Facebook is the biggest social network in the world. So when it released Facebook Live, content creators eagerly jumped in, as this gave them an opportunity to engage with their audience in real-time.

But it’s a competitive platform to play in. To stand out, you need to level up your stream quality. Even if you have great content, people won’t stick around if they can hardly see or hear you because of poor video and audio quality.

Today, we’ll teach you how to elevate your stream using a video camera and streaming software.

Benefits of Using an External Live Stream Camera

Setting up an FB Live video camera takes more work than using your laptop’s built-in webcam, but the benefits are worth all the effort.

Better stream quality

Why connect an external camera when you can do a Facebook Live on your laptop? Because the stream quality won’t be that good. Most built-in webcams and mics don’t produce the best video and audio quality. That’s why we always recommend using an external camera with at least 1080p resolution whenever possible.

Mobility

Webcams are often attached to the computer, making it impossible to move them around while filming. External video cameras, on the other hand, are more portable. They can be placed almost anywhere, even in precarious places, as long as you secure them in place properly.

What You Need for Your Facebook Live Camera Setup

Webcams cannot compare to video cameras. The only problem is it’s a little more complicated to set up an external camera. But with a bit of guidance, you’ll soon be streaming like a pro. These are what you’ll need to set up your Facebook Live camera.

The tools

Must-haves:

  • Computer (PC or Mac)
  • Camera with an SDI or HDMI port
  • SDI or HDMI cable, depending on your camera’s ports.
  • Signal converter box
  • Live streaming software
  • Stable internet connection

Note: Avoid using a USB cable between the signal converter box and camera to keep the video signal consistent.

Nice-to-haves:

  • A tripod to keep the camera steady
  • Good lighting equipment to brighten up your space
  • An external microphone with decent audio quality to make your stream more audible

The steps

  1. Connect your Facebook Live external camera to your signal converter box with an SDI or HDMI cable.
  2. Check if your camera can send a signal to your computer.
  3. Find your stream key and server URL on your Facebook account, then add them to your live streaming software.
  4. Check if you’re able to send a signal to Facebook.

That’s it. Your camera is now connected to your FB Live. Start experimenting right away to make sure everything is working. This will give you time to fix any kinks and issues before the big day.

Helpful tips

  1. A wired Internet connection is more stable than W-iFi, so always use one as much as possible.
  2. Always do a test run using the same conditions as your live broadcast. Check how your live stream looks like on your desktop and mobile screens.
  3. Make sure your backup equipment (if you have one) is charged and on hand during your live stream.
  4. If possible, assign someone to keep an eye on Facebook during the event for comments like, “Why isn’t this working on my phone?” or “The sound is cutting out.” Catching these tech problems early on will help you fix them without disrupting your feed too much.
  5. Live streaming isn’t perfect. There will be glitches from time to time, and your audience understands this. So don’t be too harsh on yourself and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for doing a good job.

How to Put Together Your Facebook Live Software Setup

Now that you know how to set up your FB Live cam, the next step is learning how to connect it to your streaming software.

  1. Download your preferred streaming software. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is one of the best encoders available, but there are other free and paid options. Choose one based on your goals and budget.
  2. Go to your FB Live dashboard and hit “Create Live Stream.”
  3. Select where to post your feed.
  4. If you want a stream key you can use again, choose “Use a persistent stream key”. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to use your stream key once.
  5. Copy the server URL and stream key from your Facebook and paste them into your encoding software.
  6. Start your live broadcast from your streaming software. Check the preview screen that will appear to see how your stream looks on camera.
  7. Write an interesting title and description for your live broadcast.
  8. Hit “Go Live Now” to start streaming. If you want to set your live video to stream later, select “Schedule a Live Video.”

Stream key vs. persistent stream key

A stream key and a persistent stream key have the same use. They both connect Facebook Live to your streaming software. The only difference is that a persistent stream key is permanent. You can use it many times in the future. A regular stream key, on the other hand, is for single use only.

Using a persistent stream key is great if you don’t want to keep generating a different stream key every time you go live. The only downside is that you’re more prone to hacking. If somebody ever gets a hold of your persistent stream key, they can hijack any of your future live streams. If it ever gets compromised, change it right away.

Wrapping Up

Setting up an external camera and streaming software may seem intimidating at first. That’s because of all the extra steps you need to take to get them to work. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon realize that it’s not that complicated. Everything becomes easier with time and practice.

Hopefully, we’ve shared enough information to help set your Facebook Live streaming career off on the right path. Now it’s time for you to start streaming.