Product Updates

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

Ustream Announces SDK for Apple tvOS

The walled industry that is TV is about to be disrupted in a serious way.

On September 9, 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the dawn of a new era in television when he launched the latest version of Apple TV, stating that: “the future of television is apps.” With the new version of Apple TV, you’ll be able to customize your Apple TV homescreen with the apps that you use most, adding new ones from an Apple TV app store will offer thousands of apps. Reviews from around the world, including Bloomberg Business, are already calling Apple TV a “game-changer,” saying it will change the way people discover and consume entertainment.

Available now:  the Ustream Software Development Kit (SDK) for tvOS

With the new Ustream SDK for Apple tvOS, Ustream customers can develop apps for Apple TV that can play live and on-demand video content inside the beautiful Apple TV interface. Now, any content can be available on the TV inside people’s living rooms.

Business Blueprint focuses on Apple TV

Business Blueprint is Australia’s leading business education company. In early August of 2015, they launched “The World’s First 24 Hour Small Business Channel”, using Ustream’s player to expand beyond Australia and reach a global audience with their educational programs. Dale Beaumont, CEO of Business Blueprint, describes their results: “Currently we have been broadcasting 24 hours a day for 6 weeks. We’ve learned a lot about how to run a 24/7 channel and we are pleased with the results. We now have clicked over 18,000 subscribers.”

Available via their web app, businessblueprint.com, Business Blueprint’s content can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Beaumont and his team recognized the enormous opportunity presented by Apple TV and began working with Ustream to make their service available on the new platform.  “Ustream was the obvious choice for us. We knew that they would be the first to respond to the new opportunities offered by the Apple TV.” said Beaumont. “Our development team has worked really hard to reformat our web app so that it works on tvOS. Thanks to the support of Ustream, we are now ready to begin our submission to the new App store.”

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“We are extremely pleased with the result. It looks beautiful and most importantly it works! Our hope is that thousands of new people will get to see and experience our Business Blueprint channel and we can continue help more entrepreneurs around the world.”

Want to learn more about the Ustream SDK for Apple tvOS? Contact Ustream or call +1 (800) 778-3090


Do You Know Who is Watching Your Videos?

Do You Know Who is Watching Your Videos?

Do you know who is watching your videos?

We created Streaming Manager for Enterprise (formerly Ustream Align) because we heard from customers who were looking for an easy-to-use and secure way to have live meetings and share videos with their employees. It’s now used everyday by thousands of users for all-hands meetings, sales trainings, focus groups and employee training.

One of the key requirements for these use cases is the ability to track who watched what content. To address that, we have introduced viewer tracking. This works on a per user basis. To see a demo, watch our Video Best Practices for Your Internal Communication Strategy webinar which concludes with showcasing the platform and this feature.


Ustream Rolls Out New Video Player with HTML5 Interface

Today, Ustream launched a new sleeker, more intuitive player with controls and graphics rendered in HTML5. The new player’s responsive layout automatically adjusts the player size to optimize viewing experience and access to player controls based on the viewer’s device.

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In addition to the change from Flash to HTML5 here’s a look at what is new in the player interface:

  • The bottom control bar has been simplified by arranging all the controls into a single bar.
  • The video title has been moved from the bottom bar to the top left of the screen.
  • The viewer count (number watching now and total views) has been moved from below the embedded player to under the title.
  • “LIVE” badges have been moved to the top right and are now only displayed for live broadcasts or live playlists.  Recorded videos no longer have badges.
  • The Ustream logo, located in upper right corner of the player, is now clickable and leads to the Ustream channel page for that video.
  • Player controls are hidden from view while no interaction is taking place to avoid distracting from the video.
  • Social sharing options have moved out of the player window and onto the channel page.

The new player will be used on Ustream channel pages and newly generated embed codes will automatically use the latest version of the player.  Visit the Ustream Support Center for more details on the new player.


Simplify Viewer Access to Your Videos with Ustream Align Portal

Ustream Align lets you deliver your message to your teams around the world securely and in real time — no travel required.

Now you can make it even easier for employees to find and access your live streaming and recorded content. With our new Ustream Align Portal, viewers have access to a single, secure video “hub” where they can find and access your content quickly and easily.

The Ustream Align Portal lets you aggregate live streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) content from your Ustream channels in a single, easy-to-view format. This reduces the time and effort needed to find and view videos that may be spread across multiple channels.

