Building a Solid Foundation for Mobile Streaming
April 27, 2016 by
Capturing and streaming video from mobile devices is fun and easy thanks to apps like Periscope, WeatherScope, and Wowza GoCoder. But ensuring your live mobile streams look and sound great is only part of the equation. A handful of (admittedly less exciting) considerations—networks, firewalls, privacy, and copyright—make for a solid mobile streaming foundation.
Wi-Fi is usually preferred over 4G, 3G, and other mobile data connections. It often provides higher throughput, and the cost of streaming high-quality video over a mobile data connection can be surprisingly high.
If you're planning to broadcast video from your mobile device over Wi-Fi, you may need to get an outbound port opened in the network firewall so your video stream can reach your external streaming server or service. Broadcasting apps often use the RTMP, RTSP, or (in the case of Wowza GoCoder) WOWZ protocol to push their streams. (Check with your live-streaming app provider to learn the recommended protocol and port to use.) If the firewall and network are appropriately configured, the security risk of opening up this outbound port will be very low. As appropriate, engage early with your network administrators to ensure they're on board with your plans, so they can open any ports needed, and don’t misinterpret an outbound data spike as a data breach and shut down your stream midbroadcast.
Regardless of the location from which you plan to broadcast, ensure there are no privacy policies that might block your plans. For example, many schools and houses of worship are understandably concerned about sharing live broadcasts that could reveal children's identity or personal details outside of their internal community.
If your live broadcast will include purchased or performed content such as music, plays, videos, or readings of written works, you probably need to obtain permission to use each of these. Simply owning purchased sheet music, a CD, a DVD, or a book that contains the content does not mean you have the rights to digitally transmit it. As a starting point, this Copyright Compliance document from Amazon Web Services might be useful. (Although it's geared toward churches, it can be applied to a wide array of contexts.)
Want to learn more about live mobile streaming, the democratization of streaming, and how to integrate streaming into your own mobile app? Check out these related posts: