Live Webcasting at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > Flash / Web Video


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 17th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Live Webcasting

I'm planning a website for live streaming of SD content over a 12-hour period daily, maybe at about 750kbps. I'm trying to reach about a 1,000 viewers with good internet speeds.

Anybody have any experience on setting up such a system? Any vendors or technologies to recommend?

Will appreciate any advice. Thanks!
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Live Webcasting

For live encoding, I quite like Wirecast from telestream.net. Do download a trial copy. Capture from almost any device on your PC (Wirecast is the software only), add titles, do roll-ins, prepare bumpers, standby slides, audio/video splits, etc. Conceptually, it's a little hard to get used to, but it really does work well for WMV, QT, MP4, and VP6.

Then, you need a content delivery network (CDN) - the equivalent of web hosting, but video isn't web pages and the constraints & concerns are different. Akamai is the gold standard, there are quite a few from the expensive to the not-so-much. For the technically very savvy, there is the Wowza server running on Amazon Web Services. Do check out streamingmedia.com.

PS. Getting to Macs and PCs running Flash Player is straightforward. Getting to them *and* mobile devices is harder, and a very hot topic right now.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Seth, I was just reading your posts on the subject a few minutes ago!

I've checked out Wirecast - it looks perfect. I'm going to try it.

Regarding CDNs - there are too many and I guess this is going to be the most critical choice. I was speaking to a company yesterday and I got a quote for about $1,500 per month for 1.5 TB bandwidth, assuming a 1000 users over a 282kbps (their recommendation, considering most Indian internet connections are well below 512kbps).

If you had to choose two that are extremely reliable (no compromise) and also a good deal, what do you suggest?

Next question is about hardware. Here's a quote from a post of yours:
Quote:
The best option for me is a 4u rack-mount case, with an x58 board, an i7 2600 processor, 12GB of ram, a BlackMagic Intensity Pro capture card, a firewire card, and Telestream Wirecast. Times two, because I need a primary and a backup, that's my approach to stability. With a rackmount UPS, and a KVM switch... all in a shockmount rack.
If I'm already getting media (not capturing live) and all I want is to upload and stream, do I need such a robust setup. I'm hearing things about people streaming live from laptops - is that really possible to do consistently without any downtime?

Last question is about DAM - any suggestions on storage and archival? 12 hours daily for a year is a lot of video!
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2012, 11:29 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Live Webcasting

Sorry for the late reply - briefly pretty busy here.

My experience with streaming hosting services doesn't help you with a largely India-based audience. Are there such specialist hosting companies in your region? If you're not finding an Indian co., do look more broadly at Asia. One exception might be Amazon Web Services; do they have Asia/India data centers?

Sorry I don't have experience with DAM at the volume of programs you anticipate. I'm taking some baby steps in that direction in learning Joomla, with the goal of creating some media-centric Joomla (or Drupal) templates. That would be a first step... I'm just speculating here, but once you are making some money on this venture you should be able to find & afford programming resources to do what will probably need to be done - a semi-automated ftp upload and auto-generation of web pages system.

Such a system depends on metadata on each program, so if I had advice on what to do early, it would be to work out a several year plan for program naming, tagging, all the info you might want to differentiate programs, and develop a convention for putting it in metadata, and make sure *every* program gets it consistently!

Speaking of looking forward, HTML5 distribution for mobile is a very hot topic these days, both for live and archive. I'm guessing that India is like many other countries, there is tremendous growth in people getting online via mobile devices? Starting a new venture now, with the volume of programming you're anticipating, being on the right side of HTML5/mobile compatibility would seem to be a very good thing.

For material that is coming to you for on-demand distribution only, no, you don't need so robust a set of hardware. You will find that the i7 architecture is well worth the investment, though.

Laptops are a difficult subject in webcasting. As a professional, I have to ask myself if I will make money or lose money in perhaps 12 months of ownership. If it pencils out positively, there are some good reasons to go laptop.

Pro
* Portable
* Built-in UPS
* Very portable! Especially for air travel

Con
* Relatively expensive
* Not very upgradeable or expandable
* Firewire is just about gone (still very available on desktops, a great way to get SD video into the box)
* Not many capture devices for thunderbolt or USB3 (yet)
* Will PC manufacturers include thunderbolt in the future???

Desktops / rack-mounts allow me to keep using the same peripheral equipment, even if I upgrade the PC... and I do! The i7-2600 is now previous-generation...

