Welcome to Live Streaming during a Global Pandemic. When BSC first floated the idea of hosting swim meets again in the middle of a global pandemic, we started to research how we could live stream the meet to compensate for the restrictions on the amount of people allowed in the building at any one time. Since spectators were out of the question, we decided live streaming would be the best idea for the club. We keep improving and upgrading our setup each time. We started with a Facebook and Instagram Live feed using an ipad and samsung tablet and realized this setup did not offer good views of the pool. Now we are using a multi-camera setup focused on the entire pool, starts and finishes and (when it's working) an overlay of the scoreboard. Results are also posted to Meet Mobile. After the live stream is over, we will organize and label the videos on our YouTube channel under "playlists" so that you can watch them again. This is great for Swimmers watch their swims and for family members and friends of Barington Swim Club. Special Thanks the Sardak Family and aib Logistics, Inc. for their support in sponsoring our live stream.

LINK TO LIVE STREAM: When we are broadcasting live from the pool, you will be able to click on the live stream on our Channels.


Streaming Support / Help:


How we do it?: How BSC Live Streams our Swim Meets.

Below you will find details on the tools and equipment we use to bring live coverage of Barrington Swim Club to your own device or the TV in your house. We have experimented with several platforms and different systems and decided that YouTube is the most efficient method. If you club doesn't have a YouTube channel, they're easy to setup. Much of what we have cobbled together is similar to the technology used by gamers who live stream their gameplay to their audiences. For the most part everything we are using is inexpensive consumer based or prosumer level equipment. Our budget was non-existent for live streaming and we are not using anything expensive or dificult to operate. Anyone who is tech savvy or good with computers and AV equipment should be able to replicate our setup. That being said we are sharing this information to help other USA swim clubs or sports programs trying to figure out the best way to bring the excitement of a live sporting event into your home.

  1. YouTube Channel - you will need a username and password and the "stream key" associated with your account. The stream key allows you to stream from software or another device
  2. Windows PC or Mac - either will work as long as you have enough memory (8 to 16GB RAM), video graphics card Directx 10 or higher, CPU (Intel Core i7 / AMD Equivalent or higher or Apple M1) and enough hard drive space for storing graphics, images, video, audio for live streaming. We are using MacBook Pro laptops that belong to two members of our parent volunteer team. One is 16GB i7 and the other 64GB i9 and they both perform well. You can easily test the stream and see what kind of utilization you have to insure the device is working. We suggest making sure all other programs not required are closed or diabled to avoid conflict of background updates or bandwidth utlizations. 
  3. OBS Studio Software - Open Broadcast Stream (OBS) is a free, open source software that enables you to input multiple sources of video and audio and output to a single steam. All you need to do is add the stream key from YouTube and you are ready to go live. You can also determine the audio source. We have one camera as the primary audio source and it picks up the overhead PA system so that the live stream can here the PA announcer. You can also hook up a separate audio mix with an output from a mixer. Just be careful about playing any "music" in your stream or background music playing over the PA to avoid your stream getting flagged by the rights holder of the music. Most people do not have the required licensing to stream license music content. The great thing about this software besides being FREE is that it essentially creates a mini TV production studio inside your laptop without all of the extra equipment. There is also a big commmunity of developers that have built add-ons to enhance the basic functions. You can easily setup different scenes with graphics and overlays and build transitions to switch between the cameras. If you watch any of our streaming video you will see how easy it is to make your stream look very professional using this software.
  4. Single Stream of Multicasting - You can only stream to one output at a time and in our case we are now just pushing the stream to YouTube but you could also push to multiple locations by using a multicast streaming service such as Restream. We were using the free version of Restream to push the live stream to Restream who then replicated the stream to send it both YouTube and Twitch. After low viewership on Twitch, we have decided to go direct with YouTube only for now.
  5. Cameras & Mounting Equipment - we are using 3-4 cameras in fixed, mounted positions on the upper level of the Barrington High School Natatorium. The type of camera doesn't matter as long it has an HDMI output. We are using a combinaion of different Sony Handicams that we have pieced together. Our home pool has a see thru glass partition and railing that surrounds the entire spectactor area. At first, we were using tripods mounted in the bleacher stands but it was hard to control people walking in front of the cameras and we were picking up too much ambient noise and conversation in the audio. We tried using a homemade setup with PVC piping. It was effective but not as stabile as we would like and we worried about the camera falling. Instead, we are now using the CAMTREE G-51 Professional Gripper Campod Car Mount Stabilizer. This mount has suction cups on 3 legs which we can attach to the glass partition preventing anyone from walking in front of the camera. These have work out very well. There are other options out there and depends on what and where you are mounting the cameras. You may have to customize thing based on your setup.
  6. Cables, Wiring, Distance and Transmission of video signals - our home Natatorium is fairly large. The BHS pool is 25 yards x 25 meters which requires a lot of wiring from the camera location to your headend or where you intend to locate the computer. Researching these distances, we discovered limitation on how far a video signal can travel over and HDMI cable. After about 25-50 feet, the signal dies and HDMI cable start to get expensive when you get above 10-15 feet. However, there is a solution out there to enable powered re-transmission over less expensive CAT5,6,7 cables. There are also wieless transmission options out there but we have not experimented with them yet. We are using 3 Expert Connect [email protected] HDMI connectors with 100' to 150' feet of Cat 7 outdoor rated ethernet cables. These cable are waterproof and could be buried underground.
  7. Power & Safety - We are fortunate to have power outlets on the upper level of the natatorium but they are spaced apart at some distance and requires the use of powerstrip and extension cords which is part of our setup. Since we are on the upper deck there is less water but the swimmers are socially distanced upstais so there is some water that accumulates but nothing to pose a safety risk. We tape all wiring down with Gaffers Tape secure the wiring to prevent a trip hazard. We only reccomend Gaffer tape. Yes Gaffer tape is more expensive but it is designed for theatrical and AV production and does not leave any residue. It is also easy to tear without scissors or utiliy knive. NEVER use duct tape as the glue from duct tape is very sticky and will get stuck to your wiring creating a disgusting mess. Gaffer tape is available in many places and in different sizes and colors. We usually buy it from Amazon and we've had good luck with 3" or 4" sizes. It comes 1 to 4 inch widths. Here are some links and brands we prefer: Made in the USA Gaffer Power Available on Amazon: OR ProGaff: OR ShurTape
  8. Elgato CAM LINK 4K - HDMI to USB this enables you to connect a video camera with HDMI output to the CAM LINK which allows the video to be ingested into the laptop. Elgato CAM LINK 4K
  9. Bandwidth - we are connecting to the School District guest network which offers plenty of bandwidth for live streaming. It is imporant that you test the bandwidth in advance so you know the upload speeds. If you don't have high speed internet or wifi available, you consider investing in wireless hot spot or tether. The quality of your broadcast depends on the available bandwidth. 4K and HD require more bandwidth than SD. Resources for Bandwidth Speeds: OR
  10. Go Live - There is no right or wrong way here. For our club, this has been a work in progress. We learn something new and we test it out and we modify and make inprovements. What matters more than anything else is the ability to bring live coverage of your swim meets or practice to family and friends who normally would be able to watch in person. We have had family members from our club that have been tuning in from all over the US and the world. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles from around the USA, Canada and Europe can watch it live anywhere in the world on their phone, tablet, computer or TV. Any device that can acces YouTube can watch the live stream. The best part is the video are saved on our YouTube channel where we assemble them into a playlist so you can watch the action again and again and even allow the swimmer to watch their performance later.