If you’re in the broadcasting, streaming media or video production industries, you know how important it is to stream to Facebook Live. Everyone is doing it, from The Washington Post to Sesame Street, and it’s now a crucial distribution channel for viewer engagement.
As an expert, you may think you know all there is to know about Facebook Live streaming, whether you’re going live from a mobile phone or using a professional encoder. What you may not know is, these solutions are prone to buffering, dropped streams and connection errors, and don’t provide video that matches broadcast quality standards. In short: if you’re not using the Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance to stream to Facebook Live, you’re doing it wrong. Here’s why:
Your Solution Wasn’t Purpose-Built for Facebook
How do we know ClearCaster is better than other solutions? Facebook Studios seems to really like it, and they use it frequently. That’s because ClearCaster is the only hardware on the market developed in close collaboration with Facebook: Wowza purpose-built this dedicated Facebook Live streaming appliance, and they expanded their API to support it.
Facebook chose to work with Wowza because we have over 10 years of experience developing cutting-edge streaming technology, leading the market and earning industry-wide recognition—including 10 years running as the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards winner. Thanks to this collaboration, ClearCaster offers the deepest possible integration with the Facebook Live API, delivering streams with unmatched quality, resiliency and reliability to the world’s largest online audiences.
You Can’t Go Pro With a Phone
Sure, anyone can go live on Facebook with a mobile phone—but then your videos will look just like everyone else’s. If you’re a broadcaster, business or public personality, you don’t want your streams to get lost in the News Feed along with cat videos and home movies.
To deliver pro-quality video on Facebook, you need to use professional equipment. ClearCaster is a rack-mountable device that connects easily to your advanced production workflow, providing a rock-solid, hardwired connection to Facebook Live. In fact, it’s the only option in the drop-down menu when you pair your device with Facebook. Just plug it in, perform a one-time registration and pairing that takes less than three minutes—and you’re ready to stream.
Most professional encoders require you to manually adjust streaming settings, and Facebook Live has very specific configurations that must be met. With ClearCaster, there’s no more fiddling with settings and desperately hoping they’re right—it takes you from “plug and pray” to “plug and play.” How? it automatically configures the right settings for your use case and on-site conditions, without you having to do a thing.
Our Facebook Live Encoder Performs Better Than Your Encoder
So, what makes ClearCaster better than other commercially available encoding and delivery devices? With ClearCaster, streams never drop or stall, and they’re always delivered in the highest quality. Real-time stream health monitoring capabilities automatically adjust settings when network conditions change—guaranteeing maximum uptime, no matter what.
When it comes to video quality, ClearCaster streams to Facebook Live at a higher bitrate than any other solution available today. It’s the only appliance that can stream in 1080p30 to Facebook Live. Shooting in 4K? Whether it’s for flat or 360º video, ClearCaster can encode it, and will automatically deliver in the highest quality Facebook accepts.
What’s more, ClearCaster is the only professional appliance that displays a Talent View, so you can see exactly what your followers see. The Talent View shows audio and video levels right on the screen, so you can monitor the quality coming in from your source and going out through ClearCaster—no more worrying that you’re blowing out your audience’s ears, or that your video quality is poor.
You Need to See What Your Audience Sees
But ClearCaster is more than just an encoding and delivery solution. It comes with unique features for leveraging the power of your own followers. The Talent View shows real-time comments and emojis on screen, so you can directly interact with viewers and adjust your broadcast according to their reactions. And the frame-accurate countdown clock gives a “3-2-1” prompt, so on-screen talent knows exactly when they’re live.
And just in case you need an extra hand, ClearCaster comes with three years of hardware and software maintenance and support. It automatically delivers push updates, and offers unique features for audience engagement that other devices simply don’t have—making it competitively priced against any commercial 4K hardware encoder.
Since ClearCaster was built from the ground up, around the enhanced Facebook Live API, it’s the best possible solution for streaming to this platform. Wowza and Facebook continue to work side by side to test the latest API updates, deliver maximum streaming performance and allow ClearCaster users to fully leverage Facebook Live’s most innovative features.
By Wowza Media Systems