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!

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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.

Video Marketing Gadgets: Audience Info Collector in Streaming Cloud

We have talked about the audience information collector of Video Cloud, which is very popular among our clients. And now, you can collect the information of the audience from our Streaming Cloud service as well, knowing your audience’s actual needs and demands better.

It works mostly the same as Video Cloud’s audience information collector, with some mildly different steps in the Streaming Cloud. Here’s how –

1. After signing in POLYV, select “Live” to enter the admin page of Streaming Cloud.

2. Select “Channels” in the navigation bar, and click the channel name to enter channel settings.

Entering the channel settings section

3. Click the “View conditions” tab on the left panel, and then click the “Viewer registration” tab to set up the form for collecting audience information.

Entering the form settings

Note that the form supports up to 5 fields, with the following attributes required –

  • Name – The name of the field
  • Description – Describe what the field is about
  • Type – You can designate the field as “Text”, “Number” or “Drop-down list”.
  • Content of drop-down list – If you choose “Drop-down list” in the “Type” attribute, you can enter the options used in the drop-down list, each separated by comma.

You can add the field by clicking the “+Add field” button above the fields, and remove the field by clicking the cross mark on the right of the field. Also, you can choose to show or hide the field by checking or unchecking it.

You can add, remove the fields, or choose to show the fields or not.

4. When you finish setting up the field, click the “Apply” button on the bottom of the “Viewer registration” tab.

And this is how the form looks like in the actual player –

The appearance of the form

With the audience information collector, you can now understand what the audience would like to watch, as well as how much they are engaged to your content. It really helps to provide guidance for your further plan of your live streaming.

If you want to know more about Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud, be sure to check out our blog, or visit our official website http://www.polyv.net/ for further information. We’ll see you in the next article.

Joint Tutorial: Livestream export and playback in Video Cloud

In previous article, we talked about the connection between Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud, and demonstrated how to import the media from Video Cloud to Streaming Cloud. You may wonder, “Can I record and export my livestream to a single file that can be used in Video Cloud?”

Absolutely! All you need is some simple setups before starting your livestream like this –

1. After signing in POLYV, select “Live” to enter the admin page of Streaming Cloud, then click “Channel list” on the navigation bar.

2. Find the channel you want to export the livestream, then click “Settings” on the right and “General information” (or simply click on the channel name), and select “Playback management” on the left panel. If you don’t have any channel, create a new one before moving on to the settings.

Click the channel name or the setup menu on the right to enter channel settings

Entering Playback management

3. After entering “Playback settings”, select the “Recording” tab, then find the livestream you need and click “Export” on the right.

Exporting the livestream to Video Cloud

4. In the popup window, enter the name of the livestream and choose the category to be exported to and click “Save” button. After that the system will start transcoding, all you need is to wait for your livestream being exported to the designated category in your Video Cloud.

Select your designated Video Cloud category for the livestream

And here’s the exported livestream in the video list of your Video Cloud.

The livestream playback in the streaming channel page

Or you can download the recorded livestream video by clicking “Download” on the right of the livestream, and then import it to video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut X or Sony Vegas Pro, etc.

The livestream can also be transcoded to a single file and be downloaded to your local storage for further edit

If you want to put the livestream in the “Previous videos” tab in your live streaming channel, you can follow the instructions down below –

1. Head back to the “Playback settings” section and click the “Playback list” tab.

2. Click the “+ Add video” button, then check the exported livestreams you want, and click the “Add” button, then you can see the exported livestreams are listed in the “Previous videos” panel in the live streaming channel.

Adding livestream to playback panel

Note that the recorded livestreams will be available for 30 days, so we strongly recommend you exporting your livestream right after the streaming is over.

And that’s a wrap for how to export your livestream from Streaming Cloud to Video Cloud. All you need to do is just some simple clicks to save and export your livestreams right after it’s done.

If you want to know more about Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud, be sure to check out our blog, or visit our official website http://www.polyv.net/ for further information. We’ll see you in the next article.

Joint Tutorial: Importing Video Cloud media to Streaming Cloud channel

We have published several tutorials and how-tos for either Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud. But since our video hosting and live streaming service are now connected, you can now use your Video Cloud videos or other media in Streaming Cloud or vice versa. That’s why we would like to introduce you the “Joint Tutorial” series to help you utilize both service together and make them even powerful and helpful for you.

Here is the first tutorial of this series, showing you how to import media from Video Cloud to your Streaming Cloud channel.

1. Sign in your POLYV account, and click “Video” on the top navigation bar (or the “Videos” icon in the “Video” section) to enter Video Cloud.

Portals for entering Video Cloud

2. Click the “Videos” icon on the top navigation bar of Video Cloud, then select the video to be used in Streaming Cloud and click the “Video settings” icon above the list.

Select the videos for the live streaming channel, then click for "Video settings"

3. In the popup window, enter your ID of live streaming channel in the “Tag” field, then click “Save” to return to the video list.

Enter the channel number in the "Tag" field

4. Next, enter the Streaming Cloud admin page by one of the following ways –

  • Click the “Live” icon on the top navigation bar of Video Cloud;
  • Click the “Live” icon on the top navigation bar of the account index page;
  • Click the “List” icon in the “Live” section;

Entering Streaming Cloud from the account admin page

Entering Streaming Cloud from the Video Cloud admin page

5. After entering Streaming Cloud, click “Channel” on the top navigation bar, then click the name of the channel to its preference setup.

Select the live streaming channel you need

6. Select “Playback” on the left panel, first enable the “Playback” switch, after that click the “Playback list” tab and then “+ Add video” button.

Import the videos tagged with the live streaming channel

7. The videos that are tagged with the live streaming channel ID will be listed below. Here you can check the videos you need and click the “Add” button.

Add the video you need

Now you can see the videos are listed in the “Previous videos” panel below the player.

The videos will be shown in the "Previous playback" panel

So this is how to import your Video Cloud videos to your Streaming Cloud channel, and we have a lot of features that involve both services. You can stay tuned for the article update by subscribe our blog, or check out our official website http://www.polyv.net/ for more information.

And if you encounter issues when you’re using Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud, you can check out our support center to troubleshoot, or feel free to contact our support team via phone, e-mail or QQ. We’ll see you soon!