Live Streaming Gear

Getting started with live streaming can be daunting, especially if you are not familiar with all the gear and how it all interconnects. It’s going to be an investment in both time and money. Luckily I have bought and used a lot of this gear or some recommendations come from very experienced streamers. The summarized list below is just the basics, to see the full list, click the button!

As you’re looking into live streaming, you may be wondering what kind of equipment you need to get started. The truth is, you can live stream with as little as a computer with a built-in webcam and microphone, and the sky’s the limit in terms of the complexity and sophistication of what you can do with live streaming.

Live Streaming Software

Your webcam and audio needs to be “packaged” in a format that can be delivered to a streaming platform over the internet. Popular streaming platforms today are YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram. These destinations require the video to be in a compatible format. This is what the following software does.


Ecamm Live


Live switching software between video and pre-recorded content. Similar to OBS.

OBS – Open Broadcaster Software


Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming for Mac or PC.

Stream with what you have!

If you are on a budget, you can get started with a webcam or your iPhone. The key is that you can upgrade your gear as you get more to budget. Remember, content is king! At a minimum, your audio should be upgraded first if you are on a budget.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Webcam: The built in webcam on new computers will work, but if you need the flexibility to point it, I would recommend the following:
  • Microphone: the built in microphone will probably do, but consider this:
  • Computer: You want at least a computer with 8GB of RAM and good graphics card.
  • Software Encoder: Chose one from above. The encoder takes your video and audio and converts it to a stream that can be broadcasted to the Internet.
  • Capture Card: If you want to use an existing camera like a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, it’s best to take the HDMI out from that camera and use a device to convert it to something the Software Encoder can understand. Here are two popular options:
  • Keep in mind your HDMI port on your computer is video and audio out only. Meaning you can only connect a monitor to it.

Full list of streaming gear

High Quality Audio is Essential

Bad audio can ruin even the best video because horrible audio will scare viewers away. If the voices aren’t clear, if there is distortion, buzz, room echos, or any other noise that makes the audio difficult to follow, viewers will abandon your video. Multiple studies have already proven that audio is even more important than picture. That’s why we recommend investments in sound to be your number-one priority.

The easiest choice for live streaming is using a USB microphone since it connects directly to your computer and produces relatively good sound. It can be inexpensive and doesn’t require you to buy any additional devices to connect it to your computer. On the higher end, to be able to use an XLR microphone, you will need an audio interface.

  • Intermediate: USB Microphone or a microphone plugged into your camcorder via 3.5 mm mic input.
  • Advanced: XLR Microphone which will deliver the best audio quality. We use the Shure SM7B since it helps reduce the pickup of other noises like laptop fans.
    • Audio interface: XLR Microphones can’t plug directly into a computer, so we recommend the Rode RODECaster Pro.

Tips for better streaming video

Other items to consider

You might have some of these items already, but these are other items to consider.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tripod: If you are using an external camera, it’s a good idea to put it on something sturdy. I have bought plenty of tripods, and I feel that the budget for your tripod should be in proportion to your gear. If you are putting a $1,000 camera / lens together, you don’t want to put it on something that isn’t sturdy. If you don’t plan on moving your camera, you can keep it basic and not have a fluid head for smooth pans.
  • Lighting: In order to get great video, you should light yourself so your camera doesn’t have to struggle to make the image look good. Pros will use multiple lights, but you can keep it simple with one light either off camera or with a ring light.

Prepare content for a Live Stream

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