[POLYV Insight] What can we do with live streaming? (Part 3 – Education)

In the previous article of this series, we talked about some possible ways for using live streaming in the field of consumer products, which has a great number of audience and potential conversions.

While consumer products draw most of the spotlight, another important field – education – is also rising for live streaming demands. “Knowledge is power,” and the power is growing strong and more realistic.

Here we list some of the possible scenarios of using live streaming for the education industry. Let’s get started!

I. K-12 & in-class training

Education is vital for the next generation, especially for those under 18. Besides the traditional classroom, we can set up live streaming sessions for Q&A and additional assistance for those who want to learn even more outside the class.

For Q&A sessions, the teachers can answer questions from one or more students. Using the microphone connection feature, the communication between the teacher and the designated student(s) is instant without latency. Or, the teacher can pick up some typical or representative questions to answer, with the help of the chatroom feature, just as most of the live streaming services do.

And for personal assistance or private classes, the teacher can show the presentation along with the narration and in-class Q&A, with the help of the three-way player. Besides, the teacher can set up some key points or questions during the live session, to check if the student has mastered the knowledge taught within the session.

In some major cities, we can even see several online education platforms or education agencies combine these services into an integrated solution, making it an online-offline personal courses, improving the performance even more than tradition classrooms or personal assistances.

II. Skill training

While fundamental education is vital for kids and teenagers, skill training is equally important for college students and in-service staff. With the training needed, they can seek more opportunities for finding jobs as well as promotions.

To meet the need of learning skills in spare time, it is now very popular to do live streaming classes, or to hold webinars after work or on weekends.

The night-time live streaming classes or webinars are mainly for sharing thoughts, skills, or case studies. They are not like any kind of the courses in textbooks, K-12 classrooms or university courses, instead they are practical cases and experience that can be used in similar situations, or transplanted to other scenarios.

The bottom line, these live streaming classes/webinars are extension to the knowledge and skills that you have learned over years. Compared to traditional learning or courses, they are more case-oriented and more likely to pinpoint your questions or problems encountered in practice.

III. Studying abroad

Nowadays, more and more parents as well as students themselves have put their eyes on the education resources abroad, mainly universities and colleges for undergraduate, master or Ph.D., while some may focus more on high schools. Studying abroad is now a new trend, not only in China, but also in many other countries.

Some of the high schools, universities and colleges, have come up with the idea of using videos to give a good first impression to the potential foreign students, as well as to promote the advantages studying in their campus.

And, apart from those general introduction videos and open course videos hosted in the website, many schools and colleges now use live streaming to present the daily life of the campus, the communities of different interests, or to have interactions to those potential students who want to have a closer look to the campus and the teachers.

With the help of live streaming presentation and Q&A session, students can have a closer look to the schools they like and make the right call, while the schools can attract the potential students more efficiently than before. This is a win-win situation, and everyone can be happy at the end of the day.

IV. VR/AR Classroom

Have you ever felt bored with the dead silent classroom? Or those dull, lifeless textbooks? Now, with the help of VR and AR technologies, learning is no longer boring nor painful – instead, it’s full of fun.

With the help of VR, you can now explore prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs and trilobites, experience the story of Grimms’ Fairy Tales or Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio develops, or travel around the world and see the landmarks in real time, without even going out of the classroom.

That’s what VR gets in the upper hand – bringing immersive, extensive experience that texts and simple images can’t provide.

And if you afraid VR is too immersive or easy to get yourself hurt, we have another plan – AR.

No matter you use Hololens, hologram projections, or simply your mobile phones, AR doesn’t separate you from the real world. It just adds different image or animation layers for presentation or note, to help the viewer get knowledge faster and more intuitive.

Besides, AR doesn’t bother you to interact with the real world. You can interact with the virtual characters or animation, while continue receive instructions or read the books you have, no bother.

For this idea, Corning Glass has portrayed it in the A Day Made of Glass series dating back in 2011. In one of the scenes, the students are in a classroom where they can learn animals and plants through a tablet with AR feature.

