Home / How to Choose the Right Video Streaming Solution
22 Jun 2018 - 11:50
Let's begin by looking at some of the features that are important for different types of businesses and organizations.
Are you prepared if your video stream goes viral? When viewers crack a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, you need a reliable, scalable video streaming solution that can delivery content. For the maximum scalability, look for a video platform that uses a top-tier CDN—Content Delivery Network.
The next feature to look for in a video streaming solution is ease-of-use. Some platforms are highly complex to use. They have many different modules and are designed for web developers. Look instead for a management console that is easy to use, making it as simple as a few clicks to set up a live stream.
Some users aren't looking just for ease of use. They need power, customization, and integration. One of the most powerful tools is a video API. A video API (Application Programming Interface) allows you to quickly and easily create new web and mobile applications and integrate a video platform with other services, platforms, and workflows.
Live streaming is easier than ever before. But problems can still arise. And they can come at anytime. If you're using CamStreamer, you may be streaming 24/7, or at odd hours. In case of any problems, you need robust customer support available at all times. Not all live streaming platforms have this, so ensure your pick does.
The final feature we'll look at here is custom branding, often called white label service. Free video platforms like YouTube and Facebook always contain their corporate branding and links. A white label platform, in contrast, only uses the branding and logos your provide. This helps reinforce brand awareness.
These are a few of the important video streaming solution features you should look for. However, features aren't everything. It's also about how much you have to pay for those features. Sure, a given platform may offer a video API or 24/7 support, but at what price point? Let's move on now to comparing some of the top video platforms out there
Everyone knows YouTube. The major advantage of this platform is that it is free. It also supports both live streaming and video hosting. However, there are major drawbacks to YouTube. Your videos may include ads. Related videos from other sources will be displayed alongside. Security features are minimal, and customer support is basically non-existent.
The next most popular video platform is Facebook. Facebook video support is relatively basic. Streaming live video is becoming more popular on the platform. Like YouTube, Facebook is a free platform. However, like YouTube, the users are the product. All data is captured and sold to advertisers. Features are also minimal, and finding previous content (SEO) is basically impossible.
Now, let's look at some professional-grade platforms. First up is IBM Cloud Video, formerly known as UStream. Both VOD and live streaming are supported. IBM's server network delivers content. Monetization is available, but only on the most expensive plans. Similarly, a video API is only available on the most expensive plans. Pricing starts at $99 per month and ranges up to $999 per month and beyond.
Next is Livestream. Like IBM Cloud Video, Livestream supports streaming and on-demand video. Monetization options are available for users on Enterprise plans—the most expensive. These plans also provide access to an API. livestream offers a basic plan at $75 per month (billed annually). Advanced features require Enterprise plans which cost $999 per month and up.
JW Player is mainly known as, well, a video player. However, they also host on-demand videos and live streams. JW Player videos are delivered via an internal CDN network. Monetization options for advertising are supported. Live streaming via API is not supported. Customer support is based on a ticketing model. The first plan to support live streaming is the business plan, at $50 per month. Custom Enterprise plans are also available.
Finally, let's look at our own platform, DaCast. DaCast supports both live streaming and video-on-demand. All content is delivered via the high-end Akamai CDN, which is ideal for scalability and high-volume streaming. All common monetization options are supported, and a full video API is included on the Pro plan ($125/month) and above. A Starter plan at $19/month is great for first-time and low-volume streaming, and a Premium plan ($289/month) and custom Enterprise plans are also available.
CamStreamer is an application that runs directly inside IP cameras. It allows you to stream directly to the internet with no additional setup or equipment—just an internet connected Axis camera. Features include the ability to stream to social platforms, as well as to platforms like DaCast, plus various other options.
To use CamStreamer with DaCast, all you have to do is download the software and install it to your AXIS IP camera. Then, configure the CamStreamer app via the Axis configuration page. Create a new stream from this page, and select DaCast as the streaming platform. Enter your RTMP stream details, which are available when you create a new live channel via your DaCast account, and you're ready to stream!
Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out how to choose the best video streaming solution for your needs. To make your final choice, we recommend taking advantage of the free trials in order to test all the features and see if it is compatible with your CamStreamer app. Start today with our 30-day free trial, available here!
Max Wilbert, DaCast