Live streaming technology is often employed to relay live events such as sports, concerts and more generally TV and radio programs that are output live. Often shortened to just "streaming", live streaming is the process of transmitting media live to computers and devices.1
Note: SimpleUpdates.com offers live and archived media streaming services that stream to web browsers and mobile devices. You can learn about our media packages and pricing and signup here for our live media streaming service.
Some may ask, what kind of computer do you suggest? We have found streaming from a MAC computer to mobile devices to be hassle free, but a PC can also work. This needs to be a computer that is "fast" and not something you get as a donation, or out of storage. A medium to high end computer not older than 3 years would be perfect.
When you start recording your event, the audio and video is captured by your video camera and transferred to your computer. The encoding software separates the raw audio and video files, encodes (compresses) the audio/video feeds and then combines it into a single stream that can be watched on your desktop, tablet or mobile phone.
Note: We suggest your Internet connection have at least twice the bandwidth available as you want to stream. Remember that the upload bandwidth is usually far lower than the download bandwidth. For streaming, you not only need a specific threshold of upload bandwidth, but you need it consistently through the entire program. Some ISP services will "allow" you to have a certain upload speed, but your "actual" upload speed may depend on what other customers around you are doing at the time you want to stream.
Our service can stream to desktop computers, and to modern mobile devices. If streaming to iOS mobile devices is important to your audience, you must the AAC audio codec. This comes standard on MAC computers. The AAC audio codec can be purchased for the PC at: http://www.mainconcept.com/products/plug-ins/plug-ins-for-adobe/aac-encoder-fmle.html
At this time of this writing, the AAC audio plugin for the PC costs $180.00, and has worked well for several of our customers. (We have heard that some alternate encoding software may include AAC for the PC.)
The encoding software is the Flash Media Live Encoder. You can download it free for PC or MAC: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-media-encoder.html
Once you signup, we will send you specifically configured profiles to get you started.
Q: Are there any ads in our stream?
A: NO ads! The only thing that is viewed is what you send to the server via your encoder.
Q: Do you limit the number of viewers that can watch a stream?
A: We do NOT limit your viewing audience. Your stream has the full power to reach as large an audience as you have available. We only charge by the bandwidth used.
Q: Is there an easy way to have the video player show up on the website?
A: If you have a SimpleUpdates live stream, you just have to point people to your media page. If there is a live stream running, the player will appear at the top of your media page automatically.
Q: Can we use a hardware encoder such as a tricaster or VT5?
A: Yes, many of our customers use hardware encoders. Please verify with the hardware that it can push to an RTMP stream. Some units call this option "flash stream" or "push flash". In the hardware encoder, enter your stream push url as sent to you in your welcome email when you signed up for live streaming. Also enter your stream user name in the account field.
Q: What happens if I signup for an Entry Level package, and the audience grows over time to be a Mid Level package?
A: We will bill your selected package plan and add overages are billed at $10 per +5 gigabytes of file storage and +10 gigabytes of bandwidth. You can update your subscription to a higher streaming package, with its volume cost savings, at any time for the upcoming billing cycle.
Q: Where do we upload our archived media files?
A: Upload them to your SimpleUpdates powered website in the "media" folder. You will have to link to them manually to a video player. We are planning a media management module to make this easy in the future.
Q: How do we get our archived videos to play on our website?
A: You will need to install a video player, we recommend using Flowplayer.
Q: This sounds great! But can I talk to someone to be sure of what I should order?
A: Yes! Call us and we will answer your questions and assist you in getting setup at 269-473-3687.
Q: We are getting the picture, but it seems halting, and like there is something not right. What can we check?
1) The first thing to check is the quality of your Internet connection. Packet loss is parts of the "conversation" that just come up missing, like as if the postman threw away every tenth or so letter at random. Latency is how long a packet takes to be delivered (speed), and jitter is a term that defines how sloppy or variable the available bandwidth is. Pristine one minute and poor the next is not all that helpful. You can tree free online Internet quality tests.
2) Next, I suggest you inspect the resources on the encoding computer. Bring up the CPU and RAM monitor while encoding, and verify that you have 50% or more idle. If you are pegged at 100%, then you need a new encoding computer to handle the complex process of video encoding. Adobe has minimum hardware requirements.
1. "<meta>" Available at: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Apps/Build/Audio_and_video_delivery/Live_streaming_web_audio_and_video. 1 September 2015.