Live Streaming Workflows: Live Broadcasts/Webcasts
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Although we will only present a few possible workflows, they are not necessarily the only ones, but they will help you understand the necessary components needed in order to make a live broadcast. We will be focusing on affordability.
Basically, you will need 4 components:
1. A video source.
2. Live Encoder.
3. A Media Server or live streaming service/CDN which provides playback URL un a supported technology (For example: HLS/m3u8).
4. WS.WebTV with StreamClip extension.
1. Video source
This can be anything from a Webmcam, to a VTR/VCR-like equipment or professional grade video camera connected to a capture card, this is up to your needs...
2. Live Encoder
A Live encoder is a hardware/software capable of compressing the video source, in realtime, and send the compressed video to a media server/CDN in a specific format, using a specific protocol.
- Example of live encoder software: Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (old, FREE, very basic but still good for most people), vMix, Wirecast
3. Media Server/Live Streaming Service provider/CDN
The media server is a software (that is hosted on a Web server) which is optimized/specialized in "serving"/"delivering" media content to the end users, through the WebTV, for example. The media server takes the compressed video supplied by the live encoder and broadcast it to the users.
Wait, what about a CDN??? A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of servers (with media server) that is far more cappable that a single dedicated server and offers the possibility to serve the content virtually to an unlimited number of simultaneous users. Check out our CDN document for more info.
A live streaming service provider is normally a CDN company which has the necessary infrastructure to receive the video published by you, from the live enconder, and provides the necessary playback URLs (which are the ones that you need to use ion the WebTV).
- Example of CDN / live streaming service providers: CDNsun.com*, 5CentsCDN.net*, Transparent CDN
- The most popular media server softwares are: Wowza Media Server, Nimble, Adobe Media Server, Red5
WS.WebTV, through the StreamClip extension, is able to connect with media servers in order to display the media content to the users, by using streaming or progressive playback.
If you are planning to do a broadcast which is compatible with multiple devices, you can use the following workflow:
1. Video source: High quality Webcam (USB) or DV Camera.
2. Live Enconder:
• Option 1: Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (Free) + MainConcept ACC plugin. The live encoder can use a USB camera, Firewire port or some capture device to receive the video feed.
• Option 2: Wirecast / vMix ... The live encoder can use a USB camera, Firewire port or some capture device to receive the video feed.
2.1. Video format: H.264 baseline for the video track, AAC for the audio track.
3. Media Server: Wowza Media Server installed on a dedicated server.
4. WS.WebTV + StreamClip extension.
Calculate the bandwidth required for video streaming.
NOTE: Publishing (upload) is also accounted for the bandwidth (traffic) calculation, thus it is the equivalent to add one additional. Therefore, if you want to estimate the traffic for 100 users, you should enter 101 users.