Welcome back to Gaming Careers.
In this video, we're talking about livestreaming away from your PC.
IRL and outdoor streaming has become very popular on Twitch over the last few years. Some streamers like JakenbakeLIVE and theRealShooKon3 travel around the world and share their experiences with their viewers.
There are some technical challenges involved with running an IRL or outdoor stream.
You cannot stream without a computer, power, or a stable internet connection.
This video will show you how to get started with your own IRL streaming kit, from using your phone to professional Gunrun Backpacks.
The main reason to livestream IRL aspects of your life is to share more of the behind-the-scenes with your audience.
The more they see of you in your real life, the more they're going to feel a real connection to you as a creator.
Sharing aspects of behind the curtain, behind the scenes with your audience builds a deeper connection with them.
If you look at any of the big creators on Twitch or on YouTube, they're often sharing aspects of their life with their audience and building that really tight-knit community. Also stay towards the end of this video, as I will be sharing my plans for smear streams over the next couple of months. Something that I don't think has been done before on Twitch. By far the most basic way that you can get setup with some IRL live streaming is to use your phone as the camera.
Now both Streamlabs as well as StreamElements they have these mobile apps for IOS and Android that allow you to use your mobile phone and stream to Twitch from that mobile phone using the camera, using the microphone, you can display some things on screenlike alerts in your chat and things like that. And they've made the whole setup process super simple. I would suggest using something like a selfie stick or one of those mini little tripods that you can get to hold your phone, just to make things a little bit smoother and more stable whilst you're out there IRL streaming. You can pick some up for super cheap on Amazon.
Now the main disadvantage as to using an app and using your mobile phone to run an IRL streams that you are only using one connection. So your mobile phone is paired with a network, in America the popular ones are Verizon, AT&T, around the rest of Europe you've got Vodafone and other carriers like that, but you've only had a connection to one carrier, which means that you probably aren’t going to be able to get the best data rates and stream the highest quality video. You also run into issues where you might be, if you're moving around whilst you're doing your IRL stream you might run into an occasion where there isn't the great service from your provider in that location and then the stream could cut out, it could buffer for your viewers, or worst case scenario it could completely stop working and then you've lost all the hard work of building up that audience that you have.
In my opinion it's really important to prioritize the stability of your IRL stream over the quality. So I would recommend if you're going to be streaming from your mobile phone to stream at no higher than 720P 30FPS and then the bit rate somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 kilobits per second just depending on what you can maintain and what is not going to cause any buffering issues for your stream. I know that doesn't sound like it's super high quality but it's actually very very watchable in terms of IRL content because you've got a lot of colors and contrast going on in the real world, so it doesn't need to be quite as high a bit rate as it does when you're playing video games and you have a much more stable connection. But as I said at the beginning I really think you need to prioritize the stability of your IRL stream over the quality because if you have great quality, but it keeps cutting out and buffering for your viewers every minute or every two minutes that isn't a great viewing experience.
So let's say that you have run a few mobile IRL streams that’ve gone down really well with your audience, but you want to invest a little bit now to be able to up the quality and be a lot more stable, unfortunately it's quite a big jump to get to what these professional IRL streamer are running. These IRL backpacks or Gunrun backpacks which they're often referred to,the reason that they're called Gunrun backpacks is because the person that started putting these kinds of kits together is called Justin Gunrun Ignacio, probably butchered the second name there but he is the second ever employee at Twitch. So he joined all the way back in 2011, was literally the second ever person to join Twitch. And although he no longer works at Twitch, him and his community are still dedicated to helping IRL streamers setup these awesome backpacks that they can run for hours with really high quality as well as super stable stream. Unrun actually hosted a panel about IRL streaming at the Twitch Con that I just went towards the end of 2018, and it's a super interesting talk. I’ll leave a link to the Vod down below as well as a link to his discord where all of this sort of IRL live streaming community resides and they discuss new builds and things like that.
So a quick disclaimer before we actually get into the gear that is inside this backpack, this kit is expensive, it's not only expensive to originally purchase but also the ongoing costs of subscribing to these mobile data plans so that you can keep streaming an unlimited amount, that’s also an expense. So this really is for people that have tested out some IRL content with their audience using a mobile stream, something that's absolutely free to run, and really wanting to invest into this as a content type for your livestreams. I really would only recommend you purchase this kind of kit if you are serious about making a proper investment for your channel and improving the quality and stability of your IRL streams.
