Cerevo LiveShell Review

Over the past 3 days I have been using the Cerevo LiveShell in real world scenarios testing reliability  and how the unit performs in bandwidth challenged connections. For the purpose of the review I utilized at Cannon Vixia HF G10 camera, and a Lower end Sony Camera all using HDMI as the video source.  I used a Verizon Mifi in both LTE/3G modes, wired ethernet and cable based Wifi in the tests. In all use cases I streamed in the highest resolution the device was capable of 724×528.

When I had sufficient bandwidth the Cerevo LiveShell performed well, the highest stream rate that I observed was just north of 800kbps and 30 frames per second. In the video below the unit was streaming at 650kbps between 24 and 29 frames per second. I opted to use the mic on the camera which in a professional situation will not work.  I will be using this device in a situations which will require the audio input wired to a high quality master audio source that I can monitor and have volume control over.

Controlling the device/stream via their mobile phone interface was easy and intuitive, their software was smart enough to know when I was controlling with my phone or using the website interface. In this trial I was using a standard ustream account, luckily the software allows for configuration to your own Flash Media Server but it is not as interactive. The integration with ustream.tv is pretty compelling as you can adjust the stream as needed based on your bandwidth availability. The team at Cerevo have worked hard to make sure you can manipulate stream settings and a variety of other settings.

One very cool feature is how they help you enter wifi data I was able to update the devices ssid using my cell phone . You enter the ssid and password on their website, and then you hook a provided audio cable between your cell phone or computer and the mic-in port on the LiveShell and then literally sync the new wireless connection data to the device they send audio tones to program the LiveShell.

Anytime you are bandwidth challenged streaming is going to be an issue and you have two choices lower the resolution and lower the frame rate. The same is the case with this device. If a crew where going to rely on this unit to stream a major event where they did not have a ethernet connection, they would need to spend some time testing to determine what is the best configuration.

For those that have a dedicated connection connecting the unit to the wired ethernet is the best solution. As to battery life for the LiveShell in my test I used three energizer AA batteries and got 1.5 hours of live streaming out of them. The manufacture makes some battery recommendations, my plan is to get some 5vdc battery packs to get extended stream time. They claim using the recommended rechargeable batteries that they can get three hours of live streaming out of 3 AA batteries.

I see a number of usage cases primarily streaming remote events, or using it part as a mobile studio where you want to reduce your pack-out and not carry an extra streaming computer. The use cases are unlimited and for the purchase price of $300.00 I will get my moneys worth.

The only thing I worry about, is if the Cerevo website/service gets discontinued you will have to manually configure this device by hand and that could end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Check out a stream done from my backyard using only a Mifi, LiveShell and my Cannon Camera. Apologize for audio quality we where using the camera mic and its pretty noisy.

 

BlogWorld and “New Media Expo”?

My company will be exhibiting at BlogWorld and News Media Expo. As I sit here tonight, after reviewing the conference sessions I see that there are 22 separate tracks that have about 10 session each in them.

Only 2 tracks “Digital Broadcasting” and “The Business of Blogging and Podcasting” have any semblance to New media.

Looking over the 2 tracks I see no sessions in “The Business of Blogging and Podcasting” that has anything to do with Podcasting or New Media, they should rename that one to “The Business of Blogging”

The Digital Broadcasting track is made up of “one” Streaming Media Session (good) , Two or Three YouTube tracks, some video tutorial tracks but no tracks to really do with Podcasting and or New Media that the majority of content creators can use.

I would expect that this conference would have had a significant number of new media tracks to attract new media creators. We are but a month away from the show, and I am not sure how to get New Media folks to the show. Time is tight and with nothing on the agenda for New Media folks it has me worried.  With nearly 20 focused blogging tracks, to only have 2 so called new media tracks makes me shake my head.

My company represents over 9,500 “New Media” creators who we want to go to this conference, but how do I sell it to them? Their are only two tracks that slightly appear to support New Media. The conference is called BlogWorld and New Media Expo.  Where is the Beef aka New Media?

