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Old August 22nd, 2016, 04:38 AM   #1
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What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Let everyone know what Streaming Service you decided to use and why. It just might help others who are puzzling over whether to use a free live service or a paid service. What are the advantages and also the disadvantages?

I'll make a start here as we use Livestream. When I say "we" is because I share the site cost with a friend of mine on the East Coast so we split the bill every year which makes it a lot more affordable. I know it's a "pay" site but for us it has the advantage of having all our events in one place ..a really nice event page for each event as they are created and a really good stream service and instant DVR backup copy which is downloadable too as an HD MP4 file (obviously you have to stream in HD to get an HD file but they also have lower bitrates too. We also bought Encoders that connect automatically to our site and specific event so you can go out into the field and just shoot with no hassles. The all-in-one encoders only connect to Livestream servers of course but we also use their Studio software which allows full switching and graphics and can also stream to other sites if needed. The encoders also can be set up so they appear in the software as a remote camera which is handy as we have the mixing desk in one room and "studio" set up in another with cams connected wirelessly.
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Are you using Livestream's Basic, Premium or Enterprise pricing? You must have Premium for Live Embedding. I don't like the fact the you are limited to their encoders.

Any reason you chose them over Ustream for example?
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Yep ..Just a basic account Craig. The premium at this stage is way too pricey!! Yes the fact that you are tied to them IS a limiting factor but the simple encoder is great for solo shoots where you need nothing else except the encoder and a wifi hotspot in your pocket. If we are shooting indoors we can use the encoders as remote cameras and then stream and mix via the Studio software to wherever we wish.

At our stage of operation it's actually better to have a restricted event page and just send the link to those who want to see it ...not every Tom, Dick and Harry!

Our basic account is $499 per annum ... U stream seemed to be based on costs related to bandwidth where LS is unlimited. Not sure which is better but I prefer to know what my costs will be upfront rather than get a whopping bill after the event ..What are you using?
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

What encoder are you using? Teradek's devices seem to be the source of Livestream's on camera encoders. In other words a Teradek Vidiu, which would cost a little more, would give you the freedom to use other CDNs including YouTube and Facebook I believe.
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Hi Craig

We have Broadcaster Pro units ..Yeah the Teradek units are also nice but are nearly double the price. I guess if I had to be able to stream to multiple CDN's then they would be worth it. I looked at UStream as an alternative but don't like the views/audience pricing... for $42 a month I get unlimited viewers and unlimited space with Livestream ... On Ustream it's double the price at $99 per month and you only get 100 viewer hours ..any more and they bill you. I really don't like the unknown variable model of pricing ..What happens if you do a shoot and 200 people watch your total of 60 minutes worth of clips? You then have a fat credit card bill that you didn't expect! (They work out viewer hours as number of views x view time) which seems crazy as you have no control over your costs if people decide to share your video all over the world!
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Old August 28th, 2016, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

I have used YouTube Live for about 150+ hours of live production (mostly sport) over the last two years. I process/encode the stream in "Wirecast for YouTube".

It has barely given me an ounce of grief in that journey. It has been rock solid.

Informing people of where the stream lives and how to access it is a no brainer. Linking to social media accounts child play.

The Creator Studio functions in YouTube Live are simple to understand.

The chat function when enabled is very handy in the sense that the audience WILL jump on to let you know if there are any issues with the stream. Vice versa, as the producer in the field, you can send messages to your audience if needed.

I really cannot speak of cons at the moment. In all the links in the chain, YouTube Live has been one of the strongest in my current workflow. And it's free...
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Old August 29th, 2016, 04:27 AM   #7
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Hi Miggy

That's great for sports and events where no backgroup music is playing ..If I used You Tube live at weddings where they (not me) are playing copy righted songs, all my streams would be nailed with ads instantly as brides always choose the latest music!!

What sports are you shooting? and do you make any money from it?
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Old August 30th, 2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Good topic, Chris!

Anyone using DaCast?

I want to live stream an operatic performance,

Important to be able to blackout local area codes and have a hosting service that registers people, collects the fees and remits back to show producers a reasonable revenue share.
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Old August 30th, 2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

That's an interesting concept Karl ... I wonder how secure one could make it though? My biggest issue with most CDN's has been that their "packages" have a restricted viewer hours which is calculated as "number of viewers x video length" ..after that is exceeded they charge you!! I don't know of any that will actually collect the revenue from viewers and remit to you but it would make it easy.

With Livestream I have a paid account with them ($499 a year) and that gives me unlimited viewers and unlimited storage. Each event I create has a unique event URL which does allow you to select who watches BUT it's obviously open to abuse (I could "pay" for a ticket and then get my link and send it to all my friends and they watch for free) Why the blackout ? I see it as forcing people to attend the recital in person but what about people that simply cannot get out (physical restrictions for the elderly or poor weather) .. Would it not be better to allow those at least an online ticket? I think if people want to bypass the system they will find a way. Accounts like PayPal allow you to pay an amount and will return a link to the performance and the money is in your account instantly ... OK people COULD share the link they have purchased with friends I admit but I wonder if they would actually cause a huge loss of income? A simple webpage where the user has to enter their area code is easy to do but then again that's easy to bypass.

I seriously would choose a fixed price CDN so if a few "illegals" do watch it doesn't cost you anything, Let us know what you discover??? My unlimited LiveStream costs me a mere $42 a month regardless of whether I have 1 viewer or 1 million so I wouldn't be over concerned about a few non paying people watch it.
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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Walter Keirstead View Post
Good topic, Chris!

Anyone using DaCast?

I want to live stream an operatic performance,

Important to be able to blackout local area codes and have a hosting service that registers people, collects the fees and remits back to show producers a reasonable revenue share.
I have been using Dacast. The service has been reliable. I haven't needed to do any of the other things you require though.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 10:51 AM   #11
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Re: What CDN do you use - Pros and Cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Walter Keirstead View Post
Good topic, Chris!

Anyone using DaCast?

I want to live stream an operatic performance,

Important to be able to blackout local area codes and have a hosting service that registers people, collects the fees and remits back to show producers a reasonable revenue share.
I have a Dacast account and originally set it up when I needed to set up white-label streaming for the church I used to attend. Before I got there, they were using uStream to stream their services, but for some reason, having a Trojan ad pop up during the service was an issue.

The church was limited by their internet connection so we only did 400Mb/sec SD video with mono audio, but we never had in issue with Dacast. To the best of my knowledge, they're still using them.

At work, we've used a couple of companies that usually went through Level3 or Akamai.

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