Tackling Top Issues (Part 1): Production Equipment Workflow

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Today’s Tuesday Tips post is the first of a five-part series, which will focus on how to tackle some of the most common issues our broadcasters face. Kayla D’Alonzo, one of our Customer Success reps, will be sharing advice over the next five weeks, starting with production equipment workflow.

Ustream is the easiest and most powerful platform to broadcast live – it’s as simple as setting up your account, connecting your camera and encoder, and pushing the “GO LIVE” button. Sometimes, however, broadcasters can hit a bump in the road before, during, or after their broadcast. We know at times it can be frustrating figuring out why your audio is out of sync or why your equipment is not working. Perhaps you are experiencing excessive buffering or your broadcast just isn’t showing up on mobile. Don’t worry, Ustreamers: we can help!

Before your broadcast, do some research. Ustream offers knowledge base articles on their support page at support.ustream.tv. See what software is recommended for streaming from your device(s). It is always important to first research the right software before purchasing expensive equipment that might not work.

Here are key items you will need in order to broadcast:

  • Camera
  • Microphone / Audio
  • Capture device
  • Encoder
  • Internet

Camera

There are a couple of cameras out there that are recommended for high-quality streaming. You can either use your built-in camera from your computer, USB connection camera (Logitech C920), or a camera with an HDMI or SDI output. Check out the camera examples below:

Built-in camera:

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Logitech C920 (USB connection into your computer): Tackle1_2

HDMI or SDI output:

Tackle1_3

Microphone/Audio

Audio is the feature that makes your stream come alive and captures the perfect sound for your broadcast. You can capture your audio either from your built-in computer microphone, camera, mobile device, or an external microphone that runs through an audio mixer into your computer. Here are a few cable examples:

XLR cables:

Tackle1_4

RCA cables:

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For more information on XLR and RCA cables Click Here

Capture Device

Using a capture device is important to have especially when you use a camera that has an HDMI or SDI output. With a camera that has an HDMI or SDI output, plug that into your capture device and your computer using a thunderbolt cable. For PC users, Blackmagic offers capture device cards. However, if you are using a USB camera [Logitech C920, for example] you do not need a capture device, just plug it straight into your computer.

For more information on PC computers, Click Here

Blackmagic Intensity Extreme (Capture device recommended):

Tackle1_6

Encoder

There are multiple encoders out there you can use to broadcast: Ustream Producer, Wirecast, Flash Media Live Encoder, or the “GO LIVE” button. These encoders are downloadable. Make sure your computer is up-to-date on its flash, in order to support the encoder you have chosen. First, connect your camera to the capture device into the computer and then launch the encoder. The encoder allows you to control what you want to be broadcasted to your channel. Download an encoder for free and familiarize yourself with its different features and the way in which it works.

Internet

When broadcasters have slow Internet connections, they experience choppiness and buffering during their stream. Before every broadcast make sure you run a speed test on the computer you are broadcasting from (speedtest) and see where your upload and download speed ranges. Your target number should be 2.5 mbps and above. Once you reach this mbps range (or above), set the broadcast setting to match your bandwidth. Click here for more information on bandwidth requirements. Hardline is recommended rather than wireless for quality streaming- make sure it has a good connection and that you are the dominant user.

Most of all, have fun and happy streaming! Next week, I’ll deep dive into buffering issues.

For more information on production and equipment for Ustream, don’t forget to check out our Knowledge Base articles: https://ustream.zendesk.com/home

About jferrer

Joellen Ferrer is Ustream's Director of Communications and oversees the company's PR, analyst relations, social media, and CSR efforts. For any questions: jferrer@ustream.tv or @joellenferr
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