A/V technology, particularly as it relates to streaming, has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. In the last few years, shooting high-quality video has gone from an investment in particularly expensive capture equipment to something achievable by much more practical and affordable equipment, while still producing a high-quality product. However, this great quality has some downsides, including the fact that high quality translates to a very high data rate (or bitrate), with some as high as 5TB an hour! These files are too large for most user’s internet connections, even those who may have incredible download speeds, and most devices your viewers are watching your stream on aren’t designed to play these videos in the format in which they are shot. The solution to all these problems? Video compression.
There are only a few words that have been banned from the StreamSpot offices. The most notorious of them are "buffering" and "freezing". Nothing puts a damper on a live stream quite like a picture-perfect broadcast, only to be interrupted by a few-seconds of a frozen screen.
As Operations Manager at StreamSpot, the number one question I hear from houses of worship is a fairly basic one: “Why should I stream?” It’s a question that all streaming providers in the industry are asked, and from a technology standpoint, we all mostly answer it in a similar way: in addition to discussing the ability to stream in today’s world, we speak about reaching out to those who cannot make it to services, due to difficulty or distance: those who are sick, homebound, traveling, and cannot make it to services. These are all great reasons, but I recently felt compelled to look deeper as to the “why,” not only why from a practicality standpoint, but from a biblical one. I reflected on the underlying question, “what does the Bible say about live streaming?”
Our Director of Technology, Taron Foxworth, is kicking off a new blog series on streaming basics geared towards broadcasters. This blog post focuses on the definition and impact of bit rates on live streaming.
On September 30, 1929 The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) made history by making the world's first live television broadcast. Radio broadcasting was also in its infancy having premiered the first live news program less than a decade earlier (August 31, 1920 by station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan). The development of live radio and television broadcasts was driven by demand for instant news, sports and entertainment. Prior to live broadcasts, these items were mostly obtained on-demand by reading newspapers, sending letters and social interactions.
Almost a century later we are faced with similar circumstances. The Internet has provided consumers with an "always-on" pipeline of infinite, on-demand information. Live streaming is the natural progression of the Internet and live broadcasting. Research predicts that 70% of all live broadcasts will take place on the Internet by 2020 (up from 30% in 2015) In fact, its domination of the market has already started:
- TOTAL INTERNET TRAFFIC IN 2014
- 35% - Netflix
- 14% - YouTube
- 3% - Amazon Prime Instant Video
Over 50% of all Internet traffic in 2014 was consumed by on-demand video streaming. The simplicity of streaming revolutionized the on-demand video market and the same will happen with live broadcasting. Don't believe us? Just ask Blockbuster what happened to all of their video stores.
Topics: Live Streaming Overview