0800 072 8753


Written by Paul Hooper

Richard Belcher, Technical Director, First Sight Media

Paul is Managing Director at First Sight Media. Graduating from Medway College of Design in 1983. Paul spent a number of years creating special effects for television commercials before starting First Sight Media in 1993 specialising in live events coverage. Paul oversees all production and acts as project director on many jobs. He is an experienced camera operator, editor and live event vision mixer.

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Top Tips to Webcasting


The future of Broadcasting

This information is designed to introduce you to the web broadcasting & Streaming services we provide. If you are thinking of using this dynamic service, we recommend you also hand a copy to your IT manager or venue’s technical team.

Frequently asked questions:

What is video webcasting / broadcasting & Streaming?

A video webcast is an alternative way to transmit a TV-like programme to viewers over the Internet as it happens. Streaming is playing the programme over the internet after the event

First Sight Media offer:

  • A complete Live webcasting solution to clients wanting to deliver a local, National or Global message on the internet.
  • An 'Almost Live' solution whereby your event is recorded, uploaded and streamed online on the same day via the internet. This option is considerably more cost effective as a webcasting technician and equipment is not required.

Both the above options require only a simple link from your web site to our servers, or you may wish to host the file yourself.

What’s involved in a Webcast?

In simple terms, for a live webcast, we bring cameras, sound and webcasting transmission equipment to a venue where you are hosting an event, function or meeting that you want to transmit to an audience over the internet. We connect the equipment into that venue’s Internet connection. You publicise the webcast to your Intended audience in advance of the live broadcast.

After transmission you can choose to have the webcast left on the Internet for a length of time so that people who were unable to view it live can watch it at their leisure.

How long can the webcast or streamed video be?

As long as you like! However bear in mind that people watching online tend to favour shorter length video compared to sitting in front of a TV or Cinema screen. We recommend a webcast or streamed video should last approx 1 hour, but many equally work well at 30 minutes.

Where a daylong conference or exhibition is being webcast we would recommend webcasting selected chunks of the day and making these available as a collection of short run webcasts – allowing viewers to watch the bits they wish rather than having to work through a long single webcast. These are only recommendations. If you wanted to broadcast a solid day’s event, this is perfectly feasible.

Can we mix in our own graphics?

Yes. PowerPoint graphics can be vision mixed into the live Webcast or video to be streamed. We recommend, where possible, that the PowerPoint presentation is looked at by our web team first to advise if any of the slides may not communicate well on a webcast display.

Remember, webcasts & streamed video may be viewed by some viewers in a small window (viewers can control how big or small the picture appears on their computer screen) so tiny writing and busy slides do not usually work.

Can you overlay titles and theme music, similar to television programmes?

Yes. We can supply equipment to put up live titles – either at the base of the screen or half or full page graphic overlays – which can be customised to say what you want to your audience. This can be very useful to help identify section breaks, names of personnel appearing and ‘what’s still to come’ messages to the Internet audience watching.

How big is a webcast or streamed picture on a computer?

You can make a picture as big or as small as you like. However there are limitations that can affect the size. We recommend transmitting at 384 x 288 pixels. In reality, on modern PC displays running at 1024 x 768, this means the webcast or streamed video is about 1/6th of the display size. However, the on-screen player that is displaying the picture to the viewer can be switched into 2 x or full screen mode, meaning the webcast or streaming can be made to fill the entire computer screen. Then the viewer can sit back, away from the computer desk, and watch the monitor as they would a television. We often find this is a better experience than sitting at a desk. You can even put a programme into a projector and project it onto a large screen in a hall or large room if you have lots of viewers.

How much space online will the programme take up?

First Sight Media offer the service of storing the 'watch on demand' file on the Internet for you so that you don't have to do anything yourself once the live filming ends.

The size of this file is a simple calculation of the quality rating x length of transmission. Taking our recommended quality settings of 350kbps, for a webcast lasting one hour, the file would occupy approximately 200Mbytes of space. We recommend that the file be stored on a dedicated server, although some webcasts will work fine on a regular web server, if you prefer.

We hope you have found this article useful! For more information or a quotation, please call 0800 072 8753 and speak to Paul or Rich

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