This new feature also allows you to

  • Designate which Ustream Align channels will be available via the Portal and assign individual security settings to each
  • Provide Single Sign-On access for SAML-based identity management solutions such as Okta or OneLogin, or corporate directory services such as Active Directory
  • Brand your Portal with your logo or other custom graphics

The Portal is available to all Ustream Align customers with Enterprise plans.

Click here to learn more about Ustream Align

Ustream is already using Ustream Align Portal to organize our internal videos.

Ustream is already using Ustream Align Portal to organize our internal videos.


Mobile Live Broadcasting For All…by Ustream

Over the past five years, Ustream went from a lone pioneer in the mobile live video space to the leader in an industry that became a cultural phenomena. Live video broadcast from, and to, mobile devices is literally changing the way people and companies communicate.

Last year alone, Ustream delivered over 75 million mobile live broadcasts, making it the most powerful, robust and scalable mobile live video platform in the world.  Now everyone has a satellite truck in his or her pocket.

Recently, a couple startups have generated a lot of attention around the idea that consumers can share live video on Twitter, leading to speculation that this capability might lead to new behaviors in content sharing for both consumers and companies. We wholeheartedly agree. In fact, we’ve been enabling the changing communications tide for some time:

  • Beginning 2010 and into 2011, more than 5 million viewed the Arab Spring democratic uprisings,
  • In 2011, 50 million viewers witnessed and communicated via Ustream during the Japan earthquake,
  • In 2011, a single citizen broadcast the Occupy Movement for 48 hours to more than 2 million viewers, earning him Time Magazine’s Person of the Year,
  • In 2012, anti-Putin protests broadcast to more than 8 million viewers caused Russia to attack Ustream, and
  • In 2014, citizens of Ukraine broadcast the uprising there to more than 10 million viewers.

To meet the needs of companies who want to leverage this behavior shift, we built a powerful set of APIs that allow anyone to create applications that stream live video from mobile devices.

Very soon, we’ll be announcing an addition to our APIs that makes it trivially easy for anyone to create countless variations on the Meerkat concept to leverage mobile devices and live video to communicate in new and creative ways, while leveraging social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, to share their messages.

To accelerate the development of these applications, Ustream is opening its live mobile broadcasting SDK and APIs to the public. Previously available only to Ustream internal developers, the SDK will allow any company to build a Meerkat-like or other creative live video solution and leverage Ustream’s live video platform for immediate scalability. The APIs and SDK will be free for developers to use to create and test their applications.

Soon, any company will be able use Ustream’s simple SDK to harness the communication power of live video, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the unmatched scalability of Ustream’s platform to market their brands or even communicate corporate direction internally. By bringing to market the ability to ‘build your own’ mobile streaming app, communications from brands, media companies and consumers can co-mingle for the ultimate streaming content experience. Whether it’s sports fans in the stands at a NASCAR race, participants in a triathlon streaming from a GoPro, or attendees at a major keynote at a trade show, more than ever brands and media companies will be able to share live experiences from the viewpoint of the consumer.

In addition to basic video sharing, Ustream is adding powerful enterprise class features like security, eCDN and SSO to deliver true business-ready capabilities. At Ustream, we believe that all companies will be media companies. Our goal is to help them unlock their creative potential with live video.

Developers interested in early access to the SDK should visit our landing page: https://video.ibm.com/platform/live-broadcasting-sdk


New Features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed

Recently you may have noticed we’ve added a couple of new features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed.

Why the new capabilities? We’ve been listening to our customers, who needed a more convenient way to embed videos on their websites as well as a more streamlined user experience.

  • Previously, the video player and the Videos tab had to be embedded next to each other on the Web page.
  • If visitors clicked on the video, it automatically took them to the Ustream page instead of allowing them to watch the video on-site.

If you’re an enterprise customer, now you’ll find on your dashboard a new Combined Embed.

First, you’ll be able to determine the type of embed you want to use:

  • Player: A standalone player with the live content of your channel
  • Social: Chat, social stream and widgets
  • Combined: A custom combination of the Player, Social and Video Gallery embeds

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.32.37Once you select an option, you’ll be taken to the new Embed Configurator. There you’ll see a full-page interface featuring:

  • A full-size preview
  • A sidebar with configuration options
  • An automatically generated embed code that can be copied to your clipboard

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.38.05Based on user feedback, our developer team has implemented the following improvements:

  • A large video gallery, with search options
  • A new https option for the Player, the Chat/Social Stream and the Combined Embed
  • Http/https protocol included in the embed code; this is useful for customers on systems such as WordPress, in which protocol-relative URLs cannot be used in embed codes

Please tell us what you think of the new features — we want to hear from you!


