Now that all the ground work was done it was time to plan the implementation. Considering that we would have people with both high and low speed internet connections watching, I decided to take live streaming to the next level and stream 2 qualities of video simultaneously. For those with a high speed internet connection we could provide live video and audio. And for those with slower connections, real-time audio but with a slide show for the images. Ideally, I would need to use 2 laptops and need two video and audio feeds and get two internet connections to take care of this. But that too would have been too easy! :) So would this be possible with just 1 laptop, a single feed from the mixer and a single internet connection?

The answer is yes! And it wasn’t too hard either. A little complicated but not hard. The solution I came up with needed a bunch of “virtual” video sources. The diagram above show the flow of the video and audio channels. The audio part was easy. The video is were things get complicated. Usually, the application using the webcam or any other video source locks it exclusively so that no other app can use it at the same time. I chose to use SplitCam to vitualize the video feed. This would allow more than one application to access the same video source.

So now, the real time audio and video feed could be broadcast via Flash Media Live Encoder to the LiveStream service.

Next step was to create a new video stream but with a delay in the images. This would make it look like a photo slide show. I used YawCam to split the video into images. The Image array wizard does a neat job of configuring the same all you need to do is pick the location to dump a copy of the images, the file naming convention and the interval between images. Then I used ManyCam to read the images dumped by YawCam and create a video source. Next logged in to Stickam and everything was a go!

While attempting the above make sure you disable all other video and audio sources. So if someone trips over a wire and unplugs the cable you won’t need to re-configure the software all over again. :) Also, I had some kind of random FM interference on the audio line when we went live. Might have been something to do with the new mixing equipment but it’s always a good idea to do a few dry runs before you can go live on the final equipment.

During the 3-days of live streaming, there were about 495 unique visitors and over 120 simultaneous viewers during one point in time. I’d say it was a miracle considering this was a last minute attempt! :)