Starting your own TV show is the dream of millions ““ that’s why video podcasting has been a huge success. Some of these podcasts have become extremely popular and have gathered followings of hundreds of millions such as Ask a Ninja. However, what if you want to create your own Internet TV show?
Much of the same principles apply. You’ll still need the equipment such as sound, lighting and of course the camera. A blog to publicize and act as a base will be essential and a make-do studio to film the masterpiece will also be needed if the show is stationary. One crucial difference is how to get your content LIVE in the form of an Internet TV show.
Setting up the equipment
Most of us will have a digital camera around the house with a megapixel rating around the 5 or 6 mark. This is ideal for streaming a video as it’s good quality but not so good that it causes lag.
Connect your digital camera to your PC using the USB cable. Most cameras will have an inbuilt microphone which will be fine however, if possible connect a small microphone to the camera. The earphones that come with many cell phones have a microphone to pick up voice or indeed you can simply modify a headset by removing the ear pieces leaving just the microphone. By attaching this to your speaker(s) or having it in their proximity, background noise is reduced and their voice is clearer.
For lighting, use household lamps. Manouvere the lampshade so that the base is tilted towards the set as shown in the diagram, with the lamp always behind the camera. This will stop glare from showing up on the screen and it will also subtly light up the set. Having direct lighting on the set such as a lamp on a desk can cause a big white patch on the screen ““ especially if the camera is of a low quality.
One of the best, if not the best video streaming service on the internet is Ustream.tv. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher use it to stream quick internet TV shows and broadcasts to their fans.
The reason why we’re using it in this demonstration as it is similar to the YouTube set up in that you can simply create an account and stream using their easy tools and you can embed the media player on your blog/site for your fans to enjoy.
First, simply go to the site and sign up. It takes a few minutes and once you do you’re ready to create your show. After signing up you’ll immediately be asked to “˜Name your show’. I simply entered MUO Test Show but I recommend thinking of something catchy that will be stuck in the minds of viewers.
After you have clicked “˜Create Show‘ you’ll be brought to the “˜My Shows’ page where you can customize your show by adding a theme for your pages background, uploading a logo, entering a description and much more.
Also, as seen in the screenshot there is a tab called “˜Off Air Clips’. This will dictate what appears in your media player when the show is off air. You can tell it to play some of your old episodes or simply the most recent one. I suggest the latter as it will be more current and will have a better chance of hooking the viewer.
The “˜Schedule’ tab is where you should announce upcoming episodes and other events related to the show. By doing this you’ll inform subscribers and new visitors as to when you’ll be live next so they don’t miss out. Failure to schedule your performances will cause a major drop in viewer numbers simply because they won’t know when you’re on next!
To the right-hand side of the screen in the “˜My Shows’ tab there is a column entitled “˜Share Your Show’. Here you will find embedding HTML code and links so that you can embed your show on the official website, similar to the embed HTML found next to YouTube videos. Simply copy & paste this code into your blogs HTML editor to embed the video stream there.
Up in the top right hand corner of the screen there is a “˜Broadcast Now’ button. This will launch a popup that will be your HQ during broadcast.
Along with this popup, a small box seen here on the right will open requesting permission to access your AV equipment. Click “˜Allow’. Whoever is using the PC during broadcast has the job of making sure things go smoothly. This includes selecting the right AV sources (i.e. which camera and audio equipment to record from) as seen in the screenshot below.
You can also run polls, tweet, ask questions and add in Audio and Video overlaps either from YouTube or from uploaded videos to coincide with the program. When you’re ready to go live simply click “˜Start Broadcast’.
However, I also recommend clicking “˜Start Record’ as this will record your broadcast and enable it to be played while you’re off air as described above.
Below is my test show that I broadcasted which lasted for just a few seconds, containing the view from my bedroom window.
So that’s the tech side of things taken care of, whether or not your show is good is entirely up to the acting/broadcasting skills of those involved.
Do you have your own internet TV show? Let us know all about it in the comments.