How to Stream Live Events With YouTube

  • 5 min read
  • May 19, 2021
How to Stream Live Events With YouTube

How to stream on youtube – Today I bring you a post that, in my opinion, is more like a definitive guide on how to broadcast live events on Youtube because I think I have covered all the steps to follow while That’s why the video that accompanies this post is so long, but I think it’s worth it.

So, without further ado, let’s get to work!

The pre-event preparation

I was going to tell you that the most important factor for your success during the live broadcast is the previous preparation but, as I was writing it, I remembered my experience and I decided to rectify: everything is very important, that’s why they say “live problems“, because it is really complex.

And, before all that, I’ll tell you what you need to prepare:

  • Plenty of upload bandwidth. Perhaps the most important and most difficult factor to achieve is the Internet connection. My advice is to use a dedicated connection for the event and, if you have the possibility, hire a provider that can offer you a symmetrical connection with plenty of upload bandwidth. To give you an idea, with a normal ADSL you would not be able to broadcast at 720p (480p yes, but I think it falls short). To broadcast at 720p you would need at least 1,200kps of upload bandwidth. So, many days before the event, make all the necessary arrangements to have a good connection.
  • A good webcam. And I say webcam because to connect directly to the professional camera of the person who is going to record the event offline you will also need a good video capture, which makes the system more expensive and complicated.
  • An audio input mechanism. This was the most complicated part in my case because I have a Macbook Pro and it does not accept audio input through the only mini-jack connector it has. My idea was to connect a cable to the headphone output of the mixer and the microphone input of the computer to get clean, quality audio. It didn’t work for the Mac but I think if you have a PC you won’t have a problem. What was my solution? Well, I connected some desktop speakers to the headphone output of the mixing desk and placed those “little speakers” right next to the Macbook’s ambient microphone. It worked perfectly, albeit with a little echo.
  • A good dedicated computer exclusively. Video uses a lot of CPU and Memory so don’t grab the first laptop you find out there and don’t think you can use the same one you will connect to the projector and use to tweet at the same time. No, each thing with its own equipment and you will do better.
  • An application for sending data to Youtube. Although there are many on the market, Youtube suggests you choose between Wirecast or the Adobe version. Since the former has a free version, I ruled out Adobe’s and I have to say I was very satisfied.
  • A helper. Although it is not a requirement, as I say in the video that accompanies this post, if you use a computer and a “camera operator” to use Wirecast and another computer and a “Youtube operator” to control the broadcast and interact live with the viewers, you will get better results and make a much better impression.
  • A Youtube channel with live events enabled. Youtube does not put many requirements to activate this option. Mainly it requires that your channel has not obtained copyright sanctions so I don’t think you will have problems with it.

How does live event broadcasting work?

Understanding how it works will help you to have an overview of the process, why the steps to follow and will give you capabilities to solve possible problems that may arise.

So, that said, the process:

  • The configuration on Youtube. First of all, you have to configure Youtube to prepare it for live broadcasting. When you do this, it creates a video but instead of having content, it will receive real-time data. Here you tell Youtube when the event is going to be, what quality the video will have, and how it will receive the data. You also put information for the viewers, who will be able to subscribe to the event.
  • Sending data. Once the event is configured, Youtube will be waiting to receive the bitstream of the video to be streamed. This streaming will have to be generated in real-time by an application that, in addition to encoding the video and audio, will be in charge of sending it to Youtube. This application is used in real-time during the event.
  • Interaction during the event. During the event, you will be able to interact both at the Youtube level (viewing comments, statistics, and the status of the broadcast) and at the application level (adding camera shots, songs, etc).
  • After the event. When the event ends (signaling it through the Youtube panel), a hidden video will be generated in your channel that you can share or make public later.

The Youtube Operator during the event

As you may have already deduced, whether you have taken the pill or not, in addition to a lot of previous tasks and tests, there is a job to do during the event, both at Youtube and at the application level.

So, if you follow my advice to appoint a “Youtube operator” during the event, these will be the tasks he/she will have to undertake:

  • Monitor the status of the broadcast. I advise to have the preview always active and watch the event through it, making sure there are no cuts or problems with the audio or video. If you find one, you should take the necessary measures, notifying the camera operator if necessary.
  • Monitor statistics and encourage participation. You should also monitor the statistics in real-time, of viewers, in case you consider it necessary to launch actions on social networks to call more people or, why not, to indicate the success you are having.
  • Monitor comments and interact with viewers. Although the most normal thing is that they use other social networks to comment on the event live, such as Twitter, if they leave a comment on YouTube itself, it should be properly addressed.
  • Mark the key moments of the event. It is a cool feature of Youtube through which you can mark bits of the broadcast as highlighted and then automatically create milestones in the video, which will serve to viewers to go directly to those key moments. While we’re at it, why not do it right?

The camera operator during the event

At another point is the camera operator, the one who will control the computer with Wirecast and the one who will send all the data to Youtube. This, on the other hand, must perform the following actions:

  • Monitor your computer’s performance. Wirecast offers real-time information about the state of the connection, the CPU, and the computer’s memory. All these aspects are key to proper operation and also, if I may say so, elements that change a lot during the event. They must be continuously monitored to be able to react as soon as possible if there is a problem (closing applications, removing additional planes, restarting the router as a last resort …).
  • Work as a filmmaker. Although very limited in its free version, Wirecast allows you to take several shots, split them with screens, attach videos, etc.. This work, typical of a filmmaker, will allow you to do things that look cool. For example, when a speaker comes up, you can split the screen and show a video or an image with his data while he is presenting. Just to give an example. Or you can place an advertising video of a sponsor in moments of less interest.

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