Video Streaming Essentials for New Content Creators
The thing with content creation is that anyone can try it. However, with 50 million content creators as of 2020, it might be difficult to build a following. While content is definitely important if you want to venture into streaming, it’s also ideal that you invest in good equipment. After all, you’d want your videos to be broadcasted as cleanly and as perfectly as you can make them.
So to help you start your journey as a content creator, below are the essentials you should look for:
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment is a device to stream from. PCs are a good choice, as they typically already have enough power and memory to accommodate your needs. But laptops are more portable, allowing you to stream, edit, and upload video from anywhere.
Incidentally, you’ll want one with a printed circuit board (PCB) that can house a powerful CPU and GPU that can give you high-resolution displays. An example is the Dell XPS 15 with its high speed PCB design, making it capable of live streaming videos straight from your camera and microphone — all without lagging or suddenly shutting down. The XPS 15 also has PremierColor, which allows you to further tweak color settings such as gamut, temperature, and brightness.
The cheapest option for a camera would be a webcam. Most laptops have this, but they’re not the best quality. The Papalook PA930 comes at an affordable price but gives sharp, vibrant, and color-accurate displays regardless of the lighting conditions. If you have more money to spare for a camera, DSLRs (like the Canon EOS Rebel SLR3) or mirrorless cameras (like the Fujifilm X-S10 are great options too. After all, these have interchangeable lenses, which give you more freedom to customize shots and effects, giving you better image quality.
But if you’re really able to splurge on a camera, camcorders are purpose-built to record hours of video. Their lenses are also of better quality, meaning you also get video and audio in higher quality.
Laptops and cameras typically have in-built microphones, but these aren’t the best options. If you only need a stationary setup, USB mics like the Blue Yeti will already work well. Just make sure you have a good docking station if you’re planning to connect two or more mics.
But if you want truly excellent audio, XLR mics such as the Audio-Technica ATR2100x are the go-to for high-quality audio that isolates noise. However, for this, you’ll need additional audio cables and a mixer for your computer to see the mic. If you’re planning to stream content that involves you and/or your guests standing and moving around, then lapel mics would be more convenient as they’re clip-on devices.
Depending on where you’re streaming, you may need additional things. For instance, you may opt to buy lights so you can shoot any time of the day. Elgato is a big name in this respect, and their Key Lights are easy to control from your phone or computer.
Moreover, if you’re shooting some content before a live stream, then additional cables, such as for HDMI, SD, and USB-A, will be helpful for easier editing of your files as you can easily connect your laptop to whatever you need.