And for closer cases, a development team in Jiangsu, China has made a first batch of AR textbooks, which can display different characters or portray the plot when students point the camera in their phones to the images, titles or QR codes.

V. Conclusion

There are many more possibilities for the industry of education. We just listed some of the more probable use of live streaming, and we believe there are many more if new demands arise. Video technology has changed the industry a lot over the last decade, and the use of live streaming will be the next game changer.

Now, time for the discussion – what do you think about the use of live streaming in education or training? Let us know in the comment section down below, and stay tune for our next article!

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A brief comparison for POLYV’s PC, HTML5 and mobile media player

Howdy! Recently we’ve received some feedback from our clients who wants us to make a comparison for the media player used in Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud.

Well, we have decided to write an article about this before, but as our player keeps evolving, it may take some time to summarize and update the comparison chart.

And now, here it is –

No.

Features

PC

HTML5

Mobile

1

Marquee/Rolling captions

2

Authorized viewing

3

Skin customization for the player

4

Password entry for viewing

5

Autoplay

6

Cover

7

Ads before playback

8

Intro

9

Preview

10

Ads on pause

11

Logo customization for player

12

Copyright item on right click

13

Resolution adaptation

14

Information point

15

Player language select[1]

16

Q&A Player

17

Viewer information form

18

3-way presentation player

19

Bullet/Rolling comments (on-screen display)

20

Multilingual subtitles

21

Playback domain restriction

22

Advertisement analysis

23

Watch time analysis

24

Traffic analysis

25

Playback error code

26

Sub-video (video clips from original video)

27

Playlist

28

Share links

29

Right sidebar[2]

30

Continue last play position

31

Overseas acceleration

32

Multiple speed playback[3]

33

Panel color scheme settings

34

Ads after playback

35

Related/recommended videos on end

36

Encrypted video playback

37

360/VR video playback

Note:

1. Currently available options: Auto, Chinese (Simplified), English. More languages to be added.

2. Including Cinema mode, Share, Quality, Widescreen, Subtitles, Bullet/Rolling comments, Screen capture, Interactions, etc.

3. PC player will read and buffer the corresponding speed copy (transcoded) of the original video. For HTML5 and mobile player, the video can be played in designated speed directly using parameters from HTML5 standards.


Hope you can understand our media player better with the help of this comparison chart.

If you have any questions or problems, feel free to leave your comment down below. And don’t forget to subscribe our blog, or check out our official website (http://www.polyv.net/) or development help center (http://dev.polyv.net/) for more detailed information.

Stay tuned and see you next article!

Concise Tutorial: The workflow of live streaming with DSLR cameras

We have talked about the whole workflow of how to utilize your DSLR camera to shoot your videos, edit them and ultimately upload to your video hosting service.

What about live streaming with DSLR cameras? It sounds weird, but it is possible and easy to do – and that’s what we’re discussing in today’s article.


Have you ever wonder that your DSLR camera can do more than taking photos or shooting movies? Now, with help of the capture card, you can turn your DSLR camera into a live streaming device effortlessly.

But how?

Unlike recording videos, the live streaming workflow of DSLR camera does NOT actually filming at all.

All you need to do is –

  1. Find the right location for live streaming;
  2. Connect the capture card to the DSLR camera and computer;
  3. Turn on the camera;
  4. Adjust the focal length and distance to have the right view, and make sure the focus is on the subject;
  5. Open the live streaming client (OBS or POLYV Live Streaming client);
  6. Hit “Start record” and let your livestream begin!

Live streaming with DSLR is pretty simple -- just leave it live instead of recording.

Yes, that’s all! You just leave your camera in the view-finding mode, by either optical viewfinder or live view on the camera screen. And we recommend you using optical viewfinder to adjust the view and focus if your livestream lasts for several hours, because the screen will consume quite a lot of power and drain your battery very quickly.

You don’t even need to hit the record button on the DSLR camera at all, since the capture card will automatically process the signals from the sensors. And because of this, older models (like Nikon D40, D60, D80 and Canon 400D, 30D) are also available for DSLR live streaming.

So here’s the end of the article. If you have any questions or ideas for this article, feel free to leave your comments down below. And don’t forget to check out our blog or official website to check out the new updates on our services. We’ll see you in the next article!

