Connecting a camcorder to a laptop for live streaming is a no-brainer. While those game-streamers and pro-level creators are recommended to spend some bucks and get the capture card for the purpose, an amateur can pull the job off with just a USB, HDMI, or VGA cable.
Well, the live-streaming industry has been continuously on the rise, but the ongoing (COVID-19) pandemic has given it a nitro boost. Not only gamers or other creators but businesses today are also adopting this technology to engage with their customers more naturally.
That said, there is one other reason too for this increased bent towards the (live streaming) thing – the camcorders.
Compared to typical video cameras like DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras, a camcorder offers lots of new things. For example, an inbuilt videocassette recorder, inbuilt zoom lens, plenty of outputs and ample recording options, etc.
And most of the camcorders today even feature built-in WLAN streaming options. So you can connect to the internet and start the live stream right away from your camera.
Given this, How to connect camcorder to laptop for live streaming, and why then do you need it? Well, there is a reason for this.
Why Do You Need to Connect the Camcorder to the Laptop for Live Streaming?
The only issue with live streaming directly through the camera can be the storage. Yea, camcorders mostly come with single card slots. Although a few feature two slots and continuous recording across both the cards, the storage is still and all limited.
Thus, to get by these storage issues and go on recording for longer terms, you’d need to connect the camcorder to a laptop or PC, etc. And here is how to do that i.e. how to connect camcorder to laptop for live streaming.
Preliminary Requirements to Connect Camcorder to Laptop for Live Streaming?
Well, before we begin with the connection process, let me first talk about some basic stuff – the preliminary requirements. So if you are trying the thing for the very first time, you need to make sure you have got all these beforehand:
- A Camcorder – better if you have one with the ‘Auto Shut Off’ feature so that you can toggle it ‘Off’ to keep the camera from turning off automatically in case of lengthier streams. (Try using a lens if you think the video quality is not good otherwise).
- A laptop (or PC) definitely
- A USB cable to connect your camcorder to the laptop as both the camcorder and laptop feature USB ports on them.
- In case your camcorder has a VGA port, you can connect it to the laptop via the VGA port on it. But if your laptop doesn’t have a VGA port, get a VGA to USB adapter to get the job done.
- A stout and speedy internet connection to prevent any mid-stream dips and stutters, etc.
Besides these few basic hardware requirements, there are a few software configurations too that you need to make before starting your Livestream. You’d need to have one live video broadcasting software and an RTMP app installed on your laptop.
RTMP – Real-Time Messaging Protocol, is a live streaming protocol that transmits video files from an encoder (the broadcasting software) to an online video hosting platform (YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook, etc.). It ensures the smooth transmission of heavy data needed to play a video online.
Anyways, let’s get to the crux and discuss the process in detail.
So How to Connect Camcorder to Laptop for Live Streaming?
After you have made sure you are all set with the initial arrangements, here is the step-by-step guide on how to make the connection and get started with the live broadcast.
#1. Install a Live Video Streaming Software from the Internet
So the first step is to look for and download the best compatible video broadcasting application on your laptop. There are a lot of platforms like UStream, Vivo-ent, LiveStream, etc., from where you can download and configure streaming software for free.
#2. Create Your Account and Channel
Once the application install is finished, launch it and get to the setup board. In there, you’ll see the option to create a new account. So simply create your (new) account; start broadcasting your channel.
#3. Install the Best RTMP App
As discussed above, RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) apps help the stream go smooth by transmitting heavy video files and other data from an encoder to the hosting platform. So, no matter how much dips and drops your (internet) bandwidth shows, these apps will keep your video stream smooth, steady, and stable all around.
RTMP publishing apps help transmit real-time audio and video across the network – that’s publishing your screen. Anyways, while a few of these (open-source) apps are available for free, most of them offer their services for a price.
There are a lot of RTMP software(s) like Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, Wirecast, VidBlaster, and Tricaster, etc. available online that you can download for free (and they have paid/upgraded versions as well).
#4. Set Up Your Camcorder Properly
Once you are done with all the software configurations, head on to your camera and set it up. Better place your camcorder on a tripod stand, etc., to ensure the stability factor.
And yeah, make sure the room/space is properly lit so that you can show up bright and brilliant to your audience. Yea, a poorly lit space would result in dark footage and, sort of, second-rate video quality.
