In the past few years, the ease of producing high definition video has increased dramatically. Standard definition video is no longer the 'standard.' Due to the massive increase in HD video, viewers quality expectations have changed as well.
Nobody has ever liked watching bad quality video. But, thanks to major television networks and online platforms like Netflix, we’ve all come to deem anything less than crisp video unacceptable.
If your stream is in standard definition, you are losing viewers and presenting your municipality in a poor light. People will watch a high definition stream much longer than a standard definition stream because it is simply nicer to watch and more engaging. You feel like you are actually there. You can see the people who are speaking.
Additionally, if you have a standard definition stream these days, you’re not giving off the best perception of your city to your residents. It’s important that your city looks like it was built for the twenty-first century. If I’m a potential resident looking on your city’s website and see a standard definition stream, I would likely internalize the idea that your city is behind the times. Learn more about what civic engagement looks like in the digital age.
If you’ve decided that it’s important for your public meeting live stream to be on your website, your next step is to understand what you might be looking for in a video player.
(Thinking you should just stream on Facebook Live? Here’s what you should be considering)
Not all embedded video players are made the same. This article addresses a few of the features you should be looking for in a player.
If you have public meetings often, you don’t want to have to embed each stream individually. Make sure that you pick a solution that allows for a one-time embed.
Automatic Archiving for Video-on-Demand
It can be a pain to download and then re-upload videos after the stream is complete. You need a player that will automatically archive precious streams and keep them embedded under your current broadcast for your viewers to watch on demand.
If your city has decided to start live streaming it's council meetings, there are several decisions you need to make about your set up. One of those decisions is whether to use a hardware or a software encoder.
When making this choice, the most important thing to keep in mind is how the solution will be used by your clerk, finance officer, or other administrator running the meetings.
If you are like many cities, your staff resources are limited at the time of the meeting. It's important to find the most automated process for the meeting administrator. That person already has a thousand other things to worry about as the meeting gets started. If you choose the wrong type of streaming setup, you will make their lives much more painful on a regular basis.
With this in mind, we recommend choosing a hardware encoder. The benefit of hardware encoders is that, unlike software solutions, they were explicitly built to stream and do nothing else. They are reliable, simple, and take out the additional risk and time of software solutions.
Additionally, hardware encoders free up existing equipment (you don’t have to dedicate a laptop to this process) and are typically less expensive than their software counterparts.
At BoxCast, we know how important your live stream is. We are successful when you are successful.
BoxCast’s approach to customer support is a little bit different than your average customer support experience because we are proactive, not reactive.
If you have a broadcast scheduled, but no video input connected, the BoxCast team will reach out to make sure everything is okay and that you are aware that your video camera is not turned on.
In my day-to-day conversations, I chat with communications directors, public information officers, municipal clerks, IT directors, and city managers about how to use live streaming to increase citizen engagement and transparency in public meetings.
Streaming council meetings on your website is a great start to public meeting transparency. However, as more and more platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter announce the ability to stream live video, you may be wondering how to take advantage. The good news is you don’t have to create separate streams for those locations. Instead, you can use an easy technique called simulcasting.
If you are a communications director, clerk, elected official, or IT director for a local government, the world of public meeting live streaming can seem daunting.
If you’ve asked around to see how your neighbors are bringing their meetings into the online world, you may have received a wide variety of answers. One town next to you may have a $100,000 AV system while another may be streaming to Facebook Live off of a council member's phone.
If you have been tasked with figuring out the right live streaming solution for your municipality, the variation of options may be making it difficult to start on the process of finding the right solution. In this post, we breakdown both ends of the spectrum and explain an alternative that is a better fit.