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Matthew Davis, a Drexel University alumni, has been an asset to our company for over ten years.  He specializes in sales and product management, working closely with HuddleCamHD and PTZ Optics video conferencing hardware.  Mr. Davis has ample experience in engineering custom strategies for unique and efficient implementation of video and audio hardware and software.

5 Ways to Stream to YouTube Live

5 Ways to Stream to YouTube Live

Hello USB Pro Followers!
YouTube is so cool! You probably have heard YouTube Live is a absolutely free service anyone can use to broadcast live video around the world to 100's of thousands of people. The set up is very similar to YouTube itself and they have made the entire process dummy proof. With that being said there are at least 5 different streaming standards you can use and 1000's of hardware set ups you can use to maximize your live broadcasting capabilities. Today we are going to outline 5 ways to stream YouTube Live with PTZOptics cameras. PTZOptics cameras are affordable Pan Tilt Zoom camera with professional features such as camera presets, IP Streaming, USB 3.0. HDMI and HD-SDi.

  1. ​Using Google Hangouts on Air
  2. Using Flash Media Live Encoder
  3. Using Wirecast
  4. Using RTSP
  5. Using RTMP

Using Google Hangouts on Air

Google Hangouts on Air is the easiest way to quickly set up a live broadcast with the least amount of equipment or set up. So if the other solution look daunting don't worry the "Quick Setup" option using Google Hangouts on Air is going to be a breeze. Google has really knocked this one out of the park by combining Google Hangouts, which uses WebRTC technology to simply launch the application in a web browser. So there is no need to download any software and the set up is super fast. For the best performance we suggest using the Google Chrome Browser. 

The Google Hangouts on Air interface has some really great features you won't find in traditional streaming solutions like Wirecast and Flash Media Live Encoders. For example you can share you screen, multiple screens or a single application window. This is a great way to do live presentations. You can also invite up to 10 friends to join the conversation for live interviews and conversational recordings. Hangouts also offer a wide variety of other features which you can dig into with a regular Google Hangout call. The only feature you will not find in a regular Google Hangout is the Live Control Room which allows you to adjust video and audio settings for your live broadcast. 

Using Flash Media Live Encoder

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USB 2.0 vs 3.0 vs USB C

USB 2.0 vs 3.0 vs USB C

USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB-C

The Universal Serial Bus, or USB for short has been used over the past two decades in devices of all sorts, whether it's used to connect printers, portable storage devices or even modern smartphones, one can find the USB symbol on the connectors of countless household devices even today.

The original USB technology soon got overrun with devices which were interested in using it on a whole new level. A transfer rate of 1.5 Mbps - 12 Mbps for low bandwidth and high bandwidth devices respectively was nowhere enough to satisfy many manufacturers. This lead to a series of upgrades which took place over the last two decades and have brought us better, more efficient and more reliable versions of the USB connector.

Let's take a look and compare some of the more well known versions, the USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and the USB-C.

The USB 2.0

Being an upgrade to the standard USB cable and connector (now called the USB 1.0), USB 2.0 added more bandwidth to satisfy manufacturers who were interested in making large portable storage devices.

The default USB 1.0 was still capable of running input devices such as a keyboard, mouse and various controllers but when it came to storage devices, the time it took to copy data to your USB drive also increased as people started asking for more storage capacity.

To solve all these issues, the USB 2.0 increased the full-bandwidth limit to 480 Mbps theoretically while most modern USB 2.0 devices perform at 280 Mbps (35 MB/s) due to limitations and energy losses. This solved the issue of having to reduce data transfer times as it put the USB connector on-par with most hard drives of the time.

The USB 3.0

Then came another upgrade in 2008, the USB 3.0, further increasing the maximum theoretical bandwidth from 480 Mbps to 4.8 Gbps (400 MB/s is a reasonable realistic speed to achieve provided that the device itself is capable of functioning at that speed).

As USB devices started getting more complex since the introduction of USB 2.0, power requirements also increased for certain devices. Mobile phones, even modern smartphones and other handheld devices currently use the USB ports to charge themselves.

This caused the manufacturers to increase the maximum power output which the USB cable can provide from 500 mA (USB 2.0) to 900 mA (USB 3.0). This additional power makes the USB 3.0 port the preferred option for setting up USB hubs as they'll be able to support and provide power to multiple devices without failing.

Another significant advancement between these two models was the introduction of full-duplex communication, making it possible to both send and receive data at the same time whereas the USB 2.0 worked on a half duplex mechanism.

The USB-C

The USB-C connector looks towards the future and aims to replace all the different USB connectors we see around us in our daily lives. Ranging from the USB-B, a square-shaped large connector for printers, the standard USB-A connectors we use for our computers as well as the various mini connectors used for handheld and smaller devices across the world.

The USB-C itself provides us with a relatively small connector but being small isn't its most important characteristic. The USB-C ends the need to flip your USB connector at least three times before it fits in the slot by being completely reversible, capable of connecting no matter how you align it.

