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Old January 29th, 2015, 08:47 PM   #1
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Workflow for Live Streaming?

I am back on my "Live Streaming" kick again. Currently the easiest solution I have found is Ustream. I was hoping to find a solution that actually allowed me to do everything (input stream, encode, output) but have found it a bit over my head.What I liked most about Ustream was that I could simply grab a wifi signal and go (assuming its a good signal of course) and no need to mess around with IP stuff with every new location. The 2 items I did not like was the $99 a month and it seems I cant get widescreen even with a 16:9 input. Anyone else find any solutions that I may want to look at?

Thanks all.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 02:00 AM   #2
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Have you looked at wirecast?
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Old January 30th, 2015, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Thanks Gabe, I may have checked them out earlier and will check em out again today. Is this the one where you buy the software and thats all you need? Or do you still need some kind of a service?
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Old January 30th, 2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Carroll View Post
I am back on my "Live Streaming" kick again. Currently the easiest solution I have found is Ustream. I was hoping to find a solution that actually allowed me to do everything (input stream, encode, output) but have found it a bit over my head.What I liked most about Ustream was that I could simply grab a wifi signal and go (assuming its a good signal of course) and no need to mess around with IP stuff with every new location.

If you think that you can merely "grab a wifi signal and go", you truly are out of your element, LOTS more to streaming than that. Unless of course this is just for your own enjoyment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Carroll View Post
Is this the one where you buy the software and thats all you need? Or do you still need some kind of a service?
You ALWAYS need some kind of service (or your own streaming servers) to stream more than a single stream.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Lest I be thought a troll, allow me an analogy:

what you propose is the same as an amateur photographer saying "I have a DSLR and a laptop I just bought... I can edit video now, right?"

Lots more to the equation.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Shaun's comments don't sound troll-ish at all.

There are a *lot* of moving parts, *many* potential points of failure with webcasting methods today.

I've not kept up with U-stream's competitors, but they are out there. If you find the web site for Streaming Media magazine, you'll find lots of resources.

However, getting on wifi expecting turn-key success is a high-risk endeavor. Yes, it will work sometimes. Maybe for you it will work most of the time, depending on the environments you're working in. At that level of expertise, you'll likely not be able to troubleshoot when it doesn't work. The local network/wifi may determine success or failure - a sad truth! So many shared wifi services are easily saturated by multiple user requests that you have no control of... this is bad for the stream, and therefore bad for engaging and keeping viewers.

IMHO, if clients are paying you to do work that matters, you need to reach a little higher or outsource the work. If it doesn't matter if the stream goes down... learn a bit more, buy some stuff, get online,have some fun!

P.S. Wirecast is great, I use it. But it's just one piece of a lengthy chain of things and services that must work together to get that stream from your camera to your viewer.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

By the way, don't be fooled by some of the Big Boys that are advertising EASY webcasting solutions for enterprise - I watched a webinar once that promised to change webcasting forever and make it easy for anyone to webcast their own content... when they got to the part about " just spinning up additional edge virtual streaming servers" I laughed out loud.

Successful webcast has LITTLE to do with video and LOTS to do with IT/Networking. And that's even if you have an all-in-one services provider on the streaming side like UStream or Livestream.

I've been webcasting for about 4 years (on the streaming side... 15 on the production side) - I still get "pucker" when going live on an event until I can see my own stream coming back.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

True story - I had a VERY large event streaming a couple of years ago on a weekend. We had spent two days setting it up and had the IT department of the institution involved and opened up the port we needed to get out past the firewall.

Half way through an event on a Saturday afternoon with about 5000 viewers online, the stream stopped. Dead. Hard fail.

Turned out a VERY junior IT guy saw a large amount of data moving through a port and decided to close it, without consulting anyone or looking at the notes left by the senior techs.

Client was NOT pleased. I think the tech lost his job and believe there was legal action. I was merely operating.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 02:50 AM   #9
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Carroll View Post
Thanks Gabe, I may have checked them out earlier and will check em out again today. Is this the one where you buy the software and thats all you need? Or do you still need some kind of a service?
It depends. Wirecast DOES have a built in server which will allow you to stream to
a limited number of viewers (think 5 max, and even then you'd have to have internet
with fast UPLOAD speed which is uncommon). Wirecast will also allow
you to stream to most of the popular services, UStream, JustinTV and so on.
If you are doing it for pay, best to get a dedicated hard line that no one shares.
When I did live streaming for our state government, I built that cost into the
contract. Remember at your event, everyone and their brother is probably
jumping on the site's wifi with a phone or tablet. Don't risk it, get a line
hard wired that is just for you and not shared.

