Looking for some live encoding software? The Ustream Broadcaster software for Mac allows content owners to quickly stream to a live channel or record video content for later use. The desktop application includes additional features to aid the presentation of your video content as well, including screen sharing capabilities, camera switching and being able to broadcast in high definition (HD). The latter is especially important as the IBM Cloud Video and Ustream services support adaptive bitrate streaming technology. This allows those with a faster connection to watch the HD version while others on slower connections can still participate through watching a lower bitrate version that is generated through cloud transcoding.
- Webcam Broadcasting and Recording
- Screen Sharing
- Camera Switching and Source Switching
- High Definition Broadcasting
Webcam Broadcasting and Recording
The broadcaster software for Mac offers a quick way to begin streaming from a webcam. This can include built-in webcams, on laptops, or external webcams. It can be linked to a Ustream account as well, allowing content creators to choose between available channels.
The program is quick to launch, and offers an immediate prompt asking if you would like to START A BROADCASTER or START A RECORD. Selecting either option will begin a process that will allow a selection for which channel on the account the content should live on.
It should be noted, all Ustream accounts include auto archiving. So doing a normal broadcast will still save a recorded version to the account afterwards. The advantage of doing the recording option is the ability to pre-screen the content before publishing. Content owners can even download the asset, edit it through another program, and upload it again to the Ustream platform if they prefer.
Although the encoder is ease of use based, it offers some cool features not found in some alternatives such as Ustream’s web broadcaster. One of these features is the ability to easily and quickly share your screen. The software contains an easy way to switch back and forth between broadcasting from a webcam to showing what’s on your screen.
Use cases for this can be many. These can include sharing presentation decks to enabling effective platform demos for cloud based services. Be mindful, though, that the encoder will share the entire screen. As a result, be conscious of background applications, like software chat programs, that might pop up while you are sharing your screen.
Camera Switching and Source Switching
Content creators quickly switch between cameras and sources using the encoder. This functionality is done through using the two action buttons contained to the right of start. Clicking between the webcam icon to the monitor icon will enable screen sharing. Selecting the webcam icon, though, can be used to switch between multiple cameras if available. This can range from external webcams to those built right into a laptop. Broadcasters can also select from as many different, attached webcam cameras as their operating system will support as well.
Content creators can also select an audio source or adjust volume levels. This is done from the Preferences area of the desktop application, though, and therefore it’s recommended to test these settings to the desired levels and sources before starting.
High Definition Broadcasting
The Ustream broadcaster can live stream at three resolutions:
- 360p (Low)
- 480p (SD)
- 720p (HD)
It’s recommended to broadcast in high definition, at 720p, if your upload speed can support it. The reason for this is the adaptive bitrate streaming technology that Ustream utilizes will automatically create lower bitrates and serve the most appropriate one to your viewers based on a few factors, such as if they have the download speed to support it. The goal here is to avoid buffering while giving those with a faster connection improved video quality. In terms of making a judgement call on if your upload speed can support it, it’s recommended to not broadcast at more than half of your upload speed. As a result, to do 720p, it’s recommended to have an upload speed of at least 3mbps. To learn more about the relationship between your connection speed and streaming, please consult this support article. That said, the application adapts the bitrate to provide the highest quality streaming experience possible on the connection the user has, within sensible limits.
If you want higher video quality than 720p, check out Ustream Producer that can broadcast at 1080p.
The software version of the Ustream Broadcaster brings with it some powerful features not seen in the web version. This includes higher quality streaming and key features like screen sharing. Just like the web version, this encoder is free as well.
The Mac version of this software launched this week, on August 2nd. Stay tuned for the PC version, which is coming soon. The Mac streaming software can be downloaded now and allows login with Ustream accounts.
Interested in experimenting with this new software encoder? Try out Pro Broadcasting and empower your whole team from a range of ease-of-use applicants, like this broadcaster software for Mac, all the way up to professional encoders.