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Live Stream Equipment For Every Budget (2022 Overview)

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Live Stream Equipment For Every Budget (2022 Overview)

Do you want to break into the world of live streaming? The market is full of gear for all budgets and skill levels, from cameras to mixing equipment. Maybe you're looking to upgrade your live stream equipment and take your content to the next level. 

We'll share essential pieces of live streaming equipment you should get for your setup and make recommendations on the best products for every skill level and budget. No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something on our list you need for your streaming setup.


What is the Best Equipment for Live Streaming?

Every live streamer will have a slightly different set of streaming equipment, but you should pay attention to a couple of standard pieces you can’t stream without. We’ll introduce some of the gear any live streamer needs and explain how to use each piece. We’ll also provide options for different budgets to help you decide on the best live streaming equipment for your needs. 

Video Cameras

You can’t stream high-quality video without a capable camera. Though there are many budget-friendly cameras on the market, we recommend investing the most in this piece of equipment. If you have a limited budget, you can use the built-in camera to record a live stream on your phone or computer. Mobile devices have cameras capable of capturing HD-quality video on the go. 

Microphone

The microphone is the second most important piece of equipment for live streamers. We suggest a good amount of budget on this piece of equipment. Choosing the correct mic will affect the overall audio quality of your content. Understand microphone polar patterns and the different types of mic outputs before selecting one.

Mixing Equipment

An audio mixer isn't necessary for every setup: it all depends on your other equipment. If you have external audio equipment that connects directly to your computer, you probably won't need one. Audio interfaces connect equipment like your microphone to your computer to convert audio signals. Mixers act as an external sound card to convert analog sound recorded by your audio equipment into digital signals your computer can understand. 

Lighting Setup for Live Streaming

Viewers won't see your content clearly if you don't have the correct lighting setup. It can take a bit of trial and error to get things right, so experiment with your lightning. Many streamers use a combination of natural light and studio lights to create the effect they want. Your lighting setup should highlight you as the focus and eliminate any distracting shadows.

Video Switcher

Switchers come in hardware and software forms that let you quickly change between cameras and camera angles with the click of a mouse or push of a button. You may want a video switcher to stream content using multiple cameras. If you want to stream a podcast or interview-based program, this piece of equipment lets you switch camera angles to record different speakers. 

Encoders

If your camera doesn't capture video in a format compatible with your streaming service, you’ll need an encoder. Many of the most popular streaming platforms support all major formats, so you should only need one if you use a special camera to capture your content. 

Hardware Encoders 

This type of encoder frees up your computer’s resources for other tasks. Professional broadcasters and streamers use hardware encoders because they allow them to do more simultaneously on their systems while streaming.  

Software Encoders

These encoders help beginners because they’re easy to use and can run in the background while completing other tasks on your system. However, they do use your system’s processing power to operate. Be aware that some software encoders may require capture cards. 

RTMP-Enabled Encoders

These encoders help live streamers integrate easily with streaming platforms that use real-time messaging protocols. These encoders use RTMP ingest technology to transmit high-quality video content to your streaming service quickly. 

Beginner Streaming Equipment Setup

We’ve compiled a list of the best streaming gear for beginners based on price and ease of use. Our recommendations are to create a studio you can begin streaming from in no time.

Camera

Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam

  • Price: $69
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Frame Rate: 60 fps

Microphone

Rode NT-USB

  • Price: $169 
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connectivity: USB 

Mixing Equipment

Yamaha MG06

  • Price: $136
  • Hardware/Software: Hardware
  • Number of channels: 6

Lighting

LimoStudio Rectangular Softbox with Single Socket Complete Kit

  • Price: $86.39

What’s Included:

  • 2 Photography Softbox Light Reflectors
  • 2 86" Light Stands
  • 2 65W Photo Light Bulbs

Video Switcher

Elgato Stream Deck

  • Price: $149
  • Inputs: Unlimited digital inputs
  • Outputs: USB

Encoder

OBS Studio 

  • Price: Free
  • Video/Audio Encoding: Both
  • Video Output Quality: 1080p

Intermediate Streaming Equipment Setup

Use our equipment suggestions to take your streaming setup to the next level! We’ve selected this equipment based on price and the features and accessories included with each piece. Follow the included links to learn more about any piece of equipment. 

Camera

Logitech Mevo Start

  • Price: $399.99
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Frame Rate: 60 fps 

Microphone

Shure MV7

  • Price: $249
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Connectivity: USB and XLR

Mixing Equipment

Behringer Xenyx 502

  • Price: $39
  • Hardware/Software: Software 
  • Number of channels: 1-4

Lighting

Interfit F5 3-Head Fluorescent Lighting Kit

  • Price: $230.99

What’s Included:

  • 3 F5 Heads
  • 15 32W Fluorescent Lamps
  • 3 AC Power Cables
  • 3 20" x 28" Softboxes with diffusers
  • 2 7'6" Light Stands
  • 1 10' Light Stand
  • 1 Boom arm with a grip head
  • 1 Counterweight bag

Video Switcher

RGBlink Mini

  • Price: $279
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI video inputs, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Outputs: 1 HDMI output, 1 USB output, 3.5mm audio jack

Encoder

OBS Studio 

  • Price: Free
  • Video/Audio Encoding: Both
  • Video Output Quality: 1080p

Advanced Streaming Equipment Setup

Below is a list of equipment you can use to up your game from intermediate user to pro streamer. Though the equipment in this section is pricey, this gear is a good investment if you plan on streaming professionally. 

