Product Updates

Learn about streaming product updates on IBM Cloud Video solutions that power live and on-demand streaming video delivery.

Video Thumbnail Generator & Editor Tool

Video Thumbnail OptionsA video thumbnail is an important component of hosting video content online. In many instances, it will be the first thing people see related to the video asset. This can be for external facing assets from a simple Google search, where thumbnails appear in the Video results. It’s also important for internal facing assets using Ustream Align, where channels can be created with a supplemental video gallery with each additional on demand video represented by a thumbnail.

Consequently, a video thumbnail acts as not just a method to preview what the video is about, but also as a “mini-poster” to market that asset. As a result, it’s important to not just make sure a thumbnail is associated with each video, but also to make sure it’s the most relevant it can be. For those looking for a solution that offers greater control over their video thumbnails, Ustream has a suite of cloud based features that include thumbnail generation, selection and also methods to edit the video asset itself in the cloud, which have been recently updated.


Stream Analytics: Monitor Live Stream in Real-time

Stream Analytics: Monitor Live Stream in Real-time

The ability to monitor, in real time, stream analytics gives enterprises a way to extract business value from data that is effectively in motion. On external facing streams, this might mean using these metrics to help further bolster attendance through promoting real time statistics on social networks such as noting impressive viewership volume. Going beyond what historical analysis could offer, this gives organizations the ability to inspect and analyze data in order to quickly respond to enhance performance or “right the ship” if the video content is not performing to expectations.

While IBM Cloud Video has always had an impressive array of real-time analytics, this week the cloud platform expands with a new console that allows enterprises to monitor live stream content to an incredibly granular degree. This includes tools to investigate issues to support real-time decision making, such as validating how widespread buffering issues might be and check the overall stream health. This use case can help determine if a report of a viewer experiencing buffering issues is an isolated problem associated with the viewer’s connection or if it points to a larger problem possibly due to connection issues at the broadcaster’s side. The new console offers a wealth of use cases and increased ways to understand stream performance, from the ingest to delivery side. It also includes a visual and user interface update to the live stream analytics console as well, marking an overall update to the live metric capabilities of the IBM Cloud Video platform.

Read on to learn more about the real time monitoring and analytic features available to leverage live data regarding video channels. Also be sure to check out our Live Video Delivery System Built for Scalability white paper, which gives insights into the delivery method used at IBM Cloud Video to better understand the data presented in the live monitoring console.


Video Access: Password Protection & Restriction

Video Access: Password Protection & Restriction

Video streaming privacy and controlling video access can be a challenge at times, and the reasons for wanting to limit access can be varied. Sometimes there can be legal incentives, such as acquiring distribution rights for a concert in only selected areas. Other times it can just be to funnel the benefit of doing that video content to a source controlled by the content owner. For example, making sure beneficial traffic to a website ends up at a page controlled by the user.

This article covers the wealth of features available at IBM Cloud Video that can facilitate this need to restrict access to streaming content. This includes methods to password protect video assets along with more sophisticated approaches such as restrictions based on demographics like location or age.

This piece is focused on protecting external facing video content. If the need is to instead protect video access for content that has to be internal facing only, Streaming Manager for Enterprise offers more granular control to keep video content inside an organization.


IBM Cloud Video ECDN: Enterprise Content Delivery Network

IBM Cloud Video ECDN: Enterprise Content Delivery Network

Wondering what an enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) is and why a company might need one?

IBM Cloud Video’s ECDN helps enterprises service large viewerships centrally located inside an office. The solution allows companies to horizontally scale their efforts, enabling training sessions and more that can be streamed while not causing bottlenecks for a local network.

Read on to learn what CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are before diving into what an enterprise CDN is, and finally to learn more about IBM Cloud Video’s approach.


Customize Channel Page: New Viewing Experience

Customize Channel Page: New Viewing Experience

Today, April 14th, marks the complete launch of the new Ustream viewing experience and the discontinuation of the old experience. This impacts all existing Ustream channel pages that were created before February 18th, 2016, and were not already migrated to the new design.

