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Monday
Oct152012

Quality livestreaming on the fly and on the cheap

My journalism degree is in both radio-TV and print but after graduation I quickly opted for the latter because I felt like I had a voice and personality better suited for newspapers. I still feel that way, but that didn't stop me from going out on a ledge and hosting a Bakersfield Californian experiment in live-streaming from Rabobank Arena on Sunday.

To mark the regular season home opener for the Bakersfield Condors, I hosted a series of live interviews with Condors management and fans, and Californian hockey beat writer Mike Griffith. We started streamling live via Ustream at 3:30 p.m. and wrapped up shortly before gametime at 5 p.m. 

The Californian has been doing a ton of live-streaming recently but this was our first webcast that involved a string of guests in a remote environment, expanded production techniques and a novice host. The three-camera set was part of a mobile "TV studio" that Louis Amestoy, The Californian's digital convergence editor, put together to enable us to produce TV-quality broadcasts from remote locations. And yes, the total package -- three HD videocameras, Mac laptop, lights, tripods, mikes, switching software, rolling cases and more -- cost less than $10,000. 

And this wasn't just a one-shot stream, but a multi-layered production featuring a variety of graphics, B-roll and live cuts to action occurring around the set. And while we didn't transmit in HD to keep our streaming under control the potential to do that is there. Considering the relatively small investment in equipment and on-air "talent," I'm pretty proud of the end product and the opportunities it affords us in covering our community in new ways.

Over the past two weeks, we've delivered more than 10 hours of livestreamed community content, including President Obama's speech to commemorate the Chavez Monument, a valley fever community forum, a police news conference, BVarsity Live and Californian Radio. 

In addition to the segment above with Condors President Matt Riley, here are three segments from Sunday's Condors show featuring Condors Vice President of Communications Kevin Bartl, me interviewing Griffith about our Condors e-book project and Griffith interviewing Condors coach Matt O'Dette. 

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