Facebook Takes its Next Step in Becoming Broadcast Platform

Facebook is taking on Amazon’s Twitch and the growing list of video competitors with new expanded live streaming features. “Users can go Live directly from Facebook’s desktop website via their webcam, stream through professional equipment and software hooked up to a desktop and broadcast gameplay from their computer,” reports TechCrunch. While mobile remains a focus for Facebook, desktop users can now broadcast straight to News Feeds and include graphics, titles and other overlays. “Opening up on desktop takes Facebook Live beyond Twitter and Periscope’s options, and brings it into competition with longer-running services like YouTube, Ustream and Livestream.” Continue reading Facebook Takes its Next Step in Becoming Broadcast Platform

Ustream Offers SDK for Those Interested in Live Broadcasting

Following the positive response to the Meerkat app that enables users to temporarily broadcast live video via social media, and the restrictions placed on it by Twitter (which is likely readying its own similar service with the acquisition of Periscope), live-streaming startup Ustream announced that it is opening its internal API to anyone interested in building their own broadcasting app. This could potentially lead to alternatives for individuals and companies looking to broadcast video without the need for embedded media players. Continue reading Ustream Offers SDK for Those Interested in Live Broadcasting

Meerkat App on Twitter: Disappearing Videos a New Sensation

Disappointed with the direction of his video startup Yevvo, Ben Rubin replaced it with a simplified iOS app for sharing live video via Twitter. Launched in February, Meerkat grabbed 28,000 users in its first week. In less than two weeks, that number had surpassed 100,000. Now the app is being used for everything from office tours and church services to skateboard videos and live event coverage. Meerkat, which reportedly took Rubin a mere eight weeks to build, has become a social sensation and the latest in the push for ephemeral apps. Continue reading Meerkat App on Twitter: Disappearing Videos a New Sensation

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

In an effort to develop universal standards and best practices for high-scale Internet video services, 17 content companies, service providers and technology vendors have gathered to create the Streaming Video Alliance. Together, these companies hope to improve the online video experience. SVA will initially focus on open architecture, quality of experience, and interoperability. Formation of the group comes as net neutrality continues its path as a complex and controversial issue. Continue reading Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

E-Sports Programmer Major League Gaming Launches Network

Major League Gaming has worked to attract video game enthusiasts over the past decade and is now releasing its own premium eSports network, MLG.TV. MLG has tried different distribution platforms in the past for its events. The company, founded in 2002, has shifted from broadcasting its programs on cable networks to broadcasting online. They have also attempted multiple streaming plans, as well as a partnership with Twitch. Continue reading E-Sports Programmer Major League Gaming Launches Network

YouTube Opens Live Streaming to More Channels this Week

YouTube announced that it will now offer its live streaming to any channel owner with at least 1,000 subscribers. This is the next step in the site’s efforts to make live online video more robust and attractive. Last year, YouTube offered select publishers the ability to charge for live streams, and earlier this year it introduced a new live video platform that features DVR and real-time auto-transcoding functionality. Continue reading YouTube Opens Live Streaming to More Channels this Week

Citizen Journalism: Ustream Covers Boston Manhunt Live

The live streaming site Ustream increased its viewership recently with the help of citizen journalism. During the manhunt for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, live information was streamed from a police scanner via the free platform. The site drew an audience of 2.5 million, with 265,000 simultaneous viewers at its peak moment. Notably, nearly half tuned in from their mobile devices. Continue reading Citizen Journalism: Ustream Covers Boston Manhunt Live

Livestream Releases Software-Based Live Video Switcher

Livestream has released a software-based equivalent of its Studio HD500 all-in-one video switcher, which provides another mobile option for roving broadcasters. The production switcher handles up to five live HD output feeds and a real-time, multi-view preview for live transitions and audio mixing. The Studio software is not restricted to its own Web platform, so streams can be shared to Ustream, Akamai, YouTube Live and others. Continue reading Livestream Releases Software-Based Live Video Switcher

Virtual Theater: PlayStation Home Members can Access Movies and TV via Crackle

  • Sony PlayStation 3 users will be able to stream movies and TV shows and enjoy them with friends from multiple locations with an updated version of Crackle.
  • Instead of accessing Crackle via the console’s Internet browser, users can enter a virtual movie theater with custom PS3 controller navigation. “Fire up PlayStation Home — if you’re a free member, that is — and navigate over to the LOOT EOD Theater, the Hollywood Hills House, or the Sunset Yacht areas,” reports PCMag.com.
  • The streaming service allows users to create avatars and use them to interact with up to 11 friends (or 60 strangers) in a virtual movie theater with access to hundreds of movies and more than 1,000 TV episodes. “Think of it as an opportunity to have a giant recreation of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ with strangers,” suggests the post.
  • “We are very excited to bring familiar social experiences from the real world into a virtual environment, so people around the globe can connect and communicate with each other while sharing their favorite movie, show, music, or event,” said Sony DADC VP David Sterling. “This is the next big step in social networking and it will transform the way people consume media.”
  • Sony is also planning PlayStation Home support for Ustream content and streaming radio service RadioIO later this year.

Ustream Launches iPad App, Supports AirPlay Wireless

  • Ustream launched its first iPad-optimized app this week. According to TechCrunch, the app “allows users to view live and recorded content streaming through the service — and to stream their own footage direct from their iPad 2.”
  • The company released its Android app on Honeycomb two weeks ago. There is also an iPhone version available.
  • The free Ustream app supports AirPlay, which means users can stream whatever they are watching on their iPad 2 to bigger screens.
  • “The AirPlay support is especially nice because while the video is projected onto your TV you can still use your iPad for chatting and social stream,” writes Gizmodo.
  • Ustream will also allow users to broadcast their own videos using either of the iPad 2’s cameras.