[POLYV Insight] When video meets 5G communication

We are in the age of 4G LTE communication. Compared to 3G, 4G network is significantly faster, with higher bandwidth capacity, and the network quality is much better.

While we still benefit from the ever evolving 4G LTE network, 5G – the next generation standard of communication, is already in progress.

You may ask, what is 5G communication? How does 5G change video technology and application? These are the topics we discuss in today’s article.

I. What is 5G?

5 th generation mobile networks, a.k.a. 5G, are the proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G standards.

In the definition made by Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, a 5G network should meet the following criteria:

  • Data rates of tens of Mbps for tens of thousands of users
  • Data rates of 100 Mbps for metropolitan areas
  • 1 Gbps simultaneously to many workers on the same office floor
  • Several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections for wireless sensors
  • Spectral efficiency significantly enhanced compared to 4G
  • Coverage improved
  • Signaling efficiency enhanced
  • Latency reduced significantly compared to LTE

All in all, 5G network has significantly higher speed and network capacity, better coverage and signaling, with much lower latency.

II. How 5G changes the game of video applications

You may ask, how fast is 5G? Well, let’s take videos as example –

If you connect your device to the 5G network, you can watch YouTube videos in 1080/60p without any lags or long bufferings; and if the network continues evolving, it is very likely that you can even watch 4K/60p smoothly without lagging.

Besides general videos, new video experience, like 360 panorama, VR and AR, can also benefit from 5G.

They all need fast graphic processing as well as high network bandwidth. For current computers and mobile devices, graphic processing is not a big problem, but the network bandwidth of 4G is still far from enough for smooth, real-time immersive experience.

With the deployment of 5G network, the bandwidth is no longer a problem –the network capacity is big enough that everyone in a 100 m 2 office can watch VR movies at 4K/60p simultaneously without any lags, or play Pokémon Go with significantly better details. That means everyone can have better VR/AR experience, making these video technology gets commercial use even sooner.

Besides, live streaming will take great advantage of 5G communication. As we know, the live streaming technology we use are usually based on HTTPS-FLV, RTMP, RTSP or HLS, which has seconds of latency. And even though YouTube now reduces the latency of live streaming to less than 3 seconds, it’s not very close to what we know as “instant streaming”. With the new 5G network, it is able to develop a new protocol for live streaming that deliver high quality live streaming while it is compatible to the protocols we currently use.

Additionally, some applications of live streaming, such as remote clinical diagnosis, psychiatric treatment and bespoke scanning, will be benefited from 5G as well, as they require very high bandwidth to high-definition video transmission or massive imagery data in a very short period of time, which is not likely to be done in current 4G network.

III. Conclusion

5G network is currently under development, with ongoing some lab tests led by Qualcomm, Huawei and Samsung. We expect to see the new generation of 5G standards being introduced as early as second half of 2018, and the 5G network to be deployed in 2020.

We can also that the technologies of videos are still evolving for the better during the time. With all these factors, the near future of video application is bright and will change dramatically from what we have now.

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[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!

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!

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!

[POLYV Insight] Video conference or Live streaming?

Video conference has been one of the most common ways to connect and interact with each other. It helps people to communicate face to face even they’re thousand miles apart, eliminating what we know as “deserted islands of information”.

In the past, video conference is a common choice for getting coworkers together from different places.

However, with the rise of mobile internet, video conference gets old-schooled – especially when businesses and enterprises require online collaboration, cloud office workflows and many things else.

Besides, video conference has several critical flaws:

  • High expense – the whole set of video conference system costs at least tens of thousands of dollars; what’s more, installing it and training sessions afterwards costs another thousands of dollars as well as the time consumed;
  • Poor quality – the transmission of video conference system really depends on the quality of internet, and even with gigabit broadband and super-low latency, the graphic quality doesn’t go very well as expected; and if disconnected, it needs more time to reconnect;
  • Lack of collaboration – you can only hear what other colleagues talking and not able to anything else, or vice versa.

