Review: Stream UK Stream Connect

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Step 4: Send Links to Potential Viewers
The encoding profile and webcast setup also generates a link or a series of links that can be sent to potential viewers of the live webcast.

Step 5: Control the Webcast
When the live webcast is launched, especially if interactive features such as chat and polling are used, the presenter or another administrative assistant will monitor the polling, provide additional links through chat, and generally control the webcast as it is going on.

Figure 4
Figure 4. Preparing to launch webcast

Step 6: Edit the Webcast
Once the live webcast is complete, the PowerPoint slides can be uploaded, and the live webcast will convert to an on-demand webcast. This is standard for many of the self-service tools. But one of the clever features of Stream Connect is the ability to edit the webcast after the fact. The video, audio, and PowerPoint slides can all be edited, replaced, and even enhanced. Better-quality video, for instance, can be recorded on the local machine and uploaded after the fact to replace the lower-quality live stream should the presenter be on a limited broadband connection at the time of the live webcast.

Viewers of the live event—or any other subscribers who may have missed the live webcast—will be notified of the on-demand webcast’s availability, as well as any potential changes that are made. This is a handy feature if a webcast is updated at a later date to provide up-to-the-minute or more timely information, and the updates are provided via industry-standard Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.

Step 7: Check the Stats
Any self-service webcast system needs to have an easy-to-use management console where the presenter can view up-to-date statistics on viewership and bandwidth. Stream Connect provides this information as well as interactivity statistics, including poll responses and resource downloads.

A few final thoughts on Stream Connect: The editing and RSS updates are handy additions that will provide presenters with the ability to make changes after the fact and to update their audiences to view the webcast again. In the end, though, Stream Connect is designed primarily as a synchronised video and PowerPoint slide webcast tool, meaning that a video webcast can only be done if one has a valid PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) file. It is possible, however, to do an audio-only webcast if an audio input is chosen during the webcast management setup step.

Concurrent webcasts are also possible, providing back-to-back, on-demand content playback in a particular instance, but check the Stream Connect website for more details.

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