Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud Video (including Ustream)
Implementation is easy as for a service such as this. Sign up for an account with your Administrator first. The admin account can build out a list of channels to stream content to, add users to be able to collaborate and manage channels. Streaming to channels is the same as most all RTMP encoders: get the streaming endpoint URL and the streaming key.
So easy a kid can do it! No, really! The application is intuitive and simple enough that users of little experience can fully utilize the functions of the Ustream service and platform. It's so simple and effective it has immediately became the standard for our online web streaming experiences.
My company is primarily using utilizing Ustream as our primary CDN for all our live webcasts. We stream content live from around the world and this platform works well (if not best) anywhere. The host side is extremely reliable and we are a huge fan at the multi bit rate streams that seem to work on any low-to-high bandwidth connection.
- Multi Bitrate streaming is my favorite feature. Encoders can be configured to send RTMP at a variety of resolutions/bitrates to Ustream or send a single resolution stream and Ustream will handle all the heavy processing on their end. The end result is a great quality stream on low-bandwidth connections and high-bandwidth on any desktop or mobile device.
- Multiple channels can be configured within the UI that can be accessed online through a Browser. This is a great way to keep your content organized.
- Multiple user functionality and collaboration is built into the Pro level of Ustream and I recommend using this if you are working with a team or multiple managers and technicians.
- Some of the online UI needs to be updated. When creating a high volume of channels, it becomes convoluted to navigate through all channels in the small sidebar. Long titles will run off the sidebar and be able to be unread.
- No swapping out videos and keeping views.
- Some of the Pro features should be free.
Because Ustream has become such a popular service, there are many more that have followed after it. You can find a variety of similar options that might have more customization or a lower price tag. However, the scalability and reputation this platform has achieved will keep my company coming back for more.
Ustream is best for public facing content and content that will be shared with large audiences. There are limited features for customizing your content other than streaming and hosting the then streamed videos online for future playback. This makes particular use-cases for internal streaming and collaboration impossible to achieve until more features are added.