There are a few critical items you will need to webcast successfully:
1. A camera or video: May sound obvious. Once your camera has an AV (Audio-Video) outlet, either RCA (usually 3 x Yellow, White & Red connectors) an S-Video outlet, or a combined Jack AV outlet, you should be able to connect it to a video capture device. Your camera should have at least one of these, if not both. You may be using a more complex video unit or desk, which is also fine provided you have a video output. Note that a simple webcam is also acceptable for use. No special equipment is neccessary.
2. A Capture Device. This is the device that takes the analog (standard) video signal and converts it into data that can be used by a PC. There are many different types out there. In general, you do not need to spend over $50 to get a device that will yield a good result. The types of capture device available out there are categorized on how they interface with your PC. We also show you examples below from an on-line store. You could buy from them, but probably your local PC store stocks them too.
"External USB Type" - This type plugs into a USB port on your PC. You then connect the video camera outlet to it. This type is particularly mobile, and can be used with a laptop or a desktop PC that has a USB port. You can see some examples available from Amazon.com HERE
We would recommend the Hauppauge device works quite well, but all of them here will work with a laptop or desktop with a USB input.
"Internal PCI Type" - This is a 'card' device that plugs into a PCI 'slot' inside your desktop PC, so it's more of a permanent solution, and if you want to dedicate a PC for webcasting purposes, you could get one of these, but one of the USB capture devices described above will work just as well with your desktop PC. Your camera output then connects into the back of the PC using this internal card. You can see some examples of this type of device on Amazon HERE. The Sabrent card would suffice.
Our advice - use a USB audio/video capture device. The PCI cards tend to be more expensive and many are video capture only.
3. Encoding Software. This is the software that converts the digital video data on the capture device into the format for transmission to our streaming servers. This is provided to you free by download from our website.
4. Internet Connection. A good internet connection is recommended. You will need to make sure you have a functional broadband internet before you can webcast. Broadband will provide you with a clear delivered image. If broadband is not available at your webcast location, a 'broadband wireless provider' may provide internet access in your area. This may be another option, but the preference is a reliable broadband provider.
You need to use a PC or laptop, The PC should be 'dedicated', in other words, the machine must perform the sole duty of streaming your webcast. This is because live webcasting, and particularly video webcasting, uses a significant amount of CPU and memory usage. We highly recommend that no other applications are running on the webcasting machine, then an average laptop or desktop will work perfectly.
Finally you need to order 'streams' from our media servers to allow you to distribute your webcast to your audience. If you have the above equipment, or can get it, we'll set up an account for you in advance of any subscription, so that you can try out webcasting with our servers, free of any charge, to ensure you are happy with how it all works. If you need any further advice or information, please do not hesitate to contact us by email