How to Stream Live Video Online

By Joshua Duvauchelle

Streaming video over an Internet connection is a popular method of online communication. The advent of webcams, inexpensive video camcorders and broadband Internet allows individuals to stream themselves online using their computers. Some individuals use live streams to stay in touch with friends and family, or interact with social networking websites (e.g., video blogs on YouTube or Myspace).

Things You'll Need

  • Webcam
  • Computer with a capture card with video-in capabilities
  • Windows Media Encoder software
  • Windows Media Player

Step 1

Launch the Windows Media Encoder software. If you do not have a copy of the software installed, download the encoder from the Microsoft Windows support website (link in the Resources section).

Step 2

Click "Tools" in the top menu of the Windows Media Encoder screen; then select "Options" from the drop-down menu. A dialog window will appear. Select "NTSC" if you live in North America or Japan, or "PAL" if you live in any other country. Click "OK" to close the dialog window.

Step 3

Click "File" in the top menu of the Windows Media Encoder screen and select "New." Another dialog window will appear.

Step 4

Click "Broadcast a live event" and click "OK."

Step 5

Customize the preferences and options for the device hardware with which you are recording the live video to stream. Click "Configure." Select the resolution that you want to use when you stream live video online. The lower the resolution, the faster your video will stream but the lower the quality of the actual streaming. Click "Next."

Step 6

Select "Pull from the encoder" from the drop-down menu listed under "How Do You Want to Broadcast Your Encoder Content?" Click "Next."

Step 7

Click "Find Free Port" and write down the IP address listed. Click "Next," and then press "Finish."

Step 8

Click "Record" and begin recording the streaming video content using your computer's webcam. To watch the live video stream online, launch Windows Media Player and select "Open URL" from the drop-down File menu. Enter the URL that you wrote down in Step 7.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a lower encoding resolution to make your online video stream load faster.
  • Live video streams can pose a privacy problem if you leave your webcam on.

References & Resources