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The Basics of Streaming: Capture, Part 1

We like to think of video streaming being a simple three step process: 1. Capture, 2. Encode, 3.Stream. In this three part series on video streaming basics we’ll take a look at each step in detail to help you understand the principles of how it all works.

Today’s post starts off at the beginning with step 1.

Capturing your video

You’ve got great ideas for a video to help your business, cause, or just for fun. But how do you make it a reality? Well, you need some sort of recording device to capture the video. There are many kinds of devices:

  • Webcams
  • Smartphone
  • Video cameras
  • Software on your computer

Which type you use depends on what sort of video you are doing. Smartphones are light and can be used just about everywhere. The quality of how video is recorded varies by phone, just like it will with webcams or video cameras. Webcams of course are usually located on or near a computer – perfect for streaming video of you talking, or singing, or teaching. Video cameras are more flexible in terms of where you can use and position them. But both webcams and video cameras will need to be connected to a computer and software to record (or stream live – more on that in part 2 of this series) the video. Recording software alone can be used to capture slide shows or animated videos created on a computer.

Many webcams come with recording software or you can find open source solutions and a range of paid options. The next step in capturing the video for on demand viewing (remember we’ll talk more about live streaming in part 2), is editing the video so it is exactly the way you want it to be. You’ll often find recording and editing software in one package, or you can find separate video editors.

After you’re done editing the video the final step is to encode it prior to streaming.  Find out more about that in How Video Streaming Works: Encoding, Part 2.

Oliver Burt

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