2. Best Practices - Broadcasting

Whether you're planning a single-camera on demand production or an elaborate multi-camera and multi-announcer live broadcast, a little structure and planning will go a long way to ensure a successful event.  Learn how to prepare an exciting broadcast and grow your viewership to create an outstanding program at your school.

Take a look at the downloadable Quick Start Guide below or Production Guides here to learn how to prepare for your broadcast and achieve the best quality production possible.  

Stay on your marketing and broadcasting A-game by following these tasks periodically:
  • Things To Do Before Every Event
  • Things To Do After Every Event
  • Things To Do Every Week
  • Things To Do Every Month
  • Tip of the Month

Before Every Event

Scheduling Your Event

It is very important to schedule the event you plan to produce.  If possible, go ahead and schedule every broadcast you plan to stream over the next couple of months or semester in PlayOn Manager.  Why?

  • You will increase viewership if your audience is aware of what events are coming up and know when they can check back in to you channel
  • You can plan which members of your broadcasting team will be covering certain events
  • You will have information to include in your marketing messages

Support Information

Phone: 877.339.7529


  1. Make sure you have all of your production equipment.  At the very least, you will need:
    • Streaming laptop
    • Laptop power cord
    • Video capture device (Elgato)
    • Camera
    • Camera power cord
    • A/V (composite) cable
    • Tripod
    • Power strip (optional)
    • Headphones to monitor audio (optional)
    • Ethernet cable, wireless password, or 4G card (needed for live events)
    • Mouse (optional)
    • Pen and paper (optional)
  2. Attach the camera to the tripod
  3. Plug in the camera's power cord
  4. Use the A/V cable to connect the camera to the Elgato
  5. Plug the Elgato into a USB port on the laptop
  6. Plug in the laptop's power cord
  7. Plug in the headphones to the laptop
  8. Plug in the mouse to the laptop
  9. Turn on all equipment
  10. Establish a stable Internet connection 
  11. Make sure all menu settings are hidden on the camera
Checklist for a LIVE event
  1. 1 hour before going On Air - Boot up your streaming laptop and establish a stable Internet connection
  2. Test your Internet upload speed using www.speedtest.net.  Choose your Preset in PlayOn Producer according to this table:
    Internet Speed Streaming Bitrate 
     Upload speed > 2.0 Mbps640x360_846 kbps 
    Upload speed between 1.5 - 2.0 Mbps 640x360_696 kbps  
    Upload speed between 1.0 - 1.5 Mbps640x360_496 kbps  
    Upload speed < 1.0 Mbps 640x360_126 kbps (audio only) 
  3. Check to make sure that you capture device is plugged in and that your camera is connected and turned on
  4. Double-click the PlayOn Producer icon on your desktop, and select the Live Stream icon
  5. Sign in to you PlayOn Account using the Username and Password 
  6. Select your video capture device (Elgato), your preferred overlays, and the preset option using the bitrate guidelines above
  7. Select the Event that you are broadcasting 
    • If you scheduled your event correctly in PlayOn Manager, it should automatically populate in the list, if not:
    • Change the date to match the date of your scheduled event
    • In the State drop-down menu, select All
  8. Wait for the Live Stream interface to load
  9. Check your audio input visually through the green bars on the VU meter, and audibly by clicking on the Headphones icon
  10. Prepare your overlays by typing in any pertinent information and loading your graphics
  11. Prepare your commercials by clicking on the Videos tab, clicking Add, and selecting any video files you plan to use
  12. 30 minutes before going On Air - click Start Stream (your broadcast is now being recorded on the PlayOn servers and on your laptop)
    • Click on the Systems tab to make sure all the Video and Audio numbers are moving
  13. 5 minutes before going On Air - click Mark In (this creates a timestamp of when you actually want your video to being once it has been uploaded for on demand viewing)
  14. 1 minute before going On Air - click Go On Air (your broadcast is now live and viewers can watch your stream)
  15. During Production
    • Start with the 
    • Use the Score Bug Overlay to keep track of the score and clock
    • Use the ____ Overlay between breaks
    • Run any videos you've queued
    • Take note of any significant plays during the broadcast so that you can cut highlights after the event has been uploaded.  Here are some tips for to make that process really easy:
      • Once the awesome play has occurred, click the System tab and right down the video time stamp
      • Write down the that number
      • Write down a brief description of the play
      • Write down the names of the athletes involved in the play
    • Monitor the audio feed using the VU meters 
    • Every 20 minutes, click on the Program Output drop-down menu and choose Live Stream (this is a way to monitor exactly what your viewers are seeing)
      • Once you have established that you Live Stream looks good, change the Program Output back toProgram Output
      • THIS IS A QUICK TEST - DO NOT continue your broadcast in Live Stream mode
  16. To end your broadcast, click Go Off Air - wait, click Stop Stream - wait, click the red X button to close Producer
  17. Choose Upload Now to prompt the PlayOn Uploader - or - select Later to completely exit Producer
  18. Shut down your streaming laptop

Things to Do After Every Event

  1. Upload your event:
    • Through the PlayOn Producer Uploader
    • Through PlayOn Manager
    • By emailing support@playonsports.com with the message, "Event #______ is complete.  Please upload the server side record.  Thank you, [Name] [School] [State]"
    • Need some technical help?  Click here, email support, or call our support line at 877.339.7529.  
  2. Let us know of any cool highlights of your game by emailing highlights@playonsports.com.  Just include the team names, the players' name, and a rough timeline (i.e., the quarter) when the highlight occurred. 
  3. Cut your own highlights.  Click here for a quick instructional video on how to cut highlights.
  4. Post the highlight on your social media outlets with a link to your highlight or event.

Things To Do Every Week

Schedule your upcoming events in PlayOn Manager.  So that your fans and viewers know when to tune back into your video portal page.

Things To Do Monthly

  1. Look at the upcoming sports seasons at your school and decide which events you would like to cover.  
  2. How are your broadcasts looking?  Check out our Production Guides for best practices.  Also, think about expanding your broadcast capabilities.  See the instructions in Resources and Documents to learn how to:
    • Create your own thumbnails
    • Cut highlights in PlayOn Manager
    • Create your own graphics to use in PlayOn Producer
    • Update the images in the Features Carousel on your video portal site
    • Convert existing videos to upload to your video portal site or create DVDs
    • Include sponsors in your broadcasts or on your video portal site
    • Introduce live video streaming into your current class curriculum
Maggie Weeman,
Oct 4, 2013, 8:17 AM