Live streaming allows you to create and share videos in real time. From companies' live streaming events to professional gamers live streaming their gaming sessions, live streaming has many uses.
From educational webinars to entertaining games, you can use a live stream to share games, experiences, opinions and more with other people online.
While setting up a live stream is fairly straightforward, it requires some technological tools and advanced planning.
When you live stream, you capture a video feed and broadcast it to viewers in real time via a streaming platform. People can log onto these streaming platforms and select channels or accounts (the verbiage varies across platforms) to tune into or even subscribe to. When you go live from your channel or account, you can then alert your subscribers.
These platforms often offer interactive features, allowing you to engage directly with your viewers. For example, there might be a live chat window alongside the stream where viewers can write comments and you, as the broadcaster, can reply. This creates an engaging interactive experience that can be a lot of fun for all involved.
Note that it's also possible to record your live streams and save them. This allows people who might be interested in your content but didn't manage to tune in to catch the "show" later. Many live streamers save their old content, allowing people to browse previously recorded videos at their leisure.
Many streaming apps and platforms allow you to create a live video feed and broadcast it to a public audience. To live stream, you'll also need a device to capture video and audio footage, such as a mobile phone, and a high-speed internet connection. The next sections go into detail about the technology you'll need and some popular streaming platforms.
Before live streaming, you'll need to invest in some basic technology. We'll take you through what you'll need for a video streaming setup step by step.
A stable and fast internet connection with sufficient bandwidth is one of the most important components of any live stream. Even if you've got the best-quality webcam and audio equipment, without great internet, you won't be able to stream. So, just how fast does your internet need to be?
Broadly speaking, you'll need at least 3 to 6 Mbps. However, the precise requirements depend on many factors, like what you want to stream, the platform you use and the video quality. For example, streaming online games requires more Mbps because you have to simultaneously accommodate the game plus the video. Bit rate impacts various components like buffering time, video resolution and connectivity consistency. A higher-resolution stream will need a higher bit rate.
Further, different streaming platforms have different recommendations as far as minimum internet speeds (more details below). You can use speedtest.net to check your current connection speed and get information about critical characteristics of your internet speed that impact streaming quality, including:
To ensure a smooth live stream experience, aim for an internet connection speed of about 25 Mbps. Frontier® Internet offers several high-speed internet plans to accommodate your streaming needs — and those aren't even the fastest options available. If you want higher-quality streaming (for example, because you want to stream live-action online games), put your trust in Frontier FiberOptic Internet. Enter your address into our availability checker to see which internet plans are available in your area.
Before you can start streaming, you also have to figure out what platform you want to use. Streaming platforms may also be referred to as content delivery networks.
Free streaming platforms include Facebook Live, Twitch, Discord and YouTube. Paid options include Vimeo Livestream, StreamShark and Dacast, although these are generally used primarily for large-scale events like concerts. When you're just starting live streaming, you'll probably want to stick with a free platform. While it's largely a matter of personal preference, different platforms have different focuses. Here's what you can expect to find on each one:
Once you've decided on a platform, you'll have to sign up or create an account before you can start streaming.
With your internet ready to go and your streaming account set up, you have one last thing to take care of: your equipment! You need some tech tools to capture your live stream and transmit it to the streaming destination you've chosen. Here's a quick roundup of the essential equipment needed:
With basic equipment and a streaming platform account, you can start streaming right away. If you really enjoy live streaming and dedicate yourself to your hobby, you may even be able to turn your passion into a money-earning pursuit.
Some people have managed to make a full-time career out of streaming but making enough to turn streaming into a full-time career can be tough.
A strong internet connection is one of the most important components of any live stream, ensuring connectivity with less interruptions and reduced latency. If you're considering live streaming, get the speed you need with high-speed internet from Frontier, including Frontier FiberOptic Internet services. You can enter your address to check availability in your area online.