Live Stream Production can be simply described as the process of getting a video feed to air live, in real time. The general concept is just like traditional television production, but with some significant differences.
While this might seem pretty simple to grasp on paper, it’s actually very complicated in reality. So many factors are involved that must come together to make a live production successful. Without this integration and without all of the moving pieces working in unison, an end viewer can be faced with poor video quality, low audio levels or perhaps even missing content.
Live Stream Production is mostly used to discuss productions that are taking place over the internet or on a computer network using standard streaming protocols like RTMP or RTSP. This might be over the traditional internet, or on a more local area network. Some examples of live streaming applications are Facebook Live, Periscope, Livestream , YOUNOW, Twitch TV and even YouTube content creators .
All of these live productions have some key similarities in their production workflow, but also have some pretty big differences.
With the introduction of online streaming services over the past few years, a lot of these differences have been streamlined and improved upon. As a result, there is a lot to learn from all of these platforms to help you get started with producing your own live events.
Without going into too much detail about all of the different parts that go into live video production, let’s take a closer look at the 5 main components of every live event.
1. Capture Device (Video Camera) – You can’t start producing until you have something to produce! So the first step in any live event is capturing your content on some sort of device like a modern day camera or another video source.
2. Switcher – The switcher is a device that receives your camera feed and then switches or blends it into the outgoing stream for broadcasting purposes.
3. Video Encoder – This is where things get slightly complicated, but stay with me. Your video encoder takes the incoming video from the switcher and encodes/compresses it into the proper format (usually an industry standard like H.264 video codec ).
4. Stream Hosting – This is where your encoded video gets pushed to so it can be distributed over the internet or local area network. The stream hosting service will either send out a direct link for viewers to watch, or embedd the video feed directly onto their own webpage.
5. Streaming Protocol – This is what brings everything together, almost like the glue that holds the entire workflow together. RTMP and RTSP are popular streaming protocols used in live production to broadcast video from one place to another over a network.
In our next article, we will take an even closer look at how all of these components work together to produce a video stream that viewers can watch.
See you then!