Live Streaming Events

March 08, 2018

Last night I helped present a webinar for folks in the Code for America network about live streaming their events. Most of what I learned about YouTube and live-streaming came from my friend Lon Seidman whom I helped film and edit with at CES a couple years ago. You can spend a lot of money on live streaming but ultimately the goal is to get a decent picture of your presenter and really good audio.

If you are using an iPhone you can get an inexpensive lav microphone and a long cord, along with a tripod and mount to record individual speakers. However you can also invest in some fancier equipment. The equipment I used included:

  1. Elgato Camlink - connects camera to laptop for livestreaming purposes.
  2. Alta Pro Tripod - to better position the camera
  3. Sony a6000 camera
  4. Zoom/gun microphone for focused audio
  5. MacBook Pro
  6. OBStudio
  7. Facebook Live

When recording I faced several challenges. The first was that the camera only transmits audio over HDMI when it is in video recording mode. Due to some EU regulations, video recording mode automatically stops on the a6000 after about 30 minutes. So I had to keep re-enabling recording mode. Another issue is that the a6000 does not recharge from its regular charging port while it is on. So having a backup battery or Sony’s official wire would have made it easier.

Ultimately it took a lot of tinkering to get to a setup that worked well and to understand the potential kinks. I strongly recommend testing your setup before trying to live stream for real.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.