Concise Tutorial: The workflow of making videos with DSLR cameras

Nowadays we have way better equipment to take photos or videos, and DSLR cameras are one of the best options that is of excellent quality in affordable price, and is more versatile than traditional camcorders.

So how do you use your DSLR camera to shoot footages for your videos, or to make a livestream out of it? Here we’ll discuss the topic of how to make videos out of your DSLR camera, and today goes the first part – the production and upload of your DSLR videos.


Filming with DSLR cameras are very common now among the new generation producers and directors — not just because the controls are more familiar to them, but also the setups are easier and more direct than the conventional camcorders or video recorders.

The process to make videos with DSLR cameras is not that complicated. We’ll show you how to do it step by step.

The process to make videos with DSLR cameras is not that complicated -- sometimes even easier than with the camcorder.

To get your DSLR videos starting, you first need a DSLR camera that supports high-definition video recording. Most of the DSLR models from Canon (600D, 60D, 5D Mark III or newer) and Nikon (D7000, D5100, D600 or newer) are ready for the job, while the older models (especially the Nikon DSLR models using CCD sensors) are not available for video recording.

Then, choose the right lenses – it depends on which topic your video covers. For daily vlogs, the kit lens is good enough to go; for mini movies or story-telling films, a lens with wide aperture (like f/1.4 or f/1.8) is better since it blurs out the background or unrelated stuff to make the character the focus; for landscapes, wide-angle lenses or even tilt-shift lenses are the choice because they can fix the distortions caused by perspective.

And before you start, make sure you have enough batteries or bring the AC adapter with you for the power supply that is long enough for your filming. Also, the storage cards (SD, CF, XQD r other types depending on the model you use) have enough space for all the raw footage you need. Here we recommend you using a 32GB card for 1080/30p videos, and 64GB or more 4K/30p videos.

Now you are on the set and ready to record the videos. Before you start, rehearse the lines several times, and check the location, equipment, props and other details to make sure everything is ready for the filming. If so, then “Lights, camera, action!”

After the footages you need are finished, here goes the editing part.

After the filming, you need to sort the footages and then editing the ones you need.

If you are new to the editing job, we recommend using Corel VideoStudio because it’s easy to use, and have a massive library for the images, animations and transitions. You can find almost everything you need in it.

If you have gained some skills in editing, then Sony Vegas Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro is an ideal choice because the editing workflow is more enhanced but not too complicated. Also, they support lots of video formats and have various options for exporting your videos to your storage or publishing online.

If you are a professional editor, or you already have other Adobe applications, then Premiere Pro is the one you need – you can edit your videos in it, then mask removing background or changing the surface with After Effects, and finish the secondary grading with SpeedGrade. You see, Premiere Pro is such powerful when combined with other Adobe applications. (Well, as long as you can afford the subscription of these bad boys)

For the exporting part, currently we recommend using H.264 coding MP4 files for either saving in your hard drives or publishing on video websites like YouTube or Vimeo. Taking 1080/30p videos as example, you can use Main 3.1 Profile and 3~6 Mbps bitrate for uploading to YouTube, or High 4.1 Profile and 15Mbps above for local storage or high-quality videos.

And, if you decide to share your videos online, YouTube and Vimeo are good enough if you are seeking for a free video hosting service. However, if you have a large demand for video spaces, expect a better video experience, or you want the videos are safe from pirating, we recommend you for a paid video hosting service like Vimeo Pro or POLYV, which provides professional support and valuable features like playback authentication and content rights protection. Now, you can focus on your creative ideas and filming process, and let the video hosting service to promote your videos and attract the audience or even collaboration opportunities.

That’s all for the whole process of how to record your videos. If you have any questions or ideas for this article, just leave your comments down below; if you want to learn more about video hosting or live streaming, check out our blog or the official website for more information. Or, if you’re interested, feel free to contact our customer service team via QQ, phone or E-mail.

Hope you have a good kickstart with your DSLR videos, and we’ll see you in the next article!

