[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!

POLYV Streaming Cloud Update (July 2017)

Hi everyone! Here we are thrilled to announce the latest features and updates of Streaming Cloud. Let’s get started!

Live streaming page interface of POLYV

1. Optimizations for Question & Inquiry function. We released the Question & Inquiry function in the 1st half of 2017, and received many feedback from our users and developers. And now, we’ve made this function more useful with the optimizations listed as following –

(1) Adding “Question & Inquiry” menu category in mobile interface;

(2) After adding a new question session and saving it, the audience can submit their questions and inquiries from different devices including PC, smartphones and tablets;

(3) The “Question & Inquiry” session will be closed immediately once you remove it.

2. Viewer registration update. We’ve added “Name” as a type of registration field, and now you can use it to register and authorize the audience along with the field.

What’s more, the names registered by the audience can be used for their nickname in the live chatroom.

3. Interface optimizations and other minor bug fixes.

The latest update of Streaming Cloud is now on. You can check out our develop center for detailed information, or troubleshoot the problems you encounter while testing the latest version of Streaming Cloud. And if you don’t have a Streaming Cloud account, visit http://my.polyv.net/v2/register first to sign up yours.

We will notify you if there’s any major updates for our services or clients, so stay tuned and see you soon!

[Questions from You] The suitable live streaming service for online education scenario

We have received many requests from our audience over the last two months, asking about our Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud service.

First, we really appreciate for your replies and support for our articles and updates, because your feedbacks always matters and help us improve our products and services.

What’s more important, your feedbacks also raise new needs and demands for us to research. If we find them useful through the research and necessary to add to our service, we will do it in no time.

Here we start the new series “Questions from You”, which we pick some typical or valuable questions and requests from you guys, and we will discuss the issue throughout the articles. We hope you enjoy this series, and keep sending us feedbacks.


Question:

I want to set up an online education platform for live streaming my course. There will be about 50 to 60 students attending, Q&A should be available and the latency should be within 1 second.

Live streaming is getting popular in online education industry

We received quite a lot of requests from the audience as well as the potential users of choosing the right service to set up their e-classroom and give courses through livestream. The question listed above is one of the most typical request we have seen.

We can extract three main demand from this question –

  1. For online education use (Purpose)
  2. 50 to 60 students online at the same time (Scale)
  3. Latency within 1 second (Low latency)

Let’s take a look for the first demand – purpose.

There are a lot of video cloud services available, yet not all of them are dedicated for online education. For big corporations like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, even they provide “education solutions”, the video service is not a major part of their cloud computing, which means the functionalities can be limited and the technical support team may not respond in time.

We recommend you consulting online video services which dedicate in education and business fields, such as Qiniu, POLYV, Kaltura and Panopto. They have accumulated online education clients and keep improving their products and services from their feedbacks, and you can directly use their service for building your e-classroom or live streaming courses just like real-life classrooms.

It's not a heavy load for video service to hold a classroom of 60.

For the scale of students, a capacity of 60 students is not a heavy load for the cloud videos services above at all, thanks to the development of CDN. And if the audience capacity keeps growing, most of the services can still work perfectly, or you can add some more CDN nodes for some sudden high-concurrent scenarios just in case, or balancing the distribution load and make the latency within reasonable range.

The problem for this demand may be the cost of extra CDN nodes. It varies among different video services, so we recommend you asking the customer service team for detailed pricings and plans.

And now the last one – latency.

Almost every video services use HLS or RTMP protocol for pushing or pulling live video streams. The latency of HLS is quite long, which varies from 10 to 35 seconds and is unusable for e-classroom. The latency of RTMP is about 3 to 5 seconds, which is acceptable for most of the live streaming scenarios.

For your latency demand in the question, it is a little too harsh for live streaming services because currently RTMP is not able to reduce latency within 1 second (yes, not even YouTube is able to achieve that so far). If you insist with that, the livestreams have to be transferred through UDP protocol, which is very common in intercom applications where a lot of people can communicate through their microphone at the same time. And of course, these applications are really expensive, and may not be suitable for actual use.

A latency of about 3 to 5 seconds is very common and acceptable for live streaming courses.

So we have a compromising solution – the course lecturing session can be delivered through ordinary RTMP live streaming, and when student asks or answers questions, you can activate the microphone for the designated student and start conversation with microphone (through UDP protocol) like in an intercom system, while other students remain in RTMP streaming. This is what we known as “Microphone streaming”.

For these features, POLYV, Tencent QCloud, Panopto and a few other live streaming services have integrated Microphone streaming. It is proved useful for e-classroom scenarios, cost less compared to intercom applications, and the actual latency is within fair and acceptable range.

We hope the answer above can satisfy your demands. And if you want to try our service for your live streaming classroom, check out our Streaming Cloud website http://www.polyv.net/live to register your account, and then visit our Download Center http://www.polyv.net/download for our live streaming clients.

And if you want to learn more about our Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud service, check out our blog for our previous articles or visit our official website http://www.polyv.net for more information.

Last but not least, we are looking forward to your next questions, so stay tuned everyone! 🙂

PC Streaming Client Update (May 2017)

Howdy! We are very excited to announce the latest feature of our PC Streaming Client – automated subtitles from voice recognition.

The feature of Automated Subtitles is now available for PC Streaming Client.

The feature of Automated Subtitles is now available for PC Streaming Client.

When your streaming goes live, the latest voice recognition system will process the audio automatically, and display the subtitles in the source window of the streaming client, with accuracy above 90%.

Now you don’t have to worry about the audience miss your point – the automated subtitles can help them understand your livestream better.

Other updates in the latest version include –

1. New skins for user interface, with more refined details and color schemes.

2. Bug fixes and minor updates.

The latest PC Streaming Client is now available. You can visit our Download Center for your copy, or click here for a direct link for the installation package. If you don’t have a Streaming Cloud account, visit http://my.polyv.net/v2/register first to sign up.

We will notify you if there’s any major updates for our clients, so stay tuned and we’ll see you in the next article. 🙂

iOS Streaming Client Update (March 2017)

Howdy! Here we are glad to tell you that our iOS Streaming client is now updated!

Splash of iOS Streaming client

The updates in this latest version (1.1.0) include –

1. Bullet commentary functionality is added. The commentaries from the audience can now be displayed in real-time. You can switch on or off this feature in the preference settings panel.

2. Real-time chatroom management. You can manage the chatroom in your live streaming channel better, making the audience more engaged to your livestreams.

User interface of iOS Streaming Client

User interface of iOS Streaming Client

3. Refined details, such as notifications for skin enhancements.

4. Bug fixes and minor updates.

The latest iOS Streaming Client is now available in the App Store. You can visit https://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/polyv-yun-zhi-bo-xie-shou/id1178906547 for more information or download it to your iOS device. If you don’t have a Streaming Cloud account, visit http://my.polyv.net/v2/register first to sign up yours.