As COVID-19 is forcing more educators to teaching remotely, and more organisations are cancelling in-person meetings, video conferencing is becoming more important than ever.
With entire countries under lockdown or quarantine, tools like Zoom, Skype, Hangouts and others are seeing high usage. However, these tools can have high bandwidth requirements. Zoom recommends 800 KBPS up and 1 MBPS down for group conferencing.
What about students who do not have fast internet at home? Advice like "Go to the library" just doesn't work during a pandemic. How can the video be served at a lower bitrate for these users?
Live Transcoded Streams
For streamers (professors, teachers, colleagues), there are settings that will push the video to live transcoding engines. In this example, we'll use api.video to transcode the video to a lower bitrate.
Saving Videos for Later Playback
IF you are streaming the videos, wouldn't it be great to also aggregate these videos into a portal for your students to later review? Zoom allows you to record your videos, and provides you a URL, but then you have to create the portal. What if we could create the cortal from the LIve Stream?
As we walk through this process, you'll see that this is an easy setup that anyone can use to share their live video streams.
To begin, go to api.video and create a free account. Once you sign up, you'll see a list of keys. You'll need your production key in a few steps, so make note of it (or leave the dashboard open in a window to come back to).
The code for this project is hosted at Glitch. All Glitch apps get a silly subdomain (in this case "twilight-decorous-mail").
- On the Glitch page, click View Source.
- Click the button Remix to Edit. You'll have your own version (with silly name).
- On the left menu are all the files that create the website. Click on the .env line (there is a key next to it). This file will open in the middle. On lines 8, and 10 are three variables: imageUrl, apiVideo and PORT. There is no value after the equals sign. For imageUrl, add a url pointing to your logo. For apiVideo, paste in the production key from when you signed in. For PORT enter 3000.
That's it - you just configured your website. Now to add your content:
- At the top, click the sunglasses, and open the project in a new page. You'll see a mostly empty site. We haven't configured it yet.
- In the url bar, after the https:-silly-.glitch.com add /createClass to the end and press Enter. You'll get a page about creating a class.
- On this page, you can enter your class name, and also whether you want to record all sessions for later viewing. Press Enter, and you'll get some more important information: your StreamKey and the URL of your site with a URL parameter afterwards. Make a note of these as you'll need them for the next set of instructions.
Now we are ready to stream with Zoom!!
To get any content on the page, we need to start streaming.
- Login to Zoom.us.
- Go to your Account Settings.
- Under Meetings, there's a setting called Allow live streaming meetings. Enable this setting.
- Start your meeting and under More choose Live on Custom Live Streaming Service.
- For Streaming URL put: rtmp://broadcast.api.video/s
- For Stream Key put: StreamKey value obtained from above.
- Enter the website url to your video portal.
- Click OK.
The live stream is now available on your portal. When you stop streaming, the video will be placed below the line into the recorded video list.
api.video transcodes your video to much smaller sizes and bitrates. Even if you are sharing a 4K video, your customers or students on very slow connections will still be able to watch on a 250 kbps 240p, or 500 kbps 360p video. Sure, it won't be beautiful, but hey can participate. And to top it all off, all the video sare saved in a conveient portal for later viewing.
You can also view your live stream and recorded live stream through your api.video dashboard in the section for live videos.
You May Also Like...
- Livestream a video - This is a demo you can try without coding, hosted at a.video!
- Secure live streams with unique overlay - Learn how to secure live streams so they aren't shared when they shouldn't be.
- Live stream from your Android Phone - Create a live stream using your Android phone.
Article reposted from Glitch by Erikka Innes.
Erikka Innes and Doug Sillars