To get started you need some software to function as your “Toybox TV Studio” platform. One of the most popular (and also free) solutions is OBS.

OBS or Open Broadcaster Software is a free cross platform program that helps you connect and stream your content from your computer to Indielabz. You will need this program to prepare your content such as audio/video, to activate your camera and microphone for live streaming. You can download it here.

OBS has the following system requirements:

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • AMD FX series or Intel i5 2000-series processor (dual or 4-core preferable) or higher DirectX 10 capable graphics card
  • At least 4 GB of RAM (recommended, but not necessary)

Live Video Cameras
The built-in webcams of your laptop are functional but an external webcam such as Logitech C920 can provide a better picture, and more importantly, a more flattering viewing angle. Using a USB hub, we’ve run up to three of these types of webcams at once in webinars to get a variety of camera angles of our participants and instruments.
If you want better quality than a webcam, HDMI capable cameras can be integrated easily on the Mac. Also on Mac, there is an open source plug-in for OBS called CameraLive that lets you use most DSLRs as a video source via USB. Note that autofocus and some other camera features are not available when using CameraLive. If you’re after even better quality, you can bring an HDMI source (if your camera supports it) directly to OBS or other software with a device like the Elgato Cam Link. If you’re really dedicated and need many more camera inputs, the Black Magic MINI switcher will allow you to bring in multiple HDMI sources like GoPros.

Multiple Live Presenters
If you want to bring someone else to your live stream that isn’t directly with you, the only real solution here is Skype. Skype has an option to “Allow NDI Usage”. It’s in Preferences -> Calling -> Advanced. This feature allows other applications like OBS to grab the video and audio directly from Skype and use it as an input source. If you have multiple guests on a conference all, each Skype guest will appear with a unique name as a source. You can also choose “Active speaker” and Skype will automatically do the video switching for you. In OBS, you’ll need a plug-in to make this work.

Roku Smart TV Platform

(Image credit: Roku)

Indielabz publishes all channel apps to Roku’s streaming TV platform. Roku currently offers thousands of channels.

Current Stats on Roku

  • Roku finished the year up 9.8 million active accounts for a total of over 56 million.
  • It added 4.6 million active accounts in the fourth quarter.
  • Nearly one in three smart TVs sold in the United States is a Roku TV.
  • Roku predicts that “roughly half of all U.S. TV households” will have either cut the cord or never had traditional TV by 2024.

Indielabz is not affiliated with the Roku company