NewBlue FX – 20 Common Live Streaming Terms

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Since the beginning of the tech boom, media has been captivating us for centuries. From television, to cameras, smart phones, and more, visual medium is a large factor in how we experience the world. Live streaming arrived at the perfect time. Live streaming is a specific type of streaming that is broadcast at the same time it is recorded. Live streaming empowers everyone at any skill level with the ability to broadcast video over the internet in real time.

Now that video and live production is gaining speed, we thought it would be helpful to refresh the broadcast range of users from experts and novices alike. Here are top 20 terms in the landscape of live streaming terminology to save and share.

1) Bugs: Bugs, while often known to engineers as errors in the software, to video folks, bugs are a media term for graphics laid over a stream with a switcher. Bug examples include tv stations, a brand or team’s logo, scores, and time.

2) Chat: Live chat is one of the major elements of live streaming as a communication tool. In order to engage on both sides of a live stream, chat features allow users to post real-time comments.

3) Encoding (video): Also known as the converting process from a video source to a format streamed over the Internet. Streaming software should automatically encode your feed and output it to your desired source.

4) Hardware Encoder: Hardware encoders are extra computers dedicated to processing video. They allow a more reliable performance and include preloaded live stream software.

5) Hot Mics: Hot mics are microphones that are turned on and actively live broadcasting.

6) ISO Recording: For more flexible post-editing, ISO recordings are individual files for each source to be edited later. This comes in handy after your recording if you need to tweak separate pieces efficiently.

7) Keyframe: Frames that define the start and end points of an animation to identify key moments and automatically generate the animation between those moments.

8) Lower Thirds: Any graphic placed in the lower area of the screen in order to identify the person speaking, a place mentioned, and others.

9) Open Broadcasting Software: Open Broadcaster Software or OBS is a free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. Other streaming software options include: VividCast, Xsplit, Wirecast, and Vmix.

10) PiP – Picture-in-Picture: This is a unique way to see a variety of video sources and locations simultaneously. For example, a host might include a live feed picture-in-picture guest in a corner of the screen.

11) RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol): A protocol used for streaming audio, video, and data over the Internet.

12) RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol): A protocol built for systems to control streaming media servers.

13) Screen Capture: Selecting desktop captures as a video feed.

14) Stream Deck: Is a customizable hardware control surface made by Elgato that performs many of the same functions as a switcher and is used in live production for quickly switching keys or scenes from one to the next.

15) Streaming Setup: Your environment, your workspace, and workstation are just as important as the content you produce. Depending on the size, the live streaming setup often includes multiple cameras, software, hardware, and connections. The setup can often determine the overall success of a production.

16) Streaming Key: This key is what’s generated by your streaming platform. The unique code or password that you enter into your streaming software so it knows where to send your feed.

17) Switcher: You’ve probably heard of switchers. This is usually a hardware device that selects and switches between several various video and audio sources, while controlling live graphics overlayed on live production. It also performs keying operations and general color keying.

18) Titling: Your foundational live streaming feature that lets you create animated graphics using templates or creating your own. Our title designer amongst others, helps you design the captions, credits, and info on the screen. Other on-air graphics include logos, transitions, lower thirds, bugs and crawls.

19) Video Hosting: On a 3rd party social site, uploading and storing your video content creation is the destination you’re hosting your video on.

20) Virtual Webcam: Display your machine as a webcam device and use graphics in Zoom or Skype conferencing calls.

Whether you learned something new about live streaming or had a good refresher, save this article as a basis for live streaming lingo.