Camera

PANASONIC V770K HD Camcorder Black

  • Price: $599.99
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Frame Rate: 240 fps

Microphone

Neumann TLM 102 

  • Price: $799
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid 
  • Connectivity: XLR 

Mixing Equipment

Yamaha MG16

  • Price: $617
  • Hardware/Software: Hardware
  • Number of channels: 16

Lighting

GVM-50W2 50W High Power Floodlight Bi-Color and High Power RGB Lighting Kit

  • Price: $399

What’s Included:

  • 2 GVM RGB 50RS Video Lights
  • 2 Light stands
  • 2 Soft filters
  • 2 Bracket filters
  • 2 AC adapters
  • 2 Power cables
  • 2 Barn-doors
  • 1 Handbag

Video Switcher

ATEM Mini Pro

  • Price: $495
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI video inputs, 2 3.5mm audio jacks 
  • Outputs: HDMI output

Encoder

Live Streaming IPTV Encoder | VECASTER HD

  • Price: $995
  • Video/Audio Encoding: Both
  • Video Output Quality: 1080p

What’s the Right Streaming Platform for Me?

Before choosing a live streaming platform, know your budget and clearly understand where your target audience goes to view the type of content you create. Many platforms allow you to get set up and easily start streaming for free quickly. Other platforms, like Twitch, are geared towards niche live streamers and have specialized features these creators find helpful. We’ve highlighted five features any good streaming platform should have. 

Five Key Features for Your Live Streaming Platform

Choosing the right live streaming platform ensures your content performs well. Be sure the platform you choose has the features you need, and do some research to see which platforms viewers use to access content like yours. 

Below are five essential features you should pay attention to when selecting a platform for your live content. 

High-Quality Video

Check the video quality capabilities of the platforms to ensure you can deliver quality content to your followers. The platform you choose should support full HD 1080p and cloud transcoding so viewers can view your content from any type of device. Make sure viewers with better connections can access HD-quality video and that those with poor connections can still view your content in lower quality. 

Engagement Opportunities 

Your viewers and followers are essential for your success, so make sure you interact with your audience during live streams. Engagement options are different for every platform and include live polls, live chat, gift-giving, and live video chat. Be aware of how you’ll engage your viewers during your live streams so you can create content that includes and encourages audience participation. 

Security and Privacy 

Make sure your content will be secure on the platform you choose and research any customization options you have for setting privacy restrictions for your content. Pay special attention to any embedding restrictions the platforms you’re considering may have.    

Simulcasting Capabilities 

You want your content to get to as many people as possible. Some platforms provide opportunities for you to live stream your content simultaneously across multiple streaming sites. Facebook and Instagram are two closely related platforms and give you the ability to stream on both simultaneously with just a couple of taps.

All-In-One 

Seek out an all-in-one streaming content creation platform where you can record, edit, and stream the content you make all from one place. This will save you time and energy for production and post-production work, and you won’t have to spend money on additional editing software. The best streaming platforms provide you with a set of tools that let you do everything you need with your content from start to finish.   

Five Streaming Channels for Your Video

Are you still unsure which live streaming platform is the best for your content? For your content to be successful, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the platform’s capabilities you choose and how viewers access the content. Below, we’ve reviewed some of the best streaming platforms so you can get a better idea of how they work. Keep reading to find out where your live streaming content will perform best. 

YouTube Live

Price: Free

YouTube is used by people worldwide to access all types of content. The platform offers monetization options, which can be lucrative since the service has such a far reach. YouTube is highly secure, and once you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can begin using the platform’s live video stream features.  

Facebook Live

Price: Free 

Facebook Live is a great place to stream your content if you already have a page on Facebook with a following. Any followers on Facebook will act as a built-in audience and receive notifications when you live stream new content. Viewers can easily access Facebook Live using the Facebook app on any desktop or mobile device. 

Instagram Live

Price: Free 

Many live stream broadcasters choose Instagram Live because it provides many ways to simultaneously interact with audience members across Facebook and Instagram. Live chat and video chat features make it easy to pull viewers directly into your content for unique interactions. You can stream from anywhere using your phone as a webcam and the Instagram mobile app. 

Twitch 

Price: Free, subscriptions cost anywhere from $4.99/mo to $24.99/mo 

Do you plan to live stream gaming content? Twitch is the top platform for streaming content related to video games. The streaming service has a large user base and provides streamers with lucrative monetization opportunities. There’s no question you should host your content on Twitch if you plan to be a content creator in the video game niche. 

Vimeo

Price: Free, Plans range from $7/mo to $75/mo

Vimeo’s target audience is professionals and professional organizations to create and manage their content on a single platform. The platform’s Premium and Enterprise plans offer advanced tools for live streaming you can use for anything from a podcast interview to a live music event.

Streaming Gear For Every Budget

Regardless of your budget or level of experience, you can find excellent live stream equipment to create an effective setup for content creation. We recommend investing most of your budget in your camera and microphone as they will have the biggest impact on your audio and video quality. Be sure to do plenty of research on live streaming equipment and platforms before making any purchases. 

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