A Meet-Up Video Streaming Setup That Doesn’t Hurt Your Budget

TFW there's a great meet-up / talk and you can't make it.

This happens and you might feel of missing out a great opportunity or great content. It almost happened to us yesterday. Building great products requires dedication and passion and sometimes you loose yourself in time and forget you have a meet up to run / go to.

That's why we want to capture our events on video and stream everything right away. We've been looking for a while to find a great capturing / streaming solution. Something that works without buying expensive cameras, switch boards, etc.

Big thanks at this point to John Barker from heretorecord.com for recommending Switcher! Would never have found this tool otherwise.

What we had:

  • 2 iPhones
  • 1 iPad Pro

Here's what we've got:

Here's what we missed the first time:

  • 5m aux cable to connect the iRig to the mixer
  • hands-free microphone

The whole magic potion is Switcher Studio. You run the Switcher Studio App on all devices, the phones should be in 'Remote Camera Mode', the iPad signed in to Switcher Studio to received the streams from the iPhones. That's it, you're all set up to stream!

But you can do better. Switcher also has an app called "Switcher Cast", which lets your Studio connect to a laptop screen. If you check the 'Effects' tab and then scroll down, you'll find 'Picture in Picture Mode', which lets you show the presenter screen with the slides as a picture in the live video from the phones, that's pretty fancy.

In 'Director Mode' you can connect the iRig and get the sound straight from the microphone (something we missed in our first trial with NodeJS Barcelona) to get the best sound possible without much background noise (there's no audio filter in Switcher).

If you're not so much into YouTube or Facebook, you can connect Switcher to stream to Periscope.tv.

One thing we haven't found the first time is the little '+' in the 'Sources' tab to add still images (i.e. "we're having a break now", or to add the speaker name, title etc. to overlay blurbs). Things to do before an event would be:

  1. Prepare 1280x720px blurbs for all talks as transparent PNG
  2. 1280x720px event teaser image, "broadcast starts soon"
  3. 1280x720px pause/break image, so you don't have to interrupt the stream (and end up with 2 recordings on Periscope)
  4. thank you still image

With this material, you can provide a high quality live stream with very little preparation and no effort in post-production.

After about 45 minutes of streaming, both iPhones were running pretty low on battery, so we'll definitely get some power packs for the next time.

Here's our first stream results from the NodeJS Barcelona meetup with Yago Ferro, Ivan Fraixedes and Francisco Herrero, talking about Rust, the VM standard package and util.promisify():

https://www.periscope.tv/w/1yNxaqQzZpNxj?q=nodejs+barcelona

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Thanks for reading. We at blended.io are incredibly excited and passionated about the potential innovative leaps for software design and engineering in fintech, investtech and industry 4.0. Get in touch!

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