How To Choose The Best Live Streaming Software for Mac

How To Choose The Best Live Streaming Software for Mac

According to the statistics portal Statista, market share of Mac OS X is nearly 12%. It is really easy to find out various live streaming software online, but most of them are not usually compatible with Mac. If you are using Mac, then you will require live streaming software for Mac. More often than not, Mac users include business personnel and various professionals from multimedia. Hence, identifying the right video broadcasting software for Mac OS is very important and essential. It is in this spirit, this blog throws insights on the best live streaming software, but also provides you with all the necessary information regarding the most popular live video streaming software.

Best Live Streaming Software for Mac:

Selecting the best live streaming software for Mac requires analysis on different components such as its price, plans, revenue model, unique features and many more.

  • OBS Studio

OBS stands for Open Broadcaster Software. This live streaming software is supported by windows, Linux as well as Mac platforms. Its unbelievable features make live streaming effortlessly easy for professionals as well as the novice. This video broadcasting software written in C and C++. OBS is known for its features such as scene composition, encoding, device capture, recording and broadcasting. The browser plug-in comes bundled in OBS Studio Full Installer and therefore you do not have to install it manually.

Pricing:

The OBS Studio is absolutely free of cost and it is very easy for any programmer to generate redesigned version of OBS that combines innovative features. This ensures smooth flow of your work.

Main Features:

  • It is a free live streaming software which enables you to record everything at very high quality.
  • The Open Broadcast Studio supports audio, video and file sources of various formats.In the case of videos, MP4 and FLV format are supported. In the case of audio, MP3 and AAC formats are supported.
  • One can easily resort to a number of transitions to make videos more interesting.
  • OBS provides various platforms to connect with live streaming providers.
  • It also includes many filters for video effects such as chroma key, image mask, scale, sharpen, pad, color key and color correction tools.
  • This software has a built in audio mixer with noise suppression.
  • The OBS provides powerful configuration options where you can add new sources effortlessly while duplicating the existing ones and adjusting their properties.

  • Telestream Wirecast

Wirecast is yet another popular live streaming software. It is owned by Telestream, an American company known for its devices that facilitate video capture, encoding, transcoding and network based delivery. This live streaming software comes in two versions: Wirecast Studio and Wirecast Pro. It is one the best video streaming software which is compatible with an array of input devices. It is a webcasting software which can be used on the existing hardware.

Pricing:

The WirecastStudio version costs $495 whereas the pro version costs around $995. The Pro versioncomes with a number of extra features which are absent in thestudio version. The following Wirecast upgrades are also available:

  • It includes Premium support, which costs around $99 for Studio users. For Pro users, it costs around $199.
  • It provides Firewire HDV camera input support to studio users for $99. Pro users aren’t required to shell out extra money to avail the benefits of Firewire HDV.
  • The cost ofNewBlueFXTitler Live Ultimate version used for creating animated titles and graphics is $945. Advance version is priced at $445 and theStandard versionis priced at $245.
  • Lastly, the cost of Virtualsetworks for green screen usage is $329.

Main Features:

  • It allows you to caption, transcode, absorb, inspect, stream as well as create all the types of videos.
  • It comes with a distinct feature that allows you to stream professional multi camera produce to Facebook live.
  • Any person can convert their iPhone or iPad into a wireless camera by using Wirecast Cam and capture Wirecast as a source.

 -Studio version

  • It provides you with a tool that can be used to synchronize audio and video using both audio and video delay features.
  • One of the unique features is simultaneous broadcasts to multiple services.
  • It is coupled withchroma key, which is one of the best video editing tools that lets you resize, filter and domuch
  • WirecastStudio helps you add unlimited numbers of resources such as microphones, webcams, IP cameras, capture cards,
  • It provides live and on demand streaming, packaging and distribution of videos.

 -Pro version

  • Wirecast Pro helps you record videos in high quality using every camera connected to it. There are enough provisions to edit the recorded video content immediately.
  • This software makes use of IP streaming protocols such as HTTP, MMS, RTSP and RTMP.
  • It benefits the user with instant replay feature to edit theclip and replay them at any particular speed.
  • You can easily set up the required background in your video, position the background beautifully so as to lend areal An individual can choose either from the built-in virtual 3D sets or buy the expansion pack that includes around six sets with 90 different camera angles, available at Virtualsetworks.

  • Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder

Adobe Flash Media Live encoder is another feature-rich live video streaming software and media encoder that enables streaming of audio and video in the same time. The media encoder supports MP3 format. This software is a custom coded platform, mostly useful for business purposes that support audio as well as video streaming.

