CES 2016 Highlights

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CES 2016 has wrapped up and this one was quite the show. Aside from the smart cars, televisions, virtual reality and wearable gadgets, we also saw companies push the envelope with connected home devices and technology that promises to not only make our lives easier, but to also learn as we grow. And just like years in the past, Ustream was again the place to be to stay up on all the action and exclusive streaming content. Companies like IBM, Sony and Samsung all reach out to Ustream to help broadcast their announcements live to the world, and here are a few highlights from this years biggest keynotes:

IBM Highlights

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IBM’s Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometti put the spotlight on Watson and introduced several integrations that will usher in the new cognitive era. IBM has partnered with Softbank to bring intuition to their emotive robot “Pepper”, teamed up with Medtronic to introduce advanced ways to help patients manage their symptoms, connected Whirlpool to the cloud to operate more efficiently, but most notably is their integration with Under Armours’ wearable technology. Watson will soon be able to analyze your daily activity, sleep, and food data and give an insight that compares you with other members in the Under Armour community that are just like you. Learn more about IBM’s plans for the future by tuning into their full keynote on Ustream.

Sony Highlights

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Aside from a variety of portable speakers and headphones, the biggest news from Sony’s keynote was their upcoming HDR TV line up and most importantly their new 4K camcorder. The FDR-AX53 handycam is the latest addition to Sony’s consumer camcorder line up and packs quite a punch for the price point. The AX53 combines the convenience of portability with the power of their Exmor R CMOS sensor, 1.6x larger pixel size and a 30x 4K Clear Image electronic zoom which extends to 40x when being used at full HD settings. This on top of Sony’s ZEISS lens, brings along features such as advanced aspherical and extra-low dispersion. These features produce accurate color reproduction and some great visual precision, in addition to better reduction in unwanted ghosting and flare from reflections. Find out more about Sony’s upcoming hardware plans by watching their complete presentation on Ustream.

Samsung Highlights

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Samsung is known for having a huge presence at CES, and this year was no exception. In addition to the HD televisions, notebook computers and mobile devices that you have come to look forward to, a few additional hardware technologies were announced that were not quite as expected. Samsung’s first product offering in the connected home market is their Family Hub refrigerator that includes 3 build in cameras that takes a photograph of the inside of your fridge every time the door is closed so that you can always see what you need to stock up when you are at the grocery store, in addition to a leather belt that tracks your fitness goals by capturing your waist size, number of steps taken and time spent sitting down and offers healthcare and weight management plans based on your personal health goals. Dig deeper into their CES 2016 line up by watching the entire announcement on Ustream.

Whether you are producing a mainstream keynote for an audience of thousands or a local meet up of a couple hundred guests, Ustream is the leading platform to broadcast your message and expand your reach to millions. Find out why our friends over at IBM, Sony & Samsung count on us for our reliable network and live streaming technology year after year. We are waiting to hear from you, drop us a line and schedule a time to chat with one of our account executives.

Guarantee Live Streaming Success from Anywhere

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Today’s wireless networks are faster and our mobile devices are more powerful, which means we are no longer limited to the recording studio, and advanced professional looking live streaming including multi-camera production can happen anywhere! Join us as we show you how to combine the powerful technology from Teradek and Ustream to deliver HD live broadcasts in minutes using wireless cameras, Teradek ShareLink bonded cellular technology & mobile devices to guarantee live streaming success from anywhere. Learn more about:

  • Setting up your player and embedding on your site
  • How to stream wirelessly from any camera
  • Switching a live show from your iPad or iPhone
  • Using cellular bonding technology to get a powerful internet connection from anywhere
  • Utilizing interactive features so your audience can participate in the live show

Join us on Thursday January 14th 2016 at 2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST for this live, interactive webinar.

REGISTER NOW

Amplify Your Event Marketing Strategy with Video

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There is a lot that goes into planning a major conference, and event marketing is the key to success. Before you kick off the planning process and start touring venues, sampling catering options and lining up speakers, you should also be crafting a corresponding event marketing strategy that promotes the conference from the time you start planning all the way through to the weeks following the show. Just like how reading the lyrics does not have the same feeling as listening to a song, still images and text do not do justice to the excitement of attending your conference in person. Let us share with you a couple of tips on how to integrate engaging video content into your event marketing strategy before, during and after your conference.

