoinxTV that my camera source comes from CamTwist and voila, I have a “professional broadcast studio”. If you are only using one camera or don’t want fancy titles, just use the camera source program (in this case CamTwist) with Ustream. There are a lot more technical aspect involve in this part and it takes a considerable amount of time to make it all work.

(3) I recommend capturing audio separately from the video because it will give you a lot more control over your overall broadcast. I use an AudioBox USB. When I have the opportunity, I connect one channel of AudioBox directly to the audio mixer from the establishment and another one is a omnidirectional mic to capture the ambience noise. People will accept an awful looking video, but not the audio. The audio needs to be near perfect and must be monitor constantly.

Basically you need at least three people to work on this (if you are using one camera); one cameraman (if your camera is static one person is ok, but if the camera man is moving he/she will need another person to help with the cable), one person working with the audio and one person working with the computer.

Generally doing live streaming is a lot of hard work and setting up is quite the adventure. Like I mentioned previously, you will probably need a web designer to make you a special website just to host your Ustream video. I recommend this because its easier to share, it will dramatically increase your website visit (yes host it in your own website) and you can even put your own ads. Check the one we did in Holy Week

Well this sure was a long reply. There are many other aspect that I didn’t mention and there are also many other ways to do this. The conclusion to all this is charge extra for it because. broadcasting live is one of the most high end service we videographer can offer. Hope this helps

Best Products