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Discover the Potential of Live Streaming and What You Need to Start Broadcasting A look into live streaming technology; how you can deliver your own live broadcasts, the hardware and software requirements, plus the positive impact it can have on educators, learners and your community.


Live streaming feels like it has been around for quite some time. Well that’s because it has - the ďŹ rst live broadcast was back in 1995! However, almost 23 years on, many organisations are still tentative about delivering their own live video streams. There is still a preconception that live streaming technology is very expensive and will have large overheads on the IT team and the infrastructure they manage. There are obviously considerations to be made when choosing to live stream, but modern network infrastructure is more than capable of delivering high quality live streams.

Applications for Live Streaming

Broadcast Sporting Fixtures

Stream Shows and Productions

Show Guest Speakers and Presentations Live

Distance Learning

Archive Live Events for On-Demand Viewing

Family and Friends Viewing

Lecture Capture

Custom TV Channel

Room Observation


What Do You Need in Order to Live Stream? Audio Visual Equipment In order to get up and running you will need at minimum a camera and microphone. This can range from a webcam with built in microphone to a multi-camera setup with mixing desk. In essence, it depends on what you are filming and what budget you have. Observational work would generally require a discreet wall mounted camera, but for live events you would need at minimum a mid to high-end consumer video camera. When it comes to camera hardware, you do get what you pay for, but the main things to consider are: Video output terminal – providing a video and audio feed directly from your camera to your live streaming encoder station. There are other advanced options available but this is by far the simplest and most reliable method. Audio input – enabling you to plug in an external microphone. Audio quality is often overlooked; microphones built into your camera tend to always be poor quality - even an inexpensive external microphone will give far superior results. It is best, where possible, to plug a microphone into the camera directly, as this guarantees a better audio sync. Optical zoom - enables you to zoom in on a subject without loss of quality (unlike a digital zoom). This is extremely important for pretty much all live streaming scenarios.

Encoding Hardware This is usually a computer with a capture card. There will also be some encoding software installed which will turn the video feed from your camera into a live broadcast. You will be able to choose what quality (bitrate) your video is encoded and output to, as once encoded, the video will be passed to your streaming server or service provider.

Internet Connection If you are streaming to the internet then you will of course require an internet connection. As a rule of thumb, you will require one and half times the bitrate of your video feed in order to deliver a reliable stream. For example, a 2 megabit (Mb) encoded video will require a 3Mb upload connection at minimum. You will of course need to take into consideration any other applications that will be using the same connection.

Live Streaming Service When delivering live streams, users can either deploy their own live streaming server, or use a paid platform. Both have their pros and cons but, in a nutshell, using a third-party service is simple and a lot of the hard technical work is taken away. The downside, however, is that you have less control and you have to pay to use the service. It is worth noting that there are also additional costs for running your own streaming server as you will need to invest in server hardware.


Simple Live Streaming with Planet eStream – The Unified Video Platform

Secure

Simple

Planet eStream is not a streaming service - it is your own platform. You

Set up is simple and straight forward. Once competed you can set a

therefore have full control over everything, including who can access

live stream broadcasting with a click of a button.

the streams and who can generate them.

Anywhere

Archive

Stream from anywhere using your Planet eStream platform - all you

Planet eStream has a full media library, enabling you to archive your

require is an internet connection.

streams immediately to a secure location and share them with users.

Digital Signage

No Bespoke Hardware

You can send live streams directly to digital signage displays that are

Take advantage of cost effective hardware; Planet eStream’s Live

powered by Planet eStream’s built in digital signage platform.

Encoder works with most Windows compatible hardware capture devices.

IP Input

Screen Capture

The Planet eStream Live Encoder can also pick up IP video feeds as a

Quickly deploy the screen recording tool to capture your desktop or

source. This enables you to set up live streams using IP cameras

application window as a video source.

installed in your rooms, making a very discreet observation system.

Multiple Sources

View from any Device

Stream two sources simultaneously as a picture-in-picture stream.

You can access live streams from anywhere and from any device.

A great example is lecture capture whereby you can stream both the

As you have full control over the Planet eStream platform you can

presenter and their presentation at the same time.

control who the streams are available to.

GDPR Support Full control over the platform means you have total governance over your live streams and who views them, your archived recordings are also held securely - all assisting you with your GDPR strategy.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many people are required to keep a live stream up and running once it has started? In theory none, and certainly for day to day uses like live lecture capture. It is not feasible to have people watching and checking each stream. However, mission critical events require some monitoring with at least two or three people on hand; one person checking video feeds and the others to respond to and ďŹ x any issues.

Is it possible to have cameras in different positions and stream this live? Absolutely. As shown in the diagram below, your cameras will need to go through a vision mixer that an operator will have to control during the event. Here all the camera and audio feeds will be mixed into a single video output. This is then sent directly into your live streaming encoder station.

Is there a limit to the amount of people viewing my live streams? It depends on your platform and bandwidth allocations. For example, the Planet eStream cloud platform can support delivery to thousands of viewers simultaneously, however, as with all cloud platforms, you will have a fair usage policy. Regularly delivering long broadcasts may take you over this allocation. It is also worth bearing in mind that some providers will charge you based purely upon your usage. If you are running your own locally hosted platform then the number of concurrent views will be dependent on both the power of your streaming server and your bandwidth.

I want to set up discreet recording for lecture capture, what options do I have? There are plenty of options available to keep recording discreet. Small cameras and ceiling microphones are now readily available but the most effective way to discreetly record is to use IP cameras. These tend to naturally be small form factor and can be picked up as a video source over the network, meaning that those controlling the recording do not have to physically be in the room.

Can I show both the presenter and their presentation separately? Having two sources is a common request, in particular when it comes to lecture and lesson capture scenarios. Being able to capture both the presenter and presentation in high quality is a massive bonus. Planet eStream allows you to select a main source and a secondary source, and display them as picture-in-picture.

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Planet eStream is the only video platform that unifies all of your digital media requirements. It has been chosen by over 2,000 educational establishments from all over the globe to support their core digital strategy and drive digital transformation, delivering significant benefits to educators, e-learning professionals, communications and marketing departments, librarians, learning resources teams, IT staff and, most importantly, students.

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To To find find out more about how Planet eStream can assist you in your live streaming, lecture capture capture or or classroom classroom observation observation requirements, requirements, please please visit… visit…

www.discoverestream.com sales@planetestream.co.uk +44 (0)1274 713400

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Discover the Potential of Live Streaming  

A review of live streaming technology; how you can deliver your own live broadcasts and infrastructure requirements, and the positive impact...

Discover the Potential of Live Streaming  

A review of live streaming technology; how you can deliver your own live broadcasts and infrastructure requirements, and the positive impact...