Bulletproof Facebook Live Broadcasts With New ClearCaster RedundancyApril 9, 2018
The best way to engage with the world’s largest online audiences just got even better.
The Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance already delivers the highest picture quality on Facebook, since it’s the only way to stream 1080p video. And thanks to the deepest possible integration with the Facebook Live API, it provides the utmost reliability and auto-configures for ease of use. But now, with the latest update, you can use ClearCaster to simulcast live streams to any online destination, and make your Facebook Live broadcasts bulletproof with end-to-end redundancy through multiple devices.
In this post, we’ll share the latest features we’ve added to help you produce more professional productions with Wowza ClearCaster.
End-to-End Redundancy: When Streaming Absolutely, Positively Has to Work
Professionals in the video production, live events and broadcasting spaces need live streaming with rock-solid reliability. All it takes is one failure point in the workflow to ruin the entire broadcast, causing viewership to drop along with your stream.
But that’s not all that’s impacted: Dropped streams also sabotage the video-on-demand (VOD) asset Facebook automatically creates. If your stream drops, the Facebook Live video will end; when you reconnect, it will create a new broadcast and post, rather than picking up where you left off. This results in an unprofessional final product that must be edited together.
Luckily, you can now ensure end-to-end redundancy—including power, encoding, network and ingest points—with automatic failover through multiple ClearCasters. Without you having to do a thing, your live broadcast will automatically start streaming from your backup device in the event of a failure on your primary machine. Thanks to time synchronization with the Facebook platform, enabled through the Live API, your audience can keep watching without interruption, and you’ll get a complete VOD asset for distribution on your own or your clients’ channels.
Other professional hardware encoders require you to configure stream settings for each device in your workflow and for each new live broadcast, continually introducing the possibility for human error. But ClearCaster is the only encoder that automatically configures the proper settings on every device, every time, for every destination you choose.
Simply set up two appliances with different network connections; make sure each ClearCaster is paired with your account; designate your primary and backup machines; and your live stream will keep going strong, no matter what.
Simulcast to Audiences on Any Online Destination
Viewers today watch streaming video on a wide range of apps and destinations, and an ever-growing number of these are accessed through their phone. To maximize engagement and leverage the immediacy of live video, you need flexible streaming delivery.
Now, ClearCaster is your one-stop shop for online streaming. With the latest update, you can reach audiences not only on Facebook, but on your website, through integration with our industry-leading Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service.
Just use the advanced configuration settings in Wowza Streaming Cloud to perform a one-time setup of your preferred destinations, and you’ll be able to stream in one click. With the intuitive ClearCaster Manager user interface, it’s easy for anyone, regardless of streaming knowledge, to simulcast by simply selecting the desired destinations from a drop-down menu.
You can rest assured that your simulcast streaming will meet professional broadcast standards. One stream goes directly to the Facebook Live platform, and the other goes to Wowza Streaming Cloud. Our award-winning cloud service has been used by professional broadcasters for years, and is built, monitored and managed by experts in the streaming industry.
World-class transcoding capabilities use adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming to send multiple renditions of your stream, ensuring high-quality, reliable playback on all devices, regardless of bandwidth. Streaming scales automatically to accommodate any size audience, and by leveraging the power of the Wowza content delivery network (CDN), you can deliver to audiences anywhere in the world.
Already have ClearCaster? This functionality will be automatically updated—just choose the Wowza Streaming Cloud subscription plan that’s best for your needs. Purchasing ClearCaster for the first time? You’ll be able to pick your plan and activate our cloud-based streaming service when you register your device.
While Facebook Live allows you to share your live stream with the entire world, sometimes that audience size is more than you need. Some content owners, such as live sports broadcasters, only hold the rights to show coverage in certain geographic locations. Others may be streaming content that is only relevant for a audiences in a certain area, such as local news stations and affiliates. Or perhaps you want to only share your live stream with Facebook users who share a specific age range or gender.
Wowza ClearCaster now supports Facebook’s Audience Restriction functionality, which allows you to only make your Facebook Live posts visible to audience members who meet your specific criteria for location, age and/or gender. Geographic restrictions can be set at the country, state or locality level, so you can target coverage to as narrow or as broad an audience as you need.
Setting up Audience Restrictions is quick and easy with the ClearCaster Manager UI. This feature is only available when posting to a Facebook Page, so just select this from your Post Location settings, and the Audience Restriction tab will appear. Within this tab, you can choose to specify an audience by gender, enter your desired age range (if applicable) and search for country, state, province or postal code to limit visibility. You can also select multiple locations to custom-build your own geographic targeting.
With these new features for Wowza ClearCaster, you can engage any audience you choose, anywhere in the world, on any destination—and with redundancy from multiple devices, you can be confident your live streams will keep going strong, no matter what. We’re always working to bring you the best functionality for professional productions on Facebook Live and beyond, so make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss an update.