Wise Tips for Making the Most of Video Streaming for Business
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Experts predict that by the year 2021, the net worth of the video streaming market will be $70.5 billion. Most of the predicted growth will come from live streaming events. All types of businesses, including the news media, the government, educational facilities, entertainment branches, sports organizations, and enterprises have embraced and actively use live streaming videos.
Using live streaming can help you reach whatever goals you have set for your company. If you have never hosted a live stream or handled an online video operation, there are several mistakes that can be made. This article provides you with the top seven tips to ensure you successfully stream live video. After reading, you will know how to stream live, high-quality videos and avoid most of the mistakes. No matter whether you have been doing live streams for years or are just beginning to live stream, these tips are sure to help. Let’s take a look at these tips and how to incorporate them into your next live streaming video.
1. Ensure You Are Using The Right Encoder Settings
Using the right encoder settings is the first step to ensure you have a successful live stream. Use the following encoder settings when you are streaming a live video with DaCast.
Video Codec: A video codec is used to encode and decode digital videos. The recommended codec for all secure video streaming is h.264. This video codec can differ in labeling depending on the encoder that is used. For example, an open source codec can be labeled as x264; however, it is the same as an h.264. Because other advanced video codecs are not widely supported, you should only use h.264.
Additionally, you want to ensure that you are using the proper h.264 profile. If you are streaming at 720p or lower, you should choose the “Main” profile. If you will be streaming at greater resolutions, opt for the “High” profile.
Understanding Resolution Options
Resolution is the size of the video. Resolution is measured in pixels. The common resolutions used today, include:
- 240p – 426 pixels wide x 240 pixels high
360p – 426 pixels wide x 240 pixels high
480p (Standard Definition [SD]) – 854 pixels wide x 480 pixels high
720p (High Definitions [HD]) – 1280 pixels wide x 720 pixels high
1080p (Full High Definition [Full HD]) – 1920 pixels wide x 1080 pixels high
When you stream higher resolution videos, you will use more bandwidth. Additionally, your viewers will use more bandwidth for watching your live secure live video streams. Because of this, you may wish to broadcast your live stream using multiple resolutions and multiple bitrates. Multiple bitrate streaming allows viewers to receive the best quality videos.
Bitrate is the amount of data that is processed over a set amount of time. Bitrates can be measured by kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). There are 1,000 Kbps in one Mbps.
The higher your video resolution, the more data is needed to ensure your video is crisp and clear. For instance, if you stream a low-quality 240p video, you will need to have a 400 Kbps to ensure a good user viewing experience. Alternatively, a live stream in 1080p full HD will require between 4 and 8 Mbps. Let’s take a look at the recommended bitrates for the different resolutions.
240p – between 300 and 500 Kbps
360p – between 500 and 800 Kbps
480p – between 800 Kbps and 2 Mbps
720p – between 1.5 and 4 Mbps
1080p – between 3 and 6 Mbps
The bitrate for audio is much simpler. If you are streaming a 240p video, your audio bitrate should be 64 Kbps. Increase the audio bitrate to 96 for streams using 360p or 480p. Finally, the audio bitrate for a secure video players at 720p or higher should be 128 or 192 Kbps.
Other Encoder Setting
Here are some other encoder settings that you should be aware of.
Audio Channels: If you are streaming above 360p, opt for stereo. If you are streaming below 360p, opt for mono.
Audio Sample Rate: Set your audio sample rate to 22 kHz.
Constant Bitrate (CBR)
Frames per Second (Fps) – Standard videos should be streamed at 30 fps while sports should be streamed at 60 fps.
Keyframe intervals: Keyframe intervals should be set to 2 seconds.
2. Use a Professional Video Platform with a CDN
Compared to consumer grade video platforms, professional grade video platforms offers the following advantages:
- Custom branding (white label service)
- The ability to monetize your videos
- Security features
- Tech Support
- API access to help you customize platforms and build apps
- Retaining all rights to your content
This is just the start of why you should use professional grade video platforms. Content delivery networks (CDNs) allow you to reach more people. For example, DaCast partners with the first CDN that is still a global leader, Akamai.
Faster global delivery streams help to minimize buffering problems. A professional video platform helps maximize views and ensures your stream is reliable and professional looking.
3. Embed and Promote Your Stream
You need to embed and promote your stream if you want to be effective. Live streams can be embedded on your website as well as websites of your partners using embed codes. These embed codes allow you to place your stream on your landing pages as well as other important sites.
This should be a part of your larger promotion attempts. Your live streams should be promoted before the event. You can help ensure a larger audience by using either ticket sales or registrations.
Promote your live stream videos through video snippets, social media websites, blogs and email newsletters. Studies have shown that videos on social media websites can increase shares by 1,200 percent when compared to images and text alone. This proven strategy should always be used to help drive traffic to your event. Furthermore, marketers have seen a 49 percent faster revenue growth when a video is used.
4. Test Your Equipment
Live stream videos should never be done without doing a test run ahead of time. To not do a test run, is akin to going skydiving and not using a parachute. To help ensure that your live stream will be successful, run a full test beforehand, using the venue where you will be streaming. Look for any encoder issues or sound or lighting problems. You want to ensure that all of your equipment, including your microphones, cameras, and lighting are working properly. A faulty microphone or camera can prevent your viewers from hearing or seeing you.
5. Record Your Live Streams
Unless you record your live streams, they will probably be lost. It would be a waste of your time, money and effort to lose this valuable broadcast. Video recordings can be converted into VOD files, which will allow you to stream them again in the future. If your video platform offers an automatic recording feature, turn it on. If your video platform does not offer this feature, you can use an encoder to record it locally.
6. Stream Using Multiple Bitrates
Your viewers will get frustrated and upset if they are forced to watch a poor quality stream. If your viewers are unhappy, they are more likely to leave. Furthermore, this can make your company look bad. One survey found that 62 percent of viewers stated they would view a company negatively if a poor quality video was published. This is why you should stream your video using multiple bitrates. When multiple bitrate videos is paired with an adaptive video player, the viewer will receive the best quality video based on their internet connection. The following common streaming bitrate recommendations will keep your total outbound bandwidth to 5 Mbps and provides your viewers with a range of options.
- 240p streamed at 500 Kbps
480p streamed at 1.5 Mbps
720p streamed at 3 Mbps
7. Caption Your Videos
You should caption or use subtitles for your secure video streams. There are millions of hearing impaired individuals around the world. Ensuring these people can view and understand your video can significantly grow your audience. Additionally, depending on what you are streaming and where you are streaming from, there may be legal caption requirements. You can find out more information about captioning your videos HERE.
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