How to Stream Live Video On a Website
Nowadays, live streaming content is available virtually anywhere, not only on social platforms dedicated to video streaming like YouTube, Facebook Live, or Twitch but nowadays streaming live video content on our own website or app is also fairly affordable and accessible.
Streaming live video from your own website actually has several key benefits over streaming from third-party platforms like YouTube: you’ll get total control of what’s going on around your stream and how you are going to monetize your content. For example, you don’t have to deal with annoying third-party logos and can customize your player according to your brand’s guidelines.
Also, by streaming your live video on your own website, you can better align the live stream with your site’s overall marketing strategy: you can curate the live streaming content to help meet your intended conversions, and vice versa you can also use other elements of your website to support your live streaming.
Looking for ways to start streaming live videos on your own website, but don’t know where to start? Below, we will discuss all you need to know about streaming live videos on a website.
Choosing a Streaming Destination
We generally have two streaming destination options if we want to stream live video on our own website or app:
- Build the platform yourself. If you have the technical know-how and/or the available budget, this is actually a viable option. You can build your website, video hosting, and video player from scratch, for example by hiring a website developer. While this option will provide you the most freedom and versatility, it can be time-consuming and expensive to execute.
- Using a professional video streaming platform. By using live streaming platforms like Viloud, you can easily embed the video player on your website or app while getting additional benefits like:
- Personalization: you can easily customize Viloud’s video player with your brand’s logo, brand colors, links to social media profiles, etc. You also have the utmost freedom in the types of content you’re going to stream and how you are going to monetize the content.
- Versatility: you can publish an on-demand channel as well as a linear 24/7 channel, and your viewers can choose between them.
- Management: you’ll have your video files stored on Viloud’s cloud storage, or you can also easily host the videos on other platforms and embed the links to Viloud’s video player.
With Viloud, you can easily embed the video player on your website and start streaming on the site with just a few simple clicks.
Core Live Streaming Equipment
Now that you’ve chosen a streaming destination, there are just three other core pieces of equipment you’ll need in starting a live stream: video/audio source, encoder, and a reliable internet connection.
In a live broadcast, we call any source sending video signals to the encoder and finally to the streaming destination a video source. A video camera is the most common type of video source, but a prerecorded video file can also be considered a video source.
You’ll need at least one video camera, and two for redundancies. As we know, cameras now come in various different types, sizes, and price ranges, so you can get at least one according to your budget.
Similarly, microphones are the most common type of audio source. There are pretty cheap microphones that can do the job quite well, and there are also USB microphones that can connect directly to your computer if you don’t use a hardware encoder or capture card (more on this later), as well as professional microphones with XLR connections.
In short, there is no shortage of options in choosing the right audio and video sources according to your budget and needs
An encoder is essential for any live video streaming activities. Essentially an encoder converts or encodes video signals coming out of your video source into a stream-friendly format. Most video cameras aren’t ready for live streaming but are made for recording large files of individual images rather than a seamless, continuous stream of videos.
We can choose between a hardware encoder or a software encoder:
- Hardware encoder: a dedicated piece of hardware for your encoding purpose, and you can connect your audio/video sources directly to this encoder. Typically more expensive, but more reliable with better latency.
- Software encoder: a software or program running on your computer (or mobile devices). They are affordable and there are even free but reliable encoders like OBS or Wix. You’ll typically need a capture card to connect audio/video sources to your computer if you decide to use a software encoder.
Reliable Internet Connection
Getting a reliable and fast enough internet can be the biggest challenge of live streaming. In general, you’ll need an internet bandwidth that it at least 1.5 times of your stream’s target bitrate. For example, if you are going to live stream with a bit rate of 4 Mbps, then make sure you have at least 6Mbps upload bandwidth available to ensure a smooth live stream.
Once you’ve got the right equipment and a streaming destination, you can start live streaming on your website by following these steps:
- Connecting your audio/video sources to your encoder (or a capture card if you use a software encoder)
- Configure the encoder’s bit rate, resolution, and frame rate
- Configure your streaming destination, embed the video player to your website
- Copy and paste stream key and stream URL from a streaming destination into your encoder’s UI
- Start streaming
Voila! You’ve started streaming on your own website.
As you can see, while live streaming on your website is now relatively easy to do, the key is to choose the right streaming destination partner like Viloud that allows you to easily embed a customizable video player on your website.