Live Video Streaming: How It Works

| December 5, 2018

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Let’s talk about the process of live video streaming.It starts at the camera. Today’s cameras are digital and can capture images at a stunning 4K resolution (2160p). This resolution requires a very high bitrate to support the “raw” digital video signal coming out of the camera, so cables used to transfer this signal must be able to handle large amounts of data. HDMI or ethernet cables can be used in some cases. But most often, a 4K signal transferred over long distances requires an SDI cable that can manage the bandwidth requirements.Some live streaming is done with a smartphone, but more serious live productions employ additional cameras. Common live productions often use a three-camera studio setup. These cameras, and other video sources, are connected to a switcher that transitions between them. Audio for a production is transferred to a mixer via XLR cables. Generally, the switcher adds the audio from the mixer into the final output signal. It may also include the ability to add graphics, titles, and even animations. The switcher could be hardware, software, or a little of both when capture cards are required.

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