But you don't have to go rack-mount if you're not traveling. I'm doing it because I go to local and regional hotels for meetings & conventions, and usually have minimal setup time available. Most things are pre-wired in the rack - this is a market where (setup) time is money. I really don't like hauling around a backup PC and a big UPS, it's a lot of weight, but there have been times when I've needed both. Failing in a live event when such failure is due to me not recognizing and reasonably managing a forseeable risk means losing a client, or perhaps losing an agency representing many clients. That's my reputation & business, yours may be quite different, you need to take a good look at that.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2012, 04:24 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 553
Re: Live Webcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
If you had to choose two that are extremely reliable (no compromise) and also a good deal, what do you suggest?
What is the best CDN for serving moderate traffic to Indian consumers both from latency and economic perspectives? - Quora
Eric Olson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2012, 12:39 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Wow, thanks Eric! That was a great resource. Appreciate it.
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2012, 12:48 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
My experience with streaming hosting services doesn't help you with a largely India-based audience. Are there such specialist hosting companies in your region? If you're not finding an Indian co., do look more broadly at Asia. One exception might be Amazon Web Services; do they have Asia/India data centers?
Not much. There are quite a few local OVP vendors but none of them have executed large scale projects so I'm not very sure about their hardware and software capability.

One Indian company I got in touch with offered a hardware and software solution, 2600GB per year for about $1,500 all incl, and 0.2cents per GB after that.

Quote:
For material that is coming to you for on-demand distribution only, no, you don't need so robust a set of hardware. You will find that the i7 architecture is well worth the investment, though.

Laptops are a difficult subject in webcasting. As a professional, I have to ask myself if I will make money or lose money in perhaps 12 months of ownership. If it pencils out positively, there are some good reasons to go laptop.
...

Desktops / rack-mounts allow me to keep using the same peripheral equipment, even if I upgrade the PC... and I do! The i7-2600 is now previous-generation...

But you don't have to go rack-mount if you're not traveling.
Don't see Thunderbolt on many PCs - if firewire was any indication. I understand that I have a lot of thinking ahead of me about laptops vs servers.

I'm leaning towards a Blackmagic HDMI/SDI to H.264 Encoder hardware solution + Telestream software on a rack mounted server.

I've also talked to Akamai and will be calling Bit Gravity, etc to find more options. The impression I've had so far is that it is better to deal with a CDN directly than go to an OVP like livestream or ustream.

May I ask what your rack gear consists of? What standard do you encode to?
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2012, 11:36 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Live Webcasting

I'm using a couple of 4u boxes, one of which I built myself, the other from a local system integrator. My build is an i7-920 with 12GB of ram and internal 2-drive raid-0 for capture. It loafs along at about 15-40% of processor load while live encoding a couple streams, which is what you want. The other build has been used as a backup, but is past due to be upgraded to a recent-generation i7, it will then become the primary and the i7-920 the backup. You only get one chance with live shows...

My primary capture methods are firewire for standard def, firewire for HDV, and (internal) BlackMagic Intensity Pro for HDMI (also provides redundant SD capture). I have a couple of external sd-video-to-firewire adaptors from Canopus/Grass Valley, including a very nice ADVC-500, and have used quite a few Viewcast Osprey capture cards, too. But I like the Intensity a lot. One of these days I'll have to get an SDI card, almost certainly a BlackMagic.

Don't feel like I need a hardware h.264 encoder - I do all that work in software. However, I'm not doing anything like the volume of programming you're planning. Workflow is king.

I'm encoding in WMV for "legacy" enterprise work, Silverlight for a particular client, VP6 as a most-compatible-least-common-denominator, and mp4/h.264 when I can. More and more of the mp4. My work is very boutique and customized for particular audiences.

Perhaps more instructive is that YouTube is distributing some in VP6 but more and more in mp4. Which gives a good html5 experience on mobile platforms...
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2012, 10:06 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Thanks Seth! Your support has helped me a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
...You only get one chance with live shows...

...One of these days I'll have to get an SDI card, almost certainly a BlackMagic.

Don't feel like I need a hardware h.264 encoder - I do all that work in software. However, I'm not doing anything like the volume of programming you're planning. Workflow is king.
In my case, where a lot of material is coming from DVDs, Digibeta tapes, HDCAM tapes, etc, would I be better served with a dedicated hardware encoder like the one Blackmagic sells?

And if this is okay, then could I 'get away' with slightly lower server specs? This is assuming everything is being encoded to SD H.264.

