February 23, 2021 in Technical Problems
We have someone who wants to have a live video stream/chat with our community and we're trying to find how to best get this done.
The plan is to open a thread in advance where members can ask questions, and at a pre-schedueled time, said someone will "reply" in the thread with a live video stream/chat/conference where they will address and answer the questions that were asked. At the same time, members can of course keep posting in the thread and said someone will read them and reply via the video. Having members be able to join the video is an added benefit but not necessary.
The particular platform used for this isn't as important, it can be Zoom, Facebook Live, Google meet, Microsoft Teams or whatever. what we need to do is be able to embed it in a forum post.
Is something like that possible? whether built in, via an existing plugin or one that will need to be custom made?
YouTube would be an obvious choice as it automatically embeds. You can set up the video in advance (on an eligible channel) and then embed it already days in advance. Once it is live, it will play live and afterwards a replay will also be available. If multiple people are meant to “meet” in that stream, that would be possible as well, but a little bit more complicated.
Our first priority is to let people join the conference, so we'd prefer to use Meet/Zoom/Teams.
I was playing around with it and thought about maybe using an iFrame to just "stupid" embed the view/display.
If none of that would be possible, I've found a way to embed a Facebook live video feed, albeit a VERY delayed stream (a few dozen seconds).
Sure, if you don’t use a natively supported provider, you would have to embed custom HTML, which should be no problem as admin.
I still think a YouTube live stream would be a good solution for going live on Invision Community. For meetings, you would just have to feed the stream into YouTube via RTMP, which almost any free or commercial software made for livestream meeting supports.
I've been playing with it for a bit more time, and straight-up embeding a meeting doesn't seem to work because in the apps I tried, you need to be "admitted" into the meeting in order to view the stream and until then you can't really "see" session - so an iFrame just gets a "can't connect" message. Looks like we're either going to have to get something custom made and can get around the admittance issue, or go the one-way stream + forum-based chat route.
What do you mean by join the conference? Do you want participants other than the speaker and your designated representatives to be able to speak or appear on video? Are you just looking for a way to get native engagement tools working in whatever provider you use (Zoom, Teams, Meet, etc.)?
If they don't need to connect directly to the stream, then your problem should be two-fold:
Yeah, I was thinking to maybe allow users to view the stream passively, and allow whoever wants to interact using voice (instead of writing their question) to join the "meeting" seamlessly without leaving the tab. But I'm coming to understand that this is beyond the scope of simply "embeding it into a post" and is [an understandable] security restriction.
We'll probably just add a link to let people join via the native interface (Zoom's or whatever they choose to use) and simultaneously stream the talker and other participants "passively".
I think you can embed the live stream with raw HTML in the worst case scenario, though the people that are connected natively are going to not be lagged vs. the people watching that live stream as a non-participant. I'd recommend choosing one or the other to make whatever the time gap is uniform.
It is a far more intimate experience to have people connect and talk directly, yet depending on your community, they may have issues with their microphone or connection or other technical challenges that might negatively impact the overall experience. "Can you hear me? How about now? Am I on? Sorry, there's a dog/child/circus in my home."
You may also lose control over what is asked of your VIP. Maybe this isn't a concern (again, depends on the audience and who the VIP is), but if you want to moderate out any inappropriate questions or comments, a less direct approach (post your questions and upvote the ones you want to get answers to) might be a better approach.
So yeah, we've talked this over and we'll probably go with either a Facebook live broadcast or a zoom call stream using YouTube. If we'll be using the Zoom call, we'll probably add a join link in the post and have people who joined, interact directly through Zoom's interface.
To combat the lag, we'll just let the members watching know that there's going to be a long delay and tell them to only watch it via one of the sources - Zoom for participants and the forum post for the youtube stream.
I'll come back and let you know how it turned out and how large of a disaster it was. Because although it sure does sound like I know what I'm talking about (I surprised even myself during our talk about this today), I pretty sure at least one thing has to go horribly wrong 🤣
So it turns out to quite the pain in my ass... Pretty much any conferencing application requires some sort of special license to be able to stream, and our VIPs seem to not want to stream a single device, but the actual conversation (sort of like a split-screen/multicam stream) AND they want it to be native or a close to it as possible and I'm pretty much at my wits end. Any ideas?
It’s because you are focused on the conferencing tools, which are either not meant for streaming to begin with or only offer streaming for a lot of money.
Look for streaming solutions. On platforms like YouTube, live streaming with multiple people (and open invites) is a very normal thing and like I said, there are tons of free and commercial solutions available which can feed into platforms like YouTube. Online solutions for this can even push the stream out to all big platforms at once.
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