There’s an obvious reason live event production streaming is becoming so popular: the benefits of instant high-quality delivery of your content anywhere in the world speak for themselves. But the novelty of this tool means that it’s not always obvious what works and what doesn’t. How do you make your live event stream work?
Even if you have a very animated and interesting subject, using only a single static camera can grow boring for a viewer. The limited ability to focus lacks energy and can make a presentation feel tediously long. If you want viewers to feel engaged and interested, you have to fight for their attention, using multiple video sources to make sure you’re streaming continuously captivating content.
Don’t feel bound to a single room either. In a long stream, such as full coverage of an 8-hour event, you need capture different angles and make sure you’re always filming the most interesting part of your event. So when the speaker finishes their talk, don’t just keep showing an empty stage as people leave the room: in a broadcast, dead air is just as deadly to your viewers’ attention span as its name suggests.
To keep your stream lively and moving from one view to another, you need to use an encoder with live-switching capabilities. Epiphan’s flagship all-in-one live video mixer, Pearl, can do this quickly and effectively with a tap on the touch screen, a click of browser button or Epiphan’s Live PC/tablet operator interface.
You can use Pearl’s custom layout feature to add background images, multiple sources, timestamps overlay text and more to create dynamic and balanced layouts that can adapt to whatever you want them to do.
Not only that, you can use Pearl’s live switching feature to switch between any number of these custom layouts on the fly!
The switching capability allows you to present different layouts, better views of the speaker or their slides, a view of the audience, information from tablets or smart phones, etc. – all without having to pause the video or change your equipment set up.
Better yet, you can use local IP streaming (or local network streaming) to get the most out of your venue by placing IP cameras or encoders around the space. Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) streaming is a network control protocol that allows you to significantly broaden the range of locations you’re streaming from.
With an RTSP equipped encoder, such as a Pearl with the new 3.17.0 firmware (to be released in July 2016) you are not limited to just cameras in the same room as your encoder. You can also use network-based RTSP sources. A good example of this kind of source are IP cameras, which all have network cables for local networking. Once it’s online, it will have an IP address – add that to your Pearl’s Web UI as a source, and you can stream the video from that camera live without needing a physical connection.
You could even extend the reach of your setup by setting up multiple encoders and using these as RTSP sources to the main Pearl encoder that is streaming your event live. Select one of your multiple Pearl systems as the “Main” encoder, and then enter the IP addresses of the other Pearl systems into it in the same was as you did for the IP camera. The other Pearl systems all have their own sources connected and layouts configured, and the Main Pearl will then integrate the data from these multiple RTSP sources into a single stream. Operators can then perform live switching by using the web UI or any of the touch screens, and have the result immediately reflected in the live stream.
All this means that your stream has no wires to run, isn’t limited to a single room, and gives you a great deal of versatility in capture options.
How does all this work in practice?
Live streaming an event
A business conference wants to have a live online stream of all its events, lasting a full 8 to 10-hour day. The venue has a main presentation room, a separate interview room, and an expo room with all the booths set up.
Room 1: Main presentation room
– Main Pearl
– 2 Cameras connected to Pearl capturing different angles of the speaker
– 1 Camera connected to Pearl capturing a view of the audience
– Slide projector connected to Pearl as a video source
Room 2: interview room
– A second Pearl connected to the Main Pearl by RTSP
– 1 Wide-angle Camera covering both interviewer and interviewee
– 1 Semi-mobile Camera capturing close-up of interviewee or of their product
– HDMI cable and adapters to capture video from an interviewee’s mobile device
Room 3: Main conference hall
– An IP camera capturing floor crowd, connected to the main Pearl by RTSP
When you add in layouts (there are lots of good ways to do this with Pearl) or customize your audio encoding to suit the video you’ll have a truly dynamic video set up to give your viewers a great experience.
Never having to go to a blank screen during your stream means that you never have your audience walk away from the screen and forget to come back.
Of course, the most important part of the stream is getting it online. That’s why Epiphan products are always ready to integrate perfectly with Primcast. Simply log in to your Primcast account to access your live video streaming settings.
Then login to Pearl and copy-paste the account details into your channel’s streaming settings. Click Start to send the stream to Primcast, and in a few moments you’re streaming live!
Put theory into practice
The ability to switch between different sources and layouts and even different rooms of the event at the drop of a hat limits the amount of dead air, and keeps the video consistently interesting. Primcast’s easy integration with Pearl makes this an ideal setup for using RTSP streaming and getting your video online as quickly and easily as possible. The more dynamic you make your video, the better your viewership will be. For more information on using Primcast and Epiphan products together, take a look at Primcast’s own guest post on the Epiphan blog!