Last month I had the opportunity to join airline pilot / podcaster Joe d’Eon on his new live video show on uStream.tv – Fly with Me Live. It used to be that production of a live broadcast video show would require at least a cable access studio with thousands of dollars of hardware. And even then who watches cable access? The internet has brought video broadcast costs down to the hundreds of dollars. Joe’s setup is for two people with two cameras.
- T.C. Electronic Konnekt 8 firewire interface (they are no making these, but you can find them on ebay)
- Heil PR 40 mic
- Shure SM 58 mic
- Behringer Mixer
- 2 x QuickCam® Vision Pro webcams
Joe’s setup is more complicated to run since he is taking Skype calls live from listeners. If you just want to broadcast via uStream.tv you just need a uStream account, camera and microphone. The software setup Joe is using is free:
- Skype – Joe takes calls via Skype. Add in a Skype-in account and people could also call from a normal phone.
- uStream.tv – uStream supports a large number of users watching the video stream. It also adds the ability to have a chat associated with the event and records the event for the people who missed the live broadcast. It does all of this for free.
- Camtwist – Camtwist is a great piece of free software (Mac OS) that allows you to switch between different video setups. You can program in setups like a lower third graphic, a slide show, picture and picture and also switch between video cameras and showing your desktop.
- Soundflower – Camtwist is cool, but soundflower is arcane. This piece of software helps you take the audio output of one program and feed it into another. So soundflower is needed so that you can hear the callers on Skype and still have the audio be broadcast to listeners.
Joe and his lovely wife Sarah (who hides off camera) go through a pre-flight check list before the show to make sure all the settings are set. Sarah also monitors the chat room for questions. I look forward to where you can do this same functionality with on itegrated package. You don’t have to be a jet plane pilot to run your own live video call-in show… but it doesn’t hurt either.