We have the technology to live stream!

Happy new year to you all and I hope that 2019 brings many amazing and positive experiences for us all.

‘Last Chance to Paint’ is progressing well. Our web site is ready to receive wonderful paintings and art from children across the world and we have the online gallery built and published that will showcase this for us all to celebrate.

I have been busy working out what technology we will need to be able to communicate in the best way with you all from the live painting locations around the world and have made a few decisions that hopefully will work well for us all.

The first decision is to use the existing platforms of YouTube and Facebook to broadcast the live video stream when we are able to. YouTube has a huge audience for online video and is readily accessible and the software that is available for live streaming plays well with the platform. We will live stream to the ‘Last Chance to Paint’ YouTube channel as well as the ‘John Dyer Gallery’ YouTube channel to hopefully build a really supportive and interested audience for each project.

As far as interactivity goes we have decided that a Facebook ‘group’ is the best way to run this. A group allows us to grant people access to comment and interact and to also potentially block people if needed. Our interactivity will be aimed primarily at the Facebook group to keep the environment safe and appropriate for schools. Our live streams will be broadcast live into the group page. To view the page you will need a Facebook login but you won’t have to be a group member, however, if you wish to comment or ask questions during the broadcasts you will need to request to be a member. This should allow us to keep everything moderated.

So how are we going to broadcast (where we get wifi or good enough data rates on mobile links) to three places?

1. We will be using a great app called ‘Switcher Studio‘ that will allow us to set up a mini TV studio like environment where we can show live action, pre-recorded footage, add captions, images etc and set the data to a suitable size and quality for the speed of upload we can find in the area.

2. Switcher studio will send the data to a website called ‘Restream‘ who will then output the live feed to the two YouTube channels and the FaceBook Group. It’s all rather like magic!

3. We have a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal to steady the live footage and that can act as a remote camera. The Switcher studio can control it which is cool, so it can remotely pan and zoom!

4. An iPad will act as the base station for all transmissions and an additional camera if needed.

5. Two iPhones will be used – one in the gimbal and one handheld to receive the live comments and questions from the connected schools around the world.

6. Sound – we will use Apple Airpods to monitor our sound wirelessly using a neat app called ‘Audiobus 3‘ but the actual sound we broadcast will come either from the iPad/iPhone or from wireless Samson Go Mic Mobile mics that we will be wearing.

7. Where we can’t get enough data to live stream we will still be in communication via the Facebook group and will upload still images. We believe this will still be an engaging way to get children involved and they can also share their art with us live. We plan to do this via ‘Iridium GO!‘ which is a satellite device that links iPhones to the internet. It’s so exciting!

8. We also have a solution to power all of this so that when we are short of mains power we will be using solar power. We have two ADDTOP solar chargers that each have enough power to recharge an iPhone around 7 times. So we will have 14 charges with us without even needing the solar power – but each day of sun will give us another 7 charges in each battery pack – at least that is the theory! We plan to test all of this around Cornwall over the next few months before embarking on the fist ‘Last Chnace to Paint’ project.