Pricing:

This is a free live streaming software where the user doesn’t have to incur any cost to avail the benefits provided by the software.

Main Features: The best part of this tool is that it can even be used by beginners in this field. Beginners can draw insights from the demo video provided.

  • It supports timecoding.
  • The updated 3.0 version of Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder is capable of Multi-core processing as far VP6 coding is concerned.
  • It is also used to archive FLV or F4V file locally.
  • This software has unique automatic functions that comprise auto adjust functionality, automatic restart for maintenance and automatic launch of theoperating

Revenue Model

Revenue model

Streaming of live events can be very expensive for which you have to spend a hefty amount on cameras and various operators for high quality. That being said, if one wishes to sacrifice the quality of videos, one can use webcams and smartphones.

We have stated below the following ways to generate revenue from the live streaming videos:

  1. Sell the rights of your event: You can either sell or rent out the recording of your event to someone who wants to own it or who have missed the broadcast of the event. This can help you generating sufficient income.
  2. Advertisements: If you are willing to earn through advertisements, you can simply insert advertisements in the beginning or middle of the video streams.
  3. Charge for streaming live events: One can charge a fixed rate for streaming or broadcasting live events without getting into the chaos of distribution and promotion activities to increase the view of their video.
  4. Video accessing fees from viewers: Instead of earning revenue through advertisements, if that seems less profitable to you, charging a small fee from the viewers so as to provide access to them is a better option. It is suggested to combine this method of generating revenue with other ways to earn higher amount of income.
  5. Find sponsors: Mustering the support of sponsors who are willing to sponsor your event especially related to a particular niche can come a long way in funding.

Let us know your thoughts on the best live streaming software for Mac. If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to ask queries. We shall reply in a day or two. Subscribe to our newsletter and keep watching this space for insights on live streaming. Our best wishes are with you and your live streaming venture. Cheers! 

 

Learn How to Increase Viewership by 999% for Your Live Streaming

Learn How to Increase Viewership by 999% for Your Live Streaming

Live streaming has become a big rage among the current generation. There has been a meteoric rise in its implementation. In the past,the live streaming feature was only limited to news channels and major companies with latest technologies, but, with the advent of technologies, anyone with a phone or laptop can host a live streaming event and make it accessible to the entire world.

Live streaming has become popular due to many advantages associated with it. It has the potential to reach a larger audience base. It also provides a medium where the viewers can directly interact with the broadcaster through live chat and Q&A sessions. With the help of live streaming, presentations, conference, and sales pitches can be streamed quickly without any hassle and cost.

Live streaming has achieved a great popularity among all social media platforms viz. YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. These billion-dollar companies invest a huge amount of money in enhancing their own live streaming platforms, and this shows the importance of live streaming.

Seeing the great opportunities in this field, you might be triggered to jump into the arena. You may also have a great idea which you think will click with the audience. But, you are worried. Are you confused regarding how and from where to start? Do you fear whether the audience will like your live streaming or not? Do you know how to start a live streaming? Fret not, in this blog we will provide you the ultimate cheat guide that will surely help you to achieve a broader fan base and become popular.  Here, we are outlining 10 valuable tips to increase your viewership for your next live streaming.

  • Interact with the Audience

Live Video Streaming

Interacting with your audience during live streaming is the most effective way to increase your viewership base. The interest of the viewers is not only limited to the broadcasting and its content, but they are also eager to know about your personal life and your experience during the making of the video. Thus, live streaming offers a fun and friendly medium to interact and engage your audience. Interaction with your audience at a personal level enables you to build a strong relationship with every viewer, and they are more likely to come back for your next sessions.  

  • There are many ways by which you can interact with the viewers:
  • Initiate a live chat session so that the viewers can give their comments about the broadcast and ask questions.
  • Begin a Q&A session after completion of broadcast and allow participation of the audience in asking questions to you and also interacting with other viewers.
  • Embed your broadcast links to various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where users can give comments, and also share it with others.

 

 

  • Be Consistent

Consistency is an essential factor in increasing as well as maintaining your viewership members. It is necessary that the audience knows the date and time of your event in advance so that they can catch you when you go live. Thus, it is your responsibility to inform the audience about your broadcast schedule and stick to it.

You should be prepared to go live few minutes before the scheduled time. This will ensure that anyone who visits your live streaming link early will not encounter a blank screen. You should respect the fact that the audience devotes their precious time to your broadcast and it is your moral responsibility to fulfill their expectations. All these things will help you get a larger fan base.

Live streaming on a regular interval is always recommended as constant interaction with your viewers will keep you more connected with them. This will keep their interest to your live streaming intact, and you will achieve an increase in viewership. If there is a big gap between your live streaming, the audience might lose interest and will deviate to other options available. Thus, being consistent with your routine will help you in the long run.

  • Promoting on Social Media

promote video on social media

The role of social media platforms in today’s world cannot be overlooked. They provide the simplest and most economical medium for promotion of content through live streaming. It is essential that you plan out your event in advance. Then, you can regularly update about it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other popular platforms regarding the date, time and theme of the event. This will generate curiosity and hype among the viewers, and they will wait eagerly for the telecast of your broadcast.

The role of social media is not only limited to the initial phase. After the broadcast is telecasted, you can share the links on social media for the people who missed the live streaming, or for repeated viewing. This promotion will not only benefit the broadcast but will also increase the fan base of the broadcaster. 

  • Using Proper Equipment

Just imagine you have thoroughly prepared for your main event and inform the audience about the schedule. You expect the event to be a big hit, but at the time of broadcasting, viewers encounter poor quality video/audio and buffering issues. It will surely frustrate your viewers, and there is a possibility that they may not return for your forthcoming events anymore. You may not gain any new viewers, and may also lose your current fan base.

Thus, selection of reliable equipment is essential. It is recommended to opt for equipment that hosts videos using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN enables to generate video and audio with a higher bitrate, and will bypass any buffering issues and server congestion by streaming on a global network and servers. Thus, it allows for a smoother experience for the viewers.

  • Choosing your Broadcast

You may be a frequent broadcaster or may be live streaming events at intervals. It is usual that if you belong to the first category, you will have higher chance to increase your fan base. But, if you are not a frequent broadcaster, but want to enhance your viewership, then you have to select your event tactfully. Your event should be unique and interesting so as to grab the curiosity of the viewers. You should constantly search for interesting ideas based on current situation, sports, etc. 

  • Video on Demand

Your job is not just over after live streaming your broadcast. There may be some viewers who could have missed your broadcast due to some reasons. There will also be some users who enjoyed your live stream very much and would like to watch it again. In such cases, Video on Demand is the solution. Uploading Video on Demand on your network will enable the viewers to watch your past videos repeatedly and with ease. This will ultimately help you to build a loyal fan base and also attract new viewers.

To enjoy this feature, you need to go for a platform that will enable you to host live streams as well as video on demand. Using this platform, you can create playlists for VoD content that will provide access to your viewers to watch the content according to your time frame.

  • Countdown to Event

This is an interesting and effective way to capture the attention of the audience. When the event schedule is fixed, you should send out regular reminders on various social media platforms, be it Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The process is to be continued till the event date comes up. You may increase the frequency of reminders on the day of the event so as to make sure your viewers watch the broadcast. The countdown helps to generate curiosity among the viewers.

  • Length of Broadcasting

You can categorize your broadcast into two segments – live streaming and video on demand. Live streaming broadcast should be kept lengthy, as the longer duration will enable the viewers to become more interested and engaged. Video on demand should be shorter in duration and catchy as the interest of the audience is based on the first few seconds of the video. The difference between live streaming and video on demand from viewer’s perspective is that the viewers must have decided in advance to watch your live streaming. Live streaming your event for about 30-60 minutes is ideal to grab the attention of the viewers.

  • Promoting through YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video sharing website and hence proves to be the best online platform to promote your live streaming. YouTube has a very user-friendly interface for easy searching of your broadcast and enables the users to watch your videos as many times as they want. At the end of each video, you can thank the viewers and also inform them about your next live streams.

  • Creating a Buzz

No event is successful without promotion, and this is also applicable to live streaming. It is not enough to provide the event schedule to the viewers, you also need to provide them reasons why they should watch it. You can give details about your event, what the audience can expect from it, and your experience while planning the event. Releasing teasers and trailers can be very effective to create buzz and hype around your event.

Use these amazing tips to increase your viewership by 999% for your live streaming.If you are planning to go live so as to convey important messages to your audience, you should look for a scalable and one-stop solution such as StreamNow. StreamNow has all the features to transform your venture into the next Twitch or Ustream clone. Peer communication and user engagement are facilitated through live commenting and chat features. Known for its multiple monetization options ranging from subscriptions and advertisements to sponsorships, your live streaming event will be a breeze. Users can opt for web and mobile push notifications to keep themselves abreast of your upcoming live streaming event.

