Comin' Atcha Live: Web-Based Live Streaming Services Reviewed

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The Equipment
The equipment I used is slightly more powerful than what’s become standard fare for an average internet user, but not by much. My laptop is a MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM and the built-in iSight Camera. I used an Audio-Technica AT3035 microphone with an ART USB Dual Pre USB Preamp and a basic set of headphones for the audio portion. For the browser, I used the latest version of Firefox.

I recorded all videos under the same conditions and attempted to use a similar script but with the site names changed to protect the innocent.

Grab a cup of coffee and let the comparisons begin.

blogTV (www.blogtv.com)
Launched in June 2007, this free video broadcasting platform allows users to easily launch their own channel, split screens with another user, and manage viewer interaction.

test for streamingmedia - Broadcast your self LIVE

• Easy-to-use interface
• Twitter chat integrated
• Scheduled showtimes so users know when to connect
• Broadcast in high quality using Adobe Flash Media Encoder 3

• Banner and screen ads are a bit intrusive
• Social integration includes Facebook-style "gifties"
• Most popular channels appear to be scantily clad "confession" shows (not necessarily cold if that’s what you’re looking for in a live video service)

Best For
If you have a rabid, regular fan base or would like to build one, then blogTV would probably be a great social network to live broadcast your show.

Justin.tv (www.justin.tv)
With more than 5 million registered users and more than 41 million unique visitors a month, Justin.tv definitely lives up to its claim as "the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video." It continues to lead by recently opening up its API to encourage third-party development on top of its platform. Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace keeps it hot on the social side, while entertainment and gaming news prove it can be used as a business tool.

Watch live video from thinkjose on Justin.tv

• Seamless one-click live broadcasting
• One of the cleanest designs I tested
• Ease of use, with nice big buttons, fonts, etc.
• Platform feels very solid
• Only tool I tested with no errors or drops

• Launched Twitter video tool called Camtweet.com, which is simple but lacking features available in other Twitter tools
• Lots of adorable live kitten and puppy cams (nice if you’re into burning some time online)
• Leader in this space, but overall, feels like it is falling behind some of the other competitors

Best For
Internationally, Justin.tv is the hot space to stream your live videos, but be aware that in some countries you have to purchase a Pro account to view any of the videos during peak times.

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