Professional Live Stream Checklist: A Guide to the Necessary Equipment and Software

Professional Live Stream Service Video

Live streams are great for engaging with your audience in real time. Be it a public or private stream, you’ll definitely want the best quality for your audience to have a good experience. And with the right equipment, you’ll be on the right track to giving your audience the best, professional live stream experience.

For a professional looking live stream, broadcasting directly from your phone or webcam on your computer might not achieve the best results. Be it an entertaining live stream for your followers or an educational webinar, having a good quality broadcast is the desired method to capture your audience’s attention for a prolonged period of time. Furthermore, the least you can do is provide them with a great online experience for their time.

The best equipment should be used to ensure the best quality. Seems fair right? But of course, not all of course can afford to invest in all the various (expensive) equipment. Especially not when you’re only looking to do 1 live stream for, let’s say, your Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In this case, you might want to look into video production companies that offer live streaming services to help you out! One such local company is Vivid Snaps who has experience in live streams and webinars.

If you’re new to the world of live streams and want to get started, here’s some of the equipment you’ll need for a great and professional broadcast.

Table of contents

  1. PC/Laptop
  2. Internet Connection
  3. Camera
  4. Microphone
  5. Lighting
  6. Encoding software

1. PC/Laptop

Streaming from a powerful PC / laptop is one of the keys to hosting a really professional looking live stream. You have to make sure your PC / laptop has enough processing power to handle all the content for the live stream.

2. Internet connection

A stable internet connection is mandatory when broadcasting. The last thing you want is for your live stream to be slow and constantly buffering for your audience. 

Instead of using Wi-Fi, a wired network will be a much safer option.

3. Camera

Using an external camera will be great. For the best experience, 1080p quality is usually what viewers hope to see when watching videos

Not all built-in or external webcams can provide 1080p videos. Instead, you can use a dslr or digital camera for better video quality.

To connect your camera to your PC or laptop, you may need to purchase something called a Cam Link. This USB thumb drive looking device allows you to plug in a mini HDMI cable that can connect to your camera.

Additionally, filming with your camera also calls for a constant power supply to your camera. You definitely wouldn’t want your camera to run low on battery mid-way through the broadcast.

A multi camera setup can be really useful if you want more variety in the way your live stream is presented. For example, if you’re doing a product test or a demonstration, you can have one camera focused on the host and another camera focused on the object. From here, you’ll be able to switch what the audience sees so that they can have a better understanding.

4. Microphone

An external USB microphone is recommended for crisp and clear audio. 

Alternatively, you can also use headsets or wireless microphones 

If viewers had to choose, they’ll probably pic watching a 360p video over a video with bad audio. Some viewers might even be “watching” your live stream by just paying attention to the audio, just like a podcast. 

5. Lighting

The lighting of your video sets the mood for your viewers so make sure you’re in a well lit area! Face the window of the room or manually brighten the live stream space with LED, ring or even soft box lights.Remember that with good lighting, your features will be highlighted nicely in the live stream as well.

6. Encoding software 

Several live streaming professionals such as YouTubers Think Media and Live Streaming Pros use vMix for their videos. 

The great thing about vMix is that they also have a free version, which of course has its limitations. Depending on your needs and how often you’ll use it, you might want to invest in one of their packages for access to more features.

Here’s an idea of what you can possible do to level up your live stream game with vMix:

  • Add graphic overlays
  • Include video transitions
  • Include pre-recorded content
  • Bring up social comments from Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / Twitch on screen
  • Use a green screen for a customised backdrop design
  • Bring in guests easily via a web link
  • Record and stream at the same time

We hope this check list has helped you set up and prepare for your upcoming broadcast! If you’re still feeling unsure, remember that you can always go to a professional for their live stream service! That way, you can be rest assured that your stream will run smoothly and you won’t have to worry about its technical aspects.

Looking for tips to hosting your live stream? Check out our 7 tips to hosting a webinar!

References: 

Switchboard

Think Media

Vivid Snaps

vMix

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