In this Live Streaming Lesson, we answer the question: "Who are the different people involved, and what is the hardware necessary to pull off a professional live production?"
The people involved when executing a live stream could vary, depending on the goals of your live event, quite a bit. Depending how technical you want to get, you could think about the marketing team promoting the event, to the people setting up appropriate lighting at the venue. This lesson won't get that detailed but it is something to keep in mind. At a high level, to run a mid-level video production and live stream, the people you will need include:
- A director, who is the team leader and calls the show.
- A camera operator, who takes direction from the director and mans the camera.
- An editor or designer, to create graphics like lower thirds and cut highlights.
- A remote engineer, who ensures everything is rock solid on the back end.
- An onsite stream tech, to man the encoder and roll in graphics or video.
Consider how sophisticated you would like your production to be. If you are executing a larger production and looking for a TV quality broadcast, then you might have multiple camera operators, a technical director, producers, runner, grips and even more people in addition to the above. With a smaller low quality event, with no real-time graphic integration, you would need less. Events are heterogeneous so the amount of crew will be dependent on the desired quality of your final product.
Same goes for the gear: with larger productions, you will need camera equipment, video switchers, hard disk recorders, hard drives, cabling, lighting, audio and much more. However, we will give you general idea of what is needed for a mid-level live production:
- Broadcast quality camera (most common is an ENG video camera)
- Switcher for media integration, multiple camera angles (with SDI and HDMI inputs)
- An audio mixer (avoid the overwhelming amount of frustration that comes with audio and video being out of sync with the audio from cameras)
- A stable internet connection of at least 10 Mbps
- Encoder (takes the line cut from the camera and converts into "web ready" RTMP data)
When it comes to hardware for a live stream, the most important piece of equipment you need is a quality encoder. Hardware encoders are specialized for just encoding, which gives them an advantage over software encoders. We use custom built encoders that we bench test and update regularly. Social media and distribution channels change their specifications on an ongoing basis so it's imperative to make sure your encoders are prepared to go to every single streaming platform out there. It is also important to have redundancies and backups in the case of failure.
There are a variety of scenarios of people and/or equipment needed for a professional broadcast but this should give you an idea of what's involved in a basic live production. For a more detailed guide, download our Live Stream Essentials Checklist.