Category Archives: Tech Thursdays

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!

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.


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.


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)


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!

Learn from the Best – Visit a Meetup!

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Companies working with cutting-edge technologies have to keep up with the ever-changing software landscape. It is a key to continuously improve products with new features and enhancements as to have an outstanding team within the fast-moving technology.

Tech meetups are a great way to learn or dispense your knowledge to a community that shares your interests, as well to keep connected experts and companies inside the industry.


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Lady Gaga’s Last Show at the Roseland Attracts Little Monsters Across the US

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Pop icon Lady Gaga performed her seventh and last show on Monday, April 7th at the Roseland Ballroom, one of New York City’s historic musical landmarks, which was set to close its doors after her performance.

To mark the special occasion, the concert was streamed live online through a website called, thanks to Verizon Wireless. The event promoted the company’s 4G LTE network, allowing fans to watch the sold-out show from the comfort of their own home.

As many people probably don’t know, this experience was made possible using Ustream’s live video technology. Continue reading

The New Hungarian Ustream Office – Less Drab, More Glamour

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On this week’s Tech Thursday blog, I will take you on a “behind the scenes” journey to show where the magic of Ustream happens. Ustream Hungary moved to an incredible, new office in the heart of Budapest and will now show it to the public for the first time.

Take a tour in Ustream’s New Hungarian office and see where we work hard, dream big, and make Ustream happen!

Ustream has five main offices around the globe Continue reading

Hackathon Recap – 21 ideas, 11 teams, One goal!

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On February 21st, 2014 the Hungarian Ustream office hosted its first internal hackathon.

In the previous blog post (What the heck is Hackathon?) we talked about the premise and importance of this 24-hour coding contest, and how it brings people together to collaborate on a common project. All in the name of one mighty goal – to make Ustream’s service better!

Not only the wide palette of ideas, but the team names themselves were injected with a healthy dose of creativity. We had Cougar Petting Trolls, A-Team, Geolition, The Fruit Loops, Screamo Mariachis, Call of Duty and Red Ducks, just to name a few.

But, lets take a look what they were working on. Here are the 11 project and ideas:


Streamsquare social network (Cougar Petting Trolls):
People go to places and check in on Foursquare, but from now they can broadcast the venues they are at, so others can see what is actually happening there. People get points and badges based on the time they spend there and the feedback from users who saw their streams.
In 24 hours they have developed a working web and native Android and iOS application prototypes and won the Hackathon competition!

Never lose track of your audience with Email Capture

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Have you heard the term ‘the money is in the list’?

The phrase describes the relationship between email lists and internet marketing success. Having a list of dedicated fans and clients is the single most important asset any business can have.

Check out this video to see how Ustream allows you to build your own list:

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LiveAd – The Ultimate Game Changer for Advertisers

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The future of online video advertising is changing before our eyes, as advertisers seek technology solutions to reach consumers in more interactive and engaging ways. Video ads in general are even more successful when live content is included, in comparison to video-on-demand (VOD). Ustream, the leader in the live video space, introduced LiveAd last year, a game-changing advertising solution for brands and companies that fuses live video and traditional display advertising.

Live streaming video by Ustream

What is LiveAd? Continue reading

Live Playlists Lets You “Go Live” Longer

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Ustream’s Live Playlists feature was launched last Spring by our Broadcaster Experience team, so that broadcasters could reuse previously recorded videos and schedule them to run as “live” content at specific times, or as continuous loops. The innovative feature is available in all Pro Broadcasting packages and allows you to provide instant content all the time, by filling you channel with linear programming. Reach audiences around the clock long after their transmission has ended!

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