If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. We shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for further insights on live video streaming and video marketing strategies. Subscribe to our newsletter to know more about tips and tricks on live streaming. My best wishes are with you and your live video streaming venture. Cheers!

 

How to Start Live Streaming? – An Ultimate Guide

How to Start Live Streaming? – An Ultimate Guide

You might have noticed by now that many businesses and brands are live streaming their events to their target audience. Be it a new product launch or a panel discussion on product specifications, live streaming of events has become commonplace these days. There are even many websites which are related to streaming videos online, live and/or recorded. However, your purpose of live streaming might be different. You might be completely new to making a live stream and might want to know more about how to make a live stream and the purposes it can serve. Here are few things that might help you on how to broadcast live.

You might be thinking that live streaming would involve a difficult procedure and would need you to have technical knowledge of the equipment to be used. Yes, it is the case. Nevertheless, it is not so difficult to learn things about how to live stream because here we would be discussing everything – right from what is live streaming to the point of how to start streaming along with the tools to be used. Let us start with getting to know about what live streaming is.

LIVE STREAMING:

StreamNow Ustream Clone

Live streaming is the process by which videos are broadcasted in real time making use of the internet. Thanks to the internet, live streaming of events can be done from any part of the world which can be viewed from anywhere. With the increase in speed and reliability of internet, it is now possible to broadcast videos without any delay or lag in transmission. Live streaming has come a long way and is now a technology that is accessible to anybody. There are many websites like LiveStream and UStream that enable the users to live stream their content. Also with the advent of these sites and various apps which provide live streaming services for low-cost, live streaming which was once a tedious process, has now become a simple task. With even social media like Facebook and Instagram allowing its users to go live, almost every person is able to create content and broadcast live to his / her audience. Today events related to sports, music, conferences, political discussions and religious meetings etc. are being broadcasted live.

HOW TO START A LIVESTREAM:

Here comes the big question. How to you stream live events? To put in simple words, you can stream live events with StreamNow, a scalable live streaming turnkey script that streams videos with low latency. It is optimized for multiple monetization channels and is priced at cost-effective rates. 

Another question to be answered is- what all do you need to take care of before you actually start? Though it is as simple as using an internet-connected smart phone with apps like YouNow and Periscope, it is not recommended to do so, if you want good video and audio quality. If your purpose is not to deliver any professional content, then using the above resources would be sufficient. But if you want to live stream content for professional purposes with high-quality video and audio, then you should be using turnkey scripts such as StreamNow.

Below is the list of live streaming equipment you should be using to ensure that you go live in a conventional way:

1. CAMERA:

Having a camera is compulsory as it is the device that is going to shoot content. It could even be a smart phone or a tablet that can be used to shoot the content, but you are not recommended to use them as they would reduce your options in subsequent steps. Instead, a web camera with USB connection will be a good choice. USB will allow you to easily connect the camera to your laptop or PC making it easy to stream video using the internet. However, if you require higher quality videos, using a DSLR or a digital video camera is recommended. There are many models of DSLRs available in the market with different precisions in capturing. Depending on your budget, you might choose a convenient model. Cameras which can shoot HD videos cost around $1700 dollars with various other features included in them.

Live Streaming Camera

2. DEVICE TO CAPTURE THE VIDEO:

While the camera is used just to shoot the video, we need a device that can capture this video to make it visible to the audience as and when it is being shot. A web camera with USB can be connected to the computer directly, so there is no need of a separate device to capture in this case. But if you are using any other camera, then we definitely need a capture device. Hardware encoding devices can function as capture devices and are available on a large scale in markets. We have them available in the form of external devices that work as plug-ins to connect the camera and the computer. Apart from them, we can even install cards in our computers to serve the purpose. BoxCast, AVerMedia and many other companies manufacture these hardware encoding devices and can be purchased from eCommerce sites also. Other than a hardware encoder, you might also need a software encoder that will be used to import video from USB input or capture device. Also, as most of the cameras record videos in various formats which are not suitable for streaming, you might find it necessary to use a software encoder. Software encoders are available for free but if you wish to use professional encoders you can purchase them. Depending on the amount you choose to spend on streaming live videos and your specifications, you can make a choice between hardware encoder and software encoder.

