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Webcasting basics please!

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Rich KaelinWebcasting basics please!
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:11:31 am

If there is a good article, just point me there. I have a client that needs to stream an event live, a webcast. We do many multicamera shoots and switches. I will end up with an hd sdi of event I need to stream. I know I need to get it into computer. I assume this can be done with matrix mxo2 or blackmagic ultrastudio. What then? Do I need to convert, do I need a 3rd party service? Someone mentioned a bright cove channel, I am familiar with them. If they have an IP address, can I send directly there. Is there a software I need? I figured a description of process would be easy to find...not so. Any info is appreciated.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Craig SeemanRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:28:48 am

Sometimes too basic isn't useful.
You'd want encoder software that sees the video input. It could be as simple Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder or as sophisticated as Telestream Wirecast. You need a CDN which could be as simple as Livestream, Ustream, JustinTV or as involved as Akamai or Limelight.
If you're doing this for a paying client you might want to hire someone, especially one who is willing to act as a consultant to show you how it all works.



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Rich KaelinRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 1:57:48 pm

That was my thought. I have hired people before, just this is becoming a more common request.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Craig SeemanRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 4:47:00 pm

I don't mean hiring people to do it for you. Hiring a consultant to help you so that you can learn while providing for your client. Even on your own equipment.

I'm glad it's becoming common. It means clients are beginning to understand the importance of live streaming.



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Craig SeemanRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:42:24 am

Maybe this will help. Sign in and watch the recorded event.
http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/blogs/introduction-to-live-streaming...



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Clifford SteinbergRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 9:09:20 pm

There are a lot of variables that come into play for every webcast. I can give you some tips from my own experience.

1) Internet Connection: Make sure you have a solid internet connection for uploading your video to your CDN. You should have a dedicated, wired connection with at the very least 800Mbps upload speed (Higher for higher resolution webcasts). Make sure you leave headroom for variances in your upload rate. Check your speed on location with speedtest.net.

2) Know Your Audience: Who will be viewing the webcast? Will they be at home? At an office? On their mobile phone? If your audience has a slow internet connection, then you will have to target them by encoding your video stream at multiple bitrates or at a low bitrate so they will be able to view it. If your webstream needs to be viewed on iOS devices(iPhones, iPods, iPads), then you will need to make sure you are encoding your video in the correct format and resolution, as well as using a viable video player.

3) Choose a CDN: You can use a large provider(Akamai, Limelight, EdgeCast), but they will probably try to lock you into a long-term, expensive contract. If you do not do regular, large webcasting jobs, I would suggest a reseller such as DaCast or Imediasee.

4) Extra Tips: Make sure you have a way to view the webcast during the live event. This allows you to show your client that everything is working correctly, and if someone else is not able to view the stream then it is because of their computer or browser settings.

Redundancy. Have a backup computer for your webcasting. Every second of downtime is agonizing. Not having to wait 2+ minutes for a computer to reboot may save you sometime.

Do a test for potential webcast viewers as soon as possible. Confirm that people can view the webcast to avoid issues on the day of the event.


Hopefully there's something useful to you in there!

Cliff Steinberg
Rent Com, Inc.
http://www.rentcom.com


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Rich KaelinRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 17, 2012 at 1:45:21 am

Clifford,
Thanks, I was looking for more tech specs, but this was also great. 1,2,4,5,6 ,,,I was already aware of, I have sub contracted many of these events (although I honestly understand redundancy as a concept, I don't yet know how to implement it here...ie, how Dow I get one to take over for the other in a live situation?
#3, great insight, thanks so much! Do I even need a 3rd party? Or can I set it up on my own website or servers? I have also heard Brightcove will handle all platforms in real time. I use them for posting "pre" compressed streams now for some clients, and I must say, any platform I check content on from my windows laptop to my 8 core Macpro to my iPad to my android phone...pretty darn flawless. so. Have been considering them as a partner in this venture. Any thoughts? I have not spoken with them about this, so I don't know their pricing structure. Right now, I am in a hotel, Plaza, NYC , and content looks fine on iPad, BUT the clients that post there pay $500/mo or more for that service, I only post for them. ( Not every client will put me up at The Plaza :) Any thoughts on cross platform providers that are friendly to sporadic users?
Thanks,
Rich

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Clifford SteinbergRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:41:19 pm

Hi Rich,

For redundancy, what I've done is have two computers (custom built for streaming with an Osprey card) both set to the same Flash Media Server stream so that if one were to drop, I could simply connect the other computer to the same stream to take over. So in reality a viewer would lose the stream for a few seconds, but it's much better than minutes!
You do need a 3rd party unless you would like to invest in a media server to process the video- or if you are on a LAN or WAN.
I have personally never used Brightcove, but have heard good things about them.
I am currently using ScaleEngine as my CDN (https://www.scaleengine.com). I have been very impressed with them so far. They have the best rates I've seen, I can talk with someone everytime I call, and have had no issues with streaming. I'm using Flowplayer as my video player which requires some basic HTML embedding knowledge, but it plays an all devices. You can take a look at one of our "Example Webcasts" here: http://rentcom.com/webcasting.html
Let me know what you think!
I took a quick look at the HTML code for YouTube's Presidential Debate stream, but couldn't easily see their methods. I would think they'd have a failproof system- I'll have to look into that more.

Cliff Steinberg
Rent Com, Inc.
http://www.rentcom.com
Chicago


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Colin SandyRe: Webcasting basics please!
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:53:18 pm

Please try the presentation here: http://www.savweb.com/2011/11/advanced-streaming-media-presentation/ and see if it helps you any. If you have questions about the presentation, feel free to send me an e-mail. It's listed here and on my site.



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