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30 Days to a Better (Streaming) You: Conferences Lead the Way
Spring is the time to sharpen your streaming skills. If you started with NAB last week, be sure to continue your journey with Streaming Media East in May.

A few years ago, the exercise regimen called “30 Days to a Better You” was all the rage. As part of Today's challenge to “every American to get off their butt, out of their bad habits, and into shape,” the experts offered advice on diet and exercise.

The streaming equivalent of 30 Days to a Better You is upon us. Those of you reading this at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas are in a great place to start your 30 days: The show is full of both products and sessions to help you transition to streaming, increase your streaming acumen, or fill your production kit with tools for the next level of live production.

This magazine is one such tool, with the how-to articles and Who to See at NAB section. In addition, Paul Schmutzler, who was my production partner in Braintrust Digital until the end of 2015 and continues to write for Streaming Media Producer under his own banner, has a session on small production gear. Based on his Streaming Media article “How to Think Small and Travel Light: The Streaming Video Carry-On”, the session will cover all the tips you need to produce in the field with minimal cost.

Less than 30 days after NAB, the focus shifts to New York City and the annual Streaming Media East event. Held May 10–11, the show has both an exhibit hall and several tracks of practical and business advice on streaming formats, industry trends, and production recommendations.

Focus areas include Content Management and Workflows, Devices and Platforms, Encoding and Transcoding, Enterprise and Education, and Monetizing Content. In addition, sessions will highlight over-the-top (OTT), live video, and TV Everywhere.

On the Monday prior to Streaming Media East, two additional events will be held: the annual Content Delivery Summit and Streaming Media University. From build-versus-buy training to end-to-end live streaming workflows, Streaming Media University offers in-depth training in multiple-hour sessions.

One of the hardest parts of any 30-day challenge, be it educational or exercise, is willpower to continue the journey. To help you throughout the year, I’ve got three suggestions.

First, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the 2016 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook, our annual double issue that came out in March. It has a number of buyers’ guides as well as overviews of the state of the industry, from enterprise to education and from mobile to OTT.

Second, be sure to read the product reviews online at StreamingMedia.com throughout the year. We’ll be covering ultraportable workstations, new cameras, advances in video optimization, and the maturation of players (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming via HTTP, or DASH) and codecs (High Efficiency Video Codec, or HEVC).

Finally, consider joining an industry forum, such as LinkedIn groups focused on streaming media. Live Video Streaming and Streaming Media Professionals are two examples. These groups offer not just direct connection to a number of streaming experts, but also links to industry blogs and other helpful technical resources.

If you’re picking this up after the April or May 2016 publication date, don’t worry about having missed the 30 Days to a Better You. Both the sessions from NAB and Streaming Media East are recorded, with select sessions made available online. Besides the main sessions, Streaming Media East also has a Discovery Track, which allows select streaming vendors to highlight their products or services.

Like the 30-day exercise regimen, which starts with incremental and intelligent changes that anyone can make, the first steps to a better streaming media you might seem small, but the “exercise” regimen noted above will be certain to assist in streamlining your 2016 streaming projects.

This article appears in the April/May 2016 issue of Streaming Media magazine as "30 Days to a Better (Streaming) You."

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