From small-to-medium-sized businesses to much larger enterprises, live streaming — especially multistreaming — helps companies reach more customers, engage with their followers, better communicate internally, and ultimately maintain a strategic advantage against competitors.
Live streaming setups are typically configured in a fixed indoor location, such as event rooms or streaming studios. And with the advent of wireless internet hotspots, there is a new opportunity for companies to go beyond restrictive fixed settings and take their live streaming to the next level with mobile live streaming. Doing so enables companies to think outside the box and deliver live video content that would not otherwise be possible.
Here’s a few creative ways you can use on-the-go live streaming:
- Sharing off-site corporate or team-building events
- Interviewing customers and influencers at industry tradeshows
- Exploring industry events that resonate with your audience
- Showing products or services in action (and answering customer questions live)
- Showcasing your company’s unique culture with a “behind the scenes” live tour
Whatever you decide to do, just remember that professional quality is key for a truly effective mobile live stream. Streaming from a smartphone is convenient but offers limited video/audio quality and visual perspective. To really “wow” your audience, we suggest using an inexpensive, dedicated hardware encoder, such as Epiphan’s Webcaster X2, along with a camera to achieve a high standard of quality in your stream.
Better yet, you can use Switchboard Cloud with Webcaster X2 to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously—such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, and Periscope—and multiply your total viewership.
Here’s how mobile live streaming looks in practice:
To get your mobile live streaming started, you’ll need the following pieces of equipment:
- A camera
- A hardware encoding device like Webcaster X2 (can also use a computer + encoding software)
- A Switchboard Cloud subscription (to stream to more than one platform at the same time)
- A charged external battery (also known as a “power bank”)
- A camera with HDMI output (+HDMI cable)
- An internet hotspot with a decent data plan (using either your phone or a hotspot device – more on this below)
A note on wireless connectivity
Wireless connections are notoriously less reliable than wired connections. So when connecting to a hotspot, it’s very important to test your bandwidth. As a rule of thumb, aim for your minimum upload bandwidth to be roughly 1.5x your stream’s bitrate. To provide an example, a 720p HD livestream with a 4000 kbps (4 Mbps) maximum bitrate would require a minimum stable upload speed of 6 Mbps. And if you’re multistreaming using Switchboard Cloud, you’ll need additional bandwidth allocated for each outgoing stream.
Check out our article on how to connect to a hotspot with Webcaster X2 for detailed step-by-step instructions.
But wait – there’s more!
Webcaster X2 and Switchboard Cloud make it possible to go live and reach audiences across different platforms – all on-the-move. But if you have a creative spirit and an inclination toward experimenting and trying new things, you can take your mobile live streaming setup to new heights.
- Use a wireless mini keyboard and mouse for easy Webcaster X2 configuration and troubleshooting
- Add a portable display to monitor your stream while live
- Connect a second camera to your Webcaster X2 and switch between your two cameras using your mini keyboard. Get creative with your live stream and alternative between different views!
- Use an audio inserter to embed a specific audio source into your stream, such as a pro-quality microphone or an audio mixer
- Get some mounting hardware and create a custom mobile live streaming rig to secure your equipment in one place
Check out our post 6 ways to supercharge your Webcaster X2 to learn more.
Live streaming is growing in popularity across a variety of industries for its power to enhance communications, marketing, training, and education strategies. And as you can tell, mobile live streaming is a powerful opportunity to connect with your audience in new and exciting ways.