Learn how to Live Stream

These are notes from the live stream we did on March 30, 2020. Here is a link to the original Facebook video.

First and foremost, make sure you have a great internet connection.

The best option is a strong wi-fi signal. If you do not have wi-fi, try using cellular data only. However, I would recommend doing this only if you have at least 3 bars of LTE (4G) service.

If you only have 3G service where you are trying to broadcast from, it will not transmit well.

Think of the requirements the same as if you were going to FaceTime someone or Skype call from your mobile device.

Three places you can live stream to easily: Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

With Facebook and YouTube, you can broadcast from either your mobile phone OR your computer, using any webcam.

With Instagram, the only option is with your phone.

Instagram has 3 really neat features to live streaming with.

  1. You can let viewers use the “questions” feature during the broadcast. Then, you can manually choose a question that comes up on your screen only, and have it appear on the live feed for you to answer! This encourages audience participation.
  2. You can let others join your live stream in a split-screen broadcast. This is done by EITHER tapping the double-smiley icon and choosing from the list of current viewers. Alternatively, one of your current viewers can request to join in and then you can approve.
  3. There is a new feature called “slides”, or picture-in-picture. During an Instagram LIVE, you can tap on your camera roll thumbnail and if you tap open a photo – it will display the photo in full view and then place your camera as a small thumbnail in the corner. Great if you want to use Instagram as a presentation tool!

If you’re broadcasting from your computer:

For Facebook, try using the new LIVE Producer.

For YouTube, you’ll need to use YouTube Studio.

For both platforms, if you want to use your computer’s webcam, you’ll change the STREAM option from a STREAM KEY to the WEBCAM option.

A stream key is used in another application such as Ecamm Live or OBS Studio to basically authorize that application to stream to either Facebook or YouTube.

If you want to step up your LIVE Stream, consider using broadcast studio software. The LIVE Stream you watched today was done using a product called Ecamm LIVE. It is a MAC OSX only product, but if you are a mac user – I HIGHLY suggest using this to broadcast.

Ecamm gives you TV Broadcast quality tools all from the comfort of your MacBook or iMac.

You can add lower thirds, titles, switch from multiple camera sources, use an external mic input and more. It is very easy to use and has a short learning curve.

You can use camera sources other than your webcam. I used my Canon DSLR hooked straight in from the USB cable. You can also use your smartphone as the camera source.

If using Ecamm and you want to use your smartphone like I demonstrated, you’ll need to get an app called NDI Cam. This basically will tell your computer that your phone is acting as the webcam – However, it is not tethered by a cable. Since it is wireless, you can place it virtually anywhere.

I hope those tips help you with your live streaming during any quarantining or social distancing you may be practicing.

If you have additional questions, reach out to me on Instagram at @bradpaulp.

By Contributing Author: Brad Poirier, Bear City Impact