While Podcamp LA is being held on the convention floor during afternoons of the conference, they have not published an agenda yet?  So I really have no way of promoting this to our New Media creators. If Podcamp LA is like most of the recent Podcamps it will be focused on Social Media and not New Media time will tell how this turns out but they better get their schedule published in the next couple of days or my head is going to explode.

There are over 50,000 active podcast/new media creators today, and the conference of the year that would be best suited to attract them to the show has essentially made it not worthwhile to attend.

I just hope we have enough New Media creators at the event to talk with and do business with.

See You at Blogworld and New Media Expo!

This will be the 5th year my team from RawVoice has exhibited at BlogWorld and New Media Expo. It is where we go put names and talent to faces, and is where we have a chance for us to give back and share our wisdom on where New Media is headed. For those that attend it is 3 days of information packed sessions, networking and in many cases a reunion with folks you only get to see once or twice a year.

In Booth 516 we will be sharing not only what we do but also about the new media distribution platforms. The media space is changing at a rapid pace, and we will get you dialed in on where it is headed and how to stay on the right track.

On Saturday, I will be presenting at a track that is entitled “The Triple Play Streaming, Podcasting and Blogging as a way to accelerate your Shows Growth and Distribution” please add my session to you list of session to attend. The title of the session is a mouthful for sure, but let me share with you a little of what I will discuss and why you should attend.

The past 12 months have seen an evolution in the blogging, podcasting and streaming media space, I will lay out a formula, to growing your audience and talk about the new distribution platforms. I will share trade secrets and strategies of podcasting that only my 6 years of experience behind the mic can impair. I will tie this all together and you will walk away understanding the importance of streaming your shows and how it is the gateway to Over the Top TV. I will show you how I grew an already large audience by 150% in 9 months with the Triple Play. I will show you how content distribution channels like the Roku, Boxee and coming Google TV is changing New Media and what to expect over the next 5 years.

This will be the most important session you will want to attend at the show, I don’t say this lightly because some of the things I will reveal are going to make you re-think your media strategy for the next 36 months.

In another session, My partners Angelo Mandato and Brian Yuhnke are going to get down to basics with you in a fun session entitled “Blogging and Podcasting Sitting in a Tree… Optimizing a WordPress site for your Podcast” this will get into the nitty-gritty of what many content creators ignore. Find out what causes the cream to rise to the top, you may be surprised at how easy it really is through tweaks, tips and tricks of getting your site dialed in to make sure your listeners and viewers can tune in.

If you have not purchased your plane tickets or pass to BlogWorld and New Media Expo you need to get off you butt and do so now! This is  “the event” to be at, if you are podcaster, blogger and fall into any category of user-generated content. Unlike the disarray and forking happening at Podcamps across the country if you want to focus on New Media this is the show you need to be at. See you in Vegas!

Jim Louderback and I are on Same Page!

Jim Louderback the CEO of Revision3 who I respect a great deal, has made some frank comments in an article on Adage about the Viral Video Advertising space. In his opening statement he makes this assertion.

Online video creators, advertisers and producers have an unhealthy fascination with viral videos, and that obsession is dragging down the entire industry. Why? Because viral videos are, at their core, no better than a fluffernutter white-bread sandwich, delivering little or no value to anyone.

I am sure his frustration, follow the same frustration I have when I talk with media buyers. Most are hung up on a shortsighted strategy of going after viral videos because it has coolness factor. While at the same time 99.9% of the media buyer advertising market is ignoring serial content which as this sites readers, listeners and viewers know are followed by very loyal audiences!  When I meet with media buyers their age tells part of the story, most are under 25 and have had 1-2 years of media sales experience. Sadly most of the media buyers refuse to acknowledge the value of predictable episodic content. Instead they pay $4.00-$6.00 cpm for YouTube Videos. They do not understand that the dedicated audiences, with money to spend on products and services, listen and watch the media shows like we represent that reach 10’s of millions of loyal fans each month.  Jim’s shows at Revision3, and those I represent at RawVoice are ROI Goldmines that most media buyers ignore. Jim hits it home in this comment.

