Setting Up Your Event Webcast – the Workflow…

  

When we are contracted to produce and broadcast live video of an event using a multi-camera setup, the workflow generally goes like this:

  1. We contact the technical people at the venue at least a week in advance to confirm our requirements will be met, which include:
    • The availability of a wired (definitely not wireless) Internet connection
    • We also confirm the speed of the connection – the upload speed, that is, which should be at least 2-4 Mbps for an SD broadcast, about 6-8 Mbps for a single HD stream and about 10-12 Mbps for a multiple HD/SD stream at different resolutions (also called ABR Streaming) to accommodate all possible viewer connections.
    • The availability of an audio feed (XLR cables please) from their mixer to our cameras.
    • If an audio feed is not available (which is rare) we make arrangements to bring along our own mics and mixers with all the necessary cables.
    • In some instances, when there is any doubt about the technical or space requirements, or the technical competency of the venue staff, we may do a site-visit previous to the event date – we hate surprises.
  2. Our camera operator(s) / tech(s) arrive early – at least 2 hours before the slated start time, to begin setting up well in advance.
  3. Camera angles are selected and a location selected for the switcher and the main camera.
  4. Tripods are set up at those locations and cameras attached.
  5. Cables are run and taped securely. No tripping!
  6. Computers are tested first, to ensure a working Internet connection – this is a vital step as a faulty or dead Internet connection is liable to be the main cause of any problem or delay.
  7. Once the Internet connection is well established, the cameras are switched on and the switcher is set up to make sure it connects with the cameras.
  8. Each camera is adjusted for its angle of view, focus and of course ‘white balance’.
  9. The audio feed into the main camera/computer is tested and the mic levels are adjusted.
  10. Finally a full live-streaming test is conducted using our own monitoring computer, using different browsers.
  11. We recommend starting the main event live stream at least 15 minutes before the event starts, showing a still or animated graphic and some background music playing so end users can check their sound levels.
  12. As the event begins, the switch operator switches to a camera view – and You’re Live!
  13. Throughout the show, switching between multiple camera views and interspersing PIP (picture-in-picture) as required, ensures viewer interest.
  14. As the Live Stream proceeds, the main program footage is also recorded locally on the computer hard drive – generally in a slightly higher resolution than the live stream.
  15. When the event ends, we recommend leaving the live stream up and running for a few minutes, with another graphic showing, which could include a call to action.
  16. Now comes the hard part – for us at least – the tear down. Dismantling all the connections, cables and cameras as fast as possible, in our hurry to get home in time for dinner!