Since we launched Pro Video Dealer as a resource for AV integrators and resellers, we've stressed that the more you know, the better able you are to offer guidance to your customers about how they can best expand their live video presence efficiently. Live video plays a central role in both customer and employee engagement. It has become a key method of launching products online to consumers across social networks and websites, and is highly effective in keeping employees connected across regional locations and varied time zones.
No longer the exclusive domain of large studios, expensive gear and highly-specialized crews, live video is now not only within the budgets and capabilities of small businesses, educational institutions and houses of worship, it is increasingly seen as requirement for success on every level. The opportunities for AV integrators to grow into live video are enormous and there has never been better.
As the quality and flexibility of inexpensive PTZ cameras, the ability to create elaborate multi-cam webcasts has increased significantly. As we reported, 4K and HDR, recently the exclusive domain of high end broadcast and OTT delivery, is now accessible to institutions and businesses looking to expand into live production. Likewise, we've reported about the falling prices of the kind of high-speed, robust storage necessary to capture live productions for re-purposing.
"Live video is increasingly becoming a top priority," states the 2018 Live Video Benchmark Report from IBM and Brandlive. The two partnered to conduct a survey evaluating the state of live video streaming in today's marketplace and make projections for 2018. Among their conclusions: "Live video is more than just a powerful tool—it's an engaging medium that allows users to deliver messages that resonate…The data also showed that more companies will be live streaming in 2018 than ever before, with those already leveraging live video increasing their use."
In the same survey, when it came to overall video marketing, respondents were particularly confident about projecting future live video use declaring, "94.8% sharing that live video will be an important part of their 2018 marketing mix."
"Live video is more than just a powerful tool—it's an engaging medium that allows users to deliver messages that resonate."
Clients look to video dealers and integrators to match them with the right solutions, provide knowledge and recommend the most appropriate peripheral equipment. And one thing is clear about live production: If it's not right – if there are dropouts, glitches, bandwidth problems, synch issues, or anything else that interrupts the flow – the presenter loses the benefits of offering live video and then some.
"Viewers expect a high-quality online viewing experience, regardless of what they are watching, where they are viewing, or the device being used," according to Limelight Networks The State of Online Video 2017 report.
Whether you as an integrator are helping a high school webcast its football games or graduation ceremonies or a house of worship sharing services or you're working with a business looking to increase employee and customer engagement, you need to be able to offer solutions about what gear to use and how best to use it. Not only is there video and audio equipment that has to work but also huge IT element that has to work. You need bandwidth in place, proper connections and the systems able to handle the speed to get the video out there.
Viewers expect live video to look sleek, with multi-camera coverage, fades and wipes and other video effects, graphics layers, green screen, fonts and titling. Your clients likely haven't staffed up with video experts. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of options for multiple-input switcher-type technology with simple, intuitive, interfaces.
The more you know about this technology, the better!