I’ve been swapping and changing in my mind how i want to approach building out steemcasting over the last year, it’s gone from using some kind of frame.io setup and uploading clips that just run in a scheduler to focusing more encoding and re-encoding for other platforms — of course all come with expenses so I’ve finally decided (for now) to go about it a different way.
Also, i need a way to sustain it while I’m building it, while it’s not front and centre for it to be a money making business, obviously it needs funds to run, monthly cloud subscriptions, hardware, software, power and bandwidth — all of that stuff costs and you need to break even on it.
So a better way is to scale as ya go, most people do this, even take streamers like ninja started out with just a crappy headset, microphone and webcam — of course it helped that he had plenty of gaming talent over the decade to his rise and his timing was perfect — lot of things you need to have at the right time.
OBS in the CLOUD
I’ve been watching a lot of IRL (in real life streamers) recently and see how they handle between desktop and out in the world, they process their streams often differently having an OBS instance running either on a home machine dedicated on a dedicated connection or run it in the cloud. There is massive benefit to running it like this for the IRL side specifically because that is where you can have the most connection issues with latency and bandwidth.
Running your OBS in the cloud allows you to not only have your IRL stream going into that as a source but you benefit from all your usual overlays, smart layer switching if the connection is a little bit laggy and most importantly the connection does not drop if you lose connection, thus, you don’t lose the viewers that are watching, that’s important to building up an audience that has you often in the background, maybe running on a second screen or watching via mobile.
More importantly for steemcasting is the ability to run a stream 24/7 because you can then build out scenes exactly for that purpose pulling in assets/python scripts in from other locations, you are effectively then streaming that out to a platform like twitch or YouTube — i just spoke about this and how a Youtube user managed to build a channel of over 2 million viewers because he contributed a ‘counter’ to the No1 Youtube pew die pie with millions of viewers and subscribers.
Having virtual cloud instances should make it relatively easy to start building in redundancy as well, taking snapshots and copies of your instance and spinning that up on other hosts, under different ip addresses — if you can code something to ‘watch’ that you can have a fairly robust system.
Virtualising NDI Sources
Last time i looked at launching some kind of ‘always on’ setup i got thinking about how to do the streaming part and make that easier using NDi devices — these are devices that sit on your network and are self contained but also benefit that they have their own protocol — you can literally bring in the audio/video via a drop down menu and include that as a source.
Which got me thinking about how to do that remotely, like for bringing in guests, locations, on location streams with devices that have an NDi module and if you could virtualise that. I’ve been looking at a bunch of services similar to the way that hamachi used to work in that you can create a virtual network address on both ends and appear to be on the same network even thou you across the side of the planet from each other — it should work, not sure on performance yet but that all depends on routing and bandwidth.
Streaming Store for Streamers for Blockchain
Which kinda leads me onto bringing in some much needed funds to actually afford to run all this stuff and an area that i think is seriously lacking in the crypto sphere and that’s the ability to build a streamer store of modules and services for the chains you support — obviously STEEM is the first one to get that treatment of course, maybe you could take subscriptions for the modules as a json/steem payment for a user, that could be an overlay or plugin you could offer to the streamer — benefit is the streamer has something unique to display and the blockchain in question benefits with exposure while that channel is live (even in the VODS)
This has already started in my mind how this would look and I’ve even took this as far as maybe a frontend look pulling in steem communities while blending in streaming multimedia, that was always the grand vision anyway, if don’t properly you could style and theme the streaming component to fit in with the rest of the site too — which then opens things up for events and seasonal changes.
Youtube is Investing Hard Right Now
A lot of movement in the streaming space is happening right now, Youtube revealed how much Adsense they are earning/distributing to creators and they are on boarding a lot of content creators that have already gone from 200k subs to 2 million in the space of a year — Youtube is here to play, literally and they understand that ‘internet advocates’ are what their brand needs to make them relevant in this space.
You only have to look at mixer to see how ‘poaching’ of high calibre streamers from twitch has started to get that ball rolling or how Organizations like 100 thieves have invested millions in a dedicated facility for streaming and training sessions for their various gaming clans in different titles.
Decentralised Hosts Need More
While i’d prefer to use something like vimm.tv to stream to full time, i kinda need to place steemcasting on twitch / youtube for it’s uptime/reliability and multiple server ingests, good to have backups you can use and stream into. I think one of the ways that decentralized streaming hosts could really provide something the other hosts don’t is to give a dedicated server hosting feature, similar to obs cloud for a monthly pro fee — maybe it could be charged in crypto so they can invest and scale too.
It’s not gonna be enough to just get a couple of ‘big streamers’ on the platform it needs to have something existing streamers don’t have — a dedicated frontend maybe, their own server instance, 24/7 support in a discord, features that make them stand out when they want to leave those services for something more custom.
So where do we go from here?
Well, I’ve started a new theme/layout for steemcasting and I’m going to start building templates, modules, effect packs for screenflow that help with making video for people involved with blockchain and streaming and see where we go from there — if i can make it work then i’ll put the profits into realising this dream!
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