Ten predictable episodic shows that deliver a consistent 100,000 views an episode is far easier to plan for and monetize than a channel that has a one-in-100 chance of catching fire — and a 99-in-100 chance of bombing.

The last comment I am quoting  is something I have been hammering home for the past 6 years, yet most of these media buyers refuse to consider new media in their buying plans. They ignore what new media content can deliver for them. We get lucky once in a while and convert buyers to our side of the fence.  I had a media buyer recently say “wow new media (podcast) advertising is hitting a home run for us” she could hardly believe the ROI numbers. Why do you think our Advertisers have been with us for 6 years? You would think some of these media buyers would clue into what new media is delivering. Jim’s comment ring home here.

Viral videos may be bad for creators and publishers, but they are actually worse for advertisers. Your typical viral video gets passed around, yes, and drives a lot of views. And yes, those can translate into impressions for an advertiser. But as we’ve seen at Revision3, advertising associated with viral videos has only a small fraction of the impact of an ad that runs inside, or alongside, an episodic video program. We’ve seen tremendous results from putting brands next to our long-running episodic programs — those with real communities, high comment-to-view ratios and predictable views.”

In my opinion Media Buyers need to wake the hell up and start spending their clients money in a way that deliver real returns versus throwing spit balls against the wall hoping that they stick. We have millions of listeners / viewers ready to support sponsors of their favorite shows.  Is it not about time that companies wake up and start spending money responsibly. Go over to the article and read his full commentary, it is worthy more discussion in the near future. I am hoping it will wake some of the major brand media buyers up.

If you are a media buyer and want to see what new media can deliver for you, I would be happy to put together a media plan for one, or all of our 6000 shows that will make you a hero at the office!

New Media Boot Camp!

I am in the planning stages of having a New Media Boot Camp, where content creators would get 12-16 hours of training on everything new media. The event will be held live over a two day period. This will be a pay to attend event. If you are interested in attending this two day course drop me a line at geeknews@gmail.com

GNC-2010-08-02 #598 Additional Stream on Justin.TV

Yes you heard me correctly 100 Terabytes if you think that is crazy wait till we ad some more devices to the mix, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would move that much video traffic in a month. Tonight, I introduce a second stream, we are on both Ustream.tv and Justin.TV see links below, will work the bugs out over next few shows.

Very Special GoDaddy Promo Code Tonight for new customers only $1.99 .com use the code “GEEK199” Short time offer folks!

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Sponsor: Save money at GoDaddy using my Promo Codes significant Cash Savings.
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Insider / Ohana Links:
Future Fuel: Using food crop residues (as opposed to food).
Great review of an app that streams video to iPhones/iPads
Google Apps Implementation in LA.

The Geek’s Show Links:
Abuse of New Media Creators!
Kindle with Microphone?
Overpaying for iPad Data Plans!
FaceTime over 3G.
Sensors to correct blurred Images.
100 Million dollar Cyber Army.
Heat Water with Water.
Are you a woodworker?
Office 2011 for Mac Pricing.
Facebook doubles Data Center Size.
Samsung Captivate.
Where do you spend your time online?
Android Overtakes iPhone Sales!
Clearwire race to 4G
IE regains ground!
Should we Green Card the Brightest?
Time-Warner Wideband Blasted.
Ustream Turns over User Data.
Wired and the Web is Dead?
Data Collection on you and I.
Botnet has treasure trove!
RFID Sniffing.
Is the Rover Spirit Finished?
NASA cash on Hold!
NYC Subway Cell Covergae soon!
Verizon Lobbyist Expenditures.
LHC to re-write Science.
Trillian 5 Beta.
Google Maps to catch Permit Cheats!
Fridge Dock for your iPad.
Get Videos at your Local Library.
Solar Tsunami Today!
200 Billion on counterfeit Goods?
Go To Jail #1
Needs to go to Jail #2
Is your Browser HTML5 Ready?
Rock, Paper, Scissors.
No E-Book Allowed.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

Are new media creators being used?

