8 Smart Tips For Transforming Your Home Office Into A Livestreaming Hub

With COVID-19 devastating the creative arts more and more people are turning to livestreaming video from their home offices to get their content in front of audiences. Here’s how you can set yourself up to carve out your own audience!

Livestreaming is emerging as a popular vehicle for taking your message, reflection or performance to the world. Online is the new black whether you’re creating art, playing music, sharing your observations or broadcasting a presentation and increasingly the world is watching!

As you develop your stream content, don’t forget to dip into your archives for inspiration. Old videotape footage can provide fun segments or backdrops for a stream. So, don’t leave your videotapes gathering dust in storage. Take advantage of the latest VHS to USB technology and gain access to your content on a USB stick.

Always, Always Test Your Stream

Let’s start at the end. Livestreaming can be a tricky way to unleash a video onto the world. Remember, if you’re live chances are people are watching. If you prefer not to look like an idiot check, check and check again that your stream will leap flawlessly into the ether the moment you go live.

Twitch, Facebook and YouTube Live allow you to test them your stream first, ensuring you have time to check your sound, adjust your camera and make sure your background isn’t strobing.

Dress Your Background For Success

If you want to attract and retain an audience, think about what your audience may be seeing. Sure, you may be streaming from your home office but it doesn’t have to look like a grunge convention.

Ensure it looks professional not like a dungeon!

So when you’re setting up your laptop and streaming gear, it’s important to consider which aspect of the room provides the most visually appealing backdrop. One option is to opt for a virtual background.

If you think a virtual backdrop is the way to go and you’re streaming on YouTube or Twitch, explore XSplit’s VCam feature to drop in your preferred backdrop visual or even blur to create a shallow depth of field. You’re not limited to static visuals. You can include web pages and videos.

Now Smile For The Camera!

Whether you’re selecting a camera to take Zoom or Skype meetings or to stream with, there are plenty of options that won’t burn a hole in your hip pocket.

If you’re livestreaming your own performance or chairing an online event, buy a “livestream” camera. However, a webcam is fine if you’re simply joining in on virtual chats, conferences or meetings. Most laptops come with built-in cameras, however, a purpose-designed “livestream” camera will streamline the process thanks to their automatic exposure, focusing and superior image quality.

Mastering A Camera Link

If you prefer not to opt for an external streaming service or a web camera, using your current DSLR camera is an option when its coupled with a practical tool that creates a connection between your laptop and your camera.

Selecting Your Microphone

If your online audience is likely to exceed 10 people go for the best external microphone possible. The challenges of streaming can shred your sound quality.

A microphone that won’t pick up each and every mouse click, or keyboard action will do wonders for your livestream sound quality. You seriously don’t want to risk people bailing because your sound is terrible!

Factor In Latency

Latency is the amount of time between what you do on camera and when your audience actually views it. If you’ve ever wondered about the slight delay when you watch people on a live stream responding to audience comments, that’s latency. Happily, you can control it before your stream goes live.

Low latency enables rapid feedback from your audience. However, this may demand increased buffering time, affecting image quality. If you’re not going to interact with your audience, low latency is fine so its preferable to select the “normal latency” option.

Streaming Apps

Once you’ve chosen your preferred streaming platform, you should also think about sourcing an encoder that reflects your needs. This software package records your video and audio content to deliver the highest permissible quality as you live stream on your preferred platform. Some of the most popular apps include:

OBS is an enduringly popular open-source and best of all free program, which enables you to stream at 60fps with a bit rate and output resolution synced to your laptop’s output capability.

Stage Ten is designed as a live studio platform. It’s perfect if you’re looking to get into serious streaming thanks to its functionality allowing you to include external guests on the fly and drop in lower thirds and overlays. You can also control your streams by running your own switcher

Wirecast is a Mac-friendly alternative. Navigating its interface is comparatively and it comes with a host of functionality.

Streamlabs is a free platform that provides high levels of customization. It allows you to dial up your stream’s aesthetics rather than the more technical elements of your stream. Streamlabs comes with 250+ free themes. Prime membership allows you to access their range of apps.

XSplit is a Windows-only option that enables you to stream at a superior quality. If you go for the free version, streaming anything higher than 720p will see a watermark appear on it.

Creating Stream Overlays

Overlays are a way you can differentiate your streaming channel to create a brand by going with a familiar look and feel that your audience will recognise.

If you’re time poor services such as Own3d, StreamElements and StreamLabs allow you to customize your own. Don’t neglect widgets. These alert you know when your audience has interacted with your channel, such as following or donating money.

 Final Observation

Livestreaming is emerging as a popular, simple, cost-effect channel for reaching an audience. By following the tips outlined above, you can set yourself up to join the action right now! And don’t forget to dip into your archives for inspiration. The latest VHS to USB technology gives you access to your content on a USB stick.