Did you know that live video is going to account for around 13 percent of all internet traffic by 2022? Due to sophisticated online streaming services these days, live streaming video has become easier to both create and consume. Most companies use digital streaming services to a certain extent and use live video as a noticeable part of their video marketing initiatives in general.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how to caption live online video and all the things you need to take care of when you want to live stream video content.
How Live Streaming Video Works?
Before we get into the details of the different aspects of a live streaming video in general, let’s take a look at the process of streaming a live video over the internet in general.
The workflow for a professional live streaming service is something like this – the video of the stream is first captured by the camera used for the stream. However, the files captured by the high-def cameras are usually too large which makes sending over the internet a problem.
In order to seamlessly broadcast live streaming video, it is important to run the video file through something known as an encoder. The encoder converts the raw video into data that can be transferred over the internet. The encoder can be software-based or hardware-based depending on how it is used.
Once the video is compressed, the encoder then packages the data so that it can be streamed over the internet. Internet protocols like RTMP, HLS, MPEG-DASH are most commonly used when it comes to transferring live video data over the internet.
1. Capturing The Video
The first step that you have to take when you want to webcast live streaming video is capturing of the video itself. Most live streaming companies use dedicated cameras with 4K resolution being the standard these days.
The best live streaming solutions normally use SDI cables to transfer the video data which has a pretty high bitrate. When it comes to using a camera for live streaming needs and purposes, it is a bit more complex than just pointing the camera at the right place.
Instead, it is more about ensuring that the cameras are working perfectly and in the case of a multi-camera set-up, you also have to ensure that all the cameras are working in sync together.
2. Video Encoding And Codecs
Video encoding refers to the process of converting raw video data into a digital format that can be transferred over the internet easily. Most video encoders use by companies offering online streaming services use a two-part compression tool called a codec.
Digital streaming services use codecs that apply algorithms that compress the video on the fly for delivery. Both the video and audio go through codecs that reduce the size of the data that is being transmitted. Codes usually use lossy compression which discards unnecessary data to create a smaller file. Some popular video codes include VP9, AV1, VVC, H.264/ACV and some popular audio codes include AAC, MP3, Speex, and Vorbis.
3. Packaging And Protocols
Once the video stream has been compressed by encoders and codecs, it must be then packaged for delivery. While encoding and packaging are pretty similar in nature, there are still some subtle differences between the two processes.
Encoders basically work to reduce the size of the video files but when it comes to transferring the data, the video streams need to be packaged so they can be sent over the protocols typically used when it comes to streaming live online video.
4. Ingesting And Transcoding
Lastly, the video stream has to be transcoded into a variety of different bitrates, codecs, resolutions, and file containers before delivery. For most professional live streaming services, transcoding the video is one of the most important parts of the entire delivery process.
Transcoding refers to converting a compressed/encoded file and then decompressing it, altering it, and then compressing it so that it’s ready for delivery.
This way, instead of relying on just one stream to broadcast live streaming content, online streaming services create multiple streams that can play at different bitrates and resolutions.
This allows you to live stream video content at different bitrates and resolutions at the same time which allows the content to be viewed on different devices seamlessly.
Delivery is the last part of the process when you webcast live streaming video. It is the part of the process where the stream is finally “delivered” to the viewer.
One of the major problems when it comes to delivery is that the latency of the video is affected by the physical distance between the media server and the viewer. However, the best live streaming solutions use dedicated Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to solve this problem by using a network of servers that work together to reduce latency for the viewer regardless of where they’re located relative to the main server.
The final step in the process is the playback of the live stream on the devices of the viewer. Most live streaming services ensure that the live stream is playable on multiple devices and streamable at most network speeds so that the largest segment of the audience is covered.
These days, with the advancement of technology and internet connectivity, it is possible to watch a live stream from any place at any time on any network and even on social media platforms.
Live streaming is a simple concept but follows a complex process that involves multiple steps from capturing, encoding, transcoding, delivery, and playback. Thankfully, there are a lot of dedicated companies these days that provide end-to-end support for the entire live streaming process.
We hope this blog was helpful to you. Keep checking this process for the latest news in the world of live streaming, social media platforms, and other tips regarding live content.