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Video: How to Build an Internal Streaming Solution

Building an effective internal streaming solution for the enterprise is a bit like assembling a puzzle, and it means identifying all of the interlocking pieces that will work most effectively together to create a high-quality, reliable stream from production to delivery. It also means building in the flexibility to swap out components as new technologies emerge or new functionality is required. Howard & Associates founder Andy Howard explains how to build an internal streaming solution that will work for your organization in this excerpt from a Streaming Media West 2016 panel discussion.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Andy Howard: The architecture that you should try to build is to use best of breed for each of the different pieces of functionality. Therefore, if there's some brand new whiz-bang encoder that comes out, you can easily just replace that piece of it without having to replace the rest of the solution.

Outside of the technology, there's a lot of different types of people that are going to be involved in this. You've got your production people. You've got the networking folks that need to be involved from the distribution side of things. You have the corporate communications, which is a marketing department. So there's a lot of different groups that you need to make sure all have their own requirements delivered and are part of the initial discussions. The projects that I worked on that are typically the most successful are when all the groups have come to the table and are part of creating the solution, verses if just a networking team drives it, then they're going to miss a lot of the key requirements that some of the other organizations have. Then all these pieces now with a modern API, it's going to all be stitched together very effectively.

Getting the video into the solution and delivering it out really are two different pieces of functionality. When you're doing your production, you've got your production facilities. You can create that content and then it gets delivered by the system and then now when people are going to do their user-generated content, it's the same thing. It's the same delivery piece, it's all the same. It's just the input piece that changes.

In this case, there's a variety of ways you can get video, live video sources, or on-demand, and one is just a camera hooked up to the production. What a lot of the large organizations I work with do is they use the video conferencing rooms as sort of a studio, so that if the person's in office in Chicago, and they want to be able to deliver a webcast from there, they'll video-conference back to the production studio. The production people in New York, for example, will run the show. All the person has to do is go into the video-conferencing room, it's already got nice lighting, it's got nice mics, and then they can deliver the content from there.

Skype for business is becoming a more popular video source as well. Then in a lot of cases if you're doing a remote production, like at a hotel or something like this, we would typically recommend that they take an encoder on=site, deliver that content back to a decoder, and then they can run it all through the production back in their facility. The key point is that it all goes into one production facility and then it gets delivered out from there, so then it will run into and encoder, it can get delivered internally via multi-cast or peer-to-peer, then externally, it can get delivered through a streaming service from a CDN.

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