3 Options for Equipment To Live Stream my Fitness Classes – In 3D Immersive Sound Today
2020 was the year that moved us swiftly towards using online services, as a result of worldwide lockdowns, generally coming from instructions from local governments. With offices being closed down and closing orders from local governments all across the globe, the leisure industry has been one of the hardest hit – and looking at trends it is quite apparent that things are not going to return to what we would call normal.
As a fitness business, do not despair, it’s not all bad news.
Generally speaking, working out was always a routine that people worked in between their other duties/tasks of the day. For example, mothers did their yoga sessions after dropping their children at work, office workers fit in their gym workout on the way to or the way back from work (etc, etc).
Well, with schools being shut for a long period of time and the return of the offices not coming back for some time (especially as opening offices up will bring the risk of litigation) habits have been formed over the last few months which may well be here to last.
With Covid-19, the importance of health has taken center stage. The good news for fitness businesses is that more and more people now understand the importance of being healthy, and importantly stay healthy. This is why there is a big opportunity for fitness businesses.
The motivation behind working out
People are going to work out, that is clearly apparent but the motivation to workout now is changing. More and more people are now aware that they need to get healthy but not everyone is going to be comfortable working out in a crowded space – so fitness businesses who want to thrive need to. The answer: offering live or OnDemand video service.
If you offer dance classes, yoga, or another type of fitness, video is a certain way to get up close and personal with your clients, regardless of where your clients are situated. When clients can’t come into your business service, offering live streaming services makes it seem as if you are with your clients, in their living rooms – (especially with the use of turnfitter’s smart video-based technology.)
Even when things go back to normal, the video will provide an additional revenue stream. With this in mind, when we went into lockdown turnfitter went away, and rather than developing a Zoom integration (like most other companies), we decided to partner up with Dolby to bring the most advanced solution for fitness businesses that want to stream or record their OnDemand sessions, with results that stem into 3D immersive sound and high-quality video – output that gives your videos studio-quality output for your clients.
Now, this is where things get better, this service is not expensive and you can actually be up and running within a matter of minutes.
This article will break down the options on the equipment required to stream your fitness classes but generally, you can get going with basic options – and we will go on and suggest 2 other options if you want to scale your fitness business.
Equipment Required to Get Going in Streaming My Classes
Option a) Your Laptop (without any external microphones or cameras)
Being absolutely scaleable, turnfitter built the proprietary software service to be used with any webcam and any microphone. All you need to get going is a general laptop with a working webcam and sound on (which is nearly all working laptops). Turnfitter meeting solution scales based on the internet speeds of you and your participants, so if your internet connection drops it still tries to reflect picking up the video in the highest possible resolution.
Now let’s look at the technical specifications that increase the quality of your sessions.
Our service essentially enhances the video/audio quality, automatically fixing background noise and dynamic audio leveling to give crisp sounding audio. We’ll get to the audio but just using your laptop you can get up and running in no time at all – and side by side remarkably enhances the quality of your sessions.
The quality of the video will always be optimized for the best performance. So in Zoom, you will notice that on the free sessions your video quality is low, no matter what settings you use. The reason for this is the way Zoom renders the video – it is optimized for many to many in conference settings, i.e., Zoom servers have to deal with a lot of traffic and hence processing times often are affected.
Option b) Your laptop but with an external 1080p webcam and a plug and play USB microphone
Before we go into which webcams are good as a starting point for external video quality let’s briefly go over the reason why.
Most laptops come with a 720p webcam built-in which requires 7mm space normally. Even the Macbook – which is a premium laptop – comes with only a 720p camera, which is good enough for general use like meetings but if you want a camera for higher definition then you would want to look at cameras delivering in 1080p with at least 30 frames per second.
Camera qualities have been generally measured in the number of megapixels a camera has. Generally, laptop cameras capture below 5 megapixels, which is why a front-facing camera on a $200 phone gives better picture quality than a camera on a $2000 laptop. One reason for poorly built cameras is down to companies like Dell forcing camera vendors to fit the camera into 2.5mm so that they could fit into a smaller amount of space.
