How to have a bulletproof streaming solution for live production with just a camera, an encoder and an internet connection.
Many videographers and companies are now delivering Live Streaming of events, sports, weddings, plays, graduation ceremonies, training sessions, news reporting and promotions. With free or very affordable CDNs like YouTube Live, UStream, Twitch LiveStream, Wowza or any RTMP server you can easily deliver your live content to any number of people, all over the world. All you need is a camera, an encoder and an internet connection.
But what about when you don’t have a good internet connection? Maybe you are in the middle of a ball field or shooting at an outdoor gazebo behind the chapel or you find yourself in the bleachers of a high school football field for graduation? What if you get to the recital hall or auditorium only to find that there isn’t wired internet and/or the WiFi coverage is sketchy at best? Maybe you arrive at the church only to find that someone changed the IP address for the server or the settings on the firewall?
What do you do?
As the saying goes – the show must go on. The Teradek VidiU Pro is the essential tools that solves all these problems and makes sure that you can deliver your live stream as promised, regardless of the internet connectivity issues the location may hit you with. With Teradek’s latest ShareLink™ technology and VidiU Pro, you guarantee the bandwidth needed to stream your HD content from anywhere, to everywhere. ShareLink lets you use up to 4 iPhones or internet connections to deliver the combined bandwidth you need for Live HD streaming, even with poor cell service.
How Does it Work?
The ShareLink allows you to achieve maximum bandwidth and ultimate reliability by bonding multiple internet connections from different sources. You can bond up to 4 internet connections into a single connection. Bonding is a technology that broadcasters have been using for years to upload and deliver their content. They use expensive gear costing many times more than the VidiU Pro. Teradek products like the Bond and Bolt use cellular bonding in broadcast environments, so these guys know how to do it right. With the robust connectivity of ShareLink™, you can be sure that your HD live video feed will get to your audience every time.
Let’s use as an example that you are on a ball field with no internet connection. With a single iPhone you can deliver low quality video streams. By bonding a second iPhone you can double your bandwidth. Bond 3 or more iPhones together and you can create a big fat streaming pipe able to handle 720p HD streams.
- Tech Note 1: Videoguys recommends 720p as the optimal streaming resolution for all workflows. For internet based content delivery you always want to choose progressive over interlaced. While you may have a pipe capable of supporting 1080p, we’ve seen that only a fraction of your audience will ave the bandwidth to watch 1080p. By going with 720P you give your audience a great quality HD stream, that you can have confidence in being delivered to their computer or mobile device.
- Tech Note 2: Cellular bonding works best when the iPhones are on different cell carriers (ie Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) so they are not competing for the same cell service and bandwidth
When you have your Vidiu Pro with you, along with a couple of iPhones and the ShareLink app you always have a backup , even if the site has internet connectivity. As I mentioned in the tech tip above, if at all possible, try to get your crew to be on several different carriers so that you can use their iPhones to maximum benefit.
ShareLink can be set up to combine wired, WiFi and cellular internet connectivity for redundancy. You can use the ShareLink mixing iPhones together with WiFi and or wired internet to provide even higher throughput and redundancy should any of the bonded connections fail or slow down. That means that if one of the iPhones or connections fail, the others still work together to deliver the best quality stream they can. This happens seamlessly and automatically.
ShareLink is available as a subscription plan starting at just $19.90 per month, accessed through the VidiU App or my.Teradek.com. you can learn more about it here.
About VidiU Pro
VidiU Pro does not require cell service to work. It connects to the internet via wired internet, WiFi or via cellphone(s) using the ShareLink application. While VidiU Pro is a stand-alone camera mounted encoder, it can be used with any switcher / mixer to enable live streaming to your productions. Just plug the HDMI output of the switcher into the VidiU Pro and start streaming. So even if you are doing multi-camera shoots, VidiU Pro is still a very valuable tool to have. We have many customers using the HDMI output of their Roland, DataVideo or other Live switcher/ mixer to feed directly into a Teradek VidiU Pro encoder. This allows you to add live streaming to an existing live production.
VidiU Pro also allows you to record your streaming output directly to an SD card for archiving, additional post production or easy distribution via ftp or services like Dropbox.
Who Should Purchase VidiU Pro?
All of the VidiU family of video encoders for streaming works great. But if you are doing this professionally, or you are planning on streaming a once in a life time event then you know you simply cannot tolerate any hiccups or issues with your stream. If you’re internet goes down, you are out of business. There is no way to make that up. So while anyone who produces live video productions will benefit from the Sharelink app and professional feature set of the VidiU Pro, professional videographers will quickly understand the value of the added investment for the VidiU Pro. For under $1,000 and a couple of iPhones that you already have access to, you can have a bulletproof streaming solution. When you don’t have to worry about the Stream, you can concentrate on getting the best possible shots, camera angles and content for your production.