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Pre Show

  • After you set up your event hosting page, whether it be a dedicated microsite or one of many ticket hosting services available, your first piece of event marketing content should be to send out a Save the Date reminder to attendees who joined you last year, letting them know this years show is just around the corner. Including a highlight reel from the year prior is a great way to remind guests how much fun they had at your event, and get them excited to participate again this year.
  • As you start to confirm speakers, you should also announce their upcoming appearance by sharing videos of their past talks and give attendees a preview of what is to come. Your event marketing message may also reach some guests who are on the fence, and knowing that a personality is scheduled to be on your stage will motivate them to purchase a ticket.
  • By this time you should be designing the decor and collateral concepts that create the look and feel you want for your event and attendee experience. During this transformation process, broadcast an exclusive behind the scenes look into the planning stages and give guests a sneak peek at what is in store.

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During the Conference

  • At this point it should be obvious that you will be live streaming the onstage experience. After all, you didn’t just put together this extravaganza to only reach the couple thousand people in the seats! With Ustream’s white label solutions you can embed the stream on wherever you please, and as an extra bonus, you can include a watermark for additional branding or sponsor recognition.
  • Since you have already captured the leads from your in person audience, how about learning more about your viewers who are joining you remotely? Fully leverage your online event marketing by integrating Ustream Demand to collect valuable lead information from your remote viewers.  
  • The fun doesn’t stop after the stage content is over! Hosting an after party? Use live video to interview guests, get testimonials, and broadcast the networking activities.

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Post Event

  • After the festivities have ended, keep the inspiration alive by creating a highlight reel that reminds your audience of what they learned during their time at your conference, and entice people who missed the opportunity to engage at the time of the event. Edit together footage of the testimonials you gathered from guests, clips of your keynote speaker and even behind the scenes backstage moments to create a video that will make them count down the days until they can attend next year!
  • Now that you have an archive of the recorded sessions and presentations, it’s time to leverage some of that video content. Try to compose different kinds of videos for multiple situations, such as a short teaser to share on social media, as well as longer uncut recordings of the talks to embed to your website. Leverage Ustream Demand to manage what content you would like to share freely and what video you would like to require viewers to provide information in order to access.
  • Now you have gathered a ton of actionable data about both the guests that attended in person as well as those that joined virtually. This, in addition to the geographical, referral domain and device statistics that can be found in your Ustream dashboard, will help you craft your sponsorship prospectus, secure bigger and better speakers, and grow your conference next year.

Even if it’s a small gathering of 100 guests or 10,000 attendees each and every person should feel connected with the community, your brand and with speakers on a more personal level. Are you ready to create more feelings of intimacy, energy and enthusiasm among your attendees and get people coming back for more year after year? Contact us and find out how Ustream can help!

Sony Live at CES 2016

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Today is the eve of CES 2016 and it sounds like Sony is ready to give us quite a show. The rumor mill has been bustling with speculation, with the most popular theories all being hardware related. Cameras? Headphones? Camcorders? Maybe even a Smart Watch? Any way you slice it we are in for a treat. Sony’s CES 2016 press conference kicks off on Tuesday, January 5 at 5:00pm PST in Las Vegas, and you can watch the entire announcement live here exclusively on Ustream.

Sony CES 2016

Ustream has a long history of working with Sony, most recently as part of the huge Playstation 4 announcement at E3 in 2013.

“When we launched the Playstation 4, we were trying to start the conversation on the next generation of game platforms.” says Michael Brynteson, Executive Producer/Senior Manager of Video Production at Sony of America “The biggest benefit of Ustream is the amount of people you are able to touch and reach at one given time, we thought maybe we would get a few people watching us, but we ended up with millions. People measure success in eyeballs these days, and I think Ustream has been able to provide the biggest and best outreach there is possible”

To learn more about how Ustream helps Sony live stream their event, watch our exclusive testimonial.

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.

Ustream for iOS Update: What’s New in Version 3.1.2

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iOS users received a surprise in the app store this morning, check out the new features + fixes in the new and improved Ustream Version 3.1.2

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  • New Features:
    • The long awaited feature to edit your profile within the app is finally here! Tap your profile picture or the Edit button on the Account settings screen to start.
    • You don’t have to remember your usernames anymore! Simply use your email address to log in. (Pssst… your old usernames still work of course.)
    • Chat now shows nicknames! Remember the part where you can edit your profile? You can set your nickname there too.
  • Fixed:
    • Broadcast sounds can be heard again on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
    • Several stability improvements and bug fixes under the hood.
    • Adds backward support for iOS 7.1.

Notice anything that we might have missed? Let us know your feedback!

Live Streaming Cameras: Select the Best for You

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So you have decided to create a live stream broadcast and I am sure you are very excited to get started. The biggest step now is to select the live streaming camera that is best for you. We understand that choosing a camera for live streaming can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to tell which live streaming video cameras are the perfect fit for your needs. It feels like there are a million different makes & models to choose from and the prices range from $100 into the thousands. Not to mention all of the cards, cables and technical terms that go along with it. Megapixels? Optical Zoom? ISOs & F-Stops? Walking into an electronics shop and asking a salesperson can be intimidating, but tackling the decision solo can also be a lot of work. Before you start your journey, we have some tips that will help you get started, and technical lingo that will make you sound like a professional videographer.

