Category Archives: Product

New Features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed

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Recently you may have noticed we’ve added a couple of new features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed.

Why the new capabilities? We’ve been listening to our customers, who needed a more convenient way to embed videos on their websites as well as a more streamlined user experience.

  • Previously, the video player and the Videos tab had to be embedded next to each other on the Web page.
  • If visitors clicked on the video, it automatically took them to the Ustream page instead of allowing them to watch the video on-site.

If you’re an enterprise customer, now you’ll find on your dashboard a new Combined Embed.

First, you’ll be able to determine the type of embed you want to use:

  • Player: A standalone player with the live content of your channel
  • Social: Chat, social stream and widgets
  • Combined: A custom combination of the Player, Social and Video Gallery embeds

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.32.37Once you select an option, you’ll be taken to the new Embed Configurator. There you’ll see a full-page interface featuring:

  • A full-size preview
  • A sidebar with configuration options
  • An automatically generated embed code that can be copied to your clipboard

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.38.05Based on user feedback, our developer team has implemented the following improvements:

  • A large video gallery, with search options
  • A new https option for the Player, the Chat/Social Stream and the Combined Embed
  • Http/https protocol included in the embed code; this is useful for customers on systems such as WordPress, in which protocol-relative URLs cannot be used in embed codes

Please tell us what you think of the new features — we want to hear from you!

IBM Selects Ustream to Power Video on New Platform

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Video has become a must-have feature for apps of all shapes and sizes. That’s why when IBM created its latest tool for app developers, they knew that video had to be a part of it. And when it came to choosing a video platform, they looked no further than Ustream.

Earlier this year, IBM introduced Bluemix, a new cloud offering that enables organizations and developers to quickly and easily create, deploy, and manage applications on the cloud. By using Bluemix, developers can shorten their development times, allow for flexible capacity, and address any gaps in internal tech resources.

Ustream is the first and only video platform available within IBM’s new offering. Developers using Bluemix can easily integrate video into their applications or simply use it for communicating the benefits of their business. Other benefits include:

  • Command-line and script-based control of video streaming to simplify development of video-intensive cloud apps
  • Greater freedom in customizing and controlling the way video is used and presented
  • Easy-to-find, easy-to-manage content and API keys via the user-friendly Ustream dashboard experience

To learn more, check out the IBM Cloud channel or download our whitepaper to learn more about Ustream’s solutions.

How to Amp Up Holiday Sales with LiveAd

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If you’re in the retail business, better start eating your Wheaties, because the holiday sales season is in full swing. And if you find it a challenge to get your marketing message heard during the rest of the year, standing out amidst the eardrum-busting pandemonium of the holiday season can seem like an impossible feat.

Hey, we get it. That’s why we created LiveAd, a game-changing online advertising solution for brands looking to amp up their video marketing strategy.

Video is one of the hottest trends in online marketing, and LiveAd lets you take it one step further by harnessing the excitement of live streaming and targeting the exact audience you want to reach. Since we launched the service just over a year ago, hundreds of Ustream clients have discovered just how powerful this combination can be — clients like HBO.

True-ly Impressive Impact

When HBO released Season 5 of its True Blood series on DVD, it promoted the launch through a “Live From the Set” streaming video event featuring stars of the show answering fan questions. Thanks to LiveAd, HBO was able to create an interactive ad that allowed a targeted audience to not only watch the stream, but also join chats on Facebook and Twitter — and, most importantly, click through to Amazon to place their orders immediately.

How effective was it? The event drew over 135,000 viewers who watched an average of 14 minutes … and it racked up more than 60,000 clickthroughs.

So if your holiday advertising strategy could use a little fresh blood (pardon the pun), think about adding a live video element to pump up your engagement … and your ROI.

To learn more, visit our LiveAd page or check out the DemandGen Report On-Demand Webinar.

 

Ustream, the only video platform in IBM’s Bluemix Platform

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Great news! Ustream is currently the first and only video platform that is available within Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform for developers. Developers leveraging the Bluemix platform can easily integrate video into their applications, or simply use it for communicating the benefits of their business. Thanks to the depth of Ustream’s APIs, the Ustream platform can be directly controlled from Bluemix with little hassle.

Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable cloud application developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their applications. IBM has partnered with some of the leading SaaS applications to make this possible.

Cloud applications built on Bluemix will

  1. Reduce time for application/infrastructure provisioning
  2. Allow for flexible capacity
  3. Help to address any lack of internal tech resources
  4. Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  5. Accelerate exploration of new workloads – social, mobile, big data

To learn more about Ustream’s offering in Bluemix, check out our entry in IBM’s Bluemix blog.

