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Equipment for livestreaming from your venue

Monday 22 June 2020

Enabling your venue to begin broadcasting professional livestreams may initially seem a daunting prospect, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Equipment for livestreaming from your venue

Putting together a livestreaming setup for your venue needn't be too time consuming nor costly. Whilst it's true that some establishments have spent tens of thousands on video and livestreaming hardware, having a professional setup for your venue need not cost anywhere near as much as this.

If you already have camera equipment at your establishment you will find it very simple to configure your venue for livestreaming and will only need to spend a few hundred on additional hardware. If you're happy with your existing filming setup, you can skip to the of this guide.

Even if you currently don't have any filming or livestreaming equipment, on a tight budget you'll be able to put together a professional-standard arrangement for not much more than £1,000.

This guide will give you a concise insight into what equipment your venue may need to invest in to begin broadcasting live to the world!

Hardware recommendations
  • Depending on the type of performance at your music or arts venue, you may want anywhere between two and five cameras (or perhaps many more!)
    • On the tightest budgets, a feasible option is to use a compact camcorder, which can either be used handheld or in a fixed position on a tripod. Alongside this, to have further angles to cut away to, you can use a couple of GoPro or similar devices.
    • On a mid-range budget, it would be advisable to have at least one fixed camera on a tripod, as well as a camera being operated handheld. With this setup it might also be additionally advisable to use GoPros or similar in the manner suggested above.
    • On a higher budget, your opportunities become essentially endless. A remotely controlled robotic camera setup would be something to consider on the highest of budgets - Panasonic offer a number of options for this.
Audio setup
  • The output from your venue's mixing desk should be fine to use for broadcasting livestreams. However, bear in mind that the mix that works for the acoustic of your venue and the audio mix that is the optimum for viewers at home will not necessarily be the same.
    • With higher budgets, it may be worth having a second audio mixing setup that is dedicated for use in your livestreams. This would allow the in-venue mix and livestream audio mixes to be adjusted independently of one another.
Vision mixer (video switcher) / Capture card
  • To livestream your multi-camera setup, you will need a vision mixer.
  • There are a number of vision mixers, including this, which allow you to vision mix and encode/stream the content to us directly in one single piece of hardware. However, most vision mixers do not include an in-built encoder or streaming functionality, necessitating the use of a capture card.
    • Capture cards take a feed from your vision mixer and provide it to your computer. Your computer will then encode the video content on-the-fly and stream it to the livestreaming server.
    • One of the problems with capture cards is that they usually rely on your computer's processor to handle the encoding. In many cases, this requires quite significant computer processing power and if your computer struggles, you may need to upgrade its hardware.
Software for streaming (if using a capture card)
  • To stream to any livestreaming server (including OnGenre's) from a capture card, you'll need some livestreaming software.
  • A number of good options exist for this, some free, some paid.
Internet connection
  • In most cases, for a smooth and consistent high-quality stream your internet upload speed should be a minimum of between 800Kbps and 5Mbps.
  • Before starting livestreamed events from your venue, it is important to check your internet connection's stability a number of times over preceding days using both speed and bandwidth tests.
  • To ensure a completely flawless stream, even in the event of internet connection instability, it is a good idea to invest in a load balancing router.
    • A load balancer is a type of router that enables you to connect it to more than one internet source. In the event of one connection becoming unstable, it can seamlessly switch you over to using another connection.
    • This requires you to have more than one internet connection at your establishment. In the event that the provision of multiple internet connections is problematic, you could use a 4/5G connection as your backup.
    • If you're using a 4G connection as either your main or your backup connection, it's important to remember that mobile data connections can vary significantly in both speed and consistency based on factors including local load, interference and even weather conditions.

The OnGenre team would be happy to assist you in recommendations for a livestreaming setup for your venue. Feel free to contact us.

You may also find our article entitled Perfecting your livestream relevant.

For further information about becoming a livestreamer on OnGenre's platform, please visit our Becoming a Broadcaster page.