How to Amp Up Holiday Sales with LiveAd

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If you’re in the retail business, better start eating your Wheaties, because the holiday sales season is in full swing. And if you find it a challenge to get your marketing message heard during the rest of the year, standing out amidst the eardrum-busting pandemonium of the holiday season can seem like an impossible feat.

Hey, we get it. That’s why we created LiveAd, a game-changing online advertising solution for brands looking to amp up their video marketing strategy.

Video is one of the hottest trends in online marketing, and LiveAd lets you take it one step further by harnessing the excitement of live streaming and targeting the exact audience you want to reach. Since we launched the service just over a year ago, hundreds of Ustream clients have discovered just how powerful this combination can be — clients like HBO.

True-ly Impressive Impact

When HBO released Season 5 of its True Blood series on DVD, it promoted the launch through a “Live From the Set” streaming video event featuring stars of the show answering fan questions. Thanks to LiveAd, HBO was able to create an interactive ad that allowed a targeted audience to not only watch the stream, but also join chats on Facebook and Twitter — and, most importantly, click through to Amazon to place their orders immediately.

How effective was it? The event drew over 135,000 viewers who watched an average of 14 minutes … and it racked up more than 60,000 clickthroughs.

So if your holiday advertising strategy could use a little fresh blood (pardon the pun), think about adding a live video element to pump up your engagement … and your ROI.

To learn more, visit our LiveAd page or check out the DemandGen Report On-Demand Webinar.

 


Key Features Of The New Ustream iOS App


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Ustream released the new iOS app on August 27th with plenty of new updates and features. Let’s see what’s really under the hood.

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The new iOS app has a modern design with reinterpreted surfaces and features, making content discovery seamless and engaging more viewers on both the larger format iPad screen and on iPhone.

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The app also allows users to upload videos they have recorded on the built-in iPhone camera app and easily create, edit and delete videos, channels and events inside the application. Live streaming capability has also been enhanced, allowing high-quality 16:9 format broadcasting directly from the phone. Users now have the freedom to upload their own pictures and connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts with the application. By expanding the use-cases to encompass capturing short clips intended for on-demand consumption, the Ustream platform is now even more suitable for applications like knowledge sharing and informal training.

 


Introducing: Ustream Player SDK for IOS

Enterprise Ustreamers can now take advantage of our new Software Development Kit.
Great apps should leverage the most powerful platforms available. For video, Ustream provides a Player SDK for iOS that allows app developers to seamlessly integrate live and recorded video feeds into a fully custom app experience.

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Previously the embedding option was limited to using our browser-based HTML Player in mobile applications. The result was inferior to a native solution in both reliability and user experience.

This brand new product line will facilitate a robust, customizable, white-label embedded experience in mobile applications, similar to what Ustream already offers for websites.

  • Easy to use native library available for iOS (Android coming soon)
  • Highly customizable user interface
  • Inline and fullscreen mode
  • Custom restriction support (country, age, password, etc.)
  • Sample application with source code included
  • Full documentation and developer support
  • Available for Enterprise Pro Broadcasters

Contact us to bring the power of live video to your mobile audience.

Interested in learning more about our Enterprise plans? Email sales@ustream.tv


TCP Engines brings Ustream increased video quality and reduced buffering

Today we announced a partnership with TCP Engines, the leading supplier of TCP optimization solutions, as we are now taking advantage of the company’s TCP-MAX solution for streaming optimization. Our Ustream Cloud Platform is built on a proprietary technology stack: Ustream Content Delivery Network (UCDN), Ustream Media Server (UMS) and Ustream TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (UTCP). TCP Engines is at the core of the TCP Congestion Control Algorithm. TCP Engines congestion control solutions effectively unclog networks and find more bits to deliver to consumers, increasing the video quality and experience for consumers.

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Arpad Kun, our director of network operations, provides his take:

The TCP Engines solutions help us further differentiate the Ustream platform.  After benchmarking against all known TCP solutions in the market, we found the TCP Engines solution to deliver the greatest benefit for our platform, publishers and users.  TCP Engines delivers over 50% increased throughput over Bic, and over 285% increased throughput than htcp.  Further, by reducing buffers ratios to 1.6% and increasing video quality, we are able to offer a more compelling service.

Read the full release via PRNewswire: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tcp-engines-brings-ustream-increased-video-quality-and-reduced-buffering-by-licensing-tcp-engines-tcp-max-solution-for-streaming-optimization-259032911.html

Visit TCP Engines: http://www.tcpengines.com/


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