What you need to do live-streaming with a mac?

In preparation for an event, I had to study the question that every event organizer will asks himself at some point in its life…"How the hell do video live-streaming works?"

Wrong assumptions:
– If I can do video call with my mum over skype, doing it for an event should not be much complicated.

A video camera is for recording, you can not connect it to your computer and do live. You need a WEBCAM to live-stream from your computer. A VIDEO CAMERA is NOT A WEBCAM.

– I just need to find a good video camera, the rest is a piece of cake.

If you want to do live stream of an event you want the quality of the video to be top knotch (need HD webcam) and have zoom and wide angle option.
Also the better the quality of the video, the more bandwith you will need. At best choose a venue with a dedicated internet line for streaming (at best optic fiber).


Video-streaming 101: Pre-event preparation

If you never done it before, don't believe you can do it last minute. Prepare your self as soon as possible.

1) Have a good hardware: webcam + mic
Personnaly I want to do a professional event, same level of quality than if I would consider do a videocast. But I am not a video professional, I am not gonna buy a video cam worth 10,000 USD/RMB.
So I opt for a HD webcam with integrated mic.

If you are a mac user, there is some more difficulties (but totally worth it!). More good webcam are not compatible mac. Sad world. Fortunately there is this website that list and classify the best webcam, pro and con, for mac.

I definitely wanted to go for the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac but you can not find in the Buy Now (chaoyangmen). Out of stock. And the seller on taobao take 4-7 working day to deliver while i need it for Monday. And i was to lazy to try ZhongGuanCun. The Apple store at Sanlitun Village only have Blue Microphones EYEBALL, whcih is good enough but at that point I just figure, let's try out iSight with iGlasses first!

2) Have the good software: iGlasses and Call Recorder for Skype (or IMCapture)
iGlasses is a software to adjust and manipulate your webcam's video settings, weither you use i-Sight or another compatible mac websam. For example it allow you to zoom, pan, simulate several camera, adjust color, brightness, lights..

Call Recorder and IMCapture are pluggin for skype allowing you to record your video conversation.
Call Recorder or IMCapture? IMCapture is the most popular one, a looooot of recommendation from skype forum. But I chose Call Recorder because there was a special deal on ecamm (good website for mac app), it is half cheaper than iCapture and it has all the function I wanted (record your side of video but also in-coming video by splitting screen). I confirmed my choice by reading this good review from Cult of mac…interesting blog.

If you are not going to use skype but want to broadcast on a website, you can use the most popular service Ustream, justinTV or in China Youku, Tudou, 56.com. I havent test this way yet so can not say much but you can embeddded the video in your website for sure.
If you dont want to use these streaming services, you have to subscribe to a streaming server. it is getting too complicated for me. But you can read wiki, that also explain clearly how to calculate the bandwith and storage space you need.

3) Do the testing
Learn to play with new software you installed and your new webcam if any.
Then 2-3 days before the event do the testing on site, with the internet connection at the venue and already figure out where you will put the stage and the cam. Test the sound properly with your interlocutor, also in the venue he/she intent to receive the streaming.

Then wait for the D. day…

About Carole (code name 烤肉)

I work in tech since 2008, moved from Reunion island to Paris, Beijing, San Francisco and ended up in Berlin in 2014.
This entry was posted in Being an event organizer, China, Tech and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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