All in all, video conference is not an efficient choice.

Live streaming provides a different choice for work collaboration.

Now, we have another choice – holding conferences with the help of live streaming.

It’s not a fully perfect plan — the latency of live streaming is within a few seconds, but still acceptable for group discussions or brainstorming.

And its advantages are obvious – you can attend the live streaming conference and continue your work at the same time without interrupting each other; or you can record the ideas together with other colleagues in cloud office applications, Evernote or mind mapping tools; with the help of big data and cloud analysis, you can draw accurate conclusions to the analysis and make improvements to your workflow.

What’s more, this new workflow can be applied to various situations and industries – from long-distance office collaborations to massive live events or exhibitions, from e-learning to financial analysis, you can find its way to the situation or field you are working in.

Still troubling with the old school video conference systems? Now it’s time to embrace the new technologies and switch your workflow to video live streaming!

Questions from You: How to troubleshoot the issues of my live streaming?

Question:

I’m now using Streaming Cloud for long, and it’s been working well. But recently my livestreams are getting sluggish and buffer a lot, and my audience often report about the lagging and poor watching experience. What can I do to troubleshoot the issue?


You need to find out the right cause of issues encountered in the livestream.

Honestly saying, our technical support team has received different types of complaints about the lagging or buffering during live streaming. Since the cause of lagging varies, we have to find out the right way to solve the issue.

We usually judge if the lagging is temporary or lasts longer first. If the lagging is temporary, it is more likely caused by the network condition – either by the network you use for pushing the livestream, or by the network of your audience.

At this situation, you need to check the network connection, and see if the issue is on your network device, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or something else. We will not discuss this in detail since the possible cause varies.

If the lagging lasts long (like for tens of seconds or keeps lagging since your livestream started), you have to determine if the issue is caused by the Push side (who start the livestream and upload the streaming data) or the Pull side (who receive the livestream and download the streaming data).

You can check the livestream by the following steps –

1. Find out how many of the audience (Pull side) that encounter lagging.

2. If not all audience encounter lagging, that means the network condition of these audience is not good, and is required for further inspection.

3. If all audience encounter lagging, that means the streaming source from the livestream host (Push side) is not set properly. This can be caused by one of the following problems –

(1) The network condition of the Push side. Since it directly affects the transmission of the livestream, we recommend you check this first. And if it is the problem, you should fix it immediately.

(2) The firewall settings. Sometimes the livestream gets affected by the firewall settings of your operation system, which may block the live streaming client from transmitting the streaming data. You can add the live streaming client to the application white list to make it gain access needed for your livestream.

(3) The settings for the livestream. Sometimes improper parameters cause the lagging, such as using streaming bitrate that is too high for the network, or enabling too much features that the network is unable to process in time (especially the interactive functions in a jammed network). For this situation, you can try disabling some of them to see if the lagging issue is solved.

4. If you can’t find any problem with the inspections in Step 3, and you are using our live streaming client (PC/iOS/Android), you can submit the log file to our technical support to diagnose and pinpoint the issue.

If you are using OBS or other streaming client, you can try to find the log file if there is one, and submit to our technical support with the streaming client you use and its version if available, as errors may occur in some versions of the third-party streaming clients.

Besides, our technical support will contact the provider of our CDN, to see if there are anomalies appearing during the time of the livestream, and will have further contact to solve them.

OK, that’s a wrap for this Q&A session. It may take some time to find out the cause of lagging, but this process can help you understand live streaming better and adjust the settings for better livestreams. And of course, we strongly recommend you giving a test or rehearsal before starting the livestream to fix the problems early.

Or, if you want to learn more about troubleshooting the issues during livestream beforehand, check out the develop center for manuals or detailed information. And if you encounter any problems during testing or livestream, feel free to contact our technical support in time. We are always here to listen.

Hope you like this article and find it useful. We’ll see you soon!