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Streaming Forum 14: How to Evaluate Live Video Services
Moving to the cloud offers several advantages when producing a live event. Here's what to look for in an encoding and distribution solution.

Offering practical advice attendees could put to work the next day, Duncan Burbridge, the CEO of StreamUK, led a discussion at last week's Streaming Forum 2014 conference in London about building a scalable live encoding and distribution workflow. Burbridge focused on how to evaluate cloud-based solutions.

Moving to the cloud for live video encoding and distribution offers several advantages, Burbridge explained, such as reduced infrastructure costs, high availability and business continuity, excellent load balancing and fault tolerance, and reduced environmental hazards.

Live encoding services share several core components, such as video and delivery analysis (don't automate everything, human scrutiny is crucial), a resilient media workflow (look for one that's simple and easily defined), and reporting tools. End-user support is especially important for live video, and the solution needs to be scalable to handle high-demand events.

There are different ways to monetize live events, Burbridge explained. Video can be sold via pay-per-view as a one-time event or as part of a club membership, for example. Between £2 and £6 is a good price, he said. Other options include selling advertising (which usually pulls in between £2 and £6 for 1,000 views), offering betting, and using YouTube to attract viewers and pull them to the host site. YouTube's Content ID is an effective way to block or monetize pirated material, he added.

In conclusion, Burbridge said the four key elements to a live video encoding and distribution system are the ability to scale, error handling, reporting, and video quality.

Watch the full presentation: 

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