Key Features Of The New Ustream iOS App

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Ustream released the new iOS app on August 27th with plenty of new updates and features. Let’s see what’s really under the hood.

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The new iOS app has a modern design with reinterpreted surfaces and features, making content discovery seamless and engaging more viewers on both the larger format iPad screen and on iPhone.

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The app also allows users to upload videos they have recorded on the built-in iPhone camera app and easily create, edit and delete videos, channels and events inside the application. Live streaming capability has also been enhanced, allowing high-quality 16:9 format broadcasting directly from the phone. Users now have the freedom to upload their own pictures and connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts with the application. By expanding the use-cases to encompass capturing short clips intended for on-demand consumption, the Ustream platform is now even more suitable for applications like knowledge sharing and informal training.

 

Deathowl creation – Openduty

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Ustream as a company likes to challenge employees to think outside of the box and fuse in creativity. We believe that being surrounded by unique, innovative people helps develop new ideas.

In February, we hosted an internal Hackathon to give engineers the freedom to work on things they love and to hack solutions that could solve problems to find better ways of doing things at our company.
(To learn more, check out this previous blogpost)

We hoped that in a few months, one or two of the Hackathon projects would become a reality and make it into the product as a feature or a completely new application.

Some of our developers needed a tool to make their life easier. Instead of purchasing an already available product, they gathered together and developed their own tool, now called Openduty. (You can see the source on Github)

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The OpenDuty project is an alarm aggregation and dispatching service built for system administrators and support teams on call duty. When an incident happens regarding our server or service, this tool provides a proper alerting system for quick notification. This development will automatically route actionable alerts when a problem occurs and determine whom to contact.

Till the end of the Hackathon contest an internal SMS gateway, a Pagerduty compatible REST API, and a basic admin dashboard was developed. The team succeeded to send automated SMS and phone call notifications for a given alert, escalate it according to a calendar, and see logs according to the failures in the system.

In 2 months they have build a Beta version and started implementing new bells and whistles.

Today, Openduty collects alerts from monitoring tools, provides an overall summary of the alerts and allows users to build notification rules. It provides also the freedom to set up multiple levels of coverage, so if the “primary” on-call person doesn’t respond to an alert in a timely fashion, it’s automatically escalates to a “secondary” person, and so on. The system integrates with GTalk, Push notification, Phone and Text Message (operates through Twilio).

The idea came from Bálint Csergő (Deathowl) who works as an Infrastructure engineer at Ustream Hungary. He and his team constantly work on new ideas to make Ustream’s service better.

We welcome any feedback or ideas regarding this project!

Need a break? We’ll keep your room just as you left it!

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Introducing the new Paused Pro Subscription feature

Ok, so you got to the point where you are unsure whether you want to continue with your Pro Broadcasting plan. We understand. We can give you some space. But why start over from scratch when you realize that you do need some Ustream in your life?

On Wednesday, April 16 the Ustream development team released the Pause Subscription Feature for Pro broadcasting package users.

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Ustream Collaborates with Verizon

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Here at Ustream, we take pride in having the best streaming experience from mobile devices. Whether you’re capturing your child’s soccer game or breaking news, we make sure your special moments can be shared with friends and family across the globe.

That’s why we’re excited today to announce that we’ve collaborated with Verizon Wireless, America’s Largest and Most Reliable Wireless Network, to bring new features to our Android users. Verizon Wireless subscribers with participating Android devices will get their own Verizon channel with some great new features:  Continue reading

Biz 101 – Tackle Broadcasting Like a Pro

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Last week, the Seattle Seahawks raised the 12th man flag atop the Space Needle; creating a powerful visual for an entire city to rally behind their winning team. Thanks to their Ustream broadcast, this special moment was not only shared by onlookers and the city of Seattle, but Seahawks fans around the world. By harnessing the power of live, the Seahawks have initiated a hub for fans to connect and engage with their favorite team.

We can’t guarantee a Super Bowl ring, but these helpful tips inspired by the Seahawks and other NFL teams will definitely help you win big in your broadcasts (insert end-zone dance here).

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Ustream’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide For All Of Your Live Video Needs

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Getting started with live video streaming doesn’t require the best, most expensive, or high-tech equipment.  With just a few simple gadgets you, and the people on your holiday shopping list, can be ready to easily stream high quality content for a low price.

If you are looking for that last minute gift for a novice streamer or a professional; read on for some of our favorite devices and accessories from 2013. Continue reading