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How to Improve the Video Quality of Your Live Stream

Enhance The Visual Experience of Your Live Stream 

There's no denying that live streaming is exploding in popularity. StreamElements and Arsenal.gg reported that the live streaming sector grew a full 45% from March to April, 2020. Not only are more people watching, but more people are hosting as well. 

So how do you make your stream stand out? The answer is to deliver a high quality, enhanced visual experience for your viewers. You don't have to break the bank however. Continue reading for tips on how to improve the video quality of your live streams.

Choosing The Right Camera

When it comes to deciding which camera to use, there are three main options: a cell phone, a webcam (built-in or external), or a DSLR (professional). The easiest option if you plan to stream from your laptop is to use your built-in webcam. However, this may result in less than ideal video quality. Purchasing an external webcam can vastly improve your video quality without having to spend an arm and a leg.

 

If you plan to stream from your phone, then your built-in camera may be your best option. Unfortunately, this will restrict your ability to interact with your viewers in the live chat.

Those looking to host a professional, high quality stream should strongly consider using a DSLR camera. When using this kind of camera, a capture card is needed in order to stream properly.

Step-by-step instructions on how to use webcams, phones, and DSLR cameras for live streaming can found in our Free PDF Guide, available for download below:

GET THE GUIDE

Optimize Your Lighting

 

Lighting may be the easiest way to make your stream stand out from the crowd, and the results can be significant. Being mindful of your lighting could be as simple as hosting during the day, when natural lighting is the best.

You can also step up your game with a three-point lighting setup, which uses a key, fill, and backlight. Download our advanced guide below if you are interested in learning more lighting techniques.

Pro Tip: Wear clothing that is a different color than your backdrop to help separate you from your background.

Add Banners and Transition Screens

If you are using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) (or a similar program), then you can take your visuals to the next level. OBS allows you to add banners to your screen, or create transitions. These will give your stream a polished, professional look.

Check out our blog post "How to Use OBS to Mix Video, Screen Share, and More on PromoStream" to learn more about leveraging OBS to enhance your live streams.

Optimal Settings

When gearing up to go live, it's important to stream with the right video quality. Options include 720p, 1080p, or 4K. Your initial reaction may be to "go for the gold" and stream at the highest resolution (4K), however keep in mind that your viewers may not be watching with devices that support 4K. Another consideration is the amount of motion that will appear on screen. If you plan to have little motion, then you may not need to use a higher resolution.

The other settings to consider are bitrate (how much data is transmitted), and frames per second (the frequency at which frames appear in the video).

If you would like to use OBS with PromoStream, the optimal settings are:

  • (Under “Output”) Video Bitrate: 2,000 Kbps
  • (Under “Video”) Frames Per Second: 30 fps

Looking for More?

Grab a copy of our FREE PDF GUIDE that deep dives into live streaming equipment, optimal settings, and step-by-step instructions to creating a more professional, better looking live stream. And here's a bonus... learn how to set up a green screen! 

GET THE GUIDE

 

Amanda Cosenza
Amanda Cosenza
Amanda is a music festival fanatic with an entrepreneurial spirit. She’s a digital marketing professional specializing in events. Prior to PromoTix, Amanda owned a marketing and sponsorship agency called Festivate, working with well known brands and creating activations for EDC, Envision Festival, Backwoods Music Festival, and many more.

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