In the past, broadcasting your own TV station is only possible with a massive amount of capital, and typically you’ll need to be a giant enterprise capable of building your own TV transmission tower before you can broadcast your own show on your own TV channel.
Today, however, a lot has changed, and various advancements in technology have allowed virtually everyone to stream videos online, while at the same time allowing audio/video equipment to be more affordable than ever. Meaning, it is now much more accessible for everyone to start their own TV station.
With that being said, here will discuss how to broadcast your own TV station from start to finish. By the end, you’ll be able to start planning your own TV station and grow your channel.
Broadcast Your Own TV Station: Legal Requirements
In most countries at the moment, starting and broadcasting an online TV station is not legally regulated, although you might want to double-check with your local broadcasting laws to avoid future legal issues.
However, you might need to comply with the legal limitations and regulations surrounding content publication in your areas, including but not limited to using copyrighted digital assets, defamatory/offensive content, and other content-related issues. You’d want to publish content that meets these legal requirements, or you might get penalized.
If you are planning to broadcast news, keep in mind that news content is typically heavily regulated in most countries.
Choosing The Right TV Streaming Platform
Nowadays, we have various different options available in streaming our video content:
- Using free social platforms: like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and so on. The main benefits of using these platforms are ease of use (you can use them right away without knowing the technical details) and their massive audience base. However, you’ll get less freedom in what types of content you’d like to publish, how to brand your content, as well as how to monetize them.
- Streaming on your website/app: you’ll get more freedom by streaming your content on your own site or app, and there are two main ways to do this:
- Build your own platform: If you have the technical know-how, you can technically hire a developer or you can get help from professional developers in building your platform. This can be expensive, but it might be worth it if you really want a custom-tailored experience for your audience. Build your own website and streaming platform.
- Use a ready-made video hosting platform: Internet TV station broadcasting platforms like Viloud offers an easy way to embed the video player on your website or app, and you can even use Viloud’s M3U8 link feature to stream on Roku, Apple TV, and other platforms.
We’d recommend using a ready-made platform for ease of use and versatility. There are certainly a lot of these platforms available with various price ranges, but the hosting platform powering your online TV station should be:
With Viloud, for example, you have the option to conduct a one-off live stream, linear streaming (24/7 broadcast), or deliver your content on-demand, where viewers can access your content anytime. So, you can stream your content in various broadcasting models depending on your needs.
You can schedule your content with Viloud on a daily basis. Simply drag and drop your content on the scheduler grid and you are good to go.
You should be able to (easily) customize your video player with your logo and brand color, as well as embedding links to your social media profiles. Preferably you should be able to do this without any coding knowledge.
It should be easy to embed your video player on your website and app, as well as streaming your content on third-party platforms like YouTube, and also TV apps like Roku TV and Apple TV. With these integrations, you’ll have an easier time broadcasting your content to more people.
You should be able to find your content easily whenever you need them. With Viloud, for example, you can easily upload your content on Viloud’s cloud storage and tag video links from YouTube, Vimeo, and other platforms on your own hosted videos for easier search.
Preparing Your TV Station Equipment
While your equipment requirements may vary depending on your available budget and needs, here are the essential ones you should prepare:
- Camera. You should at least get one professional-quality camera or at least two for redundancies.
- Microphone. And other audio equipment like headsets, lavalier/clipped microphones, audio playback devices, and so on.
- Audio/video accessories. From tripods, stabilizers, mic stands, etc.
- Lighting. Very important, don’t underestimate the importance of lighting equipment in enhancing your streaming qualities.
- Mixing equipment. You’ll need a mixer and/or switcher to mix and switch between multiple audio/video sources.
- Encoders. An encoder converts/encodes your data into an internet-friendly, compressed package. We can choose between hardware or software encoders. There are free software encoders like OBS that are pretty reliable.
- Computer. If you are going to use a software-based encoder, you’ll need a computer to run the encoder.
Monetizing Your TV Station
Obviously how you are going to monetize your TV station is also important, and nowadays there are three main ways to monetize your channel:
- Subscription-based: your viewers need to pay a subscription fee (typically monthly) before they can access your TV station.
- Transactional-based: like the pay-per-view model in traditional television. Viewers need to pay a certain fee to access video content.
- Free, advertising-supported: you publish your content for free, but show ads to your viewers.
Which monetization method you should use would depend on your objective, and especially your target audience’s preferences.
While starting an internet TV station is not fairly difficult and expensive with today’s standards, the competition is now very tight since you’d have to compete with millions of channels from all around the globe. Having a clear plan and investing in the right infrastructure is very important if you want to achieve success in broadcasting your TV station online.