Video Capture & Streaming
Streaming in the context of a videoconference means broadcasting a point-to-point or multipoint videoconference to an audience of listeners and viewers who are not active participants in the conference. The audience can listen to and/or watch the conference on a client (typically a PC) while sitting at their desks. During the conference, a streaming server located in the videoconference network receives the same video streams as participants and sends these streams to the clients connected to it. The clients require only a media-playing application.
Videoconference streaming provides an efficient and economical way of sending live information to a large audience in real time. Members of the audience can view the conference from the PC on their desks without the need to add any special devices such as video cameras, microphones or video capture cards. In a regular videoconference you require both processing and network resources. The load on resources increases with each additional participant. Streaming is an excellent alternative for when some of the participants do not need to actively participate in a discussion, but simply need to listen in and view what is happening. The load on the network is reduced because the streaming is uni-directional. The processing load on the MCU is reduced as there is no need to process incoming media data from the passive participants.
Besides enabling a larger audience of passive participants to view an ongoing videoconference, streaming is useful for:
- Company-wide broadcasts where everyone views the broadcasts at their desks
- Distance learning
- Demonstrating products to a widespread audience
- Sharing a debate or discussion
- Recording for video on demand