Alex Hilleary • December 06, 2018
In concept, live streaming from your phone appears straightforward. You just whip out your iPhone and press record, right?
Not quite. Anyone who has live streamed from a mobile device before will tell you that there are a few more factors involved in creating a quality live stream.
This post breaks down those factors which include internet, stabilization, audio, the right platform.
Mobile devices paired with a live streaming platform are a very reasonable option for a broadcaster as long as:
(a) you have a really good internet connection
(b) you mount your mobile device on a tripod
(c) you can connect your camera to a better audio source
(d) you choose the right streaming platform.
Internet connection will always be the most important factor in creating a live stream of any kind. It's especially important when streaming from your mobile device.
Unlike other live streaming workflows which might allow for a wired connection to the internet, your iPhone needs wifi or cellular data. But wifi and cellular data can be spotty. They can both fluctuate throughout the duration of your broadcast. Plus, using cellular data be expensive.
To ensure a high quality broadcast, you need an internet strategy. Consider creating a wifi connection that no one else in the building can access to minimize volatility and drops. For more on internet, you can read about recommended upload speeds for live streaming.
Pro Tip: You also might want to consider keeping your mobile device connected to power during the stream. A long live stream can drain your battery.
You may think that you have a steady hand. That's all well and fine, but a tripod with a phone clip will beat your hand in a steadiness contest any day.
A wobbly live stream is not a good viewer experience. Do your audience a favor by placing your iPhone on a tripod. Here's a set up we really like:
For a high quality broadcast, you won't want to rely on audio from your iPhone's built-in microphone. There are several different options for integrating audio into your live stream in a more professional way.
If you are producing your broadcast in a location with built-in microphones and you have access to an audio mixer, you can send a feed from your audio mixer.
If you want something a little more mobile, you can connect a microphone to your stream.
To stream on your mobile device, you need to use an app like Facebook, Periscope, YouTube Live or our Broadcaster App.
Many of these apps are limited in their functionality. Most cap out at 720p30 and only send the stream to a single destination.
Here's a comparison of the top mobile live streaming apps:
Unlike the other apps, BoxCast's Broadcaster App is powered by HEVC. This advanced encoding protocol allows for higher quality streaming with the same bandwidth. Here's more on the differences between HEVC and H.264.
With the Broadcaster App from BoxCast, high quality broadcasting from your iPhone has never been this easy.
The cameras on our phones and tablets are getting better and better every year. In 2014, you couldn't broadcast video from your phone, and even if you could, it wouldn't be HD video. Four years later, not only can you broadcast, but you can get a nice looking picture as well.
Here's more on all the factors to consider when starting to live stream.
Happy streaming 😃!