Okay so I have all the pieces of kit here around me that you need to build one of these Gunrun or IRL backpacks. I’m going to go through each piece of the kit, explain exactly what it does, why it is needed to be able to run a successful and stable live stream outdoors completely remote from any internet connection. So let's get going, so first up we have the LiveU Solo, and this is basically the brains behind the whole operation, this is where all the smart stuff happens. This little box allows you to plug in an HTMI source, which is your camera, and then it can take four internet connections, two via USP modem, one ethernet and one Wi-Fi and then it can combine all of that bandwidth together to send a super strong and stable stream up into the Cloud.
So this box does all of the encodings well as the actual streaming, sending that video data across to the Cloud so that you can stream to platforms like Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, any platform that has an RTMP service. So to understand why this is so essential, first of all think about what happens when you’re just streaming with your mobile phone, you have a 4G or LT connection to your carrier which helps you connect to the internet but you're not getting a super stable 5,000 kilobits per second stream there, it’s going to vary depending on how many other people are on the network, what the surrounding environment looks like, and your signal strength. One of the clever things that the LiveU Solo does is that it constantly analysis how much available bandwidth there is across all the different connections. Remember you can have four different internet connections connected to this and the reason that you want that is because if you go into a location where one provider doesn't have a particularly strong signal you don't want your stream to die, the LiveU will constantly analyze that and send the video data across the other three or a combination of the other three connections so that your stream quality doesn't dip or the stream doesn't die altogether.
This thing is really super smart, it’s constantly analyzing the four connections that are plugged into it to make sure that you have a super stable and as high quality as possible stream whilst you're out there IRL streaming. Now just on its own this thing has roughly two hours of battery life, of course you can plug it in for some extra power, we’ll talk about that a little bit later when we talk about the battery and it also comes with a little pouch which you can use to attach some of the modems and it has a belt clip on the back to make things super easy if you're not using a backpack, you can just attach it to your belt.
So as I mentioned before the LiveU Solo can take four different internet connections, two via USB, one by ethernet and one by Wi-Fi. So what that basically means is that for the USB ones you can get these little USB modems that take a sim card inside, they connect to that network via LTE or 4G depending on where you live in the world and then you can use that bandwidth to stream. The ethernet and Wi-Fi connections are a little bit more complex. First of all if you're in an area where there is good Wi-Fi then you can absolutely connect to that using the Solo and then that becomes part of the data that you can use in combination with your mobile networks to get the best quality stream possible. But if you're going to be out an about there isn't particularly reliable Wi-Fi you can pick up some little mobile routers that are powered by USB or sometimes they have their own battery life and then you could connect to the Wi-Fi from that for LiveU Solo or you could also get routers that have an ethernet connection which again plug into the Solo.
So if you want to use all four connections you would need to use two USB, one ethernet and one Wi-Fi but there's absolutely no requirement as I said to use all four and I would probably recommend just getting started with two and seeing how that works for your bandwidth around the area that you're going to be streaming.
Okay so you have the LiveU Solo, you have the data plans to be able to live stream, the only other thing you really need to be able to run an IRL stream, one of these Gunrun style backpacks is a camera and of course the LiveU Solo takes any camera input over HTMI but there is one that is preferred in the community and that is the Sony AS300 sort of bullet action cam really. It’s kind of like a GoPro but has a lot of benefits over the GoPro. You can see I've got a little mini dead cat over the microphone on mine and that's one of the reasons this camera is so widely approved, the audio is really good for an action cam. It does have an external mic input if you would like to use one but compared to the GoPro this has much much better sound, both for you if you're wearing the cameras well as people that you’re talking to in front of the camera.
The other thing that is awesome about this Sony camera is the image stabilization. So most people are live streaming either have this attached to some sort of mini tripod, or selfie stick that they're holding, or they wear it attached to their bag, or attach it to their head or something like that. And the inner stabilization inside this is really good, it makes it a lot less jerky to watch if you're watching somebody walk around with this attached to their body. But as I mentioned you can use absolutely any camera with the LiveU Solo.
So there are plenty examples of people using really professional grade cameras one of my favorite streamers the Kerbal Space Academy they go to rocket launches and they live stream the launches on Twitch using the LiveU Solo alongside a professional grade camera so that they can zoom all the way in from their safe viewing zone.