Before you make live stream camera commitment, keep a couple of things in mind:
  • What is your current computer workflow?
  • Do you only want to stream live?
  • Would you like the flexibility to shoot on the go?
  • What is your budget?

Just like introducing a new member to the family, your video camera for live streaming most importantly has to get along with your current hardware set-up. The key thing to pay attention to are the existing camera connections available on computer you are using whether that be on a laptop, desktop or even a tricaster. Regardless of your technology preferences, it’s a whole lot easier to pick a camera for live streaming that is compatible with your hardware than having to re-adjust your hardware gear based on the hottest video camera on the market. 

Live Steaming Cameras USBLive Steaming Cameras USB cable

USB Camera
This is the best live streaming camera option for entry level broadcasters because basically all computers, whether they be mac or windows, has this connection already built in. If you are just starting out with live streaming, this is an hassle free first camera choice. With so many USB cameras on the market, it’s not hard to find one that will fit your budget and your needs. If you use our Pro Broadcaster or Ustream Producer, both of these encoding programs should automagically recognize your USB camera. You just “Plug & Play” so they say.

Camera: Logitech Webcam Series
  • Pros
    • Low cost
    • Easy or no setup involved
    • Can connect directly to most computers, no capture cards or boxes required
    • Usually no batteries or AC power required, can be powered directly from computer
  • Cons
    • Typically lack zoom, manual focus, iris, white balance and gain controls required for more precise shots
    • No ability to upgrade lenses
    • No ability to record locally
    • No ability to input professional audio and pass through to encoder

Live Steaming Cameras analogLive Steaming Cameras Analog cable

Analog (Component/Composite)
Nothing like the classic. If you have ever looked at the back of a newer model TV, you may have seen the red/green/blue cable ports. Most video camera for live streaming have some option for analog output, however most laptops do not have these inputs built in, meaning you would need a switcher or capture card to accept the analog connection.  

Camera: Panasonic P2 HD Series
  • Pros
    • Very common connection type, available on almost any camera, new or old
    • Lowest cost, particularly with all the older used video cameras available
    • Easy to source and replace cables and cameras
    • Relatively easy to find capture cards, switchers and encoders that support this connection type
  • Cons
    • Many analog connections only support SD resolution. Only newer cameras support HD over analog component connections
    • Not recommended for long cable runs. Analog cables can be prone to interference and signal degradation.
    • Most camera brands have proprietary connectors on the camera, these cables are not as easy to replace and typically you need to connect an additional cable to reach your switcher or encoder

Live Steaming Cameras HDMILive Steaming Cameras HDMI cable

HDMI
This interface was designed for home theater systems, but has become super popular in the live stream camera world due to the fact that they are a bit less expensive than the SDI cameras but still have a lot of bang for your buck. Video cameras with HDMI outputs are a great choice because there are many inexpensive models available that shoot and record in HD and output over HDMI. Not to mention the price point makes them great for multi camera live streaming. Instead of buying one $1,000 camera, you can purchase five $200 cameras!

Camera: Canon VIXIA series
  • Pros
    • Wide range of options, from affordable entry-level camcorders to professional, full-featured cameras
    • Widely available and easy to buy
    • Easy to convert to SDI for more capture / encoder options
  • Cons
    • Might require conversion to SDI for compatibility with some switchers and encoders
    • Cannot do cable runs as long as SDI
    • Cables do not lock, can get disconnected if you are not careful
    • Some consumer-level HDMI connections have built in copy protection which will prevent signal transfer

Live Steaming Cameras SDILive Steaming Cameras SDI cable

SDI
These are the Cadillac of live streaming cameras and in our opinion the best. SDI output cameras are the most professional live streaming camera option, and of course typically the most expensive. Since SDI cables lock into place they provide a stable & reliable connection and are the best for long cable runs. Because cameras with direct SDI output can be expensive, many people choose to use HDMI output cameras and then use an HDMI to SDI converter. But if you have the means, we highly recommend the SDI route.

Camera: Canon C100 Series
  • Pros
    • Most professional and robust connection type
    • Can do the longest cable runs
    • Locking connectors
    • Most common connection type for capture cards and encoders
  • Cons
    • Cost

“But wait, can’t I just use my current DSLR for live video streaming?” 

Great question! The answer is both yes and no.

