DIY Streaming Server
For more than 10 years Videoguys.com, one of the world’s leading resellers of video editing and production solutions, has been publishing DIY articles as a service to their customers. These guides have been recommended by video editing, post production, gaming and general computer blogs, web sites, and user forums all over the world—including Streaming Media Producer. The Videoguys DIY guides help customers make informed decisions when choosing the equipment they need at a reasonable budget and are different because the Videoguys use these systems themselves.
This Videoguys DIY is not about building a video editing workstation computer. Instead, our technicians were tasked with setting up a small in-house studio for tutorial videos, webinars and live production. The result is our Videoguys DIY Guide to Live Production and Streaming Studio.
Corporate marketing, tutorials, webinars and web conferencing are all reasons why more and more people are streaming live. The accessibility of YouTube Live!, Ustream, Livestream, Zoom, and others make it easier than ever to instantly deliver your message to small or large audiences around the world and the most common question asked is “What equipment do we need to get started?” The answer to this question comes in three parts:
- What do you need to build a studio?
- How can you produce an entertaining video?
- How can you deliver that video live to your audience?
Building a Studio
Building a studio to create high-quality videos for live streaming is not very different than any other video or photo studio. You need some good cameras, the proper lighting, and a production switcher to put everything together. The component here that requires more consideration than usual is the production switcher. There are a lot of options on the market today that incorporate live streaming into the switcher to address content delivery. These options may include a standalone production switcher with a live streaming output like those from, a multi-channel capture PC capture solution with a software-based production environment like or a turnkey system that includes the hardware and software in a pre-configured box like the systems.
Tech Note: You can also take an HDMI or SDI output from your switcher and feed it into an encoder such as the Matrox Monarch or Teradek VidiU family of products to allow for live streaming and/or recording of your program.
When we built our DIY Live Production and Streaming Studio, we planned on configuring each of the solutions but started with the live production turnkey system. The TriCaster has long been the industry standard for live video production and streaming, and the Mini systems offer a tremendous value for the price.
One advantage of the NewTek TriCaster system is the fact that it is a complete, all-in-one unit that is ready to go live in just a few minutes. We just plugged in our cameras’ HDMI cables into the TriCaster Mini, connected our monitor, the, keyboard, and mouse, and we were ready to go live right out of the box. With TriCaster Mini we can mix multiple cameras, add graphics and transitions, use virtual sets and record the production to a hard drive for editing and post production later on.
Our primary goal for the studio is to create tutorial and product videos which we did with a basic 3-camera set-up. We started with 2 inexpensive Canon Vixia hand-held camcorders with HDMI output and added a camera. It was important for us to use the robotic pan/tilt/zoom camera to represent the needs of the schools, churches, and corporate boardroom customers we work with every day. The are also a great way to get full coverage of a room without taking up extra space on tripods and other camera rigs required with handheld cameras. These cameras are all connected to the TriCaster using, which has been certified and approved for a reliable connection up to 100 feet.
We lit our studio with an and Piatto accent lights to light our small 10’ x 15’ studio with the flexibility to light talent, products, and our green screen to create interesting virtual sets.
Producing the Video
Once the TriCaster Mini was set up, we asked our new sales associate to go to NewTek’s site to watch the many free tutorial videos available there. He quickly learned that no hardware configuration was required and that he could learn the TriCaster interface very easily. Switching between cameras, adding graphics, titles and special effects, and mixing audio were all done with ease.
Another great argument for choosing the TriCaster are the virtual sets included in the box. Virtual sets allow you to easily add interest and professionalism to your videos and put your talent in front of a corporate boardroom, a church, or a SportsCenter-type set.
Delivering the Video
Delivering the video is the most subjective part of the process. There are lots of great streaming methods, and fortunately the NewTek TriCaster Mini will work with most of them right out of the box. You can open a pull-down menu and simply select Ustream, Livestream, YouTube, Churchstreaming.tv, and more than a dozen other options or simply configure your own. We will be streaming our Videoguys productions to YouTube Live!, but we will also be setting up our own in house Wowza server down the road.
There are many ways to build a professional live production and streaming solution and this is just the first scenario from our experts at Videoguys.com. We will be releasing other possibilities in the future. Give us a call at 800-323-2325 to discuss any unique challenges and obstacles that you may have.