Check out the video below, where our CEO and Founder Derek Gebler, talks with Wowza about how he uses his iPhone, a few accessories, and the Wowza GoCoder app (also available for Android) to turn his phone into an effective, low-cost, mobile, live stream production unit that streams on the Field59 Video Platform.
When you’re on the go, whether it’s for a breaking news story, or you just want freedom of movement without a lot of extra gear, it’s a good idea to have a mobile video toolkit ready to grab at a moment’s notice.
We thought it would be helpful to provide information about the equipment you’ll need, and highlight the components Derek is using in the video, so that you can live stream quality video from anywhere there’s a data or wireless connection. One misconception about live streaming from a mobile device is that the quality from a mobile device is just not good enough for your viewers. But with just a few simple steps, your video and audio can come alive and equal some of the higher-quality HD cameras on the market.
The main question you’ll want to ask yourself when picking out a mobile device for live streaming is, can it shoot in HD video? Most new devices on the market today can, but you’ll want to double check.
The mobile device used in the video above is an iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 comes with an 8 megapixel camera and a performs much better than past Apple models in low-light situations. Video is recorded in the MPEG-4 format at a resolution of 1080p with an average bit rate of 16.4Mbps and 30fps frame rate. This is HD quality for online video. Many other mobile devices on the market today also shoot at HD quality level.
The other concern is how fast can it send data? We have successfully live streamed over 3G, but 4G/LTE or wireless connections will definitely give you improved stream performance.
For the accessories, we’re highlighting solutions compatible with only iPhone 5 and iPhone 6/6s. You’ll want to check for comparable products that work with other devices (For example, olloclip does provide lenses for a couple of Samsung Galaxy phones). Finally, please also note that not all products below are sold direct, so prices may vary by retailer.
A good lens add-on can greatly enhance video quality and add new features that your basic device camera does not allow.
The olloclip quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone 6/6s includes a fisheye, wide-angle 10x macro and 15x macro lens.
Tripods and Mounts
There are a wide variety of tripods on the market. Chances are you probably have a still or video camera tripod. The Pro-Photo Adapter from olloclip comes with standard threaded mount-points which allow you to mount your phone to a standard tripod. Two points are provided for horizontal and vertical mounting.
If you don’t have a standard tripod, there are some less expensive, micro options that can fit in a back pocket. While the portability of these models is nice, they may lack the stability you are looking for.
The Quick-Flip Case turns your iPhone into a mobile photo studio.
The Cowboy Studio bracket has 2 standard shoe mounts, allowing two units of any type of flash to be mounted.
This is probably the single most important accessory, because the standard audio from a mobile device is typically not very good, especially in a noisy environment.
The FR-310 shuts out sound from the sides and the back, with a pickup pattern that targets sound in front of the camera.
This cable features a headphone monitoring tap, so you can use headphones to keep track of sound quality.
The LEDs emit a rich warm light and never heat up, no matter how long you have the light on.
The total of these items (not including the phone or extra charger) comes to just a bit over $300, so it’s definitely an affordable solution for any publisher looking to build a mobile live streaming kit.
Once you’ve got your gear, talk to us about how your organization can stream on Wowza using Field59! Our management system allows you to manage your live stream schedule, players, recordings, and more. Any organization can live stream, and our suggestions can help you make an informed decision about what you need to live stream on the go.