One of the most common reasons to broadcast an event is to be able to give a presentation to a virtual audience rather than just those who in your local venue or office.
Showing a presentation will involve some form of capturing a computer's screen. Depending on your encoding solution, you may also be able to do a picture-in-picture effect, in which your presentation and your camera are shown at the same time. You will also want to be mindful of your audio output and avoid echoing.
While most software encoders have a way to accomplish this, we have suggestions on how to do this with our tools below.
✦ Browser-based encoder
Our browser-based encoder includes a built-in screen sharing feature making it easy for you to share a browser tab, application window, or entire screen. This is ideal for simpler streaming setups (e.g. a webinar or a tutorial) as it will show only your screen or your camera at a given time. The only audio source used in this type of stream is from your built-in microphone (by default; you can configure Chrome to use external devices if you wish).
✦ Livestream Studio
For a more advanced setup, Livestream Studio for Windows and Mac includes numerous features to help you accomplish this. One software license is included with a Vimeo Premium membership; two licenses are included with Vimeo Enterprise.
To bring your screen in as a source in Livestream Studio, you can use one of the following methods:
- Add the presenter as a Remote Guest (recommended). This works very similarly to the screen sharing feature in the Browser-Based Encoder, and it does not require the presenting computer to be connected to your network or even in the same location, making this most likely the simplest solution.
- Send the invite URL to your guest, which they should open in Google Chrome.
- They can then select Share screen, select their screen sharing method ("Application Window" may be best for this use-case), and their screen will replace their camera.
- This feature is detailed here.
- Use the Livestream Studio Remote Desktop client. This is a small software application for Windows and Mac. If you have another computer connected to the same network as your Studio system, this program will send the presenter's screen to Studio over the network.
- Screencapture from another monitor on your Studio desktop. If the presentation is going to be controlled from the same computer on which Studio is running, open the presentation in a second monitor and bring it in as an input. Note this may tax your CPU.
- Use your computer's HDMI output to plug directly into Studio. Many laptops include an HDMI output. Use an HDMI cable to connect the presenting computer to an HDMI capture device connected to the Studio computer. This method often requires converting the video signal coming in from the presenting computer.
For all of these, be sure to add the input within the software so that you can switch it into view when ready.
Once you get your presentation into Studio as an input, you may opt to show the presenter's camera input at the same time, known as a picture-in-picture. This will utilize the graphics overlay designer. We generally recommend keeping the presentation slides in most of the screen and having the presenter's camera smaller in an opposite corner, such as the image below:
Don't forget about audio. If you are using Studio, make sure you are familiar with how the built-in audio mixer works. For example, if the person presenting is using a microphone and using the remote guest feature, you should be sure to mute the "Remote" source and lock their microphone audio on (i.e. click the source's corresponding "Audio" button so it turns red) in the audio mixer. This way, your viewers will only hear one clear audio source when the presenter is speaking.
Keep in mind that regardless of your workflow or encoding solution, streaming a presentation should be tested and rehearsed before your event.