So the few things that you need to be thinking about when you're choosing a camera for this kits can it output clean HTMI without any of the overlays over the camera because I know a lot of the Cannon cameras it’s really difficult to get rid of that. Is the output over HTMI also high quality, is it 1080P, 60FPS, those kinds of things. And finally if you're gonna be doing some long streams can the camera charge over USB while still outputting over HTMI. The Sony AS300 outputs clean HTMI 1080P 60FPSand it can be charged via a micro-USB, so all the ports come out the back here. There's a good reason why this is so widely used by IRL streamers on Twitch. It really is a fantastic camera, a reasonable price and the image stabilization and the microphone quality really do separate it from the competition.
As I mentioned the LiveU Solo has roughlytwo hours of streaming battery life, and this camera has roughly 90 minutes of internal battery if you're starting fully charged. So you could go out and run an hour and a half of live stream with your new kit as it is, but if you want to do something a little bit longer you’re going to need an external battery pack. The most common one that is recommended in the Gunrun and IRL streaming packsis the POWEROAK 50,000 milli-amp-hour battery. Now this is heavy, it is big, but it is also probably one of the best batteries if you're wanting to do a long live stream and especially if you're using a backpack, put this in the backpack, you shouldn't really have any issues.
The main features obviously that you need, you need to have a 12 volt out to be able to power the LiveU Solo that requires a DC 12-volt connection, and then you need some USB power to be able to keep the camera charged as well as if you have the ethernet or the Wi-Fi modems that require USB power too. Now you can certainly use batteries that are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than this but you're obviously just going to get less time being able to live stream. This 50,000 milli-amp-hour battery version will extend your live stream to roughly seven to nine hours.
So we are nearly done I promise there's just a couple more things that you need to think about. The backpack and secondly the way that you want to actually mount the camera or hold the camera. So if we start with that you need to think about what your IRL live streams really going to look like. A lot of people mount the camera to a sort of selfie stick that way they can have their mobile phone attached to the selfie stick as well and be able to read chat, monitor chat and things like that. You can also very easily turn the camera around if you have it mounted on a selfie stick. The other popular option is to actually mount it to the backpack itself on the shoulder strap using something like this, this is the Stuntman Action Camera Mount for backpacks, this just sits on top of your shoulder strap, it attaches with some Velcro and then you can have the camera attached on top of that. So completely up to you how you want to mount it.
You could also go with a Gimble if you wanted some really really smooth footage, you could attach the camera to a Gimble but you have to think and bear in mind that you have two cables coming out of the back of this camera which is probably going to upset the balance of a Gimble a little bit, so that might be a bit more of a tricky option.
The final thing to think about is the actual backpack that you want to use. Obviously if you're going to be using one of the big external battery packs as well as the LiveU Solo then you probably want something fairly comfortable to be wearing especially if you're going to be wearing it for seven, eight, nine hours.
So LiveU actually do sell the backpack themselves, if you open it up you can see there's plenty of ventilation as well as a big compartment inside to put the Solo as well as a battery pack. There’s also loads of different holes to be able to route wires and things like that.But you can absolutely just use a standard backpack, the one I've been using is a North Face Surge one, just a backpack that I already had, has a few different compartments, fairly well ventilated, and super comfortable to wear.
So just to explain everything now that I have the kit all lying out on the table here, you have the battery pack which has a connection going to the LiveU Solo to keep that powered, that’s DC 12-volt power and you also have a USB connection to the camera to keep that powered. Then if you move across to the Solo, the Solo has two USB modems connected to itso that USB ports on either sides well as an HTMI input which is coming from the camera. So in terms of actually choosing where you're going to stream to from your LiveU Solo, you know, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch is probably the one that most of you are wanting to stream to. That setup takes about five minutes, and you only need to do it once when you first receive your LiveU Solo.
Once that's actually setup you can then go live from the Solo with just one button press whenever you want to. So this configuration only takes about five minutes, you need to do it first time on setup, and if you ever need to change anything you can actually access the dashboard and control everything from a mobile phone as well. So it's really been built with the idea that people are going to be out and about when they want to start their live streams. So we have obviously covered a lot of kids that goes into this streaming backpack, and as I said in the beginning it is an investment, it is expensive but it's the only real way to be able to get that reliability and that quality for somebody that wants to take their IRL streams much more seriously than just a single mobile phone setup.
