Category Archives: Product

Video Thumbnail Generator & Editor Tool

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Video Thumbnail OptionsA video thumbnail is an important component of hosting video content online. In many instances, it will be the first thing people see related to the video asset. This can be for external facing assets from a simple Google search, where thumbnails appear in the Video results. It’s also important for internal facing assets using Ustream Align, where channels can be created with a supplemental video gallery with each additional on demand video represented by a thumbnail.

Consequently, a video thumbnail acts as not just a method to preview what the video is about, but also as a “mini-poster” to market that asset. As a result, it’s important to not just make sure a thumbnail is associated with each video, but also to make sure it’s the most relevant it can be. For those looking for a solution that offers greater control over their video thumbnails, Ustream has a suite of cloud based features that include thumbnail generation, selection and also methods to edit the video asset itself in the cloud, which have been recently updated.

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Stream Analytics: Monitor Live Stream in Real-time

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Stream Analytics: Monitor Live Stream in Real-time

The ability to monitor, in real time, stream analytics gives enterprises a way to extract business value from data that is effectively in motion. On external facing streams, this might mean using these metrics to help further bolster attendance through promoting real time statistics on social networks such as noting impressive viewership volume. Going beyond what historical analysis could offer, this gives organizations the ability to inspect and analyze data in order to quickly respond to enhance performance or “right the ship” if the video content is not performing to expectations.

While Ustream has always had an impressive array of real-time analytics, this week the cloud platform expands with a new console that allows enterprises to monitor live stream content to an incredibly granular degree. This includes tools to investigate issues to support real-time decision making, such as validating how widespread buffering issues might be and check the overall stream health. This use case can help determine if a report of a viewer experiencing buffering issues is an isolated problem associated with the viewer’s connection or if it points to a larger problem possibly due to connection issues at the broadcaster’s side. The new console offers a wealth of use cases and increased ways to understand stream performance, from the ingest to delivery side. It also includes a visual and user interface update to the live stream analytics console as well, marking an overall update to the live metric capabilities of the Ustream platform.

Read on to learn more about the real time monitoring and analytic features available to leverage live data regarding video channels.

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Video Access: Password Protection & Restriction

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Video Access: Password Protection & Restriction

Video streaming privacy and controlling video access can be a challenge at times, and the reasons for wanting to limit access can be varied. Sometimes there can be legal incentives, such as acquiring distribution rights for a concert in only selected areas. Other times it can just be to funnel the benefit of doing that video content to a source controlled by the content owner. For example, making sure beneficial traffic to a website ends up at a page controlled by the user.

This article covers the wealth of features available at Ustream that can facilitate this need to restrict access to streaming content. This includes methods to password protect video assets along with more sophisticated approaches such as restrictions based on demographics like location or age. 

This piece is focused on protecting external facing video content. If the need is to instead protect video access for content that has to be internal facing only, Ustream Align offers more granular control to keep video content inside an organization.

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White Label Video Platform: Live Streaming & VOD

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White Label Video Platform

Looking for a white label video player solution? Broadcasters can spend hundreds if not thousands on their setups, from top of the line cameras to hardware encoders that can allow for camera switching, only to have the end product touting another company’s brand which can cheapen the viewer experience.

Ustream offers a wealth of features to help customize and allow content owners to control a viewer’s experience. This is presented as part of a white label video platform, allowing the removal of the Ustream branding and also allowing content owners to insert their own. This article covers these features in more depth. It looks at where and how content owners can remove Ustream branding and insert their own and also how content access can be restricted. This includes insight into how content owners can manage elements of the video player, embedding, viewer access, and also the channel page experience.

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Ustream’s eCDN: Enterprise Content Delivery Network

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Wondering what an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) is and why a company might need one?

Ustream’s eCDN helps enterprises service large viewerships centrally located inside an office. The solution allows companies to horizontally scale their efforts, enabling training sessions and more that can be streamed while not causing bottlenecks for a local network.

Read on to learn what CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are before diving into what an enterprise CDN is, and finally to learn more about Ustream’s approach.

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Customize Channel Page: New Viewing Experience

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Customize Channel Page: New Viewing Experience

Today, April 14th, marks the complete launch of the new Ustream viewing experience and the discontinuation of the old experience. This impacts all existing Ustream channel pages that were created before February 18th, 2016, and were not already migrated to the new design.

The new viewer experience brings with it a multitude of new improvements for the desktop and mobile experience around these pages. This includes a cleaner look and also additional features for broadcasters to customize channel page content.

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Slack Video Integration for Live Notifications

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Slack Video Integration for Live Notfications

Using Slack for its collaborative capabilities? Looking for ways to bolster that effort through autonomous notifications of your streaming projects? Ustream is introducing a new Slack video integration that surrounding Ustream video channels. The integration allows broadcasters to link to a Slack channel to push automatic notifications, and works with both Ustream Align for internal communication and Pro Broadcasting. It creates an easy way for team members and followers to get informed about the latest live stream or video on demand content.

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Early Preview: New Ustream Viewing Experience

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The New Viewing Experience

The new Viewing Experience offers your viewers a super clean, responsive user interface that provides the best viewing angle on all screen sizes and devices. Not only our web site has been upgraded to work perfectly on all desktop and mobile screen sizes, but we’ve also upgraded our native iOS and Android mobile apps to offer the same viewing experience to all of your viewers across all platforms.

The new Viewing Experience offers lots of room for all of your content: a large video gallery, a rich About section, links to your external websites, event calendar and links to other channels if you have multiple channels on Ustream.

As a broadcaster, we would love to hear what you think! You can take the new Viewing Experience for a test drive now by logging into your dashboard and accessing your channel settings. The preview will be available for you as long as your channel is not hidden or password protected and has no locks on the content.

Please feel free to drop us a line and let us know your thoughts by using the feedback option within the preview both on the web and via our mobile apps.

Do You Know Who is Watching Your Videos?

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We created Ustream Align because we heard from customers who were looking for an easy-to-use and secure way to have live meetings and share videos with their employees. It’s now used everyday by thousands of users for all-hands meetings, sales trainings, focus groups and employee training. One of the key requirements for these use cases is the ability to track who watched what content.

We’ve now added Viewer Tracking so you can see exactly who watched and for how long. Select a live event or recorded video and see the list of who watched. Or, select an individual and see their entire viewing history. Now it’s easy to track attendance for a meeting or ensure compliance for watching a mandatory training video.

If you are already a Ustream Align Business or Ustream Align Enterprise customer, you’ll find Tracking in your dashboard.

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Not a Ustream Align customer yet? Schedule your free demo today!

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!