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What You Need to stream Live: Equipment Checklist

For a variety of reasons, live streaming has become a go-to form of communication for businesses, houses of worship, and even social organizations. Streaming isn’t as difficult as one might first think, and it only requires a few basic pieces of equipment. Keep reading to find out what is needed for quick and professional live streaming.

Video and Audio Equipment

There are many places to buy equipment for live streaming, such as One of the most important things to have is a video camera. These come with a wide range of features and price points. An entry-level camera, such as a smartphone or a cheaper video recorder, can be inexpensive, but require good lighting to record well. 

A mid-level video camera, also called a prosumer video camera can cost between $800-3000. Image quality is much improved at this level, but controls are still mostly manual. Examples of this type of camera are DSLR and prosumer cameras. They typically connect with HDMI cables.

Professional video cameras have pro-connectors such as XLR and SDI. They have excellent image quality even in low lighting. These cameras can range from $1,500 to $30,000. Professional camcorders and cinema recorders are two examples.

Video Equipment is mostly microphones. These can come built into a device, which would be the lowest sound quality. Another option is 3.5 mm microphones and USB microphones on professional cameras. The highest sound quality will come from XLR microphones, which provide durable sound. but require a sound mixer. 


Video encoding compresses a video so that it is not individual images, but one fluid video. Hardware encoders come in small portable boxes or larger permanent fixtures. They typically support HDMI and SDI and are great for professional use. Software encoders can be installed on a computer, but work in much the same way. Applications like vMix, Wirecast, or OSB are popular examples of software encoders. 

Content Delivery Networks

Sometimes, video is streamed through video platforms like YouTube. However, this isn’t the best way to stream videos, as workplaces and universities often block theseplatforms. Instead of playing videos through online sites such as youtube, consider a Content Delivery Network(CDN). A quality CDN is made up of networks around the world to “cache” content. The content can be in text, images, or videos. This allows more security and customization for the particular business that is streaming the videos.

CDN delivers content at a low latency, which bypasses the local network and provides fast service. It also provides high-quality video with minimal lag time. The price for a CDN varies depending on bandwidth, customized features, and the region of streaming. CDNs can better prevent security breaches as well.


Regardless of your equipment and streaming method, some accessories come in handy. Consider buying a tripod to keep your video more stable, and an arm to hold a microphone closer to the audio source. Light stands and ring lights can further enhance the lighting and video, and having extra cables is always nice. 

The equipment that you choose for your video streaming needs is very important. Buy the best possible within a given budget. Often, viewers will decide within the first 90 seconds whether they will continue to stream a video or look for a different source. Catch them immediately with great content, delivered quickly, in a good format, with great video and audio. 

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