Also if not using UStream or JustinTV or similar ad supported streams (where they insert
their commercials in your live cast) you need to hire a streaming services company. I
paid about $300 per month for this but that will depend on the number of events you do per
month and the number of viewers. Most of the companies will allow an
archive of your event for later viewing and the good ones will have someone
on hand the day of your event in case you need tech support.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

It would be helpful to get a bit more info about what kind of LiveStreaming you are attempting. It's wide range from simple desktop live stream for webcast to multi-camera Video signal from event venue to audiences in conference rooms across the country.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 08:22 AM   #11
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Thanks all for the posts. I am a one-man-operation videographer, weddings and small to medium corporate jobs. I have had 2 recent inquiries about live streaming events. As a fan of technology, I have been playing around with live streaming on and off but mainly for personal enjoyment. Being a very quiet time for me (dead of winter here on the east coast) I have spent many hours trying this and trying that. One of my inquiries was a funeral (event has now passed) which believe it or not, I do a bunch for this funeral home. For this type/size job, my guess would be maybe 10-20 viewers at max? If they are interested in paying for the service, I am interested in providing the service. I have so far successfully (again, testing in the house):

Ustream live feed with audio. (I would need to subscribe to avoid ads)

Youtube with Goggle hangouts with audio.

Both embedded on my web page. Quickie Test Page For Clients

For the funeral, I charge $800, includes editing and 5 DVD's. Had I been able to stream, I would have charged $400 (funeral home approved) additional. I would definitely use the 2 fee system with a provision if the streaming fails, I would only forfeit the streaming fee. This funeral home has its own chapel with broadband wifi that I checked and results were 35mbps down and 20mbps up. If Ustream and/or the Youtube setup only require 2-4mbps, I am thinking I have plenty of bandwidth to get to them, then they deliver to viewers. If this can work out, they said they would even run an ethernet port right next to the spot I shoot from.

So as you can see, I am looking at a much smaller service/market than ESPN and hoping one of these 2 setups (under ideal conditions) can and would work.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 08:33 AM   #12
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

I've done small & medium event live streaming.

I would avoid WiFi if at all possible. Even if you tested the bandwidth it can be variable at the worst possible moment. Ethernet has no cable length limit and keeping a 100ft cable with you and working with the location folks will get you a solid connection in most places. Especially with repeat clients.

For the livestreaming I used an external encoder from BlackMagic - there is a small one that just takes SDI and a bigger one that has all different kind of audio and video signal options. It connects to your laptop via TB or USB. From there I connected with Livestream.com which handles the encoding and hosting. Not a free service, but if you have a steady stream of business it can work out. You just need a suitable uplink to them and then can add subscribers as needed.

There are a number of these services. Some of them offer pay per view with in-viewer credit card processing. So you charge your client a smaller production fee to cover the basics, and then make money from the pay-per-view.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Carroll View Post
This funeral home has its own chapel with broadband wifi that I checked and results were 35mbps down and 20mbps up. If Ustream and/or the Youtube setup only require 2-4mbps, I am thinking I have plenty of bandwidth to get to them, then they deliver to viewers. If this can work out, they said they would even run an ethernet port right next to the spot I shoot from.
BIG issue here isn't bandwidth, it's that I'm assuming you'd be using dynamic IP addressing - the router COULD boot you off IF there are more requests to log on than available clients. Again, as I mentioned earlier you need more IT than AV - you'd need to make sure you were GUARANTEED an IP connection to the router. And not by an office manager but by their IT person.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 04:40 PM   #14
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
BIG issue here isn't bandwidth, it's that I'm assuming you'd be using dynamic IP addressing - the router COULD boot you off IF there are more requests to log on than available clients. Again, as I mentioned earlier you need more IT than AV - you'd need to make sure you were GUARANTEED an IP connection to the router. And not by an office manager but by their IT person.
Thanks Shaun, can this happen with a wired connection as well?
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 05:14 PM   #15
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Re: Workflow for Live Streaming?

It can happen wired or wireless. USUALLY the wireless connections are more "tightly" controlled though... a maximum number of simultaneous connections...
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