Make Sure Your Video Game Streaming Career Starts Off Right By Selecting The Best Webcam And Lighting

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Blog, Entertainment

If you’re serious about making a go of it as a full time video game streamer, then you need to make sure you have a really good setup. While you can certainly just use a stock webcam that came with your computer, it’s far from optimal. Take a look at any of the popular streamers and you will notice that all of them have a very slick and professional look. That’s not a coincidence. If you want to reach their level, you’ve got to make sure you have the proper setup. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started. Get  A Quality Webcam There are lots of webcams on the market, so to help you pick out one, this is a list of a the key features to make sure they have. HD A super clear image is very important. So, make sure you only look at HD cameras. The absolute worst thing you can do when streaming is to broadcast a sub par image. Luckily, most of the stand alone webcams you will find for sale will be HD. Good In Low Light When you read the reviews of the webcam, make sure to pay attention to how the camera handles low light.  If you plan on streaming in a bedroom at night, you might only want some ambient background lights (fairy lights, blue bulbs, etc…) and the cameras sensor needs to be sensitive enough to pick up your face in the low light. Automatic Light Correction Just as important is the ability of the camera to correct light distortions. You want the camera sensor to be able to handle bright flashes from your monitor, as well as handle a roommate turning on the overhead light. If the camera does not have automatic light correction, then a sudden bright light can cause a very distracting flare. This will cause fans to turn away from the stream. Background Removal While some streamers like to have a small picture-in-picture format where the room, chair, and the streamers upper body are shown, other streamers like to have the option to superimpose themselves over the gamescape. This can be accomplished by actually building a greenscreen chromakey backdrop in your room (including covering your chair in the color), or you can just get a webcam that allows you to map out your room and only place yourself into the gameplay environment. Three Point Lighting Setup You have lots of flexibility with how you set this up. You can even use regular lamps, but the idea is to have three sources of light. The first light is the one that will illuminate your face. It’s called the “key” light. This light should be placed behind your webcam. The second light is called the “fill”, and it too should be behind your webcam, placed on the opposite side of your key light. It should...

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Planning A Corporate Holiday Event? Consider These Entertainment Options

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Blog

Planning things like birthday parties or small occasions are really no big deal because you can cater the entertainment around the guest of honor’s interests. However, planning entertainment for a corporate event can be a little more of a daunting task because you are trying to cater to the interests of several employees all at once. Throw in the fact that your event will be around the holidays, and you may be left scratching your head while trying to sift through the options. Before you just randomly pick something, take a look at these corporate event entertainment ideas that will work perfectly for the holidays.  Hire a small symphony orchestra to play sounds of the season.  Music is a logical choice when it comes to corporate events because most people in the crowd can appreciate song and instrumentals. Through the holidays, you can keep the music a little more holiday oriented by hiring a small symphony orchestra to play holiday songs at the event, or you could hire a small choir to perform chorus music relative to the season. You can even round up requests from your employees and give the requests the artists or director before the scheduled show to keep your employees involved in the musical presentation.  Hire a Santa to come in and pass out small gifts or party favors.  No holiday party is going to be complete without a visit from Santa. Through the holiday season, Santas for hire are fairly easy to find and they will usually make an appearance for a reasonable price. You could have Santa stop by just as the event is getting started or somewhere near the end to pass out small gifts and favors to everyone in attendance. You could even have Santa set up in a visiting area where employees can swing by and let him know what they want for Christmas and get pictures.  Hire a comedian to put on a holiday-themed comedy show.  Any time of year is a good time of year for a laugh, and your employees will definitely enjoy comedy at your corporate event. Look for a comedian who can come up with a holiday themed show relative to your business or even allow a comedian to do a lighthearted roast of the company’s top employees, like the management team, CEO, or the folks in the human resources office. For an added bit of fun, you could have the comedian bring some unsuspecting corporates on stage for the show.  Keep these tips in mind as you hire corporate entertainment for your next...

