Dear readers, we are proud to announce that Qstion.com has been acquired by Dilmot.com and from now on the live video Q&A’s can be held in Dilmot.com, as this post explains
We are happy and proud to announce that we have been chosen for a review at MustSeeOn.net:
As we read in an announcement by GigaOM this week, Google Hangouts will go corporate with integration into business apps. You could use it for customer support. Zendesk, Zoho and Salesforce are collaborating with Google in this integration.
See the example video with Salesforce:
If you would like to publish a live chat with questions and answers, or just have an on-going discussion with your fans/visitors/readers, Dilmot.com may be the platform you should join
Likewise to the capabilities of managing a live Q&A with video, our sister application Dilmot enables you to publish on-line questions and answers sessions. It works both live, and as an on-going conversation. That is why they call it streams, it is a stream of questions and answers.
We invite you to check it out and try it. Opening an account in Dilmot is free.
If you do have videos that you would like to publish in qstion.com we show you how to do it here
Qstion is initially designed as an online platform where you can publish your live videos. But we have built it flexible enough so you can also publish one video that you have already in any video platform that allows embedding: YouTube, Vimeo, Livestream, Ustream, DailyMotion among others.
The steps in order to publish it are the following:
- Create an interview (you need to sign-up for a qstion.com, it is free!)
- Select it as a YouTube live interview
- Go to the interview manage interface
- Put the url of your existing video
- Start the interview and finish it right away (you just need to start/stop)
- After you finish, you should change the duration of the video to the true duration of the video, so you can edit the questions freely.
- Then you can freely edit the questions cuepoints
Should you need any help, just get in touch with us!
Hope you enjoyed this little “hack” to allow to publish your existing videos into your existing qstion account.
It is very important that before you go live broadcasting the interview, you have the opportunity to test that everything is going to work fine.
In the situation where the guest will be sitting with you in a facility that you know well (e.g. you have used the webcam and connection from there before), it is not so critical. But otherwise, if you are going to broadcast from a new place or your guest is in a remote location, you should spend some time with the guest to get familiar with the interview flow and the tech stuff associated to it.
The key points to control are:
- Guest speaker has good enough bandwidth. We explain here how to test the Internet connection bandwidth
- Guest speaker can access the webcam and operate it properly
- If you are using Google Hangouts, ensure that the guest has a Google + account and knows how to operate it. Basically, when you place the Hangout invitation the guest will only have to follow the link and the Hangout interface will open
- If you are using Qstion built-in video, the way it works is different than Hangouts. The moderator will decide when to start and finish the broadcast (this is like Hangouts) but the guest will have to click on each question and read it loud before start answering.
So we have created a test mode that will allow you to simulate the interview without the need of making it public. The procedure is simple.
When creating a new interview, select “Test”
The interview will not be announced or published at all in your public web.
In order to start the test, go to the interview manage page. You can send questions from there, and then approve them to have them on the queue ready to be triggered during the interview broadcast.
If you are using Google Hangouts, bear in mind that Google does not allow you to make the broadcast private, so your test will be open to the public, from your Google+ page or from the YouTube channel linked to it. Currently there is no way to change this from the Google interface.
What if the guest needs further support?
You can use a screen sharing app and guide the guest through the different screens. There is a free screen sharing app provided by Join.me in this link.
There are two important equipment recommendations we can give you to record video with your webcam that will allow you to make high quality professional recording, spending under $250 (€200)
1. Webcam: for less than you think you can get a professional camera that provides full HD quality. Logitech for example offers the Logitech c920 model (check out this review in PCMag):
And now it is selling with a good discount:
Now Google Hangouts On Air offers HD live broadcasting, so you can take advantage of the great quality this webcam offers.
2. Portable Studio: there are also great offers for an entry level photographic studio. You do not need nothing more sophisticated if all you want to do is record yourself or with someone else sitting next to you. Plus they are highly portable
There are some entry level studio kits that include the stands, backdrops plus lights under $100:
If you want to learn more, check out our article on tips to make a good webcam recording and also how to look alive and professional in a webcam videoconference
We hope this information helped you to get up-and-running on your live video or recorded video on-line career. And remember, qstion.com is a free platform where you can publish your live YouTube videos done with Hangouts on Air or other platforms. Enjoy! and please leave us your comments below
Google Hangouts on Air is rapidly becoming a powerful live video streaming platform. Now Google has added HD capabilities for everyone using it, for free.
In order to make use of the HD capabilities you should use an HD capable webcam such as the Logitech c920 that we recommend in this article
These two alternatives allow you to broadcast video professionally, and also provide good free plans and software for video streaming
Streaming live video is becoming easier. Now with 3g and 4g networks, and a myriad of mobile devices featuring powerful video capabilities, there is no excuse not to broadcast live events on the web.
Wether you are an amateur or a pro, the providers we are going to analyze offer you suitable choices. Starting with free plans and reaching professional options, you set the limit, that will depend on your needs and budget.
