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Live Stream Recording: How to Do It and Why You Want To

If your business is live streaming, then you already know the benefits it provides. You also know putting on a live stream takes planning and effort. Once it’s over, though, it’s over. But it doesn’t have to be. If you record your live stream, you can use that content in on-demand video projects designed to grow your business.

Live Stream Recording: The Why

The sorts of projects you can do depend on the content and your business. However, marketing is one area every business needs. Once you have your recorded live stream, you can edit the best bits into short videos for online or TV adverts. You can use snippets as teasers on your social media accounts to help build your brand and raise awareness. Or you can offer your website visitors a glimpse into your business with clips from your live stream.

Some businesses might even be able to repackage the video into a product for sale. This particularly true if your content is instructional. For example, a gym might offer live streamed workout classes. They could edit the recordings into a bundle to sell them to customers or offer them as a bonus with membership. Another example is a financial company doing a live stream with questions about investing. That content can be edited and offered as a class to prospective clients or as a standalone product for people who like to manage their own portfolios.

Now that you see the value in recording a live stream, here’s a look at how to do it.

Live Stream Recording: The How

There are a few different ways you can record your live stream. If you’re looking to repurpose your live streaming content, using an encoder offers you the most options and highest quality recorded video. But it isn’t the only option. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.

Using a DVR

The first option is a DVR or digital video recorder. These are often included as part of the online video platform (OVP) you are using. It functions the same as a DVR you might have in your home. Viewers can often pause, rewind or fast forward a live stream (fast forward limited by where the video is in real-time). Not every OVP offers the DVR option, and even if they do you may not always have access to the file when the live stream ends. Common uses of DVR are IP cameras used for security or view cams in cities. The quality of the recorded video is often impacted by the compression used in streaming too. So, even if you can access the file from the DVR, your options for repackaging the content are limited by the quality.

Using Screen Recording

Another option is using software to record the live stream from your screen. There are plenty of options available to do this, including one built into Windows 10. Another popular paid option is Snagit by Techsmith. There is an open-source (free) option called CamStudio. These provide the ability to record your stream as it plays on a monitor. While this is easy enough to set up, there are reasons you should be cautious about it.

The maximum video quality is limited by a couple of factors. One is that your display resolution is the maximum resolution the recording can have. Even if your cameras are recording in 4k, if your display is only running at 1080p, then the video will be 1080p. Another factor is the processing resources required to record and encode the video. The process is CPU/GPU intensive so if your computer has trouble keeping up, the resulting video can have errors like stuttering or dropped frames. If you’re using the computer to do other things at the same time, this is more likely to happen.

It’s worth mentioning that recording your own live stream using screen recording can be useful if it suits your requirements. However, using screen recording to capture other people’s live streams to use as your own content violates copyright laws in many countries. There are exceptions for fair use, but you should always check with your solicitor before using content produced by someone else.

Using an Encoder

Using an encoder to record your live stream is usually the best choice if you plan on repurposing the content. This is because every encoder includes the option to record as well as stream. It usually is just a matter of checking off the option to record in the settings. This can produce a duplicate of your live stream at the same quality you captured it in.

There are software and hardware encoders. Both receive video input from a camera or computer and convert it into a digital signal that’s streamed over the web (that is the process called encoding). The difference is that one is a software program that runs on a computer and the other is a piece of equipment that only does encoding.

In terms of the recording produced, the two are similar. Which one you choose depends on your budget and how complicated your live stream set up is. Software solutions can be found for free. Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS, is open source, powerful, and popular among video game streamers and businesses alike. There are other options like vMix and XSplit that offer free and paid solutions. Depending on the computer you have though, you may need to buy additional components like a video capture card to connect to external cameras. The computer you use should also meet the performance requirements of the software you choose. Hardware encoders can be expensive but don’t require additional purchases. They range from a few hundred pounds into the tens of thousands.

Whichever encoder you choose, you’ll have the freedom to edit and repackage your live streaming content however you wish. Just keep in mind, viewers of on-demand content are less patient than their live viewing counterparts. It’s best practice to trim out the awkward moments, the uncomfortable silences, and technical glitches. But do add in titles, music or other effects to spice up the video in a way that makes it the most entertaining, educational or sales generating.

Now you know why and how to record your live stream. If you have any questions about recording your live stream while using Zidivo, our experts are ready to help you find the best solution for your business.

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