Another advantage is that the small size lets manufacturers use it on devices of all sizes and when it comes to speed itself, the USB Type-C connectors are capable of running at whatever speed it's designed for. Many current connectors run on the USB 2.0 spec but as time goes on, we can be sure to see Type-C connectors which use the USB 3.0 or even USB 3.1 technology, giving us access to transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

And in terms of power, when used these cables are more than capable of carrying 1.5 A to 3 A, making it possible to charge modern notebooks with a USB wire while also supporting the 900 mA power which smartphones and many other devices prefer to have.

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Skype for Business vs Google for Business

Skype for Business vs Google for Business

 

Skype for Business

Skype for Business formerly known as Lync is a widely used software for internal and external communication. Microsoft bought the already developed platform and made it even better with its expertise. Millions of users use Skype every day to talk to their loved ones, friends, family and colleagues. Not long ago, businesses started using Skype to connect with out of city or overseas employees and even conduct cross border interviews for jobs.

Cisco is already leading the market but Microsoft saw the opportunity to utilize its resources and already developed platform to enter the competition. Microsoft Lync was part of Office 2010 but now it has been integrated with Skype to create one unified platform for businesses. Skype for Business includes all the features that the consumer version has with some extras.

Skype for Business adds extra security to protect corporations’ interests and data. The biggest advantage for users is integration with Microsoft Office. Since both softwares are owned and developed by Microsoft, Skype for Business offers easy integration with Office. Users can connect to any coworker from within the Office application with just one click.

It allows up to 250 users depending on the package. Large corporations usually purchase Server 2015 through certified partners while new startups or medium enterprises opt for the other two pricing plans available. Skype for Business delivers a more natural, intuitive and intelligent communication experience for professionals. It not only simplifies the user experience but also increases engagement and saves costs for the organization.

Since Skype for Business is one of the most cost effective solution for small and medium enterprises, Google is also stepping in to the competition. Google has a vast range of services and all it needs to do is bring everything together and make one suite for businesses.

Google for Business

Google for Business is geared towards getting your business online. Since Google is the most popular search engine, every business wants to appear on it. Previously it was not so straight forward but now the company has made a specific area for companies to register as businesses enjoy free coverage worldwide.

Google for Business Features

Show up on the web

Get on the map

Stand out on Google+

Share the right info about your business

Be found across devices

Bring your Google+ page to life

Respond to customer feedback

Connect face-to-face with Hangouts

All connected in one place

Check-in on the go with the Google My Business app

Insights on your customers

 

As you can see in the list above, all of these features are web based and gives your business an opportunity to make an online presence. But at the same time Google is developing its business suite to counter Skype for Business. Google Hangouts is a very popular video conferencing client as well and it is being used by millions of users.

Skype for Business has strategic partners that make video conferencing hardware compatible with the software. Although there are no on paper system requirements and anyone with a camera and a microphone can use Skype for Business but in meeting spaces a dedicated VTC hardware is required. Skype for Business is also being used in live television broadcast which requires specialized broadcast equipment and Skype for Business suite.

On the other hand, Google recently launched Chromebox for Meetings. It is a direct competitor to Skype for Business systems but with ChromeOS and Google Business suite. Chromebox for meetings start at a reasonable price of $999 and includes Google Business software. Skype for Business systems cost as low as $2000 and go all the way to $20,000 and Skype for Business Server 2015 costs much more compared to other two plans.

Google also has its own productivity suite which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Drive, YouTube for Live Streaming, Google+ and so on. Users can create or edit any document in Google Docs just like MS Word. Microsoft Office does have advanced features but on the web both of them are more or less the same. Microsoft has OneDrive and Google has Drive, Skype for Business and Google Hangouts etc. Both companies are neck to neck when it comes to features.

Skype for Business does have an edge over Google for Business when it comes VoIP calling, more control for the admin, Microsoft Azure platform, Surface Hub etc. Google for Business is much more cost effective and delivers the same VTC quality as Skype for Business.

Skype for Business

Google for Business

Office Integration

Google Doc Integration

File Sharing

File Sharing

Cloud Storage OneDrive

Cloud Storage Google Drive

Skype Room Systems

Chromebox for Meetings

VoIP Calls (Requires Server 2015)

No VoIP Calls

Expensive for Large business

Standard cost of $999 – No monthly costs

Skype for broadcast

Does not support live broadcasting

Little or no online presence

Google My Business – complete online presence

 

Above is a small comparison between both business suites and each of them has an advantage over the other. Both are protected by advanced encryptions and authentications so security wise they are on par. Skype for Business is specifically designed for office meeting space and it can be integrated to the whole the network while Google for Business is mostly web-based and does not support VoIP calls yet. It comes down to user preference and affordability. Chromebox are very cost effective but still require some improvements before they can take over Skype Room systems. 

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