With smartphones able to easily stream right onto social media platforms with their built-in cameras, it may seem like you have everything you need for all your live streaming needs right in your pocket. So why use an encoder?
While using a smartphone and a social media app may be enough for simple personal streams and rough interactive streams to connect with your followers, it can have quite a few limitations for those wanting to do more with their live streaming programs. And that’s where dedicated live streaming encoders come in.
Video Encoder? What’s that?
First off, what is a live streaming encoder? While it may sound super fancy, an encoder allows you to live stream from camera by simply translating the video and audio into a language that the internet, and the live streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook, can understand. For example, the Vidiu X can translate any HDMI video signal and audio to stream to your Facebook page.
Why choose an encoder over just streaming from your smartphone? Here are the top 3 reasons:
1. Master of one, not a jack of all trades
Your smartphone or computer is multitasking as a live streaming encoder when streaming video live from the device. This may seem very convenient, until all the other tasks that your phone or computer is working on interferes with your live stream. This can lower your live stream’s quality, make it stutter, interrupt your stream (phone calls/text), or crash. When streaming the moment counts, having a dedicated live streaming encoder can save you from losing your stream at the worst possible moment.
2. Video Source Flexibility
With a dedicated encoder, being able to stream any video signal frees you from being tied to just your phone’s camera. Plus, this allows you to stream from higher quality cameras, playback devices and multicam switchers. Even a $200 camera will give you better video quality than many smartphones out there. If it outputs a clean video signal, an encoder can stream it. This allows you to select from a broad spectrum of cameras and camcorders. In addition, an encoder gives you multiple options to deliver high-quality audio (through an external input), embedded HDMI, and even stream at higher bitrates.
3. More internet Options
Your cell phone has its limitations. It’s tied to just your cell service, or available WiFi for internet access. A dedicated encoder like the Vidiu X can also use WiFi or a cellular modem to connect to the internet. But you also get the much-needed hardwire Ethernet connection option. And when just using one of these internet options isn’t giving you fast or stable enough internet for your live stream apps, you can actually combine all three of these together via Teradek’s Sharelink cloud service to get the most reliable streaming possible in your location.
If you want to take your production to a professional level, consider moving to a device that’s as dedicated to your live stream, as you are. Check out these encoder options from Teradek today.