Requirements for Streaming Live Videos
By Kefa Olang
Several websites on the Internet provide platforms to stream live video. That simply means you can share what's going on in your world, connect with others and even watch other live videos. To stream videos, certain hardware, network and software requirements must be met. Although requirements vary with different streaming sites, there are key elements that can improve live streaming.
A network connection is required to stream live videos on the Internet. Live video-streaming is a network-intensive process, so a fast broadband connection improves live streaming. How fast or slow the minimum connection speed must be depends heavily on the site you wish to stream live videos with. For example, a website such as Livestream requires a connection speed of at least 700Kbps to stream videos in regular quality, while a video-streaming site such as Ustream requires a connection speed of at least 600Kbps to stream low-quality video, and 2MB or higher for high-definition video. The faster the network connection, the clearer live videos will be. In addition, faster network connections decrease the chances of buffering, frequent stalling and loading problems that diminish streaming quality.
A webcam is the essence of live video streaming. Whether you are using a built-in webcam or an external camera attached to your computer, you need a camera to project live video streams such as podcasts. Video streaming involves live action captured by a camera. Whether you are using a standard definition camera or a high-definition camera for high-quality broadcasts, your camera must be up and running to stream live videos.
Hardware requirements vary greatly with different video-streaming sites. For example, Ustream, one of the more common video-streaming sites, requires at least 2GB of RAM. It also requires a 2.3 GHz, dual-core, 32-bit or 64-bit processor to stream live videos using a webcam. Livestream requires at least 4GB of RAM, and a Pentium Core 2 Duo, 2 GHz processor or higher to stream live videos. Some video-streaming sites may be compatible with certain operating systems. To decrease the chances of running into streaming problems, refer to a streaming site's broadcasting requirements to verify whether your computer meets the requirements or not.
Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player is the signature plug-in several websites including Livestream use to stream live broadcasts. The plug-in is compatible with most browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. If you are using an outdated version of Adobe Flash Player, you can download the latest version from the Adobe site (see Resources).
Streaming live videos on the Web using sites like Justin TV, Livestream or Ustream requires an updated browser. An updated browser works with vital plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player to stream videos properly. Each video-streaming site supports different browsers; however, most are usually compatible with common browsers such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Mozilla Firefox. More often than not, the website you are using to stream live video will state which browsers it supports, so refer to the system requirements for browser compatibility.
Kefa Olang has been writing articles online since April 2009. He has been published in the "Celebration of Young Poets" and has an associate degree in communication and media arts from Dutchess Community College, and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communication from the State University of New York, Oswego.