Web video for beginners

Streaming Live Video In The Wild

by Dorraine Stanley

Mr. Video,

I would like to start a website which provides live steaming video of wildlife, such as beaver building a dam, a bird's nest, deer feeding, etc. I'm absolutely clueless as to where to begin. For example, I have no idea how I can video wildlife that is miles away from my computer. I've Googled a bit, and I've come across references to solar power, remote controlled, weather proof cameras, band width, UStream, etc. Oh, Calgon, take me away! My mind is swimming.

I do not know what equipment is necessary, where to find it, what it costs, and how to implement it.

I don't know if I am capable of uploading (if "uploading" is even the correct word) the video myself or if I pay for a service that does that.

I'm desperate for guidance, and would love for you to steer me in the right direction for research.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Dorraine Stanley

Comments for
Streaming Live Video In The Wild

Mr Video,

Thank you for such a quick response.

I see from your post that my biggest challenge would be the Internet connection. I guess that will be my first research project, to find out what my options are, and if it's even feasible. The cost is one of my main conserns, of course. I may get stopped in my shoes right there.

Again, thank you for taking the time to help me out. Your comments give me a starting point.


Dorraine Stanley

Hi Dorraine,

You obviously don't like making life easy for yourself ;-)

Creating a streaming video cam isn't particularly difficult or expensive if done from your home or anywhere in civilisation, but the problems come thick and fast when you try to do the same thing in the wild.

In fact, it doesn't have to be that wild, just anywhere without power or an internet connection! I can see how you can get over the 'no power' part with solar panels, batteries etc, but I honestly don't see how it's possible to stream video on the Internet without some form of Internet connection. I'm guessing you would have to use a mobile Internet connection, which I doubt will be available where it sounds like you want to go.

What I would recommend you do to start with is learn the ropes and set up a streaming webcam from home. I recommend using ustream.tv, which is very easy to use. All you need is a webcam and connection to the Internet.

Check out the the owl webcam at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/owlceanside

It's problematic enough shooting regular video on location to be honest, but going into the wilds is a different ball game all together. With enough time and money, I'm sure you could achieve something, but we are talking tens of thousands of dollars here!

Have you considered shooting the wildlife using a regular camcorder and a hide, and then editing the footage and adding the video online or making DVDs?

Hope that helps and best of luck?

Mr Video :-)

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