Quote:
Perhaps more instructive is that YouTube is distributing some in VP6 but more and more in mp4. Which gives a good html5 experience on mobile platforms...
Yes, I've noticed both Youtube and Vimeo are geared for HTML5. Google+ has a new hangouts on air feature for free live streaming. Looks interesting!
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2012, 11:53 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Live Webcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
...In my case, where a lot of material is coming from DVDs, Digibeta tapes, HDCAM tapes, etc, would I be better served with a dedicated hardware encoder like the one Blackmagic sells?

And if this is okay, then could I 'get away' with slightly lower server specs? This is assuming everything is being encoded to SD H.264...
I've never benchmarked such hardware encoders, so I don't know and don't have expectations one way or the other. I do know that when you have 10s and 100s of hours of programming, the cost of some accessory cards to improve your workflow can seem minor. On the assumption that you're actually making money with this venture!

These boxes aren't servers. They are desktop machines that happen to be built in a rack-mount case, with a raid system that's extra fast for trouble-free video capture at higher resolutions.

For me, I never know when I'll be taking a particular program out to HD for projection, or squashed down for internet distribution. Mastering at 720p, 1080i, or 1080p allows me to do whatever encodes are needed any time. I *very* much like the codec/size options software encoders give me, and wouldn't consider going to h.264 on ingest. But, like I said, my work is very boutique and no two projects are exactly alike.

And it isn't too much of a stretch to say that no matter what you think your primary workflow will be, there will be some projects that fall outside of it, and you will need a machine that chews through video. I'll go out on a limb here and say that my cautious expectation is that a software encoder like Wirecast will still use lots of processor power, even when you have h.264 capture. BTW, there are troubleshooting forums over at telestream.net where you can learn more about what ingest methods people are using. Perhaps there are some contributors there who have a workflow more like what you expect...

I was telling a client earlier today - I'm very conservative with live shows. Backups, redundancy, flexibility, etc. If something goes wrong in a live show, I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to foresee and plan for the unexpected. But your circumstances sure sound like they'll be different.

Early on, we had a lightning strike that hit a telco substation, and it was many minutes before we figured out that we'd lost our audience. This stuff does happen. Let's see, we were in a hotel and the UPS started beeping at me because somehow a whole bank of circuits went down, and we had about 15 minutes of UPS power to get the hotel engineer to fix things. A different time we showed up to use a hotel's connectivity that we'd tested the previous afternoon, and 90 minutes before show it was down, and didn't come back until 12 minutes before show; they didn't think it was important to tell us there was a scheduled network upgrade, since it supposedly wasn't going to overlap with our show, and the upgrade went about 45 minutes late.

I came to this work out of live tv, and it's a good thing, because I used up all my adrenaline many years ago.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Early on, we had a lightning strike that hit a telco substation, and it was many minutes before we figured out that we'd lost our audience. This stuff does happen. Let's see, we were in a hotel and the UPS started beeping at me because somehow a whole bank of circuits went down, and we had about 15 minutes of UPS power to get the hotel engineer to fix things.
Now I understand why you mentioned 'Built-in UPS' under pros for a laptop!

Well, I guess I have enough information now to get started, and learn from my mistakes. Thanks again for taking the time out to answer my questions!
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 26th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Very interesting to see BBC tie up with Adobe for the Olympics - but without flash! Streaming the Olympics: How the BBC and Adobe do it — Online Video News
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 26th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV USA
Posts: 162
Re: Live Webcasting

NPR had a story this morning on Elemental Technologies and the servers they are using to stream the Olympics. They were talking about supporting various output devices with specific streams. Couldn't find the segment at npr.org but here is the company site:

Elemental Technologies | Perfecting the Media Experience

[Just looked at the previous reference on Adobe. The Elemental spokesman said they were handling 50% of the streaming so this must be the other half. Funny that neither company mentions the other though :-) ]
__________________
*** http://www.vimeo.com/chipgallo ***

Last edited by Chip Gallo; July 26th, 2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: added Adobe comment
Chip Gallo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom.
Posts: 20
Re: Live Webcasting

Hi Sareesh,

Have a look at this and see if it would be any good for what you want to do -

Livestream Store — Livestream Broadcaster

You are tied in to Livestream, however you can video and stream on the move without the aid of a computer as long as you can get a connection.

I have one and it works very well.

Hope this helps.

Dave.
__________________
Leeds Computer Repairs - www.leedscomputerrepairs.co.uk
David Stannard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Live Webcasting

Thank you, David. I did check out the livestream encoder. In my case, I'm not streaming live events, only recorded videos.

Right now I'm leaning towards a custom solution, something like - Blackmagic/PC for encoding + Wirecast + Akamai/Bit Gravity

I just hate to be locked in to one specific company!
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > Flash / Web Video

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:19 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network