Key questions to start with:
- Do you need to make a live video production, i.e. use of various cameras, professionally captured sound, …?
- Do you plan to use a video camera or is the quality of a mobile phone good enough?
- Do you have enough bandwidth, i.e. wifi connection with at least 800 kbits upstream capabilities? check out our article on how to test your Internet bandwidth
- Big room or small room? can be covered with a mobile phone/webcam or requires a camera with tripod?
In general terms, there are four ways of live streaming video:
A few word on each of these:
Browser: It is the simplest one to use. Normally based on a Flash component that browsers have by default. An exception to this are the iOS browsers, because they are not compatible with Flash. The upcoming WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication) represents an non-flash based technology. Though a very promising technology, it is as of today in an early technology stage of adoption, being Chrome and Firefox the only two browsers supporting it. Normally with the browser you will use the webcam, but there are some solutions that allow you to use the camera of your mobile device, such as Moviola app.
Desktop: This downloadable applications provide a more powerful environment, normally give you the choice of selecting between various camera sources, and you may be able to make a bit of production, changing angle of recording. It works optimally with dedicated hardware encoders.
Mobile: in many cases the camera of your phone is far superior in quality to the webcam, it is a great alternative to broadcast using it. On top of that, it gives you more mobility and you can use 3g/wifi advantages to move around the room or facility where you are recording live. On the other hand, some aspects of mobile recording you should bear in mind are: battery duration (especially if you are transmitting with 3g) and the fact that since it is a phone you may receive annoying calls/messages during the recording (I have not found, at least in the iPhone, a way of disconnecting the phone while leaving the 3g or wifi data transmission on).
Encoders: We refer to hardware encoders, since we are including the software encoders in the Desktop category. The encoder is the piece of hardware you connect to the camera and does the dirty job of converting the signal to a highly optimized for internet broadcasting. So it does the compressing and appropriate formatting part.
We differentiate two type of settings for live streaming video:
no special equipment required but a mobile phone and a webcam
no dedicated person for control/production of the streaming is required
In this case, it is recommended to use the browser with webcam or the mobile application and maybe the desktop application as well, if the user is an advanced user.
use of special equipment such as a video camera(s), microphone(s)
one or more persons will be fully focused on the production of the event
In this case, using external pro equipment, encoders and the most advanced desktop application is highly recommended.
What do all these providers have in common? These for so called Live Streaming Service Providers (LSSPs) have these features in common:
* free plan for starters
* portal where your uploaded videos will be published and announced
* possibility to embed the video in another website (this may be a premium option)
* advertisement (controlled by the provider or by yourself)
Live video streaming platforms: Livestream and Ustream
Ustream and Livestream are close competitors, and both are aiming at the more professional market with similar tools, so we will start with these two.
Starting with your own channel is very simple, and you can use your Facebook, Google or Yahoo account to start broadcasting.
You will have a landing page or channel page where all your videos will be broadcasted and stored.
If you want to use something more advanced than the webcam or mobile phone, you can use the software Ustream Producer http://www.ustream.tv/producer based on Telestream’s Wirecast Pro. There are three versions.
You can join Livestream with Facebook or with your email account. And you get your channel page similarly to what you get in Ustream.
In the old Livestream free version it was possible to embed the video in another web via the provided iframe code. Today, you need to subscribe to the Premium or Enterprise plan. Another important limitation of the free plan is that viewers need to have a Livestream account to see the video. This is no the case for the paid accounts.
The available free software encoder is Livestream Procaster
We would like o highlight that Livestream also manufactures a low budget portable encoder that connects to the wi-fi and 3g, called the Livestream broadcaster
Main differences between Livestream and Ustream
Advantages of Ustream
- In the free plan, viewers do not need to register
- In the free plan allows video embedding in other websites
Advantages of Livestream
- There is no advertisements in any of the plans
- Interesting custom manufactured portable video encoding hardware
If you would like to use Livestream or Ustream embedded into your qstion.com account, it is possible, just follow the instructions here
At the moment of writing this post, it is not possible to make a Hangout On Air (live stream version of a Hangout) private.
This means that when you start broadcasting it will be posted in your Google+ timeline and it will be announced in your YouTube channel. The only way you can avoid this is if you have a YouTube account with more than 100 subscribers. In such case you will be able to change the status of the video broadcast to private, as explained in this tutorial post.
Quoting Google help page:
You’ll be prompted to invite your friends or circles before you enter the Hangout On Air. Please note that you can’t invite the public to join a Hangout on Air but, you can open the broadcast for public viewing by clicking Start broadcast from within the Hangout On Air window.
On the other hand, once the video broadcast is finished, it will be kept in your YouTube account. You can then change the privacy settings and make it private. Making it private gives you the chance to select who can access the video, you can enter the authorised email accounts (they will need to have a google account) or the Google+ circle that is authorised.
The full explanation can be found here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/157177?hl=en