Written by Lena Kelly • February 17, 2016
You’ve solved the puzzle: live video streaming doesn’t have to be complicated. As you’ve already figured out, it can actually be as simple as connecting your BoxCaster to a camera and the internet.
Still, now that you’ve gotten started, is your stream as good as it could be? Below are eight ways that you can really take your stream to the next level.
On the day of any given event, streaming is just one more thing to check off your to-do list. BoxCast’s automated technology means that as long as you schedule your events in advance and have everything hooked up properly, your event will be streamed without you doing a thing.
As soon as you hear about the date for a particular event, schedule it in your Dashboard! When the big day finally rolls around, our customer support team will pre-emptively monitor your stream to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. If we see something that looks off, we’ll reach out to you and make sure the issue gets resolved.
Have a big event coming up? Be sure to test your broadcast first. Testing ensures that your network is ready to stream on the day of your event so that you won’t run into any problems when there’s a lot on the line.
BoxCast regularly sends updates to your hardware to improve its quality and make it faster—all you have to do is get it online for an hour. Turn your BoxCaster on at least once a month so that you’re always up-to-date.
No matter how good your camera is or how much you’ve prepared for your event, the quality of your stream will suffer if your network isn’t optimized for live video streaming.
The first step to optimizing your network is to check its status quo performance. We highly recommend you use an online tool such as www.speedtest.net to see your current upload and download bandwidth capabilities. Pay close attention to your upload bandwidth, as that is what you’ll be using while you stream.
Testing your network at least two weeks before your first streamed event will show you what the live stream will look like and give you time to identify issues and fix them.
Note: Network performance typically follows time of day and day of week cycles, so tests should be performed at the same time of day and same day of week as the anticipated usage.
For more tips on network optimization, read How to Optimize Your Network For Video Streaming.
Though every BoxCaster is compatible with Wi-Fi, using an ethernet cable to stream can improve your connection speed and make the quality of your stream far more reliable than it would be wirelessly.
If you can’t connect through a hardline, position your router as close to the BoxCaster as possible. Doing so minimizes the likelihood that something can interfere with or block your Wi-Fi signal.
Beware of open Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi that’s not password-protected), as it can pose a risk to live streaming if not limited. A large number of Wi-Fi users can saturate the airwaves and starve your stream of bandwidth, potentially causing a live stream to fail.
It’s only natural that you will pay more attention to your live audience than to the people tuning in online, but don’t forget them entirely. Doing so can make them feel disconnected from the action and dissuade them from tuning in for your next stream.
To make your online audience feel connected, try including multiple angles of your event in your stream. (Doing so is easy with a switcher.) Or, before or after the event, consider inviting people to say “Hi” to the people tuning in! Show your appreciation for your entire audience, even the people who couldn’t make it in person.
Live video streaming your event is an amazing way to ensure that you can share important moments with people who are unable to experience them in-person. But putting any work into your production is only worthwhile if people know that you’re doing it. That’s why marketing your stream is so important.
Publicize your events on social media and take full advantage of any email lists you have. Live video streaming allows you to capture meaningful —share it with people! Here are 4 easy ways to promote your stream.
With a live audience in front of you, it’s easy to see how you’re doing. Gauging the effectiveness of your video streams is much harder because you can’t read an audience that you can’t see.
Want to know how effective your streams are? Though you could ask your audience for feedback, you run the risk that they won’t give you the honest truth.
The best thing you can do is to judge for yourself.
BoxCast automatically archives every live video stream. Choose a few streams to watch at home to see what your audience is experiencing. Though it can be uncomfortable to criticize yourself, try to do so constructively. You’ll come away from the experience with a list of things to improve on for future streams.
Not everyone who wants to watch your content will be able to do so live. That’s why it’s great that your viewers can watch your videos on-demand, whenever they’re ready.
We recommend that our customers schedule their live streams to start a few minutes before the event begins and run it for several minutes after it ends ends as a way to ensure that you don’t miss any important moments.
For the archived video content, however, there’s no need to keep the dead time in your video.
Instead of requiring you to import the video into an editing software just so you can trim out the beginnings and ends, we’ve developed a handy tool that lets you do it in a matter of seconds. Want to learn how? Just follow the directions in this guide.
Live video streaming is a great technology that only keeps getting better. With a few small tweaks to what you’re already doing, you can be sure that you’re optimizing your broadcasts and leaving your viewers engaged and satisfied.
Image Source: George Laoutaris via Flickr