How to stream live video in your own website: it’s easier than you think
Written by Watchity
There are many ways to share a live broadcast on the internet: you can the social network of your choice, or your own website. There are no wrong choices, but if you need to broadcast an official transmission for a particular client or event, sometimes a website is better than social media (and they don’t have no exclude each other). In this post we’ll give a quick summary of what you’ll need, but don’t panic, it’s easier than you think.
What equipment do I need to start streaming?
There are three basic items you’re going to need to start a broadcast: a computer, cameras and recording gear and encoding equipment.
You’re going to use the computer as a workstation to set up your webpage transmission and probably to connect your recording devices.
There are four kind of cameras you can use in these cases: a webcam, a smartphone, an IP camera or a camera connected via HDMI/SDI.
- Webcam: the advantage is that it’s on your own computer and you could use it for interacting with people while you use it. It’s very practical, but also very limiting.
- Smartphones: Since we all have phones with internet connection and (usually) a great camera, they’re perfect for recordings or broadcasting from anywhere. They’re cheaper than most cameras, but they also lack of some practical features that professional gear does have, like manual controls or different optics.
- IP cameras: These can connect to the internet without the need for a computer, so they’re are very practical and they can stream a very large general shot. If you have several of them, you can switch the images between them for large installations, constant streaming or even conferences.
- Professional cameras: they’re not as easy to carry as a smartphone, but they are relatively transportable, and they have lots of feature to produce a great transmission, like manual exposure controls, different lenses, zooms and great battery life.
- Audio recording devices: depending on your broadcast, you can use a great variety of microphones, but the important thing is that you use them. Don’t forget the audio, because no one watches video without sound.
And also, if you’re in a controlled broadcast, don’t forget to light up the place, so you get better image quality.
What’s an encoder and why do you want to use it
You can’t broadcast videos directly from your camera to the web because they have different formats. That’s why we use encoders: to take the video input signal and digitize it, so it can be delivered to different sites on the Internet. Also, you can find them in software and hardware:
- Software encoders: they’re are programs that you run on your computer: they convert your video into new formats. They work great, and also they allow you to change the video (codecs) for better compression and decompression of data. They are easy to update to new formats, but they are slower than hardware encoding machines.
- Hardware encoders: unlike the software ones, these devices are exclusively dedicated to encode data into streamable content. They’re usually small boxes, or workstations. They can’t update (like the softwares encoders) but they’re are a lot faster than them.
Do I need the fastest Internet connection?
No, you don’t need the most advanced and fastest Internet connection, but you do need a fast, and reliable connection, with an upload speed of at least at 2 Mbps if you want to broadcast good video quality. The higher the quality content of your video, the higher Internet speed you’re going to need. Check if your upload speed is at least the half of your download speed.
Anyway, it is always important to check these data for yourself, so we strongly recommend trying your internet speed out on Tastemy.net
Use a host
A video host is a platform which allows users to upload or stream videos from the internet. There are many alternatives when it comes to choose a hosting server, including some free ones. This may sound like a logical option, but if you want to broadcast an original product, you should consider that many of these free options (including Facebook and YouTube, until now) are designed to be an streaming services, not live video streaming sites, and they have limitations.
Just to name a few, they’re branded, you can’t control ads and you have limited monetization options. If you use an external service like Watchity, you have access to all these options, and besides you have the certainty that your servers are going to work.
How to embed the code in your site
This is the easiest part. Once you have your broadcast set up, you just need to copy the embed code on your server, in your webpage.
In this case, if you’re using a service like Watchity, you can use a custom, made live video player on your website (or wherever you want), or send your broadcast to many other social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. You just have to copy the embed code on the HTML body of the site.
If you already got ideas for video contents to broadcast on your site, or any of your social media networks, send us a message and get a free Watchity trial.