DaCast uses Flash and RTMP streaming to make broadcaster content accessible to the largest audience possible. Support for H.264 and VP6 codecs allow the system to broadcast out in true HD.
Audiovisual content is published from an adaptive Flash media player. As the most common supported media type, available in 99% of internet browsers, Flash allows broadcasters a viable solution to make it possible to reach the broadest audience possible. Through using the player, viewers won’t need to download a specific plugin or make any system adjustments and can watch content from their normal web browser with ease.
Through the use of Flash, the DaCast media player is exhaustive in the amount of built in options available to both viewers and broadcasters alike. For viewers, live chat while streaming is possible so participates can engage with each other to create a more compelling experience. Broadcasters have the ability to monetize content that can be accessed from the Pay-in-Play system, which is built directly into the Flash player. This makes buying premium content easy for viewers, who don’t have to leave the website to use a credit card to make a purchase.
Real time messaging protocol is a TCP-based method for video and audio streaming over the internet between a server and a Flash enabled player. RTMP allows for low latency communication, making it possible to stream content to even slow connections.
Through using RTMP, the DaCast service is also compatible with the majority of software and hardware encoding devices. Support is built in to utilize Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, which is a free software solution for streaming from a webcam. The service is available over other, more complex and feature rich encoding products as well, including Telestream’s Wirecast, Digital Rapids’ TouchStream and Stream Z/Stream Z Live, NewTek’s Tricaster, Inlet Technologies’ Spinnaker, and ViewCast’s Niagara line and Go Stream SURF to name a few.
While RTMP is set up to support even low bitrate streams, H.264 and VP6 enable efficient and stunning high definition quality that can be broadcast over the DaCast media player. These two codecs each offer something different for live streaming needs, and can be used to develop compelling content over the platform.
VP6 was designed with the ideal of combining video quality with platform efficiency. The codec was designed around the ideal of supporting a large number of users, including those on older or less robust computers, to be able to enjoy streaming content. At lower bit rates, the visual quality tends to be higher than H.264, although the level of motion and many other variables also need to be accounted for.
In that same way, H.264 was actually created with lower bit rates in mind, but has since developed to be the standard for high definition streaming. It’s known for being more resource heavy, as high definition streaming is. From improvements made to Flash, from Flash Player 10 on, H.264 is now able to draw on the GPU (graphic card) for increased performance and is largely the preferred format for use over robust hardware to access HD quality streams.