3. HOST TO STREAM YOUR VIDEO:

Once you are equipped with the above-mentioned resources, depending on the estimated number of viewers your video would have (hundreds, thousands or more), you’ll have to search for a video streaming host. This video streaming host would serve as an online platform to deliver content to your audience and it should meet your server configuration and bandwidth specifications. There are many video streaming hosts like Livestream, UStream etc. available online. Before you start with broadcasting your video, you’ll have to establish a connection between your software or hardware encoder and the video streaming host. This can be done by logging in to your host account directly or by providing the password and URL or using the XML file downloaded to setup the encoder. The instructions required will anyhow be mentioned in your video streaming host website.

Once you ensure that all the above things are done, you are ready to start your live stream. Make sure that you have proper and strong internet connectivity before you start, as the internet is key to stream live without any interruptions. You can share the URL mentioned in your host website with your audience, which upon clicking would lead them to your live video. You can even access other settings of the video like restricting access to some users etc. With all this being done correctly, you will be able to successfully live stream your content.

Quality, synchronization of audio and video, delivery of content without any lag in transmission are three important things that have to be concentrated on if you choose to live stream. And all these factors are dependent on the standard of equipment you use and the internet connectivity. The greater the accuracy and precision of your equipment, the higher is the quality of your content.

StreamNow Twitch Clone

If you are looking to start a Ustream clone or a Twitch clone, it is recommended to use StreamNow. To know more about StreamNow and its sister products, visit Streamhash.  For any other queries on how to do live streaming and how to start a live stream using StreamNow, please contact the support staff.

If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. My best wishes are with you and your live streaming venture. Keep watching this space for insights on live streaming. Cheers!

 

10 Quick Tips On How To Improve Live Streaming

10 Quick Tips On How To Improve Live Streaming

When it comes to live video streaming, there are few things that matter as much as viewer experience. Of course, with the number of tools in the market today, it’s easy for anyone to become a broadcaster. StreamNow, for instance, has taken the live streaming market by storm, allowing even small businesses to plug live streaming into their core platform. As you become more experienced at the video streaming game, you will gradually learn how to work a stream seamlessly. Nonetheless, whether you’re a novice or a veteran at live video streaming, this guide lets you in on ten tips that will show you how to improve streaming quality. Let’s get started.

Tip 1. Secure a Sturdy Internet Connection:

Bolstering your internet bandwidth to support consistent live streams should be your first step to live to stream. To begin with, getting a wired internet connection is a good idea because it can offer a far superior speed than a WiFi connection. In turn, the quality of your live stream will be augmented. Another reason to consider a cable over a wireless is the fact that a WiFi connection can often be hampered by environmental elements. Plus, your device may continually scan for networks in your vicinity, latching on to those it deems adequate enough. Of course, a WiFi network doesn’t necessarily make your connection any slower, but it certainly increases the odds of a downtime.

Secure a Sturdy Internet Connection

Tip 2. Plan Your Wi-Fi:

If for some reason you can’t seek a wired connection, work out an arrangement where you’re not too far from the Wi-Fi router when you stream. This won’t always be possible, especially if you prefer to live stream on the go, but remember that proximity to the Wi-Fi router can make a tremendous difference. If your router is on another floor, for instance, your stream may not flow as well only because your Wi-Fi signal is weak. This may seem like an obvious point but you’ll be surprised how many broadcasters overlook distance as a key parameter to improve video streaming.

Plan Your Wi-Fi

Tip 3. Engage With Viewers:

Engage With Viewers

The premise of a live stream is that it is as real-time as it gets, which means that it’s an excellent forum to engage with your viewers. Plus, by interacting with them, other potential users may gain a keyhole to your stream by virtue of others’ comments and likes. Viewers appreciate two-way communication with broadcasters; streams give them a channel to input their questions, observations, and comments. The best way to invite viewer participation is by opening a chat window next to your broadcast.

Tip 4. Create Alternate Avenues By Recording:

Live streams don’t get recorded unless you explicitly record them. It’s a good idea to create an archive of recorded content for your streams because you can use this media later to create an on-demand platform. If you use a service like StreamNow for your live streams, you can easily curate recorded content on its sister platform, StreamTube. This gives you options to diversify your portfolio should you choose to later on.

Tip 5. Plan Ahead:

Plan Ahead

Live streaming is a legitimate business and it’s important that you take yourself seriously if you want your viewers to as well. Whether you’re streaming a basketball match or a church service, make an effort to be at the venue well in advance to evaluate the setting, lighting, and sound. You may also find that the internet connection you’d anticipated is far from the standard bandwidth and that you need to find an alternative right away. Planning isn’t limited only to your shoot. It also extends to marketing and promotions pertaining to your stream. Use social media and newsletters to give your audience a shout out about your broadcast. Ensure that your audience is engaged even when you don’t have a live stream that day; this will ensure that you stay relevant.