Two weeks ago I was contacted by a major marketing firm representing a major Fortune 500.  The pitch was pretty good, they wanted me and a crew of my choosing to come to Palm Springs and cover an event for their client,  a large number of their top partners would be their for three days of training. The basis of the assignment was that I would live stream the event to a site that would be behind a corporate firewall.  They also wanted me to interview and post produce 30 interviews from partner companies at the event. They made it clear that  I would have to submit those interviews to the company within 5 days of the closing of the event for placement behind their corporate firewall, and that I “would not” be able to use them on my site.

I submitted them a very fair proposal for a three people crew that contained expenses for Travel (coach), Hotel, Perdiem, Equipment shipping and a reasonable coverage and post production fee. The grand total of the proposal came in just under $25,000. All told there would be about two weeks of work on this project with post editing of interviews and the 24hrs of show coverage.

The response I got back from the company, was that they would be willing to pay for Travel, Hotel, Perdiem and shipping but not my fee to cover the event or post production costs. When I responded that this was unacceptable,  they were quite incredulous in saying that their would be 5 interviews I would be able to publish publicly, that should be worth the production cost, salaries and other expenses to cover the event.

I am shocked they would ask me to fly three people to palm springs and stay at a  5 star hotel per their request. Where we would be on location for 5 days to cover a three day event, ship in $40,000 worth of equipment. Produce 24 hours of live content,  plus do 30 interviews that would require a week of post event production time essentially for travel expenses?  I don’t know what you thinking but I will say this, they must have been smoking crack to think anyone would do this for expenses. If they had contacted a true production company, their cost to do what I proposed to do would have been a 100k with 10 people on the ground.

I am refraining in mentioning the company holding the event,  and representing marketing company in this piece, I told them that I would be posting an article pertaining to the discussions that broke down last week, and their legal department immediately threatened me with a lawsuit if I named them. That is the last thing I need, and want to warn other content creators to be careful to not be taken advantage of by companies looking to scam you into what they promote as a great deal for your time.

We could have really hit a home run for them in the production of this event, as I know the space and the players. But I refuse to be play along with this charade, like this is some great deal for my company, if the company was a sponsor of my show or something else maybe I would have considered it differently, but they want something for virtually nothing at my expense and time

If I had exclusive rights to the content  to post as I see fit and stream the event live, then I could have weighed this differently as well. The insinuation that was made that was because we are new media the trade of services for access was an acceptable trade off. I disagree and as a business person am in business to stay in business not do charity work.

So the question needing asked are companies now trying to take advantage of small companies like mine because they perceive we can be taken advantage of because we are new media?

ProMed Network Programs Available on Roku

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) July 29, 2010

ProMed Network shows are now available and easily accessible on the over-the-top box Roku, helping consumers and health care professionals find the latest and most comprehensive medical information directly on their televisions.

ProMed is a digital media destination on which medical and health programming producers share their shows with other medical professionals, students in the health care fields and members of the public interested in health-related programming. With Roku, ProMed enables health and wellness audiences to broaden their consumption options and content owners and publishers to reach a large and growing audience of digital media consumers.

“The members of the ProMed Network are very excited to expand our reach to the Roku platform,” said Jamie Davis, ProMed general manager. “We believe the future of web programming is in the living rooms and family entertainment areas of our viewers. ProMed plans to be there to share our knowledge with the world.”

ProMed was launched with 11 programs nearly two years ago and has expanded to 30 programs. Several other shows are expected to be added throughout the next few months. Topics include nursing, emergency medicine, primary care, pediatrics, psychology, neurology and disease and disaster awareness. Each show listed in the community is either produced by a