With a DSLR's HDMI-out feeding into a Mac, what's the minimum necessary software to do a live web broadcast from a conference?

  • UStream is $99/month and up.
  • YouTube has a live streaming service, but it's tough to (a) trust Google and (b) trust a free product.

Other than the stream service, is there other software that I would need to get? If so, what's the cost?

3 Answers 3


The minimum software is hardware. You want specialized hardware for doing top quality live streaming encoding reliably. You could use something like the Black Magic ATEM television studio which includes 4 inputs and real time stream encoding capability to produce the conference really well or could use a cheaper stream encoder device that simply produces a direct stream.

You then need a CDN to handle distribution of the stream. You can either use advertising supported options like Youtube or you can use commercial ones you pay for, such as UStream or any number of other services. That's fairly independent of the streaming hardware you use. Your end point just produces the stream, which just needs to be reliable and high quality, preferably specialized hardware.

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    We've tried a software only solution, and I very much dislike it. I'm not going to name any names, but I will say that we had to buy a new laptop for the sole purpose of running the software with any amount of reliability. Wish we'd just gone hardware from the outset. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 13:32
  • Other than fewer inputs, would a smaller, cheaper product like this one have disadvantages compared to the ATEM you mentioned? bhphotovideo.com/c/product/892453-REG/…
    – Crowder
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 19:06
  • @NathanLucy - there are cheaper streaming devices available, however the device you linked to is not a streaming device, but rather simply a capture device. It does not have the hardware for a high quality real time encoding, but rather just translates the 1s and 0s of the signal coming from the camera to something the computer can read. You need something with a high quality real time encoder built in (for example something like a LiveStream Broadcaster or similar. I just suggested the ATEM since it offers a lot more bang for the buck since you can actually produce the stream with it.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 23:13
  • @NathanLucy - We have the ultrastudio mini recorder. In fact, that's what we use to get the video signal into our streaming laptop. Love the ultrastudio mini. Hate the streaming software. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 2:21
  • Or something like Mevo: mevo.com/mevo-plus
    – jbyrd
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 21:46

I use Streaming Video Provider - they give me the platform to broadcast live and a live chat integrated to it, while streaming, so that I can chat with my viewers while lecturing. I highly recommend their service:



You can use several streaming servers for free with limitations. My favourite is Wowza Streaming Engine. Flash Media Server is also a solution. Hardware requireiments are increasing as fast as the number of users.

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