Choosing Where People Watch Our Livestream
Choosing where people watch our events is almost as important as nonprofit we broadcast for. Choosing the broadcast platform has two primary components: Broadcast Host and Streaming Tool. Often our audience and community is tied to one particular platform, however technological limitations (console streaming) may make another platform (or streaming to multiple platforms at once) more appealing.
What is a broadcast host?
The website we broadcast to and where people watch our stream is the broadcast host. For those experienced in broadcasting their communities are usually tied to a particular platform, but if you are new to livestreaming or are just interested in what options are available there are many companies in this space. It’s common for broadcast hosts to focus on a target niche or unique features to stand out from their competition, so individual research of the pros and cons of each is recommended.
Broadcast Host List
I’ve compiled a short list of potential companies below. Again, this guide is not a review of any company and this list is not exhaustive. CLS broadcasts to Twitch for the development updates and as such Twitch is listed first.
- Twitch – www.twitch.tv (Gaming, but has been expanding into creatives & other areas since 2016)
- YouTube – gaming.youtube.com (Gaming)
- Mixer (Formerly Beam) – www.mixer.com (Gaming)
- Hitbox – www.hitbox.tv (Gaming)
- Facebook – www.facebook.com (Everything, It’s Facebook.)
- Picarto – www.picarto.tv (Art/Drawing)
- Livestream – www.livestream.com (Paid/No Ads)
- USTREAM – www.ustream.tv (Business)
- Periscope – www.periscope.tv (Mobile)
- YouNow – www.younow.com (General)
- Live.ly – www.musical.ly/en-US/lively (Mobile)
- Instagram – www.instagram.com (Again, everything. It’s Instagram)
- Hype – https://medium.com/hypeofficial/are-you-ready-for-hype-we-think-you-are-c29d6ffce46a (Mobile)
- Live.Me – www.liveme.com (General)
A niche category has been added for clarity next to each based on homepage observation.
If you use a different platform and want it showcased please contact CLS via email or Discord to have it added.
Represent a company listed? Please contact CLS to discuss adding platform summaries or correcting the category listed at email@example.com.
What is a streaming tool?
In recent years many companies have emerged offering services that allow gamers, artists, and anyone interested to stream their content online to broadcasting hosts. An element to keep in mind is after talking with the nonprofit and selecting the donation platform there may be integrations available with one or more streaming tools.
Below is a list of services that assist in streaming content online. Remember, the list below is just a collection and not review on quality or features.
Note: Some mobile apps for broadcast hosts use your phone for streaming to their platform and usually require no additional software.
Note: While some of the systems below can work together, the majority are solo solutions and not all tools work with all broadcasting hosts. Please research thoroughly before making a decision.
- Lightstream (Formerly Infiniscene) – https://www.golightstream.com/
As an early supporter of this site’s efforts, Lightstream has included CLS into their streaming guide as a tool for helping run charity streams and, as a user of their system for the CLS Dev Hangouts, we’re happy to list them first in further detail. Their integrations cover Twitch, Facebook, Youtube, & Mixer.
Looking for the easiest way to broadcast your charity event? Look no further. Lightstream eliminates the need to learn about bitrates, codecs, and enables you to do things no other streaming software can do. By utilizing the cloud, it offloads CPU usage from your machine, backs up all your assets, and even allows you to pull in remote sources from any location. If you have no broadcast experience or just want to make your life a little easier, then this is the way to go.
· Here’s a quick tutorial video on setting up your first scene.
· Wanna stream with a friend? Here’s a Green Room tutorial.
· The Knowledge Base has a ton of helpful info as well.
- GameShow – http://www.gameshow.net/
- Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) – https://obsproject.com/
- XSplit – https://www.xsplit.com/
- Restream – https://restream.io/
- Switchboard (Formerly Joicaster) – https://switchboard.live/creator
- Wirecast – http://www.telestream.net/wirecast/
- Overwolf – http://www.overwolf.com/apps/Entertainment/Overwolf_Twitch
- FFSplit – http://www.ffsplit.com/
- ElGato – https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming
- Roxio – http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/game-capture/hd-pro/overview.html
- Evolve – https://www.evolvehq.com/welcome
- GEForce ShadowPlay – http://www.geforce.co.uk/geforce-experience/shadowplay
- UPlay – https://uplay.ubi.com/
- Origin – https://www.origin.com/en-us/news/whats-coming-in-the-next-origin-update
- Raptr – http://raptr.com/
- Playstation 4 Game Console – http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps4/share/broadcast.html
- XBOX One Game Console – http://www.xbox.com/en-US/entertainment/xbox-one/live-apps/twitch
Represent a company listed? Want to describe what you do? Please contact CLS to discuss adding platform summaries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadcast Host Integrations
If you’re looking for information from the broadcast hosts themselves on what tools they mention in their help sections, then I’ve added links I’ve been able to find below. However, given the pace of technology advancements some listings are out of date. For mobile broadcasters I’ve added links to their help sections since usually the only way to broadcast is through their system:
- Twitch – http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/topics/301257-getting-started/articles?page=1
- Picarto – https://picarto.tv/live/faq.php
- Hitbox – http://help.hitbox.tv/customer/portal/topics/775336-livestreaming/articles
- YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/live.html
- Mixer (Formerly Beam) – https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/209659623-FTL-Faster-Than-Light-streaming-protocol-
- Livestream – http://help.livestream.com/
- USTREAM – http://www.ustream.tv/information/resource-center/getting-started
- Periscope – https://help.periscope.tv/hc/en-us
- YouNow – https://younow.zendesk.com/categories/20033867-Frequently-Asked-Questions
[Disclosure: As of this writing, I have personally used both Lightstream and the Elgato Game Capture HD native software to record video and stream content. Lightstream has been used for the CLS Development Hangout livestreams. The Elgato HD is now older technology, but was purchased on Amazon for $135 at the time.
CLS is not officially partnered with any broadcasting hosts. Again, this How To Guide is NOT a review of these services, just a listing for you to begin your own research to decide which one best fits your needs.]