Tip 6. Sample Your Stream:

Sampling your stream before you blow it out to your audience is imperative. Run a stream before your scheduled start to check that your sound, lighting, and equipment are working optimally. It’s better to weed out any problems before your viewers spot them.

Tip 7. Employ a Content Delivery Network:

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can sit beneath your live streaming platform to power your live stream to various corners of the world. StreamNow is a service that pairs well with just about any CDN, keeping your servers from getting clogged and lending your platform a professional touch.

Tip 8. Shoot In Multiple Definitions:

You may decide to shoot exclusively in high-definition to give your stream a crystal clear finish, but by doing so, you’ll be missing out on a considerable portion of the market. Keep in mind that only a certain percentage of your viewers may have access to high-speed internet, so it’s always wise to stream your content concurrently in standard definition.

Tip 9. Shelve Open Programmes:

Open programmes and applications can slow down your computer so if you find your stream lagging or faltering, you know what to do. Close or disable any open programmes while you’re live streaming because your computer’s capabilities may be restricted to a specific number of concurrent operations.

Tip 10. Be Punctual:

You owe it to your viewers to be punctual. Start streams on time by being at the venue well in advance and setting up your equipment. By being tardy, you may lose out on viewers who had logged in at the promised time. Also, set up a consistent schedule for your live streams. Reserve specific days in advance so that your audience doesn’t have to keep checking in on you to be up to date on streams.

With these 10 tips, you’re covered for your next 10 streams and beyond. Go on, see the difference for yourself.

What is HLS Streaming and When You Should Use It?

What is HLS Streaming and When You Should Use It?

As with other forms of technology, video delivery technology has seen a rapid evolution over the past few years. Around ten years ago, the world of online video was largely dominated by Adobe Flash. And yet, as the years have rolled on, Flash has slowly sunsetted, making way for new, superior protocols like HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). Also, the HTML5 video player remains the user interface of choice today. This is big news for the tribe of rising entertainment entrepreneurs and marketers. Since HLS and HTML5 are freeshare services, they’re available for consumption to the world at large. And with the number of affordable turnkey video frameworks available, the scope of online video content is vast. Streamhash, a brand that specializes in online video streaming has a tailor-made live streaming technology in its kitty; StreamNow offers broadcasters a chance to stream from anywhere at lightning-fast speeds. The framework has seen notable traction in the market, with numerous new businesses preferring to pick ready-made technologies rather than spend thousands more on designing their own technology stack from scratch. Before understanding how you can pair turnkey frameworks with HLS, let’s gain a deeper understanding of HLS and its role in video streaming.

A Keyhole to HLS:

HLS is a popular streaming protocol that is used to transmit video and audio content from a server to a user via the internet. Here’s how it works:

 

HLS breaks MP4 video content into 10-second segments

These segments are then carried to their destination via HTTP which allows the HLS streaming server to be accessed by an array of devices

Latency varies between 15 and 30 seconds

HLS live streaming is far superior to its counterparts as far as quality is concerned. In fact, broadcasters have the option of tailoring a single stream to varying qualities to accommodate a spectrum of user download speeds. Let’s take an example. Say a user is streaming a high-definition video on their phone via mobile internet. If the internet drops, the user may experience a muted or dead space in the stream. However, HLS live streaming allows users to alter their download quality in tandem with the internet availability in the vicinity. As a result, buffering, lags and delays are avoided.

Alternatives to HLS Live Streaming:

We’ve established by now that HLS live streaming is the kingpin of streaming protocols. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only one out there. There are several predecessors to HLS and as is inevitable with technology, there will be innumerable successors. That said, HLS live streaming still shares part of its spotlight with a handful of other protocols.

RTMP:

Real-Time Messaging Protocol, or RTMP for short, was designed at the turn of the millennium specifically for audio and video streaming. It was created by Macromedia as Flash, and when Macromedia later went on to merge with Adobe, the protocol was christened Adobe Flash. Over the last ten years, RTMP has garnered colossal success as an effective video streaming protocol. With the advent of HLS live streaming, RTMP has taken somewhat of a backseat in the video delivery space. Having said that, the majority of video hosting services still hinge on RTMP today. Streamhash incorporates RTMP in all of its frameworks.

HDS:

HDS, or HTTP Dynamic Streaming is a futuristic streaming format created by Adobe, intended to be used along with Flash. It hasn’t gained as much relative momentum, however.

