Desktop vs laptop for livestreaming events

By ingeborgdot
Sep 16, 2012
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  1. I don't know if this would be the right section but it does have to do with a case of some sort I guess so this is where I am putting this thread. We are starting a program in our school where we go around to different events and stream live. It will be several times a week and all year long. The computer we use will need to be powerful with many connection possibilities. That is what brings me to this question. A laptop is easy to transport. It is made fairly tough and can be pretty fast if you are willing to put the money into it. On the other hand you don't have a lot of input capabilities. I was wondering if a desktop would be the best solution. It is going to be faster than a laptop (ex. a $1000 desktop will cost about $2000 for the same speed and power is what I have found out). So you can get a lot more for you money with a desktop. Then you also get a multitude of connection possibilities with a desktop and it is so much more upgrade friendly than a laptop. The problem with desktop is it's portability. I don't really know what I am looking for. Are there travel cases for desktop computers? What do you suggest we use? Does anyone have a link or something to lead me in the right direction? Thanks.
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Look around for some mini-ITX or HTPC cases, Lian Li and Silverstone both have decent selections. Obviously you'd need a monitor to transport around as well, so whether that's convenient is up to you.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

    The form factor is not the real issue but only provides a solution (as you noted)
    The specs are the issue so max out each and every primitive resource:
    • memory: max ram and the speed it operates at
    • bus: get the highest bus speed possible
    • HD: laptops typically are 5400 rpm - - look for 7200
    • processor: get at least an Intel i3 64bit (ie thats 4 cores)
    The network (wired of course) will still be dependent upon the router's capacity, so it's
    unlikely that the NIC will be the limiting resource.

    This thread shows some valuable info on how all the factors boil down to the least common denominator,
    just like the Weakest Link in a Chain.

    My Dell Laptop experience is here;
    Notice in my case, the graphics is the limiting factor but for a streaming server, the local graphics will not matter.

    I might add that this system should have two kinds of profiles (hardware & software)
    • the primary profile (aka the default) like what we all use every day
    • and a presentation profile
    In the presentation mode, everything possible should be disabled and every
    • startup, service, program
    that is not required for streaming needs to be stopped or not launched (saving ram, paging and cpu).
    As you will still be connecting to some router/network, the firewall and A/V program will still be necessary.

    Something you might try as an experiment - - load an existing laptop with the presentation data and then
    disable as much as possible. Then after hours, get some help and see how well it performs under
    live loads and many network connections.

    Please keep us updated on your progress - - interesting stuff.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Most decent laptops will come with a quad-core (or at least have 4 threads), can run lots of RAM and will offer plenty of connection possibilities. Besides connections for GPUs on a desktop I really don't see how any laptop would fail to have enough connectivity -- if you need lots of USBs, buy a powered hub to extend them. As for video output, pretty much every laptop sold these days comes with HDMI or DisplayPort, so a simple adapter will sort you for DVI and another will sort VGA.

    It needs to be powerful is also very subjective at best. What software does it need to be capable of running? What will its physical usage be?

    As you've said, you lose out in upgrade options in the longer term (besides drive/RAM) but I'd much rather be carrying around a laptop several times a week, all year long than a desktop, especially since the adapters and extras like a remote and USB hub could easily fit in the same laptop bag.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

  6. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 752

    We are streaming live events as they happen. Football, basketball, wrestling, tennis, softball, baseball etc. As we are streaming we will also be doing video work as the streaming is happening. As for software, that is still in the decision mode as to what we will be using. There will be multiple pieces of software to make what we are going to do work.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

    I found this today
    see this link for details
  8. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 752

    We have a company that we are going to be doing this through. They supply the software and training but we supply the equipment. It is free for everything except the equipment. The company name is ihigh.


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