Wowza ClearCaster: When you absolutely, positively have to broadcast a live event on Facebook Live

Jan Ozer of Streaming Media puts the Wowza ClearCaster to test in this article. The ClearCaster is hardware that promises quality, secure, and professional live streaming to Facebook Live. It’s got all kinds of great features for dynamic stream updates, health monitoring, and remote management.

Find out how the ClearCaster performed and lived up to it’s promises in the following test-case:

From Streaming Media

The best way to understand ClearCaster’s feature set is to realize that its purpose built for Facebook Live. Not just the service, but to serve as the encoder in Facebook’s own studios. This means that the feature set was customized for Facebook, not to compete with other live streaming hardware encoders. As an example, most encoding appliances support local storage of archived video, either internally on a hard drive or via an external drive connected via USB. At the moment, ClearCaster doesn’t offer this feature, but probably will down the road. Similarly, the unit currently only supports Facebook Live, though this will likely change in the future.

Because Wowza’s development schedule for these features wasn’t fixed at the time we wrote the review, let me briefly outline our plans for sharing what we know about the ClearCaster unit. First, this review will discuss the results of our tests with Facebook Live, and what we know about the current feature set. On Thursday, December 14, at 2:00 PM EST, I’ll be joined on the Streaming Media Facebook account by Wowza’s Anthony Lozaro, who will lay out the development schedule for ClearCaster for the next few months, and answer any questions that you may have.

OK, on with the review.

ClearCaster Hardware

ClearCaster is a bright orange 1RU rack-mountable computer with controls on the front and I/O on the back (Figure 1, below). The unit accepts HD-SDI and HDMI input, with HDMI outputs for a monitor and USB ports for a keyboard and mouse, though you likely won’t need the keyboard and mouse since you control most operation from Facebook directly, not ClearCaster. Though the unit is WiFi-capable, it currently only supports wired Ethernet connections, and there currently are no audio inputs other than the audio coming in with the video source….[continue reading]

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