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Pros and Cons of On-Premise Software-Based Streaming

Jan Ozer discusses bandwidth, latency, and other issues associated with on-prem and cloud-based streaming solutions in this clip from Live Streaming Summit West.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jan Ozer: You should be aware that products like Wirecast, and also in this class, vMix, give you the ability to select multiple outputs from one particular software program. So if I'm streaming with Wirecast, I can go out to Facebook Live. I can go out to YouTube Live, directly from Wirecast itself. It can create the separate streams, and output those individually.

What's the big negative of this approach? Bandwidth. So if I'm going to stream two separate streams to YouTube Live, and to Facebook Live, I'm going to want to send a 2-3 Mbps stream out, to both services, or maybe even higher. 720p would be 2-3, 1080p, if you want to try that, it's going to be 5-6, per service. And if you try and do that, I don't know what kind of luck you've had, the last place I tried to do a live stream from had 600 Kbps output, I ended up using 4G to get it out.

The big negative of any kind of approach to consolidate multiple streams out, is that you've really got to worry about your bandwidth. Whenever I go to a live event, my main concern is outbound bandwidth. How do I get the signal out of the building? And if you do Wirecast, or any of the products we've talked about, up until this point, you're doubling or tripling the requirements, to get it out of the building. And that's the big advantage of the cloud products that we're going to be talking about in a few minutes. You get one high-quality signal out to the cloud, and then they do the splitting, and the routing, and that's the big advantage.

Who's the typical customer for Wirecast? It's a very popular piece of software. Lot of people, I don't think Snoop is using it for his latest game show, but he's obviously used it before.

And why use Wirecast rather than splitting via cloud service? Again, the subscription pricing, one interface to learn, deeper API integration with each of the individual services, and latency. So they're saying, you add a level of latency because you're doing splitting in the cloud. Everybody hates latency, but for most events, unless you're running some kind of betting event, or an event 5-10 seconds, or even 15-20 seconds, it's not going to be a huge deal. If you're running an online auction, or using a gaming site, yeah, that's a big deal. But for most live productions, I don't think latency is going to be a big issue.

What's features differentiate Wirecast from other products? It is cross-platform. I've used it on both Mac and Windows. It is a pretty easy-to-use program. They've got good support. And then, deep integration with the services make it really simple to use the product, and connect to Facebook Live, or to YouTube Live.

The software is actually pretty affordable: $495 for the studio version, and $995 for the pro version. Telestream has started offering bundled hardware and software, so you can avoid the laptop issue that we talked about, or you can avoid having to configure your own system, which sometimes, things can go wrong. But they'll sell you a system that's turnkey, all the components were selected for capture, and optimal CPU performance with Wirecast, and that's a good way to go, if you don't want to try and configure your own system.

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