I’m going to break down the cost of the four main components to the setup, which are the LiveU Solo, the camera, the battery, and the data, the modems, and the connection to the internet. Those I think are the four main components to the backpack, everything else is sort of customizable and if you want to mount it in certain ways so I don't want to break down the cost of all those but as I said at the beginning I do have links to everything in the description of this video so you can go and check the prices at your local store by clicking those links.
So firstly the LiveU Solo, this cost around $1,000 depending on whereabouts in the world you are, but LiveU have distributors and resellers all over the world so make sure you go through their website if you want to find somewhere where you can source it locally.It is expensive but this is really the only piece of the kit that exists on the market nowadays that does exactly what it needs to do, which is combining all of that data, getting that reliability, getting that quality and it is a really smart and clever piece of kit. Absolutely an investment but it's essentially your computer, it’s doing all of the encoding as well as the transmitting across the internet.
So $1,000 for the LiveU Solo. The camera I think you can get right now for just under $300.The Sony AS300, there are more expensive models that do 4K and things like that, but this one is so popular with streamers as I mentioned for the stabilization and the excellent audio quality. The battery that I was mentioning earlier, the 50,000 milli-amp-hour version that can power your stream for seven to nine hours, retails for around $130 in the US. As I mentioned before you can certainly get smaller ones and it's kind of a sliding scale, the bigger capacity battery the more you’re going to be spending.
Finally the mobile data, probably the most annoying and certainly the ongoing cost of IRL streaming. It’s really difficult to get truly unlimited data plans and that's why I would recommend going through a company called Unlimited IRL pretty much all of the big streamers use them. They have contracts with big providers all over the world, AT&T, Verizion, Vodefone, all of these companies to provide truly unlimited data so that you can stream no matter where you are in the world, or no matter where you are in the United States. And you can actually rent the modems from UnlimitedIRL so you pay a monthly fee for the unlimited data as well as renting of the modems. And it's a company that's specifically been built for people that want to do IRL streams. The cost for the modem as well as the data is roughly $140 per month so certainly expensive, especially if you're going to be stacking up to three or four of these modems.
They do have kits for people that want to do all four modems, I think they're around $600 a month. But you can certainly see why this is an expensive hobby, and one that you should really believe in and have trialed out before investing. I realize that this video is probably pretty long by now, there is still more to cover on this topic, how to get cool overlays and alerts and some of the things you're used to having in a normal OBS install when you're streaming from your computer, there are ways of doing that but I'm going to have to save them for a separate video because this video's just gone on so long.
Both LiveU as well as some other external providers provide the ability to be able to add these kind of overlays and cool graphics onto your stream. Now at the beginning of this video I did say I was going to reveal what I have got all of this kit for, what am I going to be streaming from an IRL perspective? And one of the ideas that I had and you probably are going to think this is crazy and the number of people I have spoken to have said that's a bad idea, I’m maybe starting to doubt it a little bit now but I'm committing now in a video if you're watching this I haven't it out the video, I've committed, I’ve signed up to do a marathon in the UK in a couple of months’ time. And I had the idea that maybe I would try an live stream it, actually running with the backpack, with a camera attached to me being able to interact with Twitch chat as I run this marathon. Obviously I'll be raising money for charity as well whilst running the marathon and so I'd hopefully have donation alerts and text to speech and things like that. It might be a silly idea, you know running with that big battery as well as Solo and camera, but I think it's an interesting technical challenges well as obviously the physical challenge of running like 26 miles or 42 kilometers I think it is.
I'm certainly not in the greatest shape in terms of fitness but I'm going to be live streaming both my training as well as the actual marathon. So if you would like to watch, help support me, talk to me once I'm on these grueling long runs would really appreciate that. You can give a follow over on my Twitch pagetwitch.tv/gamingcareers to be notified whenever I go live and I would really appreciate if people came and motivate me or just chat to me whilst I'm out on these horrible three, four plus hour long runs.
Speaking of thanking people I would like to thank my patrons this month, these people here have helped me run the Gaming Careers YouTube channel this month by pledging some small support to me across on Patreon helping me run this full time and keep creating tutorials for you guys. So thank you very much to you guys, if you're interested in becoming a patron please do go and check out my Patreon page and I'll see you guys, well I was going to say I'll see you in the next video, hopefully I'll see some of you in one of these live streams, so please just come by and chat with me, I’d really appreciate that, and subscribers I’ll see you in the next video, peace!