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Mylar Balloons Vs. Latex Balloons: Their Benefits And Drawbacks To Help You Decide Which Ones To Buy

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Blog

Balloon decorations are popular and almost essential to every party. If you have ever walked into a party supply store, you have probably seen entire sections of balloons–deflated mylars and bags of latex balloons. Given the numerous decorative options of both types, how do you choose? Here are the benefits and drawbacks of mylar and latex balloons to help you decide which ones to buy for your next party. Mylar Balloons Mylar balloons are incredibly fun because they are made of a thin foil polymer that can be imprinted with just about any image and molded to just about any shape. If you want balloons in the shapes of your favorite cartoon characters or superheroes, they are probably there on display on the store wall. Mylar balloons are highly reflective, and can help bounce party lighting around the room. They are extremely durable and difficult to pop, unless you use a large and very sharp instrument. They are also allergen-free, which means that nobody at your party is going to break out in hives or go into shock.  Latex Balloons Latex balloons are the old rubbery standby balloons. They inflate quickly and easily, even if you do not have a helium tank and are relying on lung power to inflate them. Because of the latex, they are super-stretchy, almost see-through when fully inflated and can even be used for neat balloon tricks like toy surprises inside or balloons-within-balloons. They bounce well and lend themselves to party games of all kinds (e.g., “keep away” and balloon volleyball). Latex balloons can be imprinted with special greetings or personalized for the recipient or for the person you are celebrating with this big party. The drawbacks to latex balloons is that many people are now allergic to them, including kids, and it does not take much more than a poky bit of grass or a dressmaker’s pin to pop every balloon in the room. Which Ones to Buy Latex balloons are often the cheapest of the two balloon types, even when you ask the party store to inflate them with helium for you. However, their ability to send people running for their anti-itch creams and epi-pens tends to put these balloons on the no-buy list when you have invited guests that may or may not be allergic. Mylar balloons are extremely attractive, cost a little bit more to a lot more (if you buy the jumbo-sized character balloons), but will never make any of your guests sick. For more information, visit BalloonacyOnline.com or a similar...

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Three Tips To Make Sure Your Happy Hour Doesn’t Make You Unhappy

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Blog, Entertainment

Many restaurateurs and barkeeps have a “happy hour,” a period of typically two or three hours where food and drinks are offered at reduced prices. If it’s been a while since you have reviewed your happy hour offerings and analyzed the resulting revenue, these three tips will help you assess if any changes are in order. Remember The Goal Of Happy Hour If your establishment is filled with customers during happy hour, but then quickly empties out at the end, you may be tempted to view it as a success. But when you consider that you likely didn’t make a profit during this time of reduced prices, it may be premature to call it a triumph. The objective of a happy hour is to drive traffic from the afternoon work crowd into contributing to your full-priced evening sales. Coach Your Staff Your happy hour loss leaders may have gotten customers in the door, but keeping them there requires a highly skilled team. Your staff should view every customer interaction as the opportunity to upsell and educate. Yes, you have happy hour specials, but that isn’t what your employees should be actively promoting. They should be mentioning the mouthwatering chef’s special being served later at dinner service. They should be pushing that new seasonal craft beer. They should be talking about the fabulous dance band setting up. Make sure each team member tells customers the specials as well as their personal favorite menu item and drink. Showcase The Items That Support Your Goals If you want to be the new place to go for BBQ, then your happy hour specials should reflect and support that goal. Happy hour appetizers should be a pulled pork slider, a smoked chicken leg, or a miniature “rack” of two ribs. The idea is to give them just a little taste of what you have to offer so they want to stick around. Leave them hungry for more, and they’ll be ordering off of your full menu in no time. Don’t offer an all-you-can-eat taco bar that will fill people up and doesn’t really support your barbecue format. The same goes for alcohol. If you have a band later in the evening that you want people to stick around for, you don’t want to offer high alcohol content drinks for your happy hour specials as everyone would likely be too inebriated to stay. Have a domestic beer special on entertainment nights instead. Your happy hour specials should work for you, not against you. Break down your daily happy hour sales, customer count, and compare them to your evening sales. Once you have this information, you can analyze the data and decide what, if any, changes need to be made to increase your revenue even...