Microsoft Smooth Streaming:

Not to be left behind, Microsoft’s live streaming protocol, Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) works on an adaptive bitrate model, optimizing quality and output. The approach, launched in 2008, is one of the oldest adaptive bitrate mechanisms in the market. In its early days, it was used to stream the Summer Olympics of 2008. Despite its initial novelty, MSS has been outperformed by HLS live streaming in the current market context.

MPEG-DASH:

One of the most recently innovated protocols, MPEG-DASH presents many merits. Entirely HTTP-based, it allows broadcasters to implement its framework faster than ever before. Given its newness, MPEG-DASH still has a considerable way to go in reaching the corners of the streaming market. Presently, it has been embraced and applied by a number of noteworthy broadcasters. MPEG-DASH is also codec-agnostic, implying that content sent through it can be composed of virtually any encoding format.

Advantages of HLS Live Streaming:

HLS live streaming brings much value to the table. Here’s how it can help you.

Quality:

We’ve already spoken about how HLS live streaming can bring about better quality. Adaptive bitrate modeling can optimize the delivery of streams, ensuring a superior viewing experience.

Compatibility:

HLS video streaming is compatible with a large number of operating systems. Although originally tailored for iOS, HLS has evolved to be a protocol of choice for Android, Microsoft, Linux as well as a range of web browsers.

When to Use HLS Live Streaming:

HLS is a versatile, modern streaming tool that can be used universally. Despite its many advantages, the latency tethered to HLS is known to be higher than other modes of live streaming. Essentially, live streams may lose their essence owing to the lag in delivery, some being delayed up to thirty seconds. That said, this doesn’t present a concern for most broadcasters, for whom a half-a-minute lag typically holds little significance against a larger broadcasting backdrop. HLS is also required if you intend to stream to mobile handsets and tablets. With mobile devices quickly shrouding larger screens across the world, HLS becomes significant. Another point to note is that HTML5 video players do not pair with RTMP or HDS. HLS then becomes the sole option.

HLS is quickly making its way up the technology ladder, thanks to its superior features and versatility. If you’re big on video streaming and intend to set up a platform, make sure to have an HLS protocol handy. In the next five years, it’s likely to rule the online video space.

 

5 Best Live Video Streaming Apps for Mobile

5 Best Live Video Streaming Apps for Mobile

The genesis of live video streaming apps is much older than 2017. When Android was still young, there was a veritable chorus of choices – Ustream and Tango. Live video streaming apps couldn’t fit in neatly with Android phones as the phones weren’t smart enough yet. Today, Android phones have shown their prowess and free live streaming apps are too many. One of the foremost honorable mentions is Meerkat, which was initiated in 2015. In a display of pure and elegant streaming, this live streaming app took the web by storm. However, many apps raced ahead of Meerkat and soon, Meerkat was forced to shut down.

Before getting into the details of the best live streaming apps, here are a few stats:

 

9 in 10 American adults have a smartphone

By the end of 2020, more than 70% of the world population is estimated to have a smartphone. In other words, the number of smartphone users stands at an estimated 6.1 billion.

With smartphones becoming mini-TV destinations, approximately 53% of the total video content watched was watched on smartphones
Ericsson Mobility report reveals that video traffic is all set to grow 55 percent every year till 2020.

All these stats substantiate that live video streaming through smartphones is yet to reach its saturation. This market is here to shine and prosper. That being said, let us now look at the 5 best live video streaming apps:

Periscope:

Periscope is a live streaming app for Android and iOS, owned by Twitter. Quite obviously, you should have a Twitter account to avail the services of this live streaming app. With this app, you stream videos either to a selective group or to all. If you wish to put on an exhibition of enchanting live video streaming, it is important to share the broadcast link on Twitter and other social networking sites such as Facebook. To view your live video stream, people need not download Periscope app. They can watch directly on their respective Twitter feeds. Viewers can like the videos and comment their thoughts.

Periscope - Live Streaming App

There is a provision to replay videos for 24 hours only after the broadcast has ended. Another endearing option in Periscope is the presence of “Replay Highlights” which allows your fans and followers to re-watch the best parts of the concluded live video stream. And yes, this is a boon to all your followers who couldn’t catch-up live. There is also a provision to save your broadcast once the live video stream has concluded. To discover live video streams, make the best use of the Discover tab. One of the defining features of this live video streaming app is that it provides real time statistics on the number of live viewers, replay viewers, etc. Its web interface is genuinely intuitive and a few select partners can avail live 360 degree video streaming feature. If you are serious about Periscope, spare a thought for it and download it without any qualms.

