How to Stream Live Video to a Website

by Contributing WriterUpdated September 22, 2017

As of 2009, streaming live video has become a powerful tool that's accessible to virtually anyone. Besides having a grasp of how websites work and an understanding of fundamental concepts of digital video, all you need to stream live video is broadcaster and streaming software and a video-recording device. Share your vision with a few close friends or with the world. Streaming live video to your website has never been easier.

Streaming Live Video

Attach the media-recording device that will capture your video content to your computer. It's important to make sure your computer recognizes your webcam or video camera. Your computer should have 1 GB of free RAM memory, a processor speed of at least 2.4 GHz and a video card.

Install broadcast software on the computer that will capture and encode your video content. QuickTime Broadcaster has several preset configurations that will make your setup quick and easy. Media Encoder can be used for a Windows-based system.

Broadcast your content by using another computer with streaming software installed as your server. Apple's Darwin streaming server software can be downloaded for free.

Choose a network deliver option to stream your media. QuickTime broadcast can serve the session with a multicast network, but this option requires dedicated bandwidth. A unicast stream is reliable and connects each viewer to the server. Turn on your relaying settings to increase the reach of your stream.

Follow the encoding software wizard to initiate a Session Description Protocol (SDP) and begin a streaming connection to your server. To connect the computers, enter the server port number and IP address. QuickTime Broadcaster preset settings will suffice for most broadcast needs.

Export your SDP file to the media directory on your streaming server. The viewer will click on a link in your website to receive your broadcast and you are streaming live video.


It is possible to use one computer to stream live video, but having each system dedicated to one task will improve your stream performance. Some websites provide a quick and easy way to stream live video to your website for free. Join one of these streaming websites (e.g. ustream, stickam, justin.tv) to begin your live video. Locate and copy your embedded code; then paste it in your website source code. You are now streaming your live video for free without buying any software.


Every time you change a setting you will need to export a new SDP file. A Content Distribution Network (CDN) will relay your broadcast over several servers and deliver your content efficiently. Without a CDN your live stream will be prone to congestion and interruptions. Using Media Encoder is slightly different, but most CDN’s will have a user-friendly wizard to guide your steps.

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