Seems like everyone with anything good to say is out on one of the social media live streaming platforms. Facebook Live, Busker and Periscope (owned by Twitter) have emerged as three of the top platforms for live streaming. For those unfamiliar with this form of social media, it’s all done using an app on a smartphone or tablet.
The use of a good phone or tablet mount makes for a better broadcast. Why? Ever do Facetime while the other person is holding their phone or tablet? It feels like a fishing trip that went wrong. The shaking on the other end is enough to make one seasick. You need a good stable mount that’s staying flat on a table or pedestal or even a tripod to keep everything still.
A good mount for Facebook Live, Periscope or Busker needs to have a few important features to work best. First, the mount needs to be stable and not move when interfacing with the touchscreen. Secondly, the mount needs to pivot and swivel so that you can angle it properly to the subject that’s broadcasting. Lastly, get a mount that’s portable. It’s likely that you will be moving this mount around. You don’t want something that will bolt down or use adhesive.
So we’re going to recommend some good mounts for live streaming and live video. I decided to concentrate the recommendations solely on a company that has been making a solid marketing effort on this space. Arkon Resources out of California has a line of mounts designed for use on these platforms. All have the important qualities that I mentioned in the prior few paragraphs.
Let’s take a look at some proven recommendations. These recommendations apply not only to the apps that we already mentioned, but also for live video using an app such as Facetime on iOS. We’ll start with the really simple and work our way towards the more complex multi-device requirements.
The most simplistic form of live streaming is done by using your smartphone. The Arkon 11″ Tripod Mount with Phone Holder is an 11″ tripod with an expandable cradle that opens to 3.6 inches. That’s enough for almost any smartphone including my big giant Apple iPhone 6s Plus with a thick Otterbox case. The cradle has a ball and socket design on the back so that you can swivel and pivot your phone. The 11″ tripod is a true tripod so you can also use it for any camera that has a standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded standard tripod screw hole on the bottom. The included tripod is of the bendy variety so you can wrap the legs around anything you want or simply use it on a tabletop. The included holder grabs the phone from the sides and can leave the rear camera exposed for switching views without having to remove the phone from the mount.
On the tablet front, the Arkon Desk or Countertop Tablet Stand is an excellent mount that is made to hold almost any size tablet to the big giant Apple iPad Pro. The included spring-loaded cradle comes with a set of eight support legs to accommodate almost any tablet with or without a case or skin. The tablet stand extends from 7.5″ to 9.75″, and the weighted base keeps the mount in place. The cradle has been around since tablet mounts first came out. I have used these cradles to hold all my tablets. They’re used in commercial applications as well as consumer and they are extremely sturdy. Your tablet can swivel 360 degrees and you can pivot and swivel. This mount isn’t so heavy that it can’t be easily portable which is a plus.
Once you get into these apps and build up a live streaming audience, you are likely using multiple devices since these apps and platforms don’t play nice together. That’s when you need to consider multi-device mounts and stands. Arkon has an entire line designed around this need. They partnered with Terry White awhile back and came out with the TW Broadcaster line of mounts that carry his initials.
The mount shown in use in the photo that accompanies this article is the Arkon TW Broadcaster Combo Stand. This one supports two devices with one mount. There are two holders included. The Arkon RoadVise is one of my favorite phone holders of all time. It opens to 4 inches which is big enough for almost any phone with or without a case or skin. This is a very durable cradle as it’s sold for motorcycle use so you know your phone isn’t going to pop out. The tablet side uses Arkon’s Slim Grip Ultra cradle which opens to over 7 inches tall so it’s going to hold tablets up the size of an Apple iPad Mini. The Slim Grip Ultra will also hold many smartphones from the top and bottom so it can double as a second phone holder too. Both of the cradles can rotate 360 degrees.
All of Arkon’s mounts come with a two-year warranty. It’s good to see Arkon looking at technology futures and designing products to support the latest trends such as live streaming. I have been a personal user of their mounts since the early days of satellite radio and continue to endorse their products fifteen years later. Not surprisingly, I’m still using their mounts for my satellite radio.