Livestreaming Dictionary for Dummies 2023

Livestreaming Dictionary for Dummies 2023

Switchboard Staff
Switchboard Staff

Table of Contents

To simplify commonly used terms in livestreaming, we present updated definitions for newcomers to the streaming realm. These definitions aim to provide clarity in understanding the terminology. This is an updated version from our 2021 post. We hope this proves helpful!

Basic Livestreaming

What is a Livestream or Live Stream? - Frequently referred to as “streaming”, it refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time.

What is Multistreaming? - Streaming one piece of live content to multiple destinations at the same time. (See Also Multipublishing or Simulcasting)

What is Multipublishing? - Streaming one piece of live content to multiple destinations at the same time. (See also Multistreaming or Simulcasting)

What is Simulcasting? - Streaming one piece of live content to multiple destinations at the same time. (See also Multistreaming or Multipublishing)

What is Re-streaming? - Streaming one piece of live content to multiple destinations at the same time. (See also Multistreaming or Multipublishing)

What is a Video Conference? - A technology that allows users in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings without having to be in a shared location.

Livestreaming Components

What is an Encoder? - An app or device that converts analog or digital video into streaming video for delivery to streaming platform. Examples include: Ecamm Live, OBS, Streamlabs, vMix, SwitcherStudio, Zoom, LiveU, ManyCam, Larix, etc.

What are Destinations? - Any end point where video can be accepted and viewed, for example: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitch, Rumble, Streaming Church, GovDelivery.

What is Facebook? - Originally catering to college students, Facebook is a vast social networking site that facilitates online connections among family and friends. It enables sharing of posts, videos, and images. With over 2 billion users globally, Facebook stands as the largest social network worldwide.

What is Twitter? - This microblogging service enables friends, family, and coworkers to connect and communicate through quick, frequent messages. Users share "Tweets" with text, photos, videos, and links to stay connected.

What is YouTube? - This user-friendly video sharing website allows seamless online video viewing. Users can create and upload their own videos, sharing them with others. With over 6 billion monthly hours of video watched.

What is Twitch? - This live-streaming platform caters to gamers and lifestyle casters, fostering the creation of communities centered around shared and streamable content, particularly video games.

What is LinkedIn? - This online platform unites professionals worldwide, allowing them to showcase their career accomplishments, skills, interests, and professional journey.

Livestreaming Terms

What is Latency? - The delay between your encoder and the stream being displayed to viewers.

What is RTMP? - A live streaming protocol that transmits video files from an encoder to a video hosting platform

What is a Bit Rate? - The number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time, typically shown in seconds, or Bits Per Second. The higher the bit rate the higher the quality of video.

What is Resolution? - Among various encoder settings, resolution plays a crucial role in stream quality and is often referred to as aspect ratio. Common options like 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, and 240p (height) define the resolution setting. To ensure optimal performance, coordinating the bit rate with the resolution is vital to minimize buffering and uphold quality levels. Here is a support article that we produced showcasing the common bit rate & resolution combinations.

What is a Codec? - Stands for “coding/decoding.” A codec is a process that reduces digital file sizes by reducing unnecessary data, while retaining as much quality as possible.

What are Bits? - A bit (short for "binary digit") is the smallest unit of measurement used to quantify computer data.

What is a Bandwidth? - The maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given amount of time.

Inside Switchboard

What is a Workflow? - The control center for multistreaming. This includes the confidence monitor, video encoder details, real-time stream information, destinations, and metadata.

What is Video Source? - The location of where the video originates.

What is a Confidence Monitor? - A live preview display that verifies the current video that is being received by Switchboard from a connected encoder or streaming software.

What is an Embedded HTML5 Player? - An incorporated video player on your website to showcase your live stream directly.

What are Platforms? - Refers to the destinations where video can be sent from. (see Destinations)

What is StreamShare? - Allows others to opt-in and carry your stream to be viewed by their audience, thereby increasing your viewership.

What is a Stream Server/Ingest Point? - Geographically located servers that receive the stream from an encoder for multistreaming to streaming destinations.

What is a Stream Key? - A unique key that is dynamically generated to allow an incoming stream to be accepted by our ingest zones.

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