How To Build Live Video Streaming Into Your App With Our TVU Anywhere SDKTo a TV station, user-generated content once meant a pretty picture of a sunset or video of a gentle snowfall. But those days are long gone.
With most everyone carrying around an HD video camera or better in their pockets or purses, it’s possible for viewers to play a significant newsgathering role.
Not only are they probably on the scene of breaking news—a massive car pileup, building fire or some other newsworthy happening—long before a station can muster its newsgathering resources and get to the site, but their sheer number and geographical diversity means the newsgathering reach of the public cannot be matched.
To a professional sports franchise or university sports program, user-generated content once may have simply meant fan-submitted stills and videos of fans celebrating a victory or getting ready to enjoy a game. But here again, given the ubiquity of high-resolution video cameras in the form of smartphones so much more is possible.
Your app and live streaming
Greater audience engagement, a broader perspective on what’s happening and even a tighter bond with your brand or organization are among the benefits.
However, the business of news is reporting and that of sports marketing is marketing the game. The same can be said of corporate communications, specifically communicating a corporation’s messages, and a house of worship, namely worshiping. Developing a live streaming video app or app feature for an existing app probably isn’t on the radar of most organizations.
But with the March announcement that TVU Networks was making is TVU Anywhere software development kit (SDK) available for free, the equation has changed. Now organizations, whether they are TV stations or station groups, sports teams or anyone else, can bring live streaming video to their apps without starting development from scratch.
TVU Anywhere and the SDK
That ecosystem consists of all the tools a video producer will need for a show—support for multi-camera live video switching, audio mixing, playback of pre-recorded segments, video editing for pre-produced pieces, graphics, CG text, and a whole bevy of AI-based tools that enable capabilities beyond typical video production, such as automatic rich metadata creation to streamline creation of highlight reels.
Until this spring, the only way to get at TVU Anywhere was via a free download from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Downloading was fast and simple. Within moments, someone using an Android smartphone or iPhone or iPad could be contributing live video and audio to a video production.
Many have and continue to contribute everything from news and live sports shots to video of worship services, corporate meetings and beyond.
In March, TVU Networks announced it would begin making its TVU Anywhere SDK available for free so developers could easily add the ability to stream live video from their iOS and Android apps—whether as an upgrade to an existing app or as an entirely new app. The decision effectively enables app developers to give users of their apps access to the TVU ecosystem of hardware and cloud-based production tools.
The SDK makes it simple to add TVU’s renowned high-quality, low-latency live video streaming technology, based on its high-performance, rugged transmission IS+ protocol, to iOS and Android apps. It also gives developers a way to bond cellular and Wi-Fi bandwidth for support of higher data rates and connection redundancy.
For instance, a local TV station that adds live video streaming to its app with the help of the TVU Anywhere SDK could multiply its newsgathering resources with the assistance of viewers. Those who downloaded the station app could easily switch to live streaming mode and begin contributing raw video that a news director or news producer could choose to use on air, on the station’s website or on its social media sites.
Of course, provisions can be made to guard against spoofs, staged news and other fraudulent activity that could harm the station’s news brand. For instance, as the station’s app is more widely distributed among its audience, it becomes likely that multiple viewers might contribute video of the same news happening at the same time from different angles. Confidence in the authenticity of the happening will build with each new viewer who begins contributing footage of the news event.
The world of high school, collegiate and professional sports is fertile ground for iOS and Android apps enhanced with the TVU Anywhere live streaming SDK. Consider the tailgate parties that are fixtures of college and professional football. Fans using a team’s app, enhanced with capabilities made possible by the live streaming SDK, could contribute video of their pre-game parties to the team’s video production department, which in turn could produce a show streamed live via social media.
Not only could this heighten overall fan engagement with the team, but it also might create interesting advertising opportunities the team may wish to pursue.
Another quite obvious use for a team app enhanced with the TVU Anywhere SDK is video contribution during the game for playback on the stadium’s large video screen. Either as a supplement to or replacement for roving wireless camera crews, fans streaming live video from around the stadium with their team app could bring a new dimension to the game experience and take fan engagement to a higher level.
These are simply a few scenarios for how the addition of live video streaming with the help of TVU Anywhere’s live streaming SDK can help an organization. The true potential of doing so is only limited by the imagination of the organization that commissions a developer to build a live streaming app into its own, unique app.