Live streaming city council meetings has become a standard good practice for local governments. Rightfully so because the positive impact is twofold. In terms of transparency and involvement, it enables city councils to reach a bigger audience. And at the same time, it delivers a quality live experience for meeting attendees.
But while live streaming city council meetings offers a lot of value, learning how to do it may feel like a daunting challenge at first. In this article, we will walk you through 3 essential steps to make your city council room ‘streaming proof’.
What do you need to stream your city council meetings?
A basic streaming setup for city council meetings has 3 essential components: a good internet connection, the right equipment (cameras and microphones), and adequate streaming software.
Let’s go over them one by one.
Step #1 Check your internet speed
Internet speed for live streaming YouTube
To broadcast a stream on YouTube Live, upload speed requirements range quite a bit. The faster your internet connection, the better the streaming experience on YouTube Live. This is because you can stream in different video resolutions — from 360p at the low end and all the way up to 4K Ultra HD with 60 frames per second. The highest quality would require an upload speed of around 51 Mbps, while for the lowest quality 1 Mbps will already do. For most city councils, the reality will be somewhere in the middle.
Internet speed for Facebook live
Facebook recommends an upload speed of 4 Mbps to adequately broadcast a live stream on its service. The speed requirements are lower than a platform such as YouTube Live, because Facebook has a maximum video resolution of 1080p.
Step #2 Install the right audio and video equipment
To broadcast a quality live stream, you need a quality audio and video output. In terms of audio you basically need two things. A set of meeting microphones to capture the audio of the meeting. And an audio mixer to convert the audio from the microphones into quality sound for your live streamed city council meeting. Using a conferencing system that combines these technical aspects into one comprehensive solution for your city council room, is your best guarantee to generate quality meeting audio output.
For your video output, the same principle applies. You will need one or more cameras to capture the meeting, and an encoding device that converts your video into digital format that is suited for live streaming to the internet. If you want to alternate different shots (for instance a general view, combined with closeups of the speakers), you will also need a video switcher. As part of its dedicated conferencing systems for city council rooms, Televic offers specialized meeting room cameras and camera tracking systems that automatically (shows the speaker based on microphone activity from the conference system) follow the discussion to deliver the best possible live viewing experience.
Step #3 Select the right streaming platform or work with a specialized streaming partner
Different live streaming platforms allow you to create, host, and distribute your video content while also casting your content to other destinations. Some examples: OBS, Streamlabs, Teams live event,…
Streaming providers for hosting your live stream meeting
You can also manage your sessions via easy-to-use applications offered by streaming providers. For each session, you choose which languages are used, which social media are promoted and whether multiple channels are streamed. After the live session, you can also update the recording in the so-called post-production phase. This way you can edit out a superfluous intro or skip a lunch or coffee break before publishing the recorded city council meeting online.
You can work with your preferred local streaming partner. In Belgium, for example, Televic works with Streamovations as a professional streaming partner. Streamovations is a streaming provider that can perfectly integrate their streaming services with Televic’s microphone systems. If required, they can provide customized integration to suit your city council’s needs. Another example is NotuCast by Notubiz, an e-government system that also provides streaming solutions.
Pro tip: Once you have your streaming platform set, consider simulcasting to social media channels. Simulcasting can help you reach audiences wherever they are: on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch or specific destinations via RTMP.