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Streaming Live Events to Multiple Destinations

VideoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt offers strategic and technical tips on streaming deployment for live producers looking to stream events to multiple social platforms simultaneously in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media West 2019.

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Read the complete transcript of this clip:

To plan and set up, this gets more into the technical nitty-gritty and talks more about social media destinations-- when to use them, when not to use them. I'm a big fan of social media destinations. To piggyback, one of the nice things that Wowza can do, as a streaming engine, is create stream targets. So, if, like, the BC government wants to hit their Facebook Live page, as well as have their own player running on their internal player page for mainstream employees to be watching, they can do that with a stream target set up on Wowza.

Of course, Wowza has their ClearCaster product, too, which, I haven't used yet. If you want 1080p on Facebook, for example, the ClearCaster will let you do that if you're using a Facebook-approved device. I think I just read something where they're enabling 1080p now, in selective regions. So you don't need to use a ClearCaster, but that's something to keep in mind. YouTube will give you 1080p for your input, going out. But Facebook will not, not unless you're in a region that they're rolling it out to or you're using one of those expensive ClearCasters to manage that broadcast for you. I'm not saying it's a bad idea. If you're using Facebook a lot and you have 1080p sources you wanna drive, you probably wanna look at something like the ClearCaster to use it. The government wanted me to get one for free and try and use them for development purposes. But I don't have that kind of clout. They think, "Oh, you speak at Streaming Media. Go get us a free ClearCaster." I'm like, "I can't really pull that. If we're going to have to get one, I can probably get you a test unit, but if you wanna buy one, we'll have to buy one."

But one of the things with social media--and it's tricky because, especially the more security risks that I can potentially bring to the equation with my service offering--I won't necessarily get access to the streaming media to have authorized access to it. Usually, what I like people to do is add one of my Facebook accounts to their admin team and then remove me. The worst thing is for them to share the credentials to one of their accounts with me. Then they have to change passwords and it's just like, "No. Just add me to your team, to the admin team, so I can, have Wowza push directly to it."

We've had, I think, one failed government event where all the testing with their test account worked just fine. But as soon as we tried to go the live government page, there was an authentication failure, because the person that they gave us credentials for was removed from that group. It was so hard to figure out in the post mortem just what exactly happened there. Because we were getting this denial of the stream from a Wowza level. And it worked perfectly before.

Most people don't want me to do tests on their live page, even if you're gonna delete them immediately following, because people get notifications. That's one thing I wish you could do on a social media platform, like Facebook, is disable notifications for public tests, right? Or if I wanna do a test to a government page on Facebook. It's a rightful concern, 'Cause if there's 10,000, 20,000, 30,000-- however many people in the province that are subscribed or want notifications of a live stream going, they'll get a false-positive, right? They're all gonna get a notification that the government's live streaming. And that's all bad, right?

But you can only do so much of testing against a completely different account. I can test all day to my personal timeline, and it's gonna go great. That doesn't mean it's gonna go great with the actual page, on the day of. Again, I'll just highlight that, I would encourage you, if you're not already doing it, to create some kind of error-free, uninterrupted live stream. I outlined the solution that I've built for Wowza. You can do it, you can probably do it with NGINX and some C++ programming, too. You know, there's other extensible, third-root technology out there that could do that exact same thing.

But you don't have to just suffer, like, "Oh, publish from the encoder and then it's available as a stream." No, you can make it so that the stream's always available, or at least available before that. I didn't even mention DVR, but DVR is becoming something that I would expect to be available for all live broadcasts. That can be a stakeholder decision. Do you want people to be able to rewind into the broadcast? How much of it's left there? I work with, one of my clients, he's actually a business partner, as well. He does hockey, minor league hockey league streaming in British Columbia. And we're only recently adding DVR to his offering.

One of the things with DVR is like if you're using the consistent stream name over and over again, and you have a rolling window, you might actually have the past event in the DVR window, right? So, you might see yesterday's game if you don't clear out your DVR, or you don't have a, you know, it's just yet another strategy that you have to work out so that you make sure that people aren't seeing something that they're not supposed to. Because maybe they didn't pay to see it.

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VideoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt discusses best practices for setting up audio and video mixing for live-streamed events in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media West 2019.