DSLR cameras are considered in the same category as HDMI cameras in regards to using them for live video streaming. They need to have a HDMI output from the camera, as well as a capture device or capture card between the camera and your computer. But be aware that there are limitations to using DSLR cameras:

  • They do not provide a clean output over their HDMI port
    • Many DSLR cameras are not great for streaming because some models use a mirror of what is in the viewfinder, which means your broadcast may include an overlay that reveals settings like battery life, etc. Some DSLR models provide an option to turn off the overlay and provide a true “clean” output over HDMI, but not all, so make sure you should check your specific make and model.
  • They offer less audio capabilities than a true live streaming video camera
    • Since the built in mic on DSLR cameras are usually low quality, you will want to make sure that the camera you are using can input live audio from an external microphone or audio source and output that audio over the HDMI port.
  • Not all DSLR cameras are designed for extended live use
    • Some camera models have the tendency to overheat and will automatically shut down if shooting video for extended periods of time, which will be unsuitable for applications where you plan to stream for longer than 2-3 hours.

Now that the hard part is taken care of, all you need to do is sign up for Ustream Pro Broadcasting and start streaming! Please do not hesitate to drop us a line if you have any questions, or need assistance setting things up. We are more than happy to help get you started. 

Cali Christmas & Hot for the Holidays Concerts

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With temperatures dropping across the nation, Power 106 FM & Hot 97 are keeping us warm this week by bringing together hip hop’s hottest artists from coast to coast. Tickets to the shows are still available, but if you cannot make it in person you can still watch the live broadcast brought to you exclusively on Ustream so that you will not miss a moment of the action.

Power 106 FM: Cali Christmas
The event you have been waiting for is here! Power 106’s Cali Christmas is popping off this Friday December 4th @ 6:30pm (PST) from The Forum in Inglewood California and bringing together hip hop’s hottest stars live on one stage. Catch performances by Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Travis Scott, Dej Loaf, Ty Dolla $ign, Logic, Skeme, Post Malone with a special guest performance from Pharrell Williams.

Hot for the Holidays

HOT 97: Hot for the Holidays
Busta Rhymes teamed up with Hot 97 to host one of the most highly anticipated events of the season. The concert features performances from Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, Sean Paul, French Montana, Fetty Wap, as well as Mariah Carey and Rick Ross who were both recently added to the lineup. It all goes down at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on December 5th @ 8:00pm (EST)

Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to broadcast and share with the world? Ustream makes it easy to get started! Take a test drive and gain access to advanced features & audience insights that you cannot find anywhere else and see why major media companies look to Ustream as the leader in live streaming.

Highlights from Streaming Media West 2015

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We had a blast in sunny Huntington Beach, California for the 2015 Streaming Media West conference! Between the line up of amazing speakers and meeting with all of you at the Beer Garden & Networking event, it’s difficult to pick our favorite moment of the trip. That was until we heard that Ustream took home 3 Reader Choice Awards, which definitely takes the cake as the best part of the show.

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Live Video Platform
Winner: Ustream
After taking home this award for 3 years running, it’s a no brainer that Ustream is the best in the business for live video streaming. Simple enough for beginners, yet powerful enough for professionals, Ustream is the destination for anyone looking to livestream video on the web. Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself!

Advertising Solution
Winner: Ustream LiveAd
The readers have spoken and for the 2nd year in a row Ustream LiveAd technology retains the crown as the leading Advertising solution for live & pre-recorded video. Leverage the power of our massive global syndication network and learn more about your audience with richer analytics than you will find anywhere else. But don’t take our word for it, reach out to one of our account representatives and find our why clients such as HBO and Cisco come to Ustream for their online video advertising needs.

Enterprise Video Platform
Winner: Ustream Align
Our Ustream Align platform made its debut early this year and is already starting to make waves, winning the award for the best Enterprise Video Platform. Inform, educate, and inspire your workforce with easy to use tools that keeps everyone on the same page. Ustream Align is optimized for internal communications, keeping your video secure, minimizing the impact on your network, and reducing the need for IT support making it the perfect internal communication solution for your business. Ready to get connected? What are you waiting for!

We hope to see everyone again next year!

Ustream Wins Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards

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The Streaming Media West Readers choice awards the only awards ceremony in the online video industry where the customers have their say in what online video products and services they could not live without.

This year’s awards brought in 250 nominations and opened the voting to StreamingMedia.com readers to select their favorites. Over 3,500 readers voted and casted in a total of nearly 36,000 votes across 29 categories, ranging from Streaming Media to Streaming Media Producers. Finalists were announced in mid-October, the winners were announced at the Streaming Media West show in Huntington Beach, California

Ustream is the winner of 3 Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards!

  • Streaming Platform (3rd year in a row!)
  • Advertising Solution (2nd year in a row!) – Ustream LiveAd
  • Enterprise Video Platform – Ustream Align

To try out our award-winning solutions, visit Ustream.tv