What Is Multicam Live Streaming?

Blog 6 min read | Oct 23, 2023 | Filip Trichkov


Have you ever been fascinated by a live concert, a sports event or a live stream on a social media platform, where the camera angles kept shifting from one to another seamlessly, creating a dynamic and engaging experience? Well, chances are you’ve witnessed multicam live streaming without even realizing it.

Multicam live streaming is the secret ingredient that adds a dash of excitement and professionalism to your video content, making it more like a blockbuster movie and less like a static PowerPoint presentation.

So, what exactly is this multicam live streaming and how can you achieve it? Let’s dive in and unravel its mysteries.

A New Dimension of Live Content

To get things started, let’s break down what multicam live streaming actually means. Essentially, multicam live streaming is a broadcasting technique that allows you to stream video content from multiple cameras or sources in real-time simultaneously. The ability to switch between these different angles is multicam’s magic touch, giving your viewers a more engaging and dynamic experience.

Multicam live streaming started with the rise of online content platforms and the constant need for better and more captivating live experiences. It began with basic setups and limited resources, when it was major if there was more than one camera at a live event. But as technology evolved, so did the possibilities. Advances in video production and streaming made it possible to sync multiple cameras and feed them into a single stream.

Why Live Stream with Multiple Cameras

There are many reasons why live streaming with multiple cameras is a game-changer in the world of online broadcasting. Let’s take a look at some of the key motivations on why should consider embracing multicam live streaming:

  • Increase Viewer Engagement: Multicam streaming adds a whole new layer of interactivity to your live content, which can feel like offering your audience a front-row seat to your stream. From sport events to music concerts, cooking shows to gaming streams, multiple cameras can capture the action from multiple angles and keep your viewers hooked.
  • Professional Appeal: Remember the last time you watched a Hollywood awards show or a top-tier sports event? Didn’t the seamless transitions between cameras add that professional touch? Seamless transition between multiple camera angles adds a polished and professional touch which you can achieve with multicam setup for your livestream, making it more visually appealing.
  • Varied Storytelling: Different angles tell different parts of a story – multicam streaming enables you to switch between shots, making your narrative far more compelling and engaging for the viewers.
  • Showcase Multiple Elements: Multicam streaming is invaluable for events or streams that involve multiple elements or contributors. It allows you to showcase different aspects of the event simultaneously, ensuring nothing gets missed.

The Multicam Live Streaming Process

When it comes to equipment meant for multicam live streaming, you can usually choose one of three options. The first option is using a laptop, one with more powerful capabilities preferably, external capture devices, cameras and audio devices. The second one is using a desktop computer with capture cards, while the third option is using a dedicated switching hardware onto which the computer offloads much of the load of “switching”.

Not sure what a capture card is or which cables are needed? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming Equipment!

Step 1: Choose the Right Cameras

First things first, you need multiple cameras. You don’t need professional-grade gear in order to achieve great multicam experiences. Consumer-grade cameras can still do the job beautifully. What really matters here is synchronization. The key is to ensure they can be synchronized for seamless switching.

Step 2: Audio is Important

Even though we are talking about video, don’t think that audio is less important. You will want to make sure that your microphone and audio equipment compliment each and every one of your camera setups so that there is no issue when it comes to audio syncing.

Step 3: Video Switcher

This is the key ingredient—To put it simply, a video switcher is a piece of equipment which is used to switch between different video or audio sources. It can be also known as a production switcher or video mixer. You’ve got two options to choose from: hardware and software-based. You can go with the one that suits your style and setup the most.

Step 4: Video Encoding and Streaming Software

Now, it’s time to let the world see your stream. For this, you’ll need encoding and streaming software. Encoders are used to compress and reduce the size of video content so that it can take up less storage space and be easier to transfer. Use the data supplied by your streaming solution to configure your encoding software.

Check out our lists of both best video encoders and best live streaming platforms, where we go over the essential information you need to know about them as well as rank the best ones in their respective categories.

Step 5: Lighting

Even though you have probably made sure the lighting is perfect for the one camera you have been using to live stream so far, keep in mind that the lighting needs to be adjusted so that it looks fitting for all camera angles.

Step 6: Practice Makes Perfect

Before you hit the Go Live button, make sure you put in the practice work. You need to get familiar with switching between cameras, handling the equipment and the process of troubleshooting if something suddenly goes awry.

Step 7: Engage with Your Viewers

Live streaming is not just about talking to the camera, it’s also about building a connection with the audience. Multicam live streaming gives you the ability and versatility to connect with your audience on a deeper level so make sure you use this advantage.

When to Use Multicam Streaming

So, when is it the right time to switch from your single camera to a multi-camera setup?

1. Sporting Events

Whether it’s a local football match or the Olympics, sports events thrive on multi-camera live streaming. When a goal, touchdown, slam dunk or penalty kick is captured from all angles, it makes the viewers feel like they’re watching it right from the front row.

If you want to know which are the best sports broadcasting software for 2023, check out our ranking of them.

2. Music Concerts and Festivals

You may think music related livestreams are all about audio but the visual is just as important. Multicam streaming makes sure that every riff, drumbeat and vocal performance gets its moment in the spotlight and makes the whole performance feel fast-paced, dynamic and exciting.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of the 9 best streaming platforms for concerts and shows.

3. Conferences and Workshops

Conferences can get boring and tedious really fast, that’s why multicam streaming is a game-changer for businesses and educators. It allows for seamless switching between speakers, presentations and audience reactions, creating an engaging experience for everyone involved.

4. Gaming and Esports

Gaming is more than just about gameplay – it’s also about the player’s reactions while gaming. Multicam streaming can capture every win, loss and epic moment, immersing the audience in the gaming world along the way.

Wrapping It Up

At the end of the day, multicam live streaming is not just a trend, it’s the future of content creation and event broadcasting. It adds depth, professionalism and a cinematic quality to your live streams, making them stand out in the crowded internet space. So, whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a music lover, an educator or a business owner, consider taking the step into the world of multicam streaming. With the right equipment and a touch of creativity, you can bring your content to life like never before.

If you want to know how a full end-to-end streaming software solution for live and VOD streaming can help you on your broadcasting journey, book a call with our video experts, who will answer all your questions regarding anything video!