How to Start an Internet TV Station

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According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 87 out of 100 adults in the United States use the Internet, with 68 percent of adults connecting with a mobile device. With the Internet, you can create a television outlet to reach this audience with programming offering information, ideas and entertainment targeted to their particular interests and views. Your own Internet television station also can become a fruitful enterprise or your springboard to a career as a broadcaster or performer.

Lights, Camera, Computer

You need a video recorder, webcam, a computer and an Internet connection. Record your programs with a video camera that has a USB or HDMI input. A high-definition camera enhances your program quality. Use a webcam for your live content. With an Internet connection and an Internet TV application or service such as Ustream, Livestream, Roku or YouTube, you can upload your video or stream your live broadcasts. These computer platforms allow you to edit and add music to your videos and programs. You need to register for a Google account if you want to create a YouTube channel.

Naming Your Channel

Choose a domain name for your channel that is distinctive and that you and your audience can easily remember; the domain should have the ".tv" extension. Verify that your domain name is available for your use by searching the Internet or the WHOIS database maintained by Network Solutions. Type your channel or domain name in the U.S. Patent Trade Office's trademark search tool at uspto.gov to make sure your proposed channel name and logo have not been trademarked. If your name is not already claimed, register the domain name for your channel through a registrar approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (I-CANN).

Getting Your Channel Noticed

Social media can help you proclaim your channel's launch to your friends and acquaintances. To reach audiences who don't know of you, post your channel name and logo on websites, forums and online bulletin boards that match the genre of your channel. For example, if you're devoting your channel to advancing a particular political view, find websites or forums with similar views. You might include previews, trailers and sample content with your launch announcements to attract subscribers.

Your Revenue Stream

Your Internet station typically earns money through subscribers and advertisers. You might use a service such as Roku that will bill and receive payments from your subscribers. With YouTube, you share revenues from advertisements furnished through YouTube. The requirements for monetizing your channel depend on the software or service you use. For example, YouTube requires you to register for the YouTube Partner Program; to have a paid YouTube subscriber channel, you must already have a free Internet TV channel with at least 10,000 subscribers. If you use any content other than your own, such as including background music from a recording artist, monetizing your channel requires you to get permission from copyright holders.

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About the Author

Christopher Raines enjoys sharing his knowledge of business, financial matters and the law. He earned his business administration and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a lawyer since August 1996, Raines has handled cases involving business, consumer and other areas of the law.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Kurtz/iStock/Getty Images