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Old April 2nd, 2014, 09:14 PM   #1
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Live Steaming...

I have someone who has offered to pay me to set up a live stream for them. It's basically for a Bible study that he is starting that he hopes people will watch online. People will come to the actual physical location, but for those who can't make it, he wants to give them the option to watch online. I imagine there would be multiple cameras involved and he wants the online audience to be able to interact as well.

Now we do this at our church, but it's a bit bigger of a production than this guy wants.

Anyone here have any experience in this type of work?

EDIT: Looks like all he needs is 1 camera but he wants to have the ability to make everyone audible so if someone is talking, people online can hear it. He also would like it if people online could type questions they have onto the website and for him to be able to see them as the Bible study is happening

Last edited by Brock Burwell; April 2nd, 2014 at 10:09 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: Live Steaming...

Could you use Google Hangouts? Getting clear audio can be a challenge when there are multiple speakers. Hangouts could share a video session with up to 10 remote participants. It also has texting. Maybe use a computer with webcam sitting near the other folks.

Here is a description of Hangouts:
https://support.google.com/hangouts/..._topic=2944848
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: Live Steaming...

Chip might be right. An informal setting like a Bible study group, it might work best to rig up a laptop with USB camera and microphone using Google+ Hangouts. It's probably the easiest to accomplish all you want, including two way participation. All the people on the other end need is a smartphone, too.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Live Steaming...

That was actually my first suggestion to him was Google Hangouts. I donít think he has a problem with that, but has aspirations for hundreds of people being involved. Would that be an issue? I mean I've watched Google Hangouts worldwide and there hasn't been an issue, but I don't know if they did something special to do that. Do particpants have to have a google account?

He said he's willing to throw a decent amount of money into this and told me to just take care of it. I hate to tell him just to do a Google Hangout and just have him do it himself ha.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:14 AM   #5
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Re: Live Steaming...

Here is a video showing how it could look:

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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:26 AM   #6
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Re: Live Steaming...

Hundreds of people? Then you need technical requirements and planning ... and budget. My guess is that someone has already figured this out and has a turnkey solution that you would just pay for as a service (no pun intended).
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: Live Steaming...

What about a service like UStream? Would that work?
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Live Steaming...

I would look at UStream or maybe even JustinTV. They do have a comments section, but you may have to register to use it. For any interaction without registration, you may want to look at doing email questioning. Of course twitter is good or a Facebook group, but again you have an account. So it really depends on whether you want to force the audience to register for something.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Live Steaming...

So we are pushing forward with this idea. He wants to do it on Justin.TV. They charge $40 a month for their premium service which he wants.

My question now is this...What type of camera do we need? I imagine we need something that can connect to the internet. He only wants 1 camera currently (which makes it easy) and they plan to sit in a circle with the camera on the outside of the circle looking in.

I think he'd like to have more than 1 camera, but I feel as though it would increase the difficulty of this by a great deal (having to have someone switch the camera view all the time, etc.) Ideally, it would be awesome to have a multiple camera set up and be able to change everything from an iPad or something.

So what type of camera would I need? So would I just connect it to the computer? Would I need any special software?

He also wants to make sure everyone is heard when they talk. How in the world will I do that? Boom mic in the middle of the circle? No idea.

Any and all suggestions will be amazing
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Old April 11th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: Live Steaming...

A new GoPro Hero3 has built in WiFi you can use for streaming (I don't know if it matters which streaming service you use, but I've seen it used with UStream).

I've seen rigs using a DSLR connected to a laptop via USB, then using EOS Utility to show the live view, then Google Hangouts to display that. That seems terrible (but handy for anyone in a jam, or a one-time use kind of thing), though some had said that doing that would be hard on the camera.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: Live Steaming...

Wow really? A GoPro will do that? I had no idea.

So basically I could stream straight from a GoPro to the computer which should then allow me to stream it to Justin.TV.

Interesting. I'm gonna look into that.

Any suggestions about audio with that set up?
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Old April 11th, 2014, 01:00 PM   #12
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Re: Live Steaming...

