Praween Mishra

Tips for selecting a suitable live video streaming solution

Live Video Streaming is a process which constantly receives multimedia from an input source like IP Camera, mobile, surveillance camera, laptop etc. and displays it to the end-user using any streaming provider. The multimedia shared between the input and the output device is referred to as the Video Stream. Please see the below attached image for LIVE VIDEO STREAMING workflow-

It is becoming more and more ubiquitous nowadays, as it’s a very valuable tool to connect and get in touch with each other because of which so many companies are providing solutions to implement video streaming in your application. As a lot of solutions are available in the market, it becomes quite difficult to choose which solution is best suited for your application.

In this blog, I will explain few key factors which you might need to keep in mind while building a video streaming application. Based on these factors you can decide which solution would best suit your application requirements.

Choosing the Right Video Streaming Solution

While choosing the right video streaming solution for your application, there are a few key things you should evaluate, but before that, there are two terms that you need to be familiar with-

1. Server
A server is something which distributes your video to viewers around the world.

2. CDN
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) used for delivering a video to users based on their geographic locations.

Now, let’s look at the key factors you should consider while choosing a streaming solution-

Geographic Location of the Streaming Audience

If the users of the app are located in multiple geographic locations, then we require multiple servers which will create maintenance and technical overhead. To avoid this overhead, we can use a CDN. Thus, we can use our own server if the app users are located in the same geographic area and use a CDN when the users of the app span across different geographic locations.

Audience Size

For a smaller audience size, we can use a low latency CDN and a tier-1 CDN for a larger audience size as a tier-1 CDN reduces the glitch and buffering of the video stream.

Security

If we are streaming internally on our private network, there is not much requirement for security, however for streaming video on the internet, we might need some security protocol such as password protection.

Budget

According to your app’s budget you can choose the streaming solution as most solutions have varying monthly or annual charges. Dacast, UStream, Wowza, Brightcove and Livestream are some of the providers I know about. I will discuss about them in detail, in my next blog.

Support

Before choosing any solution, you should take care about how active their support team is, which can help you overcome any obstacles you might come across while integrating the solution into your app.
For e.g. in our case we were using Wowza for Live video streaming solution. Their support team was quite responsive. They have a proper ticketing system for each issue you report. Wowza support team also has a timeframe of 48 hour in which they will start working on the issue. You will also get an auto generated email from Wowza team which informs you about the status of the ticket you raised.

In my next post I will give some details on some of the popular video streaming solution service providers. Thank you so much for reading the post.

 

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