By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Going live for events and even kodak moments is all the rage these days, but while YouTube and Facebook may be the 800 pound gorilla in streaming live video, they are by no means the only options. Nor were they the first. So here is a list of all the ways that you can stream live video to your audience.
- YouTube Live. Originally beginning as Google Hangouts, a simple group video chat option, Hangouts offered live video, chat, and even options like lower thirds. Google recently announced that Hangouts would be folded into YouTube Live. Users can create a live stream using the live dashboard in your Video Manager. Just click on the Live Streaming option and you’ll be taken to your live event page where you can set up your stream and schedule it. Then you can set your broadcast date, licensing, syndication options, monetization and promotion. There are also options to embed YouTube’s Video Cards, which can include overlaying poll questions, links to other sites, and more. For interactivity with the audience, YouTube provides a chat interface with which to manage the ongoing chat that will occur during your live stream. You’ll also be able to manage your analytics in real time, which will include numbers on how many are watching, as well as data on how your stream is healthy. On your mobile device promises to be even simpler as YouTube has said they plan to bake live video right into the core app. You’ll just hit the red capture button, select a thumbnail and you’re broadcasting live, with chat. But it’s currently only available to a select few creators while in Beta. Meanwhile, there are numerous third party options to fill the gap including Switcher Go, YTStream, Live for YouTube, and others. Get started at YouTube.com/Live.
- Periscope. Twitter launched Pericope soon after another video streaming app known as Meerkat took last year’s South by Soutwest by storm. But Meerkat soon died out as Twitter limited its ability to stream within their API. Periscope has added a high profile partnership with GoPro cameras to improve the video image with a GoPro camera. Simply download the Periscope app and link it to your Twitter account. Then select the camera icon, adjust your location and feed settings and GoLive. You can be up and streaming in seconds. To link your GoPro, you need to download the GoPro Capture app and then connect to your GoPro camera via WiFi, and then Periscope will be able to select it when you press on the GoPro icon in the stream settings. Then you select GoLive and you’re broadcasting. You can also switch from the GoPro to your mobile phone and back by swiping the screen to the right. Visit Periscope’s site here.
- Facebook Live. This one is one of the easiest as you just press on the live icon in your mobile app, describe your live stream and select your share settings, then hit the GoLive button. It’ll count down from three and you’re live. From your desktop or laptop is going to take some time, however, as Facebook is gradually rolling out this feature to members in the coming months.
- Switcher Go. This app was just launched, and the benefit of this third party app is that it gives you the option to broadcasting live to either Facebook or YouTube. The cool thing about Switcher Go is its many manual advanced camera features. It’s kinda like FiLMiC Pro for live video, and if you’re using the new iPhone 7 Plus, it can take advantage of the dual lens capability and provide zoom. The other benefit of Switcher Go is through integration with Switcher Studio, you can harness multiple cameras and switch between them, show b-roll, and use live video switching tools. This requires a Switcher Studio subscription account. Check out Switcher Studio’s site here.
- Twitch. Made popular by gamers who use it to broadcast “lets play” video game sessions, Twitch was bought by Amazon in 2014 and has since quietly begun to expand into talk shows and other live streaming offerings. Users can stream through game consoles, but with the use of an open source utility called Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS) or Wirecast, you can stream to Twitch and other portals from your desktop or laptop. Mobile streaming users can use a third party app to stream to Twitch called IRLTV. Get started with Twitch here.
- UStream. No longer available to stream for free, UStream offers Professional broadcasting plans starting at $99 for from 100-5,000 viewer hours. Downside here is that it only streams in 720p, making UStream on it’s death watch, service wise. Visit UStream’s site here.
- Livestream. This service offers both mobile and desktop apps with which to steam live and can connect your mobile phone to a GoPro, or you can stream from a desktop or laptop using webcams or even HDMI or HD-SDI camera connections. Livestream Studio 4 Free can switch between two different cameras and one remote camera, streaming directly to Livestream. But the full version of Studio is $800 and can connect up to 25 different camera and 10 remote cameras, plus offers multi-screen interaction and the ability to stream to other providers like Facebook and YouTube Live. Livestream Producer is for your mobile device and is free to use. Visit Livestream’s site here.
If you’re just starting out and want to experiment with live streaming video, I’d probably stick with Facebook Live, as it’s the easiest way to hit the ground running. You just pull out your smart phone, tap on the live icon and you’re off to the races. Switcher Go also gives you better manual camera options, and that enables you to improve the streaming quality, while giving you the option to go to YouTube Live as well. Lastly, Periscope gives you the ability to connect to your GoPro, and that offers some mounting and off camera options to make your angles even more interesting.
When, once you get your feet wet, you can move on to more advanced applications and features. But for now, this will get you started.