Feb 2, 2020 | 7 min read

Live streaming enables participants to join your event from remote locations. They can view the event as it happens and interact with each other in real-time. With the tools avaialbe, today live event streaming is easier than ever.

Live streaming - Capture, Encode, Distribute, Play

Live streaming has 4 parts

Video Capture
You need to capture the content you want to broadcast. Use a camera to capture motion and sounds and screen capture to capture presentations.
Video Encoding
Also known as video transcoding. The process of converting and packaging a video source to a format that can be distributed over the internet and played in video players in web browsers. The most common video encoding format is H.264. The most popular protocol to deliver video over the internet is called HLS.
Video Distribution
Distributing a large amount of data to a massive audience requires resources. Sometimes one server can not handle it alone. The solution is a network of servers that share the load of delivering the video content to ends users. Physically locating those servers in proximity to the end-user may improve performance and reduce latency.
Video Players
Video player runs on the event user device, as a plug-in in the user browser for example. Video players read the video stream and display it on the end user device.

For example, if a user has abandoned the process during the payment stage, we can use the contact information captured in the previous stage to follow up and perhaps offer an incentive to complete the registration (coupon?).

Controling live video

To create an interesting and engaging video you may want to use a live broadcast video editor. Live video editors allow you to capture live video from multiple sources, multiple cameras, screen captures, presentations, and recorded video. Create a video stream composed of multiple video source streams and switch between streams. You can also add titles, custom graphics, virtual studio backgrounds, live background images, and other video effects that can make your video broadcast more interesting and engaging.

Some of the most common live video tools available are

OBS Studio
Open Broadcaster Software. Free, open-source, and cross-platform software for capturing and editing live video broadcasts
vMix
Video mixer, live production software for Windows with free to $1200 versions. With vMix Call it allows to bring in live video of remote guests
Wirecast
A popular live production software for Mac and Windows available for $599 to $799.

Audio quality

With a focus on video quality, sometimes audio quality does not get enough attention but for most live events good audio quality is critical. Clear audio makes it easier to understand speakers and enjoy live music.
4 ways to improve audio quality

Video bandwidth requirements

The actual broadcasting or distribution of the video to viewers is done by a server (See Video Distribution) so it does not relay or use your local network bandwidth. You need to make sure your local can send a quality video to the encoding server. How much bandwidth is required to transmit video to the encoding server depends on video resolution and quality but also on how dynamic the video itself is (video of static images requires less bandwidth, moving the camera takes more bandwidth)

Resolution Resolution Bandwidth
360p 640x360 1 Mbps Good for smartphones
480p 854x480 2 Mbps Standard definition widescreen
720p 30fps 1280x720 4 Mbps HD minimum
1080p 30fps 1920x1080 6 Mbps Full HD
4K 30fps 3840x2160 34 Mbps UHD

Always ensure you have extra bandwidth above the minimum required. Available upload bandwidth is affected by all the local network users. Some internet providers do not guarantee they will provide the specified bandwidth all the time. A 5MB upload link sometimes means 5MB maximum. The actual upload bandwidth is not guaranteed.

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