After trying everything… Learning the hard way… and of course, picking up quite a tricks along the way… we having finally put together our first ever “Live Streaming Checklist”. We have hosted hundreds of webinars and live streams over the past 3 years and these tips come from our experience working with all the technical stuff including, cameras, content delivery networks, microphones, lighting, streaming software and green screens. We hope this serves you well and feel free to download our checklisthere.
THE LIVE STREAMING CHECKLIST:
Set up live show layout
This includes everything software related to your show. Prepare a manageable set of video assets which can include: intro video, titles, additional video sources, media and other content.
Tuning your Equipment
Lights – Before you start tuning your camera (if needed) make sure all the lighting you are planning to use is on and ready for action.
Camera – Tune your camera to provide a good contrast, luminance, saturation and hue for your room. If you are using a Green Screen with a chroma key background pay special attention to hues and contrast. Your goal is to provide a rich image with strong white and blacks with a wide range of accurately represented colors.
White Balance: Start with an auto-white balance. This can be done by holding up a white piece of paper and selecting the “one push” white balance feature in any PTZOptics cameras on screen display menu. NOTE: Some software solutions also offer a white balance feature. It’s best practice to tune the image settings on your camera before altering the image with your software.
Focus: Obviously you want your talent to be in focus but consider whether you actually need to have auto-focus on. If your talent is not going to be moving from their chair your best choice is manual focus. Setting the appropriate focus manually can avoid unintended camera auto-focusing from hand movements and body gesturing. If your talent will be moving around a stage or wide are your best choice is auto-focus. TIP: Avoid chairs with a swivel and suggest seating your talent on a stool or solid four-legged chair with a short back.
Microphones – Test your microphone prior to any event. Tuning may only need to be done periodically provided that the microphones are in use in a similar setting. You should hear a wide range of highs and lows. Check you audio meter and make sure your levels are in a safe range without peeking into the “red zone”.
Green Screens – Using chroma key technology can challenging without good lighting and a reflecting green surface. Assuming you have an ideal green background, select the exact color your camera is outputting to your software with the color picker tool. You can now adjust your settings until you are happy with your chroma key. TIP 1: Using a dark background will help hide any stray pixelation.
Establishing your live stream
Make sure to have your RTMP Server and key information ready. You will use this information to start streaming to your CDN (Content Delivery Network)
It’s best practice to start your live stream at least 20-30 minutes before any event. During this time you should display a countdown timer and some type “Streaming Soon” display with background music. This time before your event is also ideal for giving viewers ample time for receiving automated notifications for your live show.
- Test your audio again, but this time, listen to the stream as if you were a viewer. Live streams are known for introducing audio syncing issues without rhyme or reason randomly. The good news is that you can add an audio delay to compensate for this issue. If needed add 2000-3000 milliseconds (2-3 seconds) to your audio delay until all syncing issues have been ironed out.
- Don’t forget to share your live show on social media
- Don’t forget to save time for Question and Answers from the chatroom. Best practice is reserve a time specifically for Q&A.
- The Outro – What are you business goals? Don’t forget to include a CTA (Call to Action) for your viewers… Is it a free eBook or an upcoming webinar? Maybe simply asking for a new subscriber!