Monthly Archives: February 2013

New to Ustream: School of Pop

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Ustream is a hub for musical talent and recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of new how-to broadcasters popping up. What happens when you mix the two of them? An entertaining and educational live series called School of Pop.

The concept behind the School of Pop is to provide viewers with access to quality lessons on how to dress, act, and play, given by their peers. For their first-ever live Ustream, pop singer Mary Desmond will give a guitar lesson featuring music by Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons.

Read more about Mary below, and don’t miss School of Pop’s new instructional series, premiering on Ustream tomorrow, February 27, at 3pm PST. RSVP now & watch LIVE tomorrow at: http://www.ustream.tv/schoolofpop

Free live streaming by Ustream

More about Mary Desmond:

Since Mary Desmond was 3 yrs old, she always knew she wanted to act and sing. She enjoyed music and started practicing at home every chance she could get. At age 3, she joined a music group, landed her first solo, and she has never stopped. Her first big opportunity, at age 4 was singing “Love Letters in the Sand” with Pat Boone and his grandson Ryan; she also made an appearance on Larry King Live at the same age singing “God Bless America.” At age 5, she appeared in a commercial for Disney Fantasy Princess and played extras for several films including “Yours, Mine, and Ours.”

She then began auditioning for local theatre and got her first big role as Annie at 7 years old. At age 9, she was in the ensemble for Evita and Brigadoon at the Regional Theatre, and then landed the role of Susan in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. She was also a part of The National Broadway Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When Mary turned 10, she auditioned at Legoland California for the part of Emily in their holiday show, Let It Snow and immediately got the part. She has been performing as a part of seven different shows at Legoland, most recently as the lead in a new show called Lego Friends Live.

Three years ago Mary started playing with her band Fusion Beat, winners of the OC People’s Choice for the best youth band. Fusion Beat have now played at over 85 live performances including House of Blues, Disney California Adventure Resort, and the Del Mar Fair. She also continued to work at Legoland, and is currently working her 8th show playing Olivia in Lego Friends Live Holidays.

Mary has released over 31 videos as a part of Fusion Beat and 15 videos of her own on youtube. Her current video, a cover of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” is all over YouTube and totally shows her voice, style and personality. Mary loves theatre, acting, entertaining, and of course, music. She is a great role model to her friends and family.

Featured Ustreamer of the week: MNbound.com Solar Powered Eagle Cam

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If we had to pick one topic that Ustream viewers can’t seem to get enough of, it’s undoubtedly bald eagles. Our nation’s bird never fails to entice, intrigue and keep viewers returning back for more. With love stories, treacherous falls and nest intruders, watching nesting eagles on Ustream is the real reality television.

This week’s Featured Ustreamer is one of our standout eagle cams: MNbound.com Solar Powered Eagle Cam. Located in south central Minnesota and broadcasting live on Ustream for about 3 years, the MN Eagle Cam is 100% solar powered and has a crisp, beautiful picture. The channel made news last year when one of the two eaglets fell 75 ft from the nest and died. A few days later, the remaining eaglet got stuck in the nest and major drama ensued. With nesting season approaching, this is the perfect time to bookmark the MN Eagle Cam.

Below, broadcaster Mark Wegscheid tells us more about MN Eagle Cam’s unique technical set-up, why they like broadcasting on Ustream and the heroic actions that saved the life of the stuck eaglet last year.

What is your favorite thing about broadcasting on Ustream?

The people you get exposed to! We have met absolutely the most wonderful people through this cam! We have a group of wonderful moderators from around the world and the viewers are great!

What makes your broadcast unique?

The first thing that pops out is that it isn’t a typical set up at all. The equipment is located in the middle of a flood plain surrounded by a river; the equipment cabinets are on custom-fabricated stands to hold the equipment above the water level when it floods. We have solar panels  that are also on a similar stand, all custom-made by us in our shop.

The internet is a wireless connection that passes up to 50 meg through the link, allowing us to provide a crisp 1080 picture. The wireless radio is connected to a 2 ft dish that shoots the signal about half a mile from the site to the top of the Hutchinson Co-op’s elevator. From there, it is relayed wirelessly about 7 miles to another tower where yet another 2 ft dish is located about 150 ft in the air. It is then relayed from the tower to the server and to finally to Ustream. The camera itself is pretty cool, too! It is a mechanical PTZ that can zoom almost half a mile; the shots and clarity are incredible!

What’s the best live moment you’ve captured live on your channel?

The best and worse was last year when one of the eaglets fell from the nest and died. A short two days later, the remaining eaglet was stepped on by a parent and pushed into the rain-soaked nest where he became stuck. There were so many people worried about the remaining eaglet that we were issued a special permit by the Department of Natural Resources to go up into the tree and retrieve the eaglet to save his life.

