As we know, live streaming videos over the internet are pretty normal nowadays, and any individual can go live on their Instagram or YouTube account with ease.
However, starting a 24/7 live stream TV is another thing, much more similar to the traditional TV broadcast compared to a one-time live streaming session on YouTube Live. Known as live linear streaming, we have to think about how we can reliably deliver 24/7 live content both in terms of concept and technicalities.
On the other hand, it is expected that 24/7 live linear TV streaming will dramatically increase in popularity, and top OTT platforms like Amazon Prime are already planning to add live linear TV channels in the very near future.
Meaning, if you are thinking about starting your 24/7 live stream TV, it is definitely a great time!
With that being said, here we will discuss how to set up a 24/7 live stream TV, and without further ado, let us start right away.
Why 24/7 Live Streaming Is Unique
Above, we have mentioned that 24/7 live streaming or live linear streaming is much closer to a traditional TV broadcast than a one-off online live streaming event. This is mainly caused by three different factors:
- Hardware difficulties
Most hardware you use in your live stream, be it your computer, encoders, and other equipment pieces, are not designed to run continuously 24/7, especially if your live stream is also going to run every day.
Thus, it’s important to consider redundancy in a 24/7 linear live stream, and you will need at least two for each of your different equipment so you can schedule them to run in shifts.
- Reliable internet
Even the slightest interruption to your internet connectivity can be extremely disruptive for your 24/7 streaming session.
You’ll need to have a reliable internet provider and you might need a hardwire cable connection to ensure reliability. Again, you have to think about redundancy so you might want a backup internet connection ready.
- Human-related issues
Obviously, humans can’t operate 24 hours without sleep, so it’s important to schedule shifts and create a system that can run automatically on its own to minimize human interventions.
However, at the very least you’ll need at least two people to monitor the live stream around the clock, working in shifts. Taking care of your and your staff’s health and well-being can also be a major issue.
Setting Up a 24/7 Live Stream TV
While considering the challenges discussed above, in setting up a 24/7 live stream system, we have to ensure a reliable and preferably automated live linear streaming infrastructure to allow as few interruptions as possible with each session.
We can do this by:
1. Choosing a Video Hosting Platform That Supports 24/7 Linear Live Stream
Not all video hosting solutions offer 24/7 live streaming support, so first you’ll need to choose the appropriate platform.
Here are some important considerations when choosing your video hosting platform for 24/7 linear streaming:
- Reliability: the streaming platform must have a good track record regarding downtime
- Linear streaming support: check whether the platform offers live linear streaming capabilities. Some platforms only offer 24/7 streaming on their premium, more expensive plans, so review your options carefully.
- Customer service: since reliability and redundancy are very important in live linear streaming, choose a streaming platform with 24/7 reliable tech support.
Viloud offers a solution for linear 24/7 online TV channels, scheduler, branded player, the ability to support multiple video sources, and more to support your 24/7 live linear streaming needs.
2. Preparing The Right Infrastructure
You should at the very least prepare the following:
- Video and audio sources: at least one video camera and one microphone, or if you are going to stream pre-recorded videos, the video/audio source can be a file on your computer.
- Encoder: an encoder converts your video data from continuous image files produced by your camera into a single, streamable file of video data. You can choose between getting a dedicated encoder or a software encoder like OBS.
- A streaming platform: which we have discussed in step 1.
- Internet connection: a fast enough and reliable internet connection. A good benchmark is to have an internet bandwidth at least 1.5 times your target bitrate (if your target bitrate is 3Mbps, then you’d need at least 4.5Mbps of bandwidth).
3. Planning Your Content
Another challenging aspect of the 24/7 live linear streaming is to maintain the quality and consistency of your content. You’d want your content to attract and engage as many viewers as possible, especially during prime hours.
Plan your content ahead of time, and schedule them carefully. You should start by identifying your target audience so you can tailor your schedule/program around this target audience.
While launching a 24/7 live stream TV does have its challenges, as discussed above, it is now easier than ever to start a 24/7 live stream TV thanks to various platforms like Viloud, allowing us to launch a 24/7 TV channel over the internet even with a fairly limited budget.