Private Cloud: A brief introduction and why we need it

By now we have gained reputation from various types of clients, including education, K-12, clinical medicine, financial, real estate and transportation, serving tens of millions of audiences daily.

While most businesses and enterprises are satisfied with our typical video hosting and live streaming service based on general shared cloud computing, some large-scale enterprises have asked for building cloud video service on their own cloud network (or at least, their server groups), with almost the same functionalities in POLYV’s Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud.

That’s why we raise the idea of Private Cloud – deploy POLYV’s service on a private or internal network.

For larger companies, corporations or organizations, data security is priority -- that's why Private Cloud is born.

Usually when we use Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud, the data is stored in the servers of CDNs that not just serve POLYV. Generally speaking, the data in the shared CDNs is safe and stable enough, and the CDN service providers can resist common cyber-attacks (such as DDoS) or technical issues. What’s more, the cost of deploying the service on shared CDNs is less – from the leasing of CDN to the human resources to maintain the service – and is flexible to expand or contract the scale if needed.

Yet, there are some large enterprises requiring a higher level of security, demanding that the data should be stored within the network of their own server, or using specific CDNs that are fully owned or leased to the user and not shared with other users. And for the functionalities, they should be the same as the general video cloud services.

Hence we have the idea of Private Cloud – we can deploy Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud within their internal network, or on the CDN network that are designated only for the enterprises. They can either hire operation engineers, or apply one-on-one technical assistance from our VIP service.

And since the data is now stored in the private network, it is even more secure than in the shared network, taking the private version of Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud service to a new level, and no fear of leaking the data of employees or confidential papers.

That’s all for the brief introduction of our Private Cloud. If you are interested in this service, feel free to contact our customer service for more information, or check out our official website http://www.polyv.net/ for more information.

5 Tips for making your live streaming sessions better

Howdy! Nowadays live streaming is getting more and more popular, from online courses, Q&A/AMA to gigs and sketches, we can get in touch with it in different aspects in our daily life.

Now, if you decide to start your live streaming classroom, show or channel, and you have no idea how to make your sessions engaged to your audience, here are the 5 tips just for you.

1. Studies and preparations

For every livestream, good preparations are necessary

If you are going to give a speech or giving classes to your audience, you should be clear to the topic or subject for each session; if you are giving sketches or gigs, the main idea of the whole session should be well planned as well. In other words, you should always know what you are talking about or doing all the time.

It’s always better if you are familiar or skilled in the topic, subject, or the way you present your ideas. If not, don’t panic – do some thorough researches on the subject, then summarize the knowledge and things you know. By this way you can get a better picture on what you’re about to put on the livestream, and gain confidence for yourself as well.

2. Rehearsal is key

Rehearsal helps you remember the points and ideas to be presented.

Now your topic, subject or main idea is ready, and have planned for how to present it, it’s time to realize it by practicing and rehearsing it before it literally goes live.

You can make the rehearsal in front of a mirror by yourself, or with a few friends or colleagues whoever you’re comfortable with. With these rehearsals, you can know better for how long your speech is, and what or where the changes may need to be made.

Besides, practicing out loud a few times will help you feel familiar with your subjects or ideas, and keep it well organized.

3. Dress well and get comfortable

Dress yourself nice, and then be ready for your livestream.

Before starting your live streaming session, you can put on your clothes you like – no matter a T-shirt, pajama, or dress shirt with a tie, it’s totally okay – as long as your dress code is appropriate for the situation, and you’re comfortable or confident with it.

Also, you should arrive early, which means you have time to familiarize the place, and make sure everything for the live streaming session is ready.

4. Engage with your audience

Don’t forget to interact with your audience during your livestream.

Now you begin your live streaming session. Besides focus on the subject or idea you present, don’t forget to interact with your audience. You know, while you have tons to offers your viewers, they will most likely want to offer something back. Having the ability to ask questions, make comments and interact with you, plus the other viewers, can have a profound impact on your live streaming session.

You can offer a live chat window next to your broadcast, or leave some time for the Q&A with your audience during or after the session. This will create engaging audience members and will have them coming back to your live streaming courses, shows or sketches again.

