UPDATED: Livestreaming is all the rage today, be it from a handset or a home computer with a webcam. But one of the major challenges to overcome is how to view that live content on a handset without re-encoding it. Vimeo today took the same approach that YouTube did for the iPhone — it went back to certain video content and re-encoded it for mobile handset playback on iPhone and Android devices. While that works, it’s not ideal. Wouldn’t it be nice if a company could provide a method for livestreaming to mobiles without a lengthy re-encoding process?
Lo and behold, enter Livestream and its Procaster beta application for Mac and PC. I just got my hands on the software a short while ago, so I have a “quick and dirty” video — don’t worry, it’s not that kind of dirty — to show you some of the basic capabilities. I was up and running in just a few minutes with Procaster. The application uses any attached webcam and microphone and livestreams from your computer. OK, that sounds like most of the other livestream platforms, right? But here’s the kicker: your live stream from Procaster can be viewed immediately on an iPhone by using the H.264 HTTP streaming built into the handset’s Quicktime application. That’s the bulk of what I show you in my brief video demo because it’s just too cool.
With Livestream Procaster, you can set up your own channel and chatroom to go with your video. I see a multitude of uses for this as I allude to in my short video demo: I’m thinking of trying this out at the Consumer Electronics Show to give you some show floor experience in real time, for example. And this solution could come in handy for tips and tricks because you can easily switch between the webcam view and a screen sharing view. Or you can display both in real time to an iPhone. The possibilities are endless and with the H.264 HTTP streaming, it opens up the floodgates to mobile viewing as well. Livestream’s full press release follows and you can find their beta application right here. Livestream will be using the new Procaster features at our NewTeeVee Live event tomorrow, so you can follow along on your iPhone! It is, after all, NewTeeVee Live, not NewTeeVee Recorded. ;)
Update: After my post went live, I realized that I had an early look, so check out Procaster starting tomorrow.
Livestream Launches Free iPhone Service
Delivers ‘One Click’ Live Streaming to the iPhone
No need for iPhone users to download any application
NEW YORK (Nov. 12, 2009)—Livestream, the leading live Internet video platform, today announced the immediate availability of its free service for streaming live to the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Using Livestream Procaster, users can stream live from their webcam, video camera or even broadcast their PC or Mac desktop. Livestream producers can start streaming live to the addressable iPhone and iPod Touch audience over 3G or Wi-Fi connections, with less than five minutes of setup.
Livestream is the first to offer a turn-key streaming service that uses the new H.264 HTTP live streaming functionality included in the native QuickTime player that Apple has pre-installed on the iPhone. This means that Livestream producers do not need to obtain iPhone App Store approval to launch their own iPhone live streaming channel, nor do their viewers need to install any application. Streams are viewed using the iPhone’s Safari browser.
Livestream has also provided a simple Representational State Transfer (REST) API for developers to integrate live streaming into their own iPhone websites or their own iPhone applications. Livestream Procaster includes a free streaming encoder, which means that no third party application or license needs to be purchased in order to stream live to the iPhone using Livestream.
“A key breakthrough is that the service doesn’t require any proprietary player or application to be installed on the iPhone. Producers are free to integrate the iPhone live stream with their own website, iPhone portal or iPhone application using the API provided,” explained Livestream CEO and co-founder Max Haot.
Streaming live to the iPhone requires less than five minutes to install. Producers simply download and install Livestream Procaster for the PC or Mac from www.livestream.com/procaster, connect their video camera or webcam, select iPhone 3G Quality, and press Go Live. User can view the live streams on their iPhone or iPod Touch by pointing their Safari browser to the channel they want to view atiphone.livestream.com.
Livestream will first use this new feature at NewTeeVee Live, the conference for online video influencers being held on Nov. 13 in San Francisco. Viewers can watch it live at iphone.livestream.com.
To get started or for more information visit www.livestream.com/iphone.
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Livestream (www.livestream.com – formerly Mogulus) provides everything needed to easily webcast live, build an engaged audience and monetize these efforts. Founded in 2007, the company is based in New York and includes Gannett Co. as a minority shareholder and investor.
Producers can use Livestream to create live, linear and on-demand Internet television to broadcast anywhere on the Web through a single embeddable player widget. The service comes in two flavors: Free (ad-supported) and Premium (ad-free, white-label, higher-quality). Unique features include the ability to mix multiple live cameras, overlay graphics, and desktop streaming with 3D effects.
Sue Huss, for Livestream