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Going Live with the Teradek VidiU Go at Streaming Media West 2019

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Each year at Streaming Media East and West we do 15-20 interviews with key speakers and exhibitors over the two-day conference to discuss important developments and trends in the industry. For the last few years we've streamed these interviews to Facebook Live.

Usually I take the opportunity to test some new gear. Typically we're working from a fixed location but with limited space in the Streaming Media booth—which also serves as a place to distribute magazines and a gathering place for readers and attendees in the exhibit hall—so we can't necessarily accommodate a live-switched setup with a lot of moving parts, even though we do shoot with two cameras. 

So my preferred setup over the years has involved a compact, one-touch, camera-mountable streaming encoder like the Teradek VidiU Pro, the LiveU Solo, or the Epiphan Webcaster X2. During an interview last year at Streaming Media West 2018, Teradek VP Sales Jon Landman introduced us to the VidiU Go, the beefed-up, HEVC-capable successor to the VidiU Pro. And in February of this year, Anthony Burokas did a thorough, rave review of the VidiU Go for Streaming Media Producer. So I was eager to try it out at Streaming Media West 2019.

Somehow, gearing up to do video at your own conference never seems to add up to a lot of uninterrupted setup time. Without fail, at past events, we've found ourselves scrambling to get our streaming workflow going as we did the first few interviews, and we've typically settled for about an 80% success rate in delivering our streams. 

Working with our tireless interviewer, Streaming Media Contributing Editor Tim Siglin, we produced 21 videos at Streaming Media West 2019 and streamed them all, without fail, via the VidiU Go, to the Streaming Media Facebook page. Although we've worked with good gear in the past, whether dealing with bandwidth issues, captive screen logins, or audio sync problems, we've never had one of these interview productions go quite this smoothly.

The VidiU Pro is easy to set up in Teradek's Core Cloud device management app, shown in the images below.

Although the VidiU Go supports bonded streaming (see Anthony Burokas' review) we had a hardwired Ethernet connection that we used throughout this shoot to stream at 3.2Mbps to Streaming Media's Facebook page.

The only issue we encountered with the VidiU Go was interpreting the 7-10 second limbo period where the small LCD on the VidiU go shows "Starting..." before indicating that a stream is live. As is evident in the streams we did, the stream in fact goes live a few seconds earlier—sometime between when the "Starting..." text appears and when the VidiU Go indicates the stream is underway. This can make for some embarrassing moments of the "deer in the headlights" or "inappropriate on-air remarks" variety.

In this year's informative interview with Teradek's Jon Landman (below), he points out that Core Cloud allows users to upload a pre-roll or bumper video to play as the stream goes live and fill that interval in a manner that brings a more professional sheen to the production than one typically applies with a one-touch encoder. This feature gives producers opportunities to go out with a pre-recorded clip as well.

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