DaCast uses Flash and RTMP streaming to make broadcaster content accessible to the largest audience possible. FLV, MOV and MP4 video files are supported “out of the box”, although all formats can be supported thanks to cloud encoding services provided after a file is uploaded. Additionally, support for H.264 and VP6 codecs allow the system to broadcast out in true HD. Video on demand streams can also be shared over iOS directly from the user’s own webpage if specific formats and practices are used.
Although DaCast is known for its live streaming capabilities, the platform is also set up to take advantage of video on demand streaming as well for previously recorded material. This includes a variety of file formats that can be directly uploaded to the system and then broadcast out from a media player. This allows created content to be featured with unique functionality such as chat and monetizing video features.
Using a playlist scheduler, these file formats can also be organized in the channel to play in a specific order. Different from video on demand, playlists allow the broadcaster to control when and how the viewer will interact with the media. The ability to fast forward and skip certain content is also disabled, making this a dramatically different way that viewers will interact with the streaming content.
FLV, known as Flash Video, is one of several file formats supported by the DaCast platform. FLV is used for video playback over the internet, which makes it possible to do Flash video streaming. The most common extension type is .flv, although other variations of these exist and include: .f4v, .f4p, .f4a and .f4b. All of these variations are also supported by the DaCast system.
MOV is a QuickTime file format for video playback that is supported by the DaCast system. This format was the basis of the MPEG-4 file format. The format contains one or more media tracks, for example a designated track for just audio. This is seamless to viewers, but makes the format particularly attractive to editors.
Fully supported through DaCast, MP4 is sometimes interchangeable with MOV due to the shared MPEG-4 file format. It is generally regarded as the preferred video container format due to general compatibility.
For unsupported files, there is an additional option to transcode these files so the DaCast platform can stream them. With a few clicks, a file can be converted and used over the system. This is an optional service that is done through a partnership with Encoding.com, but does come with a small charge for its use. This charge will be quoted before any transaction is made.
Video on demand content can be broadcasted over iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, through following specific guidelines to make this possible. First, if you are embedding videos, they need to use the “frame” embed code. Second, files need to be in a specific format. This format is MP4 with H.264 video (baseline profile) and AAC audio (low complexity profile, or “LC”).
Alternatively, all files transcoded over the system meet iOS standards. This means that if your video or audio content doesn’t meet these mentioned formats, encoding them through DaCast will allow them to play over iOS.