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Six Tips for Planning a Professional-Looking Live-Streamed Event

With a little planning and foresight, you can avoid some of the mistakes many inexperienced live event producers encounter, ensuring your live-streamed event is professionally produced with maximum reliability.

3. Build in Reliability

It’s advisable to have a second, separate means of Internet connection onsite during your production, so if your primary connection fails, you can switch over to your backup. While you may miss a minute or two of your production, you won’t lose all of it.

For a mission-critical Webcast, also consider having two full rigs side-by-side, with the same camera signals feeding into both. Then, if the Internet connection on the first rig fails, you can promptly switch over to the second rig (which uses a different Internet connection, such as a 4G hotspot) to keep the show on the air without interruption.

There are gadgets on the market that are relatively inexpensive that can give you connectivity options. LiveU is one device for transmitting HD/SD broadcast
quality video over 3G/4G LTE bonded uplink solutions from any location.

Another device that can serve this same workflow is the Teradek Bond. At the press of a button, the Bond will stream directly to a website, social media page, or the Content Delivery Network of your choice.

4. Make a Live Production You’d Want to Watch—With Switching, Graphics, and Other Visual Interest

Live production systems, such as switchers, graphics, and character generators, direct the viewers’attention to meaningful subjects, inform them, and elevate your overall production values. There are many video production systems on the market today that integrate all the basic functionality you need for a live show in fairly compact, portable packages.

Most integrated systems provide multicamera switching, digital video effects and transitions, clip stores, and the ability to add titles, lower thirds, and other graphics. Some even allow for fairly sophisticated Chroma keying and even virtual set effects.

While these systems make many toys available to you, use them strategically and artistically for a professional-looking stream. It’s great to have a choice of 15 different wipes, but that doesn’t mean you should use all 15 in your production.

Cut between different camera angles to keep the show interesting, but switch judiciously to avoid distracting viewers from the presentation. To improve your technique, watch shows that are similar to yours to get ideas for what does and doesn’t work.

One nice feature to have in your system is the ability to transmit a computer screen as part of your Webcast. If you want to have someone join a live show from a remote location, the person can appear via Skype as a full-screen or picture-in-picture shot in your broadcast. Or if you have a speaker that’s using
PowerPoint or Keynote slides, you would want this feature to be able to display those slides alongside the presenter for a more meaningful presentation.

For many popular major sports, you’d also want the ability to display a scoreboard. There are several ways to bring in scores, clocks, and other relevant game statistics into the show as it’s streaming.

One example is Thundercloud, a service from XOS Digital, that provides a realtime data feed of scoring information like game clock, countdown clock, down, distance, field position, fouls, runs, hits, strikes and more directly into production systems, as well as over the Web to mobile devices.
Consider using Chroma Key functionality to create complex sets, or visually reinforce the theme of your show. You can use Chroma keyers for over-the-shoulder graphics, full-screen graphics, and virtual sets. To do this,production systems usually depend upon green screen, sometimes blue screen backgrounds, and then use a Chroma keyer to replace the green screen with a graphic or background.