Exciting Updates in the World of Live Streaming!

Only a few short months ago, Facebook was only 720p resolution and paid streaming services were expensive with limited viewer hours.  With the release of Facebook Live in 1920 x 1080 as well as Vimeo Live, we are proud to offer our clients the same incredible streaming production for a fraction of the cost.

One of my clients needs a secure and customizable player for their company live streams they do for quarterly meetings.  Our best option was Ustream, but they could only afford the baseline monthly rate.  The limit on viewer hours meant that we were consistently charged for the excess.  That meant that for a single stream lasting only 90 minutes, we forked over more than $200.  Now that is all going to change.

Vimeo Live is offering private, secure, white label streaming with UNLIMITED viewers starting at $75 per month.  Check out their information page to learn more: https://vimeo.com/live

Facebook Live also announced they are accepting 1920 x 1080 30p resolution and framerate for their streams.  Facebook is free, but does not allow private streams.  However, since YouTube has offered 4K stream for a while already, this is welcome news for those that need that extra bit of quality in their web cast.  You can find out more on Facebook’s blog: https://media.fb.com/2017/09/13/introducing-updates-to-the-live-api/

Our workflow is reliable and produces fantastic high quality results.  The signal flow begins with the cameras and microphones.  Cameras are sent to a switcher while mics are mixed and that output sent to the camera switcher.  A technical director cuts cameras just like a TV show or sport program, then the output is captured with an encoder and compressed live for web.  During this process, we add custom graphics and text notes for the streaming audience only.  These are helpful if a show starts a few minutes late or during breaks.  Normally, we choose bit rates that will comfortably fit in the upload bandwidth available at the venue.  A 10 Mbps upload speed is enough to create a 5Mbps compressed stream, more than enough to produce a high quality beautiful video.  The head room in the upload speed is to account for any background processes of the network and encoder.

Streaming platforms are also universally adopting the real time messaging protocol (RTMP) and secure option.  This is great news as it is helping to democratize the technology and skills required to stream, which drives the price down.  Hence the more affordable Vimeo Live and high quality free options through Facebook and YouTube.  This protocol allows one encoder to send the stream to one destination and the CDN takes care of all the other bitrate options as well as finding the best distribution from data centers around the audience.

An interesting side development that is becoming a big part of choosing your streaming platform is the style and type of audience.  Facebook is clearly a social media site so your company page is liked by fans and viewers are casually tuning in during your event.  YouTube is also socially driven, but most of your audience will not be getting notifications unless they “hit the bell icon.”

So what style will Vimeo be? YouTube has attracted video bloggers and maintains a less produced but more community engaging video content.  Vimeo is a platform for those that spent a lot of time and effort polishing a stand alone video.  It seems an odd fit to introduce streaming, but I am glad they have.  Repertoire Productions knows that you have spent a lot of time and effort polishing the event and the stream should match that effort.

If you have any questions or would like to find out how much this service costs, please feel free to reach out to us.

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