Hi Brock,

The hardware end of things was actually a bit simpler a few years ago, when DV and HDV cameras all had Firewire, and most computers (even laptops) had Firewire inputs. Just connect a camera and good to go!

Almost all new cameras now have HDMI output, and while computers may have HDMI outputs, they have no HDMI inputs. One could use a "webcam" via USB of course, but if you want to use a real video camera, you'll need a way to get an HDMI video signal into the computer.

Matrox and Blackmagic Design are a couple of vendors that make capture devices. MXO2 Mini, or Intensity Pro would be a couple of input device options for desktop computers. Laptops are more difficult to interface with. In the case of late-model MacBooks, they will have Thunderbolt and there are solutions for that. PC laptops are another story, but I did just become aware of a USB 3.0 capture device from "Magewell".

Once you have hardware set up to get the video signal into the computer, you need to look at how you're going to create the stream. One free option is the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder. This will work to encode and send a Flash stream to most CDNs such as LiveStream, Ustream, or almost any other.

If you want to make the presentation look more professional, then something like Telestram Wirecast software will take the input from the capture device and allow you to add titles, graphics, video clips, chroma keying, etc. and then it creates the live output stream (again to your choice of CDN). So instead of plain-vanilla video, you can create an actual "program".

Wirecast will accept multiple camera inputs, but you can't necessarily just add multiple capture cards to one computer. Multiple USB webcams, yes, multiple Firewire cameras if each 1394 controller is unique. Otherwise you're probably looking at a single capture device with multiple inputs, and those all seem to have HD-SDI input only. For instance, Matrox VS4 is a 4-input card that works with Wirecast, or BlackMagic has the Decklink Quad.

So it all depends how much you want to spend and what kind of results you're looking for, many ways to go about it all. Might be best to start out low-key and get your feet wet, get some experience with streaming before diving into an advanced setup. Start with a simple input and use FMLE. Wirecast has a free trial available. For Mac, another option might be Boinx software.

Hope this helps point you in the right direction, but just ask away if you have more questions. On a larger budget, a Newtek TriCaster 40 is great if you want to have multiple cameras.

EDIT: just saw the GoPro postings. I have a GoPro, but the WiFi option is simply meant for monitoring what the camera is "seeing" when mounting it, for instance viewing on a SmartPhone. It is low-quality, low-frame rate, not really meant to stream out to the web, rather just to get the camera pointed in the right direction since it has no viewfinder.

Thanks
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Old April 11th, 2014, 01:18 PM   #13
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Re: Live Steaming...

I actually contacted GoPro and their newer models do have WiFi, but they unfortunately said it would be a lot of work to actually get it to stream to a computer. I guess its more designed to stream to your phone or iPad.

I'm leaning now toward getting a really nice webcam and just having a computer set up at all times, but how will I get good audio from the group? Anyone have an idea?

BTW thanks for the response Jeff. That's all good stuff. I will definitely come back to this thread and read that post again if he wants to go a little bigger after we get our feet wet in the beginning
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Old April 14th, 2014, 08:53 AM   #14
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Re: Live Steaming...

Unless budget is a major issue, I wouldn't go with a webcam. If you already have a camera, even SD, You might want to look at an analog to USB adapter. This would be a good way to get started, have more control and be economical. Then you could get a simple audio mixer. Put a microphone on the main presenter, and then a microphone or two in the audience. Using a lavaliere microphone, you can hang them from the ceiling and get some good coverage. The output of the mixer goes into the audio side of the USB adapter, which feeds audio and video into the streaming software that sends it to JustinTV. Their web site has some tutorials on different streaming software for their service. I just took a quick look, but at least one is free open source. Start out small and solid. If things work out then you can upgrade. HD is nice, but not necessary for web streaming unless the client is insisting.
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Old April 14th, 2014, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Live Steaming...

Nice suggestion, David. I came to the same conclusion this weekend when I realized my older Handycam that is just collecting dust has a composite out and for the price of a cable, can be input directly into my laptop.
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