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Upcoming Industry Conferences
Streaming Media West [19-20 Nov 2019]
Esport & Sports Streaming Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [19 Nov 2019]
Streaming Media East [5-6 May 2020]
Past Conferences
Streaming Media East [7-8 May 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [7-8 May 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [7-8 May 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [7-8 May 2019]
Content Delivery Summit [6 May 2019]
Streaming Forum [26 February 2019]

Executive Decisions: Gearing Up for Corporate Streaming

The availability of simple and affordable, quality, professional equipment can enhance your corporate messaging. Let's take a look at some of what's available and see how it can be used to revolutionize your messaging inside the office

Another option, the Epiphan Pearl-2 (Figure 5, below), comes with six video inputs (4 HDMI and 2 12G SDI) and offers some unique features. First, the Pearl-2 has a built-in streaming server that can offer an interoffice stream for up to 50 viewers using popular streaming protocols like HTTP, HLS, and FLV. This keeps any sensitive company info off the web. It also has CMS and LMS integration for popular services like Blackboard, Kaltura, Mediasite, and Moodle. Of course, the Pearl can stream to all the major platforms like Facebook, YouTube, IBM, Livestream, and others while also having the ability to be used on custom enterprise servers.

Figure 5. Epiphan Pearl-2

If you never stream from multiple cameras, or if you are going to stream from a remote location and can’t take all of your gear with you, consider purchasing a LiveU Solo (Figure 6, below). This compact, camera-mountable streaming device allows you to take a single input (HDMI or SDI) and stream it directly to your preferred platform or platforms.

Figure 6. LiveU Solo 

Once you’ve set up the device in your account by connecting your streaming platforms, you only need to push a button on the device to start streaming. Yet another outstanding feature of the Solo is bonding. Bonding takes multiple internet connections (i.e., Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cellular modems) and combines all of their bandwidth into one large data pipe. Not only does this give you a higher quality stream, but it also keeps you up and running should one of your connections drop out entirely.

Of course, for any video production you’ll need a good set of cameras. PTZOptics delivers some of the most affordable and reliable PTZ cameras available anywhere. Whether you need just one in a conference room for video conferencing or need a whole stable of them to use for your all-hands meetings, PTZOptics cameras come in a range of configurations to suit your needs.

The cameras come in several configurations of either 12x, 20x or 30x zoom lenses (Figure 7, below). Connectivity options include SDI, HDMI, USB, or NDI. (You’ll read more about NDI later in this article.) Not only does PTZOptics offer free software to control their cameras from a browser; they also make joystick control panels that can operate more cameras than you’d ever need.

Figure 7. PTZOptics 30x NDI|HX Network Broadcast Camera

Another company offering a stable of NDI-capable equipment is BirdDog. BirdDog makes a full line of studio equipment from NDI converters that allow you to use non-NDI cameras with NDI systems to PTZ cameras and remotecontrollers. Their line of 4K compatible converters includes models with a single HDMI and SDI port up to the 4K Quad model (Figure 8, below) which has one HDMI and four 12G SDI ports.

Figure 8. BirdDog 4K Quad NDI

NDI

Throughout this article you’ve seen NDI mentioned, but perhaps you don’t know what it is. NDI (Network Device Interface) was developed by NewTek (manufacturer of the TriCaster) and released to the public in 2016 as an open source video transmittal technology. Think of it as an alternative to running HDMI or SDI cables between cameras, switchers, and other equipment normally connected to a video system. In a nutshell, NDI allows a user to utilize existing gigabit network infrastructure to connect a wide range of devices together through standard ethernet cables and ports. Since many PTZ cameras are now offered with PoE (Power Over Ethernet), this also means that control, signal, and power can flow through a single cable rather than three.

NewTek maintains an SDK that’s mobile, Windows, Linux, and macOS-compatible. Software developers and hardware manufacturers can integrate NDI into their products at zero up-front or ongoing cost.

Quite possibly the biggest reason that NDI has taken off in adoption is the ease of setup. The entire technology has been designed to make interconnecting devices for complex, multi-camera setups as painless as possible. NewTek has taken what used to be a laborious multi-hour, or even multi-day, process of setting up a production infrastructure for an event and turned it into a ridiculously simple plug-and-play process. NDI is capable of handling hundreds of sources, so the limitations really come down to the gear being used. NewTek’s TriCasters are designed to adapt bandwidth requirements for preview monitors or small multiview windows so that the full resolution and data of each signal is not always being pulled. In short, NDI is the future of IP-based video production and will likely supplant existing connectivity technology.

Video Benefits Corporate

Recently, PTZOptics Chief Streaming Officer Paul Richards authored a white paper on why live streaming on LinkedIn represents a huge opportunity for business. In it, he notes that two years after Microsoft acquired the professional social network for $26.2 billion dollars, the company announced its own enterprise streaming product called Microsoft Stream. Integrated with Microsoft’s popular Office365 software, the technology, when implemented. allows a corporation to set up its own YouTube-like internal video catalog. This is great for businesses that need to keep training, sensitive corporate comms, and other “internal use only” content behind the corporate firewall. But huge opportunities exist for these same companies to livestream to their customers and partners.

Live streams generate significantly more interest and engagement among audiences than on-demand corporate video. Live video has the additional advantage of enabling users to see and hear something before anyone else, and engage directly with the content provider in real time. Of course, content matters, and live streams don’t simply replace paid ads by providing a platform where marketing can hard-sell your products and services. Live stream watchers are there because they’re interested in your company and what you have to say. They also hope to learn something. Reward them by providing quality content for their time, not just a sales pitch.

The most effective way to ensure that you deliver high-quality video content to your audience is by starting with high-quality, professional equipment like the gear that’s been mentioned within this article. While there’s certainly a time and place to hire a video engineer to design and set up your corporate video system, today’s technology is accessible and simple enough that even someone new to live production can take their organization’s in-house corporate video to new heights.

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