Live Streaming – When Failure is not an Option.
The term no-fail mission comes from the military. It means that when the military is on a no-fail mission, you can bet the mission gets accomplished regardless of other outcomes.
For a live stream, it is a code of conduct that includes industry best practice. Whether there are a few dozen or a few thousand people tuned in to watch your webcast, it is your reputation on the line, should the transmission not be available as scheduled or be lost in the middle!
Losing a signal completely is not the only danger of course. It may be a lost microphone, a laptop that freezes, a lost PowerPoint file – point is, the viewers want to watch and be informed and expectations of a disruption-free experience are high.
Rehearsals tend to scatter the bugs and prove that the plan for the live web show is resolute and ready. But, rehearsals are not always included in project timelines due to talent availability, budget pressures and even planning.
The assurance of a no-fail mission from a reliable supplier for an on line video production depends on their general experience, the reliability of their equipment , and most importantly, the talent of their people.
A single camera connected to the internet and streaming pretty pictures is unlikely to give you issues, unless that single unit quits in the middle of the webinar and no back-up is available. (Then, if you have no tech support around to revive the camera and the live stream, you may as well just step out for a coffee).
The weakest link is the equipment and the best option there is going in, is knowing it was checked first before set-up and operation of the stream.
Server redundancy is on the same list of equipment fail potential. Most suppliers provide redundancy as an option; but be sure to ask.
Do a check list of the event for all those bothersome things that can land you in hot water. Ask when do the doors open, is a coffee break scheduled, is the audio set and in place, where will we put the camera so there is a clear view (but not obscure the stage for anyone attending)?
Planning a function that is to be streamed live should be a no-fail mission when you keep a clear head and perhaps get some assistance with the event, where needed.