#5. Make the Camcorder-Laptop Connection
Now take the USB cable and plug one of its finish into the camcorder and the second into the laptop’s USB port. If, as said earlier, your camcorder doesn’t have a USB but a VGA port, simply use a VGA cable or adapter to connect it to the laptop’s VGA aperture.
But yeah, if your laptop doesn’t offer the VGA port, you can purchase a VGA to USB converter and plug its USB end into the laptop’s (USB) aperture.
#6. Configure the Video Streaming Settings in the RTMP Software
Launch the installed RTMP application and twitch the streaming to the highest (high-quality) settings. Do remember that the exact way to do this is gonna vary from application to application.
#7. Turn the Camcorder ON
Yeah, now just power ON your camera. But again, make sure you have a well-set lighting setup because the thing is gonna go dull, otherwise.
#8. Start Your Broadcast
Finally, you are all set to open the installed video streaming application and start with your live stream. For this, you’d need to click on the broadcast button therein the app. It can read as Go Live, Broadcast Now, Start Streaming, or anything else depending on the software you are using.
How to Connect Camcorder to Laptop for Live Streaming Using the HDMI Port? – A Guide for Pro-Level Game Streamers and Creators
As is said in the superscription, this section is going to be helpful for the pro streamers and content creators; those who want to blow in exceptionally natural and colorful in their live streams.
Well, for this, you’d need to spend some money and get a few extra pieces of hardware like an HDMI interface unit (HDMI to USB video capture card) and two cables – one HDMI cable and one USB cable as well.
You must first make sure whether or not your video camera supports and gives a clean HDMI output. For this, you’d need to do a search on the internet like “Do (your camera brand and model no.) have/gives a clean HDMI output?”.
Clean HDMI Output – It means an HDMI video without any on-screen data, figures, and other indicators that are on your cam’s screen – the viewfinder. So, if your camera supports the clean HDMI output, it will send only clean video footage to the laptop and not those extra onscreen things like battery charge, recording time, exposure settings, etc.
That said, if you come to know that your cam supports the feature, you can turn it ON following these steps: Go to the camera’s Menu (make sure the camera is in the video recording mode) > Camera settings > and on one of those multiple pages therein, you’ll find a setting named HDMI info display.
For the HDMI info display is ON by default, click on it, and you’ll see a new menu appearing where you can tweak it OFF or configure the clean output feature.
But if your camera doesn’t have a clean output, your audience will see all those on-screen/viewfinder’s things in your Livestream. And it, kind of, looks non-professional.
Steps to Make the Camera-Laptop Connection (using HDMI) and Start Live Streaming
Anyways, after you’ve got the capture card, installed the official capture software, got the cables, and have streaming software already installed on your system, etc., here is how to make the arrangements and set up live streaming.
- Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the camcorder’s HDMI output port and the other end to the capture card’s HDMI input port.
- Connect the capture device to the laptop via the USB cable.
- Power ON the camera (turn the Power/mode switch to the Camera mode).
- Launch the streaming/capture software and head on to its audio/video settings. (The thing is, you’ve to select your webcam or that external video source to be the interface unit – the camera for streaming).
- This software will soon identify the capture card and make the camcorder the default webcam for video communication now.
And you’ll soon see the live stream from your camera on your laptop/PC screen.
To keep any type of audio and video clash – asynchrony, make sure you select the exact device (mic) in your system’s audio settings.
Besides, if you are using a podcast-style mic (straight into your laptop), you might face delays between your audio and video. And to avoid this, either plug the mic straight into the camera, or you can tweak and sort out the issue in the audio settings of the streaming app if using it.
So although a general belief is that live streaming is something limited to only content creators or gamers/game-streamers, it’s not really the case. Ranging from a mere (introvert) social media user to giant businessmen, every second entity today is stepping into the industry.
While there are countless reasons for this, the most important one is that it’s one of the best ways to catch up naturally with your audience, advocate yourself or your talent, or promote something (in the case of a firm).
That said, because not everyone knows how exactly to do the thing, he/she ends up being crushed in just the rig-up stage. And that’s where this article regarding how to connect camcorder to laptop for live streaming is gonna come as a relieving fill-in.
It’s an ultimate guide on how to set up your live streaming rig and how to use an external video camera with your laptop or PC to show up much lively in your live broadcasts.
Jump up, give a sweet read to the article, and acknowledge my efforts.