Cameras need bigger sensors and lenses to perform better so that’s why webcams are bought externally, even for general office users.
Without costing an arm and a leg, you can buy a webcam for better output in video and an external plug and play USB microphone, which can enhance the audio even further. Our software will still reduce the background noise but the input of the sound can be even clearer, allowing your clients to turn their volume even higher.
A camera that is pretty common, with great online reviews is the Logitech C920 as it records videos at 1080p with 30 frames per second. This webcam allows you a 78-degree field of view, which means it has a decent angle of capturing wide-based video.
To go with this external camera, a USB microphone can be easily used to enhance the digital audio. Most microphones come with an easy plug and play system, which means you can simply plug your USB into your laptop, making it easy for you to install your microphone.
When buying a microphone it generally depends on how you want to set your studio up and where you want to be talking into, the distance between you and your microphone is going to affect the output of the sound quality (even with turnfitter’s advanced noise cancellation capabilities). For the idea of complicity, the below list are microphones that come with small stands so that they can be mounted in a way that helps you have these
- Blue Yeti – one of the most reviewed and popular microphones, which is compatible with both PC and Macs. It also opens up the capability for you to run another type of meetings – i.e. check-in meetings with your clients rather than session recordings (this is pretty popular with podcasters
- Blue Snowball Ice – this is a great microphone for the price ($49 to begin with) which delivers great output. Just be sure to be closer to the microphone.
- Shure MV7 – Starting at $249 this is slightly pricier but the reason for this is there is more focus targeted towards your voice. As it focuses more on your voice, it is good to pink up sound and quality which sets you apart and also allows you to have a headset.
This technology, along with turnfitter’s video capability will make you sound and look like you are running your operations from a studio. However, like everything, there are always ways to improve and this is where you can enhance your output by what you input.
This is our 3rd option here, if you want to take 2 steps towards a better solution:
Option c) Crispier sound with Ultra High Definition Streaming Video capability.
Now to run the best fitness classes which clearly stand you apart (i.e competing with Peloton studio) will depend on the hardware, software, and your post-production. Now, from experience, most people understand that video is important but it is not the video that sets you apart. From experience, it is audio that kills a great experience for your attendees.
Now the video is expensive generally (without good software like turnfitter mind you). Most videos you see are often consumed by recording, editing, storing, and sharing the video. The reason for this is that a lot of technology is involved, which is what is all handled when you use turnfitter’s video capabilities.
Audio is where people often falter, not just in delivering fitness classes, but for any type of services like podcasters or musicians. A lot of musicians use costly desktop software to manage their files as they do not use turnfitter’s software, which helps transmit high definition audio in framerate which is more than double the best quality in other solutions. The reason for this is that the out-stream is done in one file, rather than in multiple streams – but let’s not get too technical in this piece.
Now, this is what we would suggest for some equipment (but feel to browse local shops for deals) you may want to deliver high-quality voice audio for when you are speaking along with the music.
The first step is getting a high-performance microphone (rather than a USB mouse). We love the AKG 220 (starts at $119) as it is designed to perform well in terms of working with picking different sounds, as it is designed to work with all types of different sounds.
In order for a microphone to work, you would need an audio interface (which is basically a device that connects a professional microphone to your computer/laptop). This audio interface automatically deciphers the input from the microphone and feeds it into your computer without distorting the signal in any way.
We like Focusrite Scarlett Solo (as it is priced competitively at $119 and gets the job done)
To set up the audio you would need an audio interface, a microphone, a microphone stand and a camera to capture video. So, in general, our option (which you can always customize going forward), this is a general setup that we can suggest:
- Focusrite’s Scarlett Solo USB audio interface
- AKG P220 Microphone (a great microphone is one that has a large diaphragm and high quality
- Logitech Brio Ultra HD (just due to the price range but to deliver 4k videos can cost anywhere from 2k upwards with a 4k based camera.
This will get you a great looking video with crisp audio giving 3d immersive sound for your clients to enjoy. If you want to get going with the most advanced software for aspiring fitness businesses book a personalized demo following the button below.