Does anyone else remember the 2017 Academy Awards? Almost 33 million people worldwide were live when one of the biggest mishaps ever happened: The envelope with the winning name for the “Best Film” category was mixed up. Instead of “Moonlight”, “La La Land” was mistakenly called onto the stage … You’re right in the middle of the world of LIVE TRANSMISSIONS. Nothing can be cut or twisted here afterwards. That’s exactly what makes it so appealing – even when things get really embarrassing …
Broadcast technology is a powerful industry. Whether entertainment shows, sporting events, the Olympics, or elections – live broadcasts used to be the exclusive preserve of radio and television. An OB van on site ensures that everything runs smoothly, broadcasting live to households via satellite over the reception mast. But today we live in the middle of the Internet age and it’s child’s play to be connected to the world at all times.
Everyone knows the websites that stream live shows in their media libraries. This works completely without a satellite dish, only an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone are needed. Whether live video streaming via Facetime or WhatsApp or live reporting on social media: Almost every smartphone owner now reports regularly and free of charge on Facebook, Insta, Twitter or YouTube.
In business, however, higher quality is expected in live video streaming: Video conferencing via zoom offers useful possibilities, but also has limitations. The integrated laptop camera or external live streaming webcams offer limited quality – only a frontal perspective is possible. The living room at home can be replaced by rendering with arbitrary backgrounds – but unfortunately often with moderate success. The lighting and sound conditions are also difficult to influence and often the graphics card is not sufficient for professional video streaming. Vimeo, DaCast, Ustream or Wowza are alternative live video streaming softwares that you have to pay for.
Daniel Leonforte, Managing Director of Eigenart Filmproduktion, knows how important good quality is: “A high-quality company with a high-quality service – or a high-quality product – should also appear that way to the outside world. Visual appearance is always also a statement! The great thing about live broadcasts is also the interaction with viewers online, so you get a direct response.” That’s why you should weigh things up carefully: What is the overall goal? Is it worth investing in high-quality equipment or 4K video streaming? Does it make sense to shoot a live production in the studio with green screen? Or even a Virtual Production Studio for rent? Should you rent your own encrypted video streaming server that can’t be hacked? What about a streaming video recorder?
With live streaming, image and audio information is sent via fiber optic cables. This requires a stable and fast Internet connection of 100,000 Mbit, capable of upstream speeds of up to 25,000 Mbit. If you’re shooting with multiple cameras and want to stream live in high-quality HD, you’re going to get a lot of data. These must be coded – i.e. reduced in size. The upload rate is crucial for this: Too little power makes pixels. If your own household or office cannot provide this, there are technical solutions for this: The Internet line can be made faster for a specific date.
Or you can borrow a Live View – this is a device, similar to a router, which allows you to select the best network through multiple SIM cards. Perfect for mobile live streaming as well! If you want to convey liveliness, you also need several cameras from different perspectives. These all converge in the control room. The image director is in contact with all camera operators and communicates via radio which of the live streaming cameras is currently online. Editing is done live in the control room with the assistance of the assistant director. If the stream is to be branded and company logos, belly bands, or animated graphics are to be inserted as separators on site, another image mixer is required on site.
From zero euros on social media to ZDF’s green studio worth around €30 million, it’s all there. Realistic for a small live stream solution with two cameras without green screen is an amount from 5.000 €. This includes two cameramen with cameras including tripod, lenses and data storage devices. An operator who operates the image control room and optionally an operator assistant who is responsible for live graphics and a dedicated video streaming server. The preparation time is about one day. If you want to upgrade and work with green screen and multiple perspectives, you can expect to pay upwards of €15,000. The most important question here: Does it really have to be live? Streaming videos is also cheaper.
The experts at Eigenart Filmproduktion will support you throughout the entire process of your live streaming. With our sophisticated equipment, our flexible team and our diverse know-how, we offer you excellent quality at every level: in the consulting and planning of your live event, in the perfect technical implementation of your live screen streaming, in the creative process, or in the marketing of your stream after broadcast. Contact us – we are happy to be there for you!