The new viewer experience brings with it a multitude of new improvements for the desktop and mobile experience around these pages. This includes a cleaner look and also additional features for broadcasters to customize channel page content.


Slack Video Integration for Live Notifications

Slack Video Integration for Live Notfications

Using Slack for its collaborative capabilities? Looking for ways to bolster that effort through autonomous notifications of your streaming projects? Ustream is introducing a new Slack video integration that surrounding Ustream video channels. The integration allows broadcasters to link to a Slack channel to push automatic notifications, and works with both Ustream Align for internal communication and Pro Broadcasting. It creates an easy way for team members and followers to get informed about the latest live stream or video on demand content.


The New Viewing Experience is Here

We’re happy to announce that the new Viewing Experience that we’ve announced in December is now publicly available for all broadcasters!

The new channel design comes with lots of benefits:

  • Responsive layout looking great on all screen sizes
  • Large player and more room for the chat
  • Large video gallery
  • Interactive Chat & Social Stream
  • Description now available for VODs
  • Less ads on the page and a lot more room for your content.

Customization options include:

  • Cover image
  • About section with rich text formatting, including images and links
  • Links to external websites (Facebook, Twitter, Paypal etc)
  • Links to your other channels on Ustream

To see the new look in action, check out these channels that are already on the new design:

A great thing about the new design is that all customization will carry over to mobile. The iOS and Android app updates will be released in a few weeks.

From now on all new channels get the new design by default. If you have an existing channel you can choose to migrate to the new design manually until April 2nd, 2016 when the old channel design will be discontinued.

Visit your Dashboard to see what’s new and don’t forget to leave us feedback!


Ustream Align: Your Channel Page has a New Design

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We all know that the power of Ustream Align can help you streamline your internal communications while maintaining control of your sensitive data. So its no wonder that companies like Lyft, Slack & Pinterest turn to Ustream’s technology to make sure their entire company, both in house and remotely, stay connected and have access to the resources they need to be successful. It’s the obvious choice!

That’s why we revamped the Ustream Align channel page to make the experience for your viewers the best it can be, including responsive layout for high resolutions screens, easy switching between live and recorded videos and more information about the content they are watching.

Visit your Ustream Align channel page to check out the new look and let us know what you think. Stay tuned, more exciting features for your Ustream Align channels are coming soon!

 


Early Preview: New Ustream Viewing Experience

The New Viewing Experience

The new Viewing Experience offers your viewers a super clean, responsive user interface that provides the best viewing angle on all screen sizes and devices. Not only our web site has been upgraded to work perfectly on all desktop and mobile screen sizes, but we’ve also upgraded our native iOS and Android mobile apps to offer the same viewing experience to all of your viewers across all platforms.

The new Viewing Experience offers lots of room for all of your content: a large video gallery, a rich About section, links to your external websites, event calendar and links to other channels if you have multiple channels on Ustream.

As a broadcaster, we would love to hear what you think! You can take the new Viewing Experience for a test drive now by logging into your dashboard and accessing your channel settings. The preview will be available for you as long as your channel is not hidden or password protected and has no locks on the content.

Please feel free to drop us a line and let us know your thoughts by using the feedback option within the preview both on the web and via our mobile apps.


Ustream for iOS Update: What’s New in Version 3.1.2

iOS users received a surprise in the app store this morning, check out the new features + fixes in the new and improved Ustream Version 3.1.2

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  • New Features:
    • The long awaited feature to edit your profile within the app is finally here! Tap your profile picture or the Edit button on the Account settings screen to start.
    • You don’t have to remember your usernames anymore! Simply use your email address to log in. (Pssst… your old usernames still work of course.)
    • Chat now shows nicknames! Remember the part where you can edit your profile? You can set your nickname there too.
  • Fixed:
    • Broadcast sounds can be heard again on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
    • Several stability improvements and bug fixes under the hood.
    • Adds backward support for iOS 7.1.

Notice anything that we might have missed? Let us know your feedback!


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