Looking to expand your company’s online video efforts with live streams? Then take some advice from an industry expert.
A live streaming specialist for AOL and the Huffington Post, Dylan Armajani has gotten a lot of experience with live video. In his presentation at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, he explained that he handles at least three live streaming events each week for his company. That figure has jumped with the recent launch of HuffPost Live, an online network that currently streams live for 12 hours, 5 days a week.
As an expert in the field, Armajani offered a master class in selecting a live video encoder and then configuring it.
“When we start deciding how are we going to do an event, we have three main choices, three ways that we can actually do our live encoding: we can do something that’s software-based, something that’s hardware-based, or what’s becoming more and more popular, which is the software-hardware-cloud hybrid all mixed together,” Armajani explained.
He started out by explaining how software-based encoders work and naming a few leading options.
“Software-based live encoding, really a specialty software that’s installed on non-proprietary hardware, something I could run on this laptop that’s made specially for live encoding,” said Armajani. “Examples are Flash Media Live Encoder, Telestream Wirecast, and a whole bunch of others.”
He then offered pros and cons for software-based encoders.
“The pros are that it can run on just about anything, it’s pretty cheap to get into the market — you can spend a couple hundred bucks, buy some software, use your laptop that you have, and start your streaming,” noted Armajani. “The cons are that you often can’t deliver HLS, it’s often slightly more crash-prone because you’re mixing hardware and software that aren’t necessarily optimized for each other, and often the user is using a piece of hardware that’s probably not ideal for what they’re doing.”
For much more on live video encoding choices, including all the details on hardware-based and hybrid encoders, watch the full video below and download a PDF of the presentation.