How to do a live webcast

Webcasting is videoing a live event and streaming it on the web for others to watch. Here’s how to do a webcast from you mac.
To do a webcast you need soem software on your mac to encode the video and send it to a server, then you need the server to stream it to each person who is watching.
I have used wirecast as the software and as the streaming server and they both seem easy to use and good quality.

1. Sign up with at Your login name will be the web address of your webcast as in

2. Download wirecast from here. You can unlock it for $449 (yes $449) or use it as a demo which has an advertisement for wirecast every minute or so.

3. Plug your digital camera into the mac firewire port and turn it on. Launch wirecast and you will see your camera in the video panel. Drag the image from your video camera from the bottom thumbnail into the main broadcast window to tell Wirecast that that is what you want to broadcast.

4. Go to the Broadcast menu and select ‘Broadcast settings’
Under Encoder Preset, Select ‘flash Low Bandwidth
(this will do a 320 x 240 stream that should stream OK up a 256K uplink.)
Under Destination, Select
Enter your username and password, press generate RTMP,
Press Save.

Press The broadcast icon in the top left corner, and it should stream, it takes about 30 seconds to get going before you will see it at

Wirecast costs lots of money.

You can use Quicktime broadcaster as a free alternative to Wirecast, and thanks to there’s a page with all the settings for Quicktiem Broadcaster here. I tried Quicktime Broadcaster, and sometimes the stream was just a black page, other times it worked. Also the video quality was slightly less than wirecast. So if you need it to be very reliable I’d go with wirecast. QT Broadcaster seems to be fine once you’ve got it up and running. I found the problem came when I stopped then re-started the broadcast, so once it’s working, keep it going!

There is a setting to use from within the webpage to upload video without the help of a third part piece of software like wirecast, but this gave very poor quality video.


5 responses to “How to do a live webcast”

  1. Hey there!

    Great post! I do love Wirecast, but you’re right it’s very pricey. QTB does work though and it is free!

    That’s our tutorial about it, hope it helps.

  2. jason

    do you need a video camera – or can you use your build-in camera on your mac?

  3. Mike Roger

    Great article in regards to delivering live web cast. There are various web casting tools such as WebEx, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. which one can use for conducting web casts, online meetings etc. Alternatively, one can even deploy on premise web conferencing appliance such as RHUB appliances.

  4. Can you recommend a camcorder to do the filming for live webinars? We can’t find one that the Mac will recognise (we can download video, but can’t film from any of the cameras we’ve tried). We’d rather not use the camera on the Mac as we need to zoom in & change position too much. Any ideas?! Many thanks!

    1. I use a firewire panasonic NV GS 400 it’s great.

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