5. Be consistent

Being consistent to your show is also important.

This is an important tip for not only veteran live streamers, but first-timers as well.

Being on time is a huge aspect of streaming that sometimes goes unnoticed. Being on time doesn’t just mean starting right when the time slated is getting there 15 minutes early is always recommended. This prevents any viewers who are early from leaving because there is nothing to watch or do.

The other thing you want is to be consistent regarding what day and time you are going to stream. It will be hard to follow your broadcasts when you live stream on different times, like one on a Tuesday at 17:00 one week but another one on Friday at 10:00 the next. Keep consistent with the day and time you stream to keep your viewership consistent and informed.

And here’s our 5 tips for your live streaming sessions. Hopefully they’re useful for making your sessions better and attractive. Or if you have any ideas on this topic, feel free to leave your comments or advice down below. See you in the next article!

[POLYV Insight] What can we do with live streaming? (Part 2 – Consumer products)

In the first chapter of the insight, we talked about live streaming service for entertaining, and draws that it is hard to maintain a steady growth for the audience as well as the commercial value. Here from Part 2, we will start discussing live streaming service for various type of  business and other professional needs.

Consumer product is currently one of the major use for commercial purpose, especially in smart devices, household appliances, clothing and accessories. Millions of customers have learned about how to use the product or how it looks like with the product through the livestreams, and there are more things that live streaming can do.

We have come up with several ideas for using live streaming for now or in the near future.

1. Unboxing

Live streaming is a good choice for unboxing -- especially fresh from the press conference or the first impression of a new product.

Unboxing videos are currently widely used in product review channels or websites. The audience can learn a lot information – including the appearance, the features and how it works – from the videos.

And since live streaming is more timeliness-demanding, when unboxing events combine with live streaming, the audience can now learn about the new features of the product right at the press convention or first hands-on, with the help of the host or professional reviewers.

The bottom line, live streaming speeds up the way people learn about new products and features even at thousand miles away, and influences their impression on the products and the decision of buying them or not.

2. Product demonstration for training

Demonstration is also good for making it live.

Product demonstration is also a major use of videos. We’ve already seen a lot in both television and internet, but what if they are on live streaming?

If we put a product demonstration for livestreaming, it is more like a live tutorial for those who are new to the product, to train what it can do and how to use it. For this situation, the live streaming can be used for internal/corporate training and help freeing HR staff from the repetitive job.

3. VR/MR fitting and tailoring

With the help of VR/MR, you can complete the bespoke tailoring through a livestream.

Well, this is literally the “next big thing” in the near future. Even though the VR/MR fitting is still in development, there are some prototypes in progress surfacing to media, and even a few early products (such as FXGEAR) coming into reality.

However, the VR fitting gears currently still sit in big shopping malls and require a set of devices and softwares that are too expensive and complicated for general consumers. And for the VR devices like Oculus, HTC Vive VR and PlayStation VR, the fitting application is not yet developed.

But there’s still hope for the virtual fitting – some developers try to build applications that can scan and build the 3D model of your body using 1 to 3 cameras or even webcams that are easy to get, and the fitting result takes only seconds to send back to the customers. And with the help of MR using projectors, you can even see how the fitting and style is.

At this point, you can find and shop the clothes and accessories that match your style and size, without even going outside.

Another industry that will get benefits from VR/MR is the bespoke tailoring. Traditionally it requires a lot of precise measurements which should be done in the tailor shop, and another 1~3 fitting adjustments during the process. It takes a lot of time for both the tailors and the customers.

With the help of VR fitting, the tailors can instruct the customer how to pose and do the measurement, and obtain all accurate body measurements through a set of cameras or infrared measuring devices, then make a cast from these data using 3D printers. Now they can start the tailoring, and require only 1 or even no fitting adjustments during the process, which saves a lot of time and make the bespoke delivery from at least 3 weeks to only 12~14 days.

Of course, there are many more aspects live streaming can do in the field of consumer products that we don’t mention above due to limitations of the length. So what else aspects do you come up with that related to live streaming and consumer products? Let us know in the comment section down below, and we’ll see you in the next article!