Livestreaming is all the rage today, be it from a handset or home computer with a webcam. But one of the major challenges is how to view that live content on a handset. 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, which today announced its Procaster beta application for Mac and PC at NewTeeVee Live, our annual online video industry conference. Using the iPhone’s native H.264 HTTP streaming, Procaster allows for near-instant broadcasting to iPhones — there’s roughly a 20-second delay from live broadcast to the devices, and multiple handsets can tune into the same stream. Watch NTV Live by clicking here or going to iphone.livestream.com. Here’s a video demo to see how Procaster works:
I took the Procaster software for a short test drive, and I was broadcasting live from my Mac in under five minutes using an integrated webcam and microphone. Procaster can use any attached webcam or microphone, so you don’t have to limit yourself to integrated audio or video capture devices. Once my broadcast was live, I simply pointed the Safari browser on my iPhone to http://iphone.livestream.com where I saw my personal channel. Tapping it opened up QuickTime where I saw a near real-time, high-quality view of my broadcast. Even better: As a broadcaster, I was able to toggle between my camera setup and my desktop, a solution I envision as being useful for real-time training and presentations.
While there are other ways to view video on the iPhone, most involve a lengthy re-encoding effort. Livestream has cut that down to under a half-minute. And the best part? Procaster is simply using the native functions that Apple already provides to the platform. That’s a killer feature right there because it means people can begin to live stream to iPhones without any software installs on the handset.