24/7 IBM YMMD
November 13, 2017
24/7 IBM YMMD
Score 10 out of 10
Streaming Manager (Ustream Pro Broadcast)
- Ustream eCDN (IBM Cloud Video Enterprise Content Delivery Network)
Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud Video (including Ustream)
Implementation is tough because there are so many different ways clients are expecting content to appear on their platforms. Ustream video embeds have been a good solution in areas where direct integrations are not available. But, this is an area for improvement in the case of LMS and marketing integrations. On the broadcast side, embed codes work well because we use them with CMS systems that provide their own library and user management.
IBM Cloud Video (including Ustream) is simple to use and easy to manage. The reliability of the platform is rock solid and its easy to train others how to use the platform. There are some improvements that could be made to how user data is managed. The analytics platform is helpful in understanding viewer load, but not very helpful for understanding who's watching and why.
I use IBM Video Ustream to provide 24/7 live streams of CTV Channel 11 video broadcasts and KCSU audio broadcasts. CTV also relies on Ustream on demand video features and storage to deliver show content and other videos to online audiences.
- Ustream is easy to deploy and manage in 24/7 video streaming scenarios. The analytics module has been helpful to provide feedback to sales and marketing teams about the success of event campaigns. The live content works everywhere with no interruptions and we have received a lot of positive feedback from viewers about there hight quality of the video playback.
- Offline playlists are a powerful and unique feature of the Ustream platform. When our headend is down, we love the fact that Ustream continues playback of programmed content to keep viewers engaged until while we work on returning service. This workflow also works well to support one-time live events such as pre-game shows.
- Channel management is easy and offers a lot of powerful options. After the success of the 24/7 CTV live video broadcast, the station manager for KCSU wanted to set up a live video broadcast DJ channel. I was able to set up a new channel and configure a camera encoder in the booth in less than a day.
- Live chat and social stream interactions are also a helpful feature. I have worked with our academic program managers to provide live feedback from online students during lesson events. Providing support for both broadcast and classroom needs speaks to the flexibility of the platform.
- Ustream is simple to manage, but I would like to see improved user data management. It would be great to allow users to sign up for premium features (such as chat or other services) so we can get a better idea of who's watching. It would also be handy to manage analytics as "event data sets." For example, a live event would include a data set. Then when the event is used for on demand purposes, a separate data set would be created. This way, I can isolate data sets without concerns over deleting anything or including erroneous outliers.
- Another feature I'd like to see is an option for adding "content resources" that can be included with the video player embed. This would help in situations where I want to deliver an audio version of the content, expand a description of the content (in the form of a simple paragraph or mini-blog entry), or just add additional files that users can download and print to use along with the video.
- I would also like see poll and quizzing options. This would probably work best with a registration system to keep track of specific interaction. Interacting with the audience is key to building better viewing habits and understanding who's watching and why.
In broadcasting, a reliable and high quality 24/7 video stream is essential. We have experienced zero downtime as a result of platform errors or complications. We also get a lot of great feedback from viewer about the high quality of live streams. In the next few years we are working on audience profile and engagement initiatives to improve how we plan and prioritize live event and series project resources. The flexibility and analytics capabilities of Ustream will be a critical backbone of these initiatives.
IBM Cloud Video (including Ustream) is a highly versatile and easy to manage cloud video platform. It's well designed to support live event programs and 24/7 video broadcasting in a channel format. The platform is also a robust video-on-demand tool, especially in post-live situations. It's also well suited for multi-user environments in which some clients only require a handful of features and others need all the bells and whistles.