Facebook Live:

Facebook is a true-blue social networking platform just like Twitter. Its service is not limited to social networking. Its services have gone into overdrive in the wake of live video streaming. Initially, its live streaming services were made available only to popular actors and performers. Today, it is no longer a celebrity service. Every Facebook user can avail its services. At the bottom of the screen, viewer comments can be seen. And of course, likes and emoticons floating all across the screen is commonplace. Apart from watching live video streams on the web, you can watch them on the official Facebook app as well.

Facebook Live Streaming App

There is a built-in provision to start live video streaming from the status box of the mobile application. To go live, choose “Go Live” option. It is as easy as it can get. Be informed that the maximum duration of any Facebook live video is capped at 90 minutes. There is also a provision to save videos for later viewing. Facebook has a massive user base of 2 billion active users and this is a propitious time to stay connected with your fans by creating events and groups. Broadcasting selectively to events and groups is very much in Facebook’s scheme of things.

Instagram Live Stories:

If you not much of a Facebook and Twitter user, then try Instagram Live Stories. Prior to 2016, this live streaming feature was absent in Instagram. Today, Instagram has become the symbol of instant gratification through its “Stories” screen and it can be used as a live video streaming app. Implementation of live video streaming in Instagram is different from that on Facebook and Twitter. For all intents and purposes, Instagram is a mobile-only application. Moreover, there is no option to save live video streams. Hence, it is impossible to save precious moments and this makes Instagram play second Fiddle to Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live.

Instagram Live Stories

Any live video can be streamed continuously for as long as 60 minutes. When you engage in live video streaming, your profile picture shall be tagged with a “LIVE” badge. Please be informed that your live videos will feature in “Stories” section.

Broadcast Me:

Broadcast Me is available as a free live video streaming application for Android enabled smartphones. For iOS enabled platforms, it is available as a paid app. To function properly and seamlessly, this live stream app leverages a multimedia server which supports RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) publishing. To use this app for stable and professional streams, there is a mandatory requirement to be fulfilled in its entirety: Encode your live vide stream with H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec.

Live.ly:

Live.ly

The team behind the popular Musical.ly app has announced itself on the world live streaming stage in 2016 through Live.ly app. Not only does this app enable you to watch live streams but also broadcast live. You can join live conversations by posting comments. And yes, there is a provision to send loves to your dear viewers. Another noteworthy feature is “Daily Leaderboard” which helps you identify, browse and follow the top contributors. If you happen to have an account in Musical.ly, it connects Musical.ly to Live.ly and your profile page will feature posts of Musical.ly. This viable live stream app also has a feature to find and send invites to friends through your phone contacts. Of course, you can find them through their user names as well.

StreamNow:

It is time to stoke the embers of grey cells as it is extremely important to have your own live streaming Android and iOS app to stay in touch with your enthusiastic users. StreamNow lets you monetize your live video streams by drumming up subscription based revenue generation model where users will be persuaded and convinced to pay monthly or yearly or as per session fees. For instance, if your live streaming session is on Investment Banking- Merger and Acquisition of two reputed airlines, your users can pay per session basis. There is another monetization feature called Pay per View wherein you can charge live streaming broadcasts every time a user watches your video. Here is a pro tip- Provide free access for one-time viewing. If the users intend to watch again, charge them a certain fixed amount of money.

To do away with the hassles of filling long Sign-in forms, StreamNow is equipped with Social Login feature which can be used by users to secure login from their respective social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Just like Periscope and Facebook Live, StreamNow has a commenting system which takes social engagement to the next level. To increase your conversion rates, it is important to keep your audiences posted about your upcoming live video streaming events. Hassles in payment processing can un-nerve your users. To address this, StreamNow is built with PayPal payment gateway wherein payments across the globe can be processed without any hassles.

StreamHash is also available as a desktop software. It is essentially a Node JS platform hinging on Laravel 5.2 framework. To make it UI responsive across multiple screens and different resolutions, Bootstrap is used. Popular browsers such as Safari and IE do not support WebRTC streaming protocol. This can cause serious concerns to Safari and IE users. To help you strike the perfect chord with your target audiences, StreamHash converts WebRTC into RTP protocol by using Kurento server. This live streaming software further converts RTP protocol to RTMP by using Wowza server. To know more about its features, visit StreamNow.

StreamNow has one of the best customer support teams. All technical issues are handled by the technical support team and web developers. Hence, bouncing of tickets is minimized. If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on live stream tv apps and live video streaming. Do subscribe to our newsletter. My best wishes are with you and your live video streaming venture. Cheers!