Professional live streaming is easy when you are fully in charge of the process. Modern standards demand you ensure your live stream doesn't have any problems, like missing audio, sudden lags, or horrible video quality.
Follow our checklist to make sure your live streams run smoothly every time.
1. Plan your broadcast
First and foremost, plan your live streams. Create a content plan to understand what you are going to stream. Define your broadcast type — Q&A, presentation, interview, etc. After that, make a checklist of everything you need for it. For example, if you want to broadcast a live interview, one camera is more than enough, but you can use two to play with angles and make the image better for an interview. Maybe you want to make complex live streams where you need to use a green screen and additional lighting; create a list to remember everything necessary.
2. Choose the right platform
Platform choice depends a lot on your audience. Different people prefer different channels. And every platform has its benefits and limitations. Let’s take a look at some of them.
🔗 YouTube Live
YouTube is a perfect place for you if you aim to create content of extreme quality. But before you are going to live stream there, verify your YouTube channel or make sure you haven’t received any live streaming restrictions within the last 90 days. These are Community Guidelines strikes, globally blocked live streams, copyright strikes, or exceeding the daily limit for live streaming. Also, if you want to broadcast with your mobile, you’ll need to have at least 1,000 subscribers on your channel. It supports 4K video, so the sky's the limit in terms of the picture quality. Therefore, the recommended bitrate is something between 3,000 and 10,000 Kbps.
Facebook is another live streaming giant, allowing you to reach millions of people across the world. Unfortunately, you won’t have ultra HD quality there — the maximum video resolution is a 1080p. However, live streaming on Facebook is as easy as breathing. All you need to have is a profile, then just hit the Live button on your desktop or mobile. Another benefit is that Facebook is not that demanding — the maximum bitrate is 4,000 Kbps.
Before you can broadcast to LinkedIn, you have to pass several obligatory steps. First, you need to get approval from the network either by filling out an online form (if you want to stream as a LinkedIn member) or arranging it with your LinkedIn Marketing Solutions rep. And from then, it is super easy to start live streaming with Restream. Once you’ve got it all set up, you can go live; just make sure your bitrate is no less than 3,500 Kbps.
Twitter is a platform for everyone. People use it to live stream everything from short highlights to spaceship launches to reach a bigger audience. Nowadays, you can broadcast to Twitter via its platform Media Studio, where you can find a library, monetization features, and analytics tools in one place. However, you need to reach out to your Twitter partner manager before you can sign in, and it is available only on desktop. Once you’ve managed to do this, add a video source via RTMP or HLS, make sure your bitrate is around 9,000 Kbps, and go live!
Find the places where most of your viewers spend their time and maximize your reach with multistreaming. With Restream Studio, you can live stream to the biggest platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, at the same time without additional software. Find your viewers where they are and maximize your reach with no effort. You can also benefit from other cool features such as inviting up to ten guests and using custom overlays and logos to improve your live streaming experience.
👉 Learn more: Restream Studio: Everything you need to know
3. Take care of your Internet connection
A good high-speed Internet connection is a must for live streaming. It is preferred to use a wired connection, as it is more stable than Wi-Fi, and if you have both, your desktop will prioritize the wired one over the wireless. You can secure yourself and use two connections — both Wi-Fi and an Ethernet cable. This way, you will always have a backup.
If you don’t feel like it and want to stick to Wi-Fi, make sure no one uses your traffic just when you want to go live. An Ethernet connection to a dedicated network will let you forget about these troubles, though. And no matter which type of connection you choose, your bandwidth is good enough for broadcasting. Test your upload speed before going live. Generally speaking, anything between 672 kbps and 61.5 Mbps can be good, but you should focus on the upload speed for your chosen platform recommended earlier in the checklist.
Tip: Turn off unnecessary apps. There’s a big chance that some applications you completely forgot about are taking up the CPU, like Outlook or Skype. Before you start live streaming, make sure you shut them down.
4. Check your setup
Before you start live streaming, remember to test your setup. Here’s a checklist of the essential equipment.
- Camera. You can use your laptop webcam with an installed microphone, but if you want a more polished picture and better sound, consider using external devices. Test them in advance to improve your streaming quality. For example, if you use your smartphone or tablet as a camera, make sure it is set on a tripod. If you use several cameras, test each of them. Even if you prefer using just one video source, prepare a spare camera in case your main device fails in the middle of a live stream.
- Lighting. Even if your cam is not the best, you can still make the image better with some lighting. The greatest part is that you don’t need massive equipment — a single source of light can make a huge difference, and your picture will look way better and more professional.
- Audio. It is crucial for live streaming. People may put up with not-so-perfect video, but the audio is vital — you can’t communicate if your viewers won’t hear you. Test your microphone to understand how sensitive it is and get rid of all the noise sources so your audio quality is as good as possible.
5. Test your stream before going live
After you go through this checklist, make sure to test everything once more in real-life conditions.
Maybe everything works fine separately, but together you may face some unforeseen issues. The most typical troubles are lagging video, absent audio, or your broadcast stopping spontaneously. So, there are several ways you can test your broadcast with Restream.
- First, you can do it by streaming directly to Restream. Disable all your active channels, start broadcasting from Restream Studio, and check your stream on the Recordings page.
- Second, you can create private streams on YouTube and/or Facebook to test everything in real-life conditions. You can learn more about how to do this in our Help Center article.
- The third option is to create backup testing channels or pages on the platform on which you want to go live and test everything without any hassle and stress.
Double-checking may take some time, but it will also improve your live streaming quality. Win-win!
6. Additional tips
Your live stream is set, checked, and ready to go? You can go live with confidence and no fear. However, it can be even better with some extra steps.
☝️ Define your streaming goals
Before you start streaming, define what you want to achieve. Set your goals by answering these questions: Why do you live stream? What is the value you provide to your audience? What does a successful live stream mean for you?
The last question is the most crucial. Define what success means for you and set mini-goals on your way to achieving it.
☝️ Choose the right time
If you want to reach as many people as possible, consider scheduling your live streams. With Restream Events, you can schedule both live broadcasts and pre-recorded videos. Experiment with your schedule to find the perfect time for you and your viewers. For example, you can live stream for viewers from your time zone, then use the recording automatically made by Restream Studio and schedule it for later to reach viewers in other time zones.
☝️ Promote your live stream
Once you’ve tested everything, you’re good to go live. However, why not excite your viewers and get their attention with teasing promos? There are a lot of ways to promote your live streams before, during, and after broadcast. The most popular are posting on every social network you’ve got, creating luring teasers, and using countdowns to remind your viewers several times. Use Restream Events to make your upcoming live stream hard to forget and easy to find.
According to Murphy’s law, if anything can go wrong, it will. Live streaming is no exception to this rule. There’s always a chance of an unexpected issue, from blackouts to a friendly pigeon that would like to co-host your outdoor live stream. However, with this easy checklist, you can minimize the chances of facing the most common problems and improve your live stream quality. All you need is to:
- Plan your live stream.
- Check your setup.
- Check the Internet connection.
- Make a test run before going live.
- Promote your broadcast.
- Define your streaming goals.
- Choose the right time.
Don’t let Murphy’s law let you down! Restream will protect you from its malevolent effect.