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What you need:

  • A Windows compatible PC running at least Windows 7 or a Mac running at least 10.6 is recommended.
  • While Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder will run on XP, most other encoding software requres Windows 7. To reduce frustration, we REALLY REALLY STRONGLY recommend a Windows 7 machine or a Macintosh. Windows 8 and 8.1 can be made to work, but since it is fairly new, some encoder programs may not yet work properly with it.
  • Minimum 2 Gb RAM, and at least a 2.5 Ghz processor. That's the minimum. Intel Core i7 with 6 Gb RAM is recommended.
  • A video capture card.
  • A video camera.
  • Encoding software.
  • An AAC Codec compatible with your encoding software. MainConcept Encoder is recommended. It is not free, but it is reasonably priced and works well. http://www.mainconcept.com/aacencoder
  • (Macintosh OS includes an AAC codec by default, as does Linux. Linux is only recommended for experienced --read: Advanced-- users, however.)

  • Capture Card Suggestions:

    You can capture video streams using a USB capture device as long as your PC is fast enough to handle it. Additionally, a USB 2.0 port is required at a minimum since the throughput for USB 1.0 is not nearly enough to handle smooth video capturing. USB 2.0 video capture dongles can be found inexpensively at big-box retail electronics stores and online retailers. It is recommended that you research the compatibility and read reviews before you purchase one. We can only provide very limited general support for hardware.


    Encoding software recommendations:

  • Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder is free from Adobe. It has been tested and proven to work well. There are no special features like graphical overlays with this workhorse, but for streaming captured video, even on slow computers running Windows XP, it can't be beat. http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-media-encoder.html
  • VMix offers a free version, and it works very well. It does absolutely require Windows 7 however. The free version does have some limitations in the number of overlays and number of capture devices, but the paid (less restricted) versions are very reasonably priced. http://www.vmix.com.au/download.aspx
  • Wirecast Studio is a professional grade solution, with a price tag to match. But it's a great piece of software. It produces professional quality videos. http://www.telestream.net/wirecast/
  • We do not provide support for Open Broadcaster Software, but it can be made to work with Streaminghope.org. OBS is a free and open source software for video streaming and recording. It has limited hardware support, but it is a solid package if you are an advanced user capable of figuring it out yourself. :-) https://obsproject.com/


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