Facebook Live - DIY or use a Professional Streaming Company?


Explore what's available - don’t just accept the norm.


By now everyone knows about Facebook Live and most understand the powerful benefits of the service to their business.

As a professional live streaming company we understand the advantages that working with a company like ours will bring to your stream but you may not, so this article is designed for you.

Most people believe that using a mobile phone is the only way you can stream to Facebook but they are wrong. Yes its free and quick but it may be damaging your brand.

If you are wanting to get on air quickly and don’t care about quality or a legacy recording of the event then using a mobile phone may be best for you but there are higher quality options.

Below you can see a comparison chart of what is available to you broadcasting via a mobile phone and next to it you can see what professionally broadcasting offers.


* VOD = Video on demand. The post event version of the film.

So lets examine these in more detail.

PICTURE QUALITY

Mobile - When broadcasting with a mobile phone Facebook limits the stream quality to 480p. This is not HD and is mobile phone quality. If your audience is viewing this broadcast on a screen any larger than an iPad then they will start to notice the poor picture quality. If they are watching it on a smart TV it will look terrible. If you were producing a flyer for an event would you print it at a low quality? If you are streaming something that matters to you and your brand why would you choose the poor quality option?

Pro - Currently (26/8/18) Facebook allows companies like solo16 to stream up to 720p quality which is HD. In the not to distant future we anticipate this will rise to full HD at 1080p and maybe even 4K. This quality looks much better on larger screens.

AUDIO QUALITY

Mobile - There are two audio options when using a mobile phone. The most basic option is using the on-board camera mic which unless the person is right in front of the camera is pointless as you will not pick up any clear audio. Poor audio recording is the thing that online audiences find the most annoying, far worse than a poor picture.

The second option is to plug in an external microphone into the phone, again in all the streams we have seen this is done very poorly and the sound is normally really distorting. Viewers find distorting sound very irritating.

Pro - We only use professional audio equipment which is streamed in the highest bitrate that the platform will allow. This ensures the sound will be as good as possible for your viewer.

BROADCAST DURATION

Mobile - You are limited to “up to” a 4 hour broadcast. You can of course then start a new 4 hour broadcast but a single stream cannot go over 4 hours.

Pro - We offer the “up to” 4 hour broadcast but can also offer a continuous stream option. This might be ideal for a time-lapse or a long conference but there is no VOD option on a continuous stream.

If selected Facebook records your 4 hour stream and makes this available to viewers on demand right after the stream and this stays on your account until your remove it. This option is not available on continuous streams however we record all our streams so you could upload the broadcast at a later date if required.

BROADCAST RECORDING

Mobile - All you get is what you have streamed. You do not have the ability to record your event/broadcast in high quality for post event editing. What happens if something goes wrong during the stream and you want to cut around it or edit it? You will not be able to.

Pro - We always record our complete mixed output in Pro Res full HD quality. We can also record on each camera giving you complete options and levels of redundancy. From the footage a complete re-edit can be made or you can chop up the full HD footage for uploading later on other social media.

MULTIPLE CAMERAS/ANGLES

Mobile - You can only film on the one phone.

Pro - You can have as many cameras as you like and these can all be mixed together with titles, graphics and video etc.

MULTIPLE INTERNET CONNECTIONS

Mobile - Without question the thing that annoys online viewers more than anything is buffering and live videos that keep saying “Connection interrupted”. All mobile streamed Facebook Live broadcasts are done using a single connection. Often this is just the standard cellular connection and the live is undertaken during a busy event where cellular connections are seriously comprised due to the demand. Do you want to risk a stilted broadcast or even no broadcast at all?

Pro - We only use encoders with multiple connections. This might be 4 x 4G connections or a combination of wifi and 4G or even satellite connectivity if needed. We use the most robust kit giving your broadcast the best chance of staying on air constantly.

So to summarise, if you want complete control over your material with various post event options, clear sound and good picture quality then use solo16.

If you have no budget, want to go to air really quickly and the quality of the broadcast is not important to you then use a mobile phone.

solo16 works with a range of clients on Facebook Live broadcasts and we offer single camera professional options as well as multi-camera. Prices start from as little as a £499 exc vat.

Take a look at some of our examples here.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your live event.

#FacebookLive #Mobilephone #BroadcastonFacebookLive

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