Starting your own television show is the dream of millions – that is why video podcasting has been a huge success. Some of these podcasts have become extremely popular and have gathered followings of hundreds of millions such as Ask a Ninja.
Much of the same principles apply. You will still need the equipment such as sound, lighting and of course the camera. A blog to publicise and act as a base will be essential and a make-do studio to film the masterpiece will be needed if the show is stationary. One crucial difference is how to get your content live in the form of an Internet TV show.
Setting up the equipment
Most of us will have a digital camera around the house with a megapixel rating around the five or six mark. This is ideal for streaming a video, as it is good quality but not so good that it causes lag.
Connect your digital camera to your personal camera using the USB cable. Most cameras will have an inbuilt microphone, which will be fine. However, if possible, connect a small microphone to the camera. The earphones that come with many cell phones have a microphone to pick up voice or indeed, you can simply modify a headset by removing the earpieces, leaving just the microphone. By attaching this to your speaker(s) or having it in their proximity, background noise is reduced and the voice is clearer.
For lighting, use household lamps. Manoeuvre the lampshade so that the base is tilted towards the set, with the lamp always behind the camera. This will stop glare from showing up on the screen and it will subtly light up the set. Having direct lighting on the set such as a lamp on a desk can cause a big white patch on the screen, especially if the camera is of a low quality.
One of the best, if not the best video streaming service on the Internet is Ustream.tv. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher use it to stream quick Internet TV shows and broadcast to their fans.
First, simply go to the site and sign up. It takes a few minutes and once you do, you are ready to create your show. After signing up, you will immediately be asked to ‘Name your show’.
After you have clicked ‘Create Show’, you will be brought to the ‘My Shows’ page where you can customise your show by adding a theme for your page’s background, uploading a logo, entering a description and much more.
Also, there is a tab called ‘Off Air Clips’. This will dictate what appears in your media player when the show is off air. You can tell it to play some of your old episodes or simply the most recent one. Experts suggest the latter as it will be more current and will have a better chance of hooking the viewer.
The ‘Schedule’ tab is where you should announce upcoming episodes and other events related to the show. By doing this, you’ll inform subscribers and new visitors as to when you’ll be live next so they don’t miss out. Failure to schedule your performances will cause a major drop in viewer numbers simply because they won’t know when you’re on next!
To the right-hand side of the screen in the ‘My Shows’ tab, there is a column entitled ‘Share Your Show’. Here you will find embedding HTML code and links so that you can embed your show on the official website, similar to the embed HTML found next to YouTube videos. Simply copy and paste this code into your blog’s HTML editor to embed the video stream there.
Up in the top right hand corner of the screen there is a ‘Broadcast Now’ button. This will launch a popup that will be your headquarters during broadcast.
Along with this popup, a small box on the right will open requesting permission to access your AV equipment. Click ‘Allow’. Whoever is using the PC during broadcast has the job of making sure things go smoothly. This includes selecting the right AV sources (i.e. which camera and audio equipment to record from.
You can also run polls, tweet, ask questions and add in audio and video overlaps either from YouTube or from uploaded videos to coincide with the programme. When you’re ready to go live, simply click ‘Start Broadcast’.
However, professionals also recommend clicking ‘Start Record’ as this will record your broadcast and enable it to be played, while you’re off air as described above.
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