Myself and a climber from the Raptor center went up to the nest and pulled the eaglet from the mucky nest. It was already infested with maggots and would surely have been eaten alive. We brought the eaglet to the Raptor center where they rehydrated him and nursed him back to health. Twenty-four hours later, we went back up to the nest and put the eaglet back in the nest in hopes the parents would come back. Another 24 hours passed and they had not returned, so we were preparing to go up yet again to retrieve the eagle and raise it in captivity. Literally 5 minutes before we were about to head out, we had Ustream up on our 54” monitor and as the sun was setting on the nest, the parents came back!

Everyone yelled and shouted and a few people even cried. It was incredible and I am sure these words don’t do the experience justice. It was all live on Ustream!

What’s the number one tip or word of advice you’d offer to other broadcasters?

Make sure you have good MODs!

Anything else we should know?

We enjoy every minute of it and couldn’t do it without Ustream!

Watch the MN Eagle Cam live now:

Broadcasting live with Ustream

Featured Ustreamer of the week: Owl Channel

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Ustream is proud to announce the Featured Ustreamer series, a weekly spotlight on the broadcasters that are such an important part of who we are. Without our broadcasters, we would just be a live video player; they provide the amazing, unique and ever-interesting content that makes Ustream awesome.

For our first post in the series, we are featuring Owl Channel, three 24/7 cam featuring wild barn owls from Southern California. They’re currently awaiting four bouncing baby owlets, making this the perfect time to grab some popcorn and watch the nesting and hatches unfold.

Broadcasters Mike & Angela took some time to talk to us about why they love sharing their owls with the world on Ustream. Check out their interview and some amazing pictures below.

Ustream: How long have you been broadcasting on Ustream? Is this your only channel?

Owl Channel: We have been broadcasting on Ustream for 2 years now. We started out with one channel and now have three: www.ustream.tv/owlchannel www.ustream.tv/owlchannel2 and www.ustream.tv/owlchannel3.

U: How did you hear about Ustream? What made you decide to start broadcasting?

OC: We heard about watching live streaming on the Internet from friends and found Ustream. We started broadcasting because we wanted to share the wonderful and amazing footage we were getting with the world.

U: What is your favorite thing about broadcasting on Ustream?

OC: The fact that Ustream provides a means to broadcast live is terrific. If this was a business instead of a hobby for us, we would get a Pro-broadcasting account and broadcast commercial free. I have to mention how awesome the Ustream customer service is. They have been nothing short of outstanding.

U: How has broadcasting on Ustream impacted your community?

OC: Broadcasting on Ustream has enabled a vast online community to get connected using social media. The chat room enables people to communicate in real time as they watch the live streams. From there, external links are provided to share pictures, recorded video, educational information, etc. We ensure the chat is G-rated so people of all ages can enjoy.

U: What makes your broadcast unique?

OC: Our broadcast is unique as we are streaming wild barn owls live from our backyard. We have cameras inside and outside of the nesting box. We see everything they do around the clock. We see them eat prey such as mice, voles, gophers, rats and rabbits. They will regurgitate their prey as pellets and then break it up for nesting. The owls will lay eggs 1 to 3 times a year and then feed and raise the owlets until they leave the nest. We have witnessed many wonderful things here. We have seen a pair of owls meet for the first time, go through a courtship, bond and then have a clutch of owlets.

U: What’s the best live moment you’ve captured live on your channel?

OC: We have many priceless moments since we are live 24/7. It is amazing to watch them eat, lay eggs and fly for the first time. The best moments have to be when we see the eggs hatch, though.

U: What’s the number one tip or word of advice you’d offer to other broadcasters?

OC: The number one tip I have for broadcasters is get a good team of moderators to handle the social stream. We are very fortunate to have top notch team. The chat is always paused unless there is a moderator present to ensure the G-rated standard. The moderators answer questions and provide external links for everyone to follow as well as engage the chatters with interesting conversation.

U: Anything else we should know?

We named the first pair of barn owls that occupied the owl box Bonnie and Clyde. They were followed by the current pair named Roy and Dale. Our website www.owlchannel.com has lots of pictures and information about all of our owls and the clutches they raised and also provides a live streaming page made possible by Ustream. We also have a campaign to raise donations to keep the stream going at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/watch-barn-owls-live/x/902599.

What can you expect from Owl Channel? All sorts of awesomeness. Here’s proof:

Watch Owl Channel live:

Live broadcasting by Ustream

Mixed Martial Arts for a cause

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If you’ve spent any time on Ustream, you can probably tell that we’re big MMA fans. In fact if it were up to our CEO and co-founder Brad Hunstable, we’d probably just stream old UFC fights 24/7. You may not have known this either: Brad is a former military man.  He and co-founders John Ham and Gyula Feher started Ustream as a way for their friends serving in Iraq to easily communicate with friends and family back home.

That’s why Saturday’s Buckley Fight Night is so special to us. Not only does it include MMA stars like UFC vet Tyler “Thunder” Toner and Bellator vet Cody Carillo, but it directly benefits something else that’s near and dear to our hearts, the Wounded Warrior Project. If you’re not familiar with the WWP, it provides aid and services to U.S. service members injured in war. While closed to the public, the audience will be full of current and former military members.

Buckley Fight Night kicks off this Saturday at 9pm EST. Get your ticket here.

 



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