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Preparing For Your Very First Haunted House Experience

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Blog, Entertainment

Haunted houses are a favorite form of entertainment for some individuals, but if you have never been to one, you might be terrified about the experience. There are a few things you can do to make your first haunted house experience memorable. You may even become addicted to going to haunted houses too. The following points will prepare you, and keep you looking forward to future experiences. Safety Precautions Some haunted house establishments give visual or oral safety guidelines at the beginning of their tours. Others may require participants or their guardians to read and sign waivers prior to entering the houses. It is important that you carefully read anything you are required to sign. If you are the head of a group, you may want to pull your group to the side and read the waiver out loud to ensure that everyone understands. If safety instructions are presented orally, ensure that you are not talking or whispering, because both are distractions that could cause you or someone else to miss out on pertinent safety information. Proper Shoes Haunted houses may have trick floorboards that collapse unexpectedly to enhance scare tactics. If you are wearing the wrong type of shoes, this could result in you losing your balance and falling. There are other dangers to wearing the wrong type of shoes, such as tripping. Ideally, you should wear flat-bottomed, closed-toe shoes. Laces should be tied or tucked inside of shoes. Avoid shoes with open heels, because someone walking behind you could injure your heel unintentionally. Hair Care Aim to wear a ponytail, bun, braids or another style that does not allow hair to hang loosely. This is because loose hair could get caught in haunted house props. It might also get in your eyes or someone else’s in attendance if there are fans or weather conditions that produce a breeze. Some haunted houses have doors that slam. They are designed to scare tour participants, but imagine your hair getting caught in a door jamb.  Emotional Control Excitement mixed with fear are common emotions that people experience during haunted house tours. You can keep your emotions under control by remembering that the experience is in a controlled environment. Props and actors are present on the scene, and neither is likely to cause you harm. Also, keep in mind that there may be young children present and your reactions to the experience could cause them to become more...

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3 Exciting Ways To Spend Your Vacation

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Blog, Entertainment

With the warm weather not far away, many people are already starting to plan their spring or summer vacation. Regardless of whether you are going to the same place you have gone for the past 10 years or you are trying something new this year, you want to find something exciting to do. If you aren’t sure what to check out in the area, consider doing some of the following. Check out an upcoming concert. Regardless of whether you are into classical, rock, jazz or opera, you are sure to find an upcoming concert in the area where you are going to be. Take some time to browse through the calendar for the upcoming concerts and see which one is going to be available when you are there. Once you know what ones are going to be available, you can easily book your concert tickets in advance and secure the seating that you desire. Depending on how much you want to spend, you are sure to find a seat that best accommodates your budget and lifestyle needs. Visit sites like Ravinia to find out if there are any concerts happening in the area when you’re there. Take a bus tour. For those who are going to a new town and aren’t sure where they are going, a bus tour might be right up your alley. The tour often takes an hour or two. It takes you all along the main streets in town and shows you all of the main attractions that the area has to offer. This helps you find out where to go and what might be open all while on this tour. It also gives you a way to relax and enjoy making your way around town without having to try and figure out where you are going. It’s cheap and fun for the whole family to enjoy. Head over to a local carnival. What better way to spend time with the kids than at a local carnival? Everyone can enjoy riding rides, playing games and taking in some of the best tasting foods around. Find out what day they have specials to buy the all-day pass and save even more on your total cost to attend. This is a great way for the kids to expunge some energy and have a blast in the process. While these are only a few suggestions, you are sure to find any number of other attractions and events that you and your entire family can enjoy...

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