Trust the Pros
When we decided to make live streaming a priority, we set out to learn how to produce professional live streams. Fortunately, we stumbled across the Live Streaming Pros. Since stumbling across their site, we’ve met David and Luria in person and have nothing but good things to say about them. The can help bring your game up to the next level. Before you do anything else, check out their free videos. If you need more help after that, they can even help you build your set.
Now, although we are trying to become live streaming experts, we aren’t in the business of teaching how to live stream. Check out all of the Live Streaming Pro workshops
Live Streaming Equipment We Use
First, did you check out https://livestreamingpros.com/? No? Go check them out and then come back here and you can see what equipment we use to create our live streams.
Click on any of the images to take you to the product on Amazon (and yes, we are using affiliate links).
We’ve tried some different cameras, and they all have pros and cons. Below are some of the ones that we’ve used
Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless
HDMI to micro HDMI cable
- Amazing image quality
- Extreme configuration control
- Amazing autofocus abilities
- Sensor overheats after 30-50 minutes and automatically shuts down
- Requires a lot of additional equipment
Logitech C922x Webcam
The Logitech C922x is a great tool to have in your toolbox, and can save your bacon in a pinch. Just having a simple camera that you can plug in USB and be up and running can add some production value when you are otherwise out of inputs.
- Super simple to set up and use
- Included software can automatically remove background
- Small and portable
- Not the greatest image quality
- Not incredibly configurable
PTZOptics-20X-SDI GEN-2 PTZ IP Streaming Camera
The PTZOptics camera is the professional version of a webcam. Sure, it is pricey, but you get what you pay for.
- High quality
- Remote PTZ control
- HDMI and SDI output
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
We use a single mic for most of our live shows. The Blue Yeti is simple to set up because it is USB. You can adjust gain and pattern right on the mic itself. Although the mic has a 5/8″ threaded mount on the base, you will need an adapter to mount it on a standard 1/4″ tripod as well as a right angle mini-usb adapter and right angle 3.5mm adapter.
Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 Camera-Mount Wireless Microphone System with ME 2 Lavalier Mic
The Sennheiser wireless mics are great if you want a professional wireless setup. However, they are pricey, and if you want to use more than one, you will also need an audio capture device that has multiple inputs
Live Streaming Computer
If you want to produce professional live streams, you are going to have to invest in a computer that is purpose built for it.
We’ve found that windows works better for live streams than a Mac. The last thing you want, as well, is to find out during a live stream that your computer isn’t powerful enough to process the video live.
Building your own live streaming PC isn’t easy. We specifically built one that was small enough to be portable so we could move it around to our different sets. Because we chose this portability, we are limited to USB capture devices and are unable to use PCI capture cards. If you want to build a computer like ours, list below are some of the basic parts that we used. However,
if you are inexperienced, a capable gaming PC will probably meet the requirements for live streaming.
Case – Fractal Design Case FD-CA-NODE-202-BK
We picked what is known as a small form factor case (SFFPC). These cases don’t support tons of harddrives, optical drives, PCI expansion, or many cooling options. However, it fits in a bag we found at Target.
Motherboard – Gigabyte GA AB350N
I selected this motherboard because it has built in WiFi and Bluetooth, which comes in real handy for live streaming on the go. The supplied antenna works great and provides excellent signal strength. You will be limited to 32GB of RAM with this motherboard due to only having 2 DDR4 slots. However, for the form factor it has been sufficient.
CPU – AMD Ryzen 1700
I chose an AMD processor for the core count, thermal package, and for cost. If you choose an Intel processor, you will want get at a minimum Core i7 6800 or above.
RAM – G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB
We maxed out the RAM for the build because you can never have too much RAM. With video processing, too, you want to make sure you never run out of RAM. Running out of RAM brings your computer to its knees!
Graphics Card – ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini
You will want a gaming graphics card. Software like vMix will offload processing from your CPU on to your graphics card. You want your PC to do this. The Node 202 case allows for a full form factor graphics card to be installed, such as an Nvidia 1080 instead of this 1060 mini. The cost goes up fast, though and you might need a higher power PSU.
Power Supply – Corsair SF Series, SF450, SFX Form Factor, 450 Watt (450W)
If you install a more powerful CPU and/or Graphics card you will want to go for the 600W version of this PSU. Otherwise, this PSU is all you need.
The CPU cooler that comes with the Ryzen 1700 will not fit in the Node 202 case. I ended up swapping the fan from this cooler onto the stock cooler for the Ryzen 1700. At the time I purchased this cooler, the adapters for the CPU socket were nowhere to be found. It wasn’t trivial, but it wasn’t a difficult mod.
I also purchased 2 120mm fans for cooling the GPU. These fans mount to the case. I had to buy a “Y” cable because the selected motherboard only has a single case fan header.
Storage – Samsung 960 Evo Series m.2 SSD
The 960 Evo series is blazing fast. The linked drive is 500gb, which should be enough to get you going. The case does have slots for 2.5″ drives if you need to expand your storage
Other Bits and Pieces
USB 3.0 Extension Cable – A-Male to A-Female – 9.8 Feet <—trust me, you need some long cables.
Anker 7-Port USB 3.0 Data Hub
OBS is… functional. It got us going. OBS stands for Open Broadcaster Software. OBS is free as in beer. I’m a proponent of open source software, but often there are better paid alternatives out there. If you are operating on a shoestring budget, you should consider OBS. If you are able to afford some better software, check out vMix
Once we tried the 60 day trial of vMix after using OBS for a month or two, we were sold. vMix was recommended to us by the Live Streaming Pros. Before you get started, check out some of the training videos they provide. We had it installed, up and running, and streaming within a couple of hours. vMix does cost a lot to get some of the professional functionality. However,
the cost is worth it if you are looking for professional live streaming software.