Tips and Training >> Definitions >> Live Video Streaming

What is Live Video Streaming?

Real time transmission of an electronic message through a Local Area Network or across the Internet so that video and/or audio from a source can be seen and heard on personal computers, Smart Phones and mobile devices is called Live Video Streaming. The key distinction here is that Live Video Streaming is often called real time but, in fact, it is subject to encoding, transmission and decoding delay.

Generally, the process of using the Internet to transmit content by encoding it into a number of decodable formats is called Streaming. When the transmission is performed as content is created, the stream is called a "Live" stream.

Software players decode the stream when it is received by an end user's device (PC, Mac or phone). Apple QuickTime, Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Windows Media Player are each examples of decoders that present Streamed content in a window for listeners or viewers.

Advantages of Live Streaming

Live streaming audio or video can be a low cost way to distribute a message to a wide audience of PC, Mac and Smart Phone listeners or viewers. Live Streaming enables a message to reach a global audience simultaneously.

Each viewer, regardless of viewing platform, can receive the same message globally with only slight variations between viewers induced by player windows, quality of platform and transmission delays (including encoding and decoding).

Disadvantages of Live Streaming

Live events often include the ability for attendees to ask questions or to in some way interact with presenters. Live Streaming does not easily allow for this. This is because remote Internet based attendees that are watching on video players receive the content of a message with a certain delay that is induced by the encoding, transmitting and decoding process. As such, they are not watching exactly in real time but they are watching with 15 to 90 seconds of delay. This makes real time question and answer sessions a problem. A solution to this is often to enable a "chat window" in a player frame to allow users to ask questions in a semi-real time manner.

Player capabilities on PC's, Mac's and Smart Phones can be very different and this complicates the ease of creating streams of content that are presented identically on multiple user devices. Additionally, some viewing platforms cannot receive or decode a streamed video format and therefore users cannot always view or hear content as expected.

How do I get started with Live Streaming?

For business oriented live streaming support and to learn how to stream real time video and/or audio, we recommend contacting a service provider with experience creating and serving streams.

In order to create a successful live business oriented stream, the capture and encoding of source material should be an integral part of the planning and execution of an event. TKO VideoConferencing can assist you with this planning for and execution of a successful live streaming event.

Contact TKO for help today