As an IT personnel servicing multiple clients, it’s not unusual to receive requests for products upgrade from customers. The Internet has indeed evolved, from text-based websites to multimedia-rich contents. And as with every progress made, you either adapt or get left behind.
So the case turned out during a meeting with a client, who having just heard of the new way of transmitting live video over the Internet, requested that it be built into his website. He had an upcoming seminar and in order to break the distance barrier, the event had to be streamed live over the Internet. This was an uphill task, since I had not researched much into the new technology called video streaming.
Transmitting a live event from a location to other places is not new, news outfits like CNN and Fox have being able to broadcast live using satellite links. Improvement in video technologies, higher computing power and lower bandwidth cost set the stage for live broadcast of audio and video contents over the Internet. Achieving efficiency with new technologies means a marrying of the old with the new.
The Internet set the stage for live video streaming, with its high speed Internet connection and advanced video compression techniques. To however broadcast video from your website, you may have to do a checklist so you can get the best out of your investment.
Before You Set Up Video Streaming
1. Whether to stream or not to stream. It is one thing to deploy cutting edge technology on your website, its usefulness is another thing entirely. Do not integrate video streaming into your website if it will not reinforce your design objective. The cost of video hosting and bandwidth required is much higher than that for a conventional website. If it is a business site, then the increased cost must be justifiable.
Alternatives could be using graphics and text to tell the story, or transcription of the videos into text versions. Another alternative is using YouTube, you can display an image from the video, write a summary and place a link to the video’s location on YouTube. On YouTube your videos are hosted for free, and they Prostastream can be watched on-demand.
2. Live streaming or Video on Demand. On-line video streaming comes in two forms – live streaming and Video on Demand. Live streaming is real-time broadcast over the Internet; your viewers can only watch the videos as you broadcast them. A missed scene cannot be replayed, and the contents cannot be saved on the computer of the viewer. These are appropriate for high profile meetings, seminars, breaking news and other visuals that are best enjoyed when viewed real time.
For Video on Demand, the videos are saved on the server and can be watched at any time. Packaged programs, musical videos, adverts, are examples of videos suitable for Video on Demand. Videos on you tube are on demand, they can only be downloaded if you’ve got a download manager.
Live streaming requires more hardware – capture cards, web-cams, video recorders, video compression utilities, broadband Internet access etc. It requires more precision, leaving room for no mistakes. Video on Demand less hardware – usually a PC and Internet connection. Your kind of contents and presentation should decide the form of video streaming chosen.
3. Self hosting or hosting by Content Delivery Network. Most web hosts offer video streaming support, so you could host your videos directly on the server that hosts your site. You manage your video streaming from the same window as your website, and you’re completely responsible for the administration.
You could also use the services of Content Delivery Networks who host your videos separately. You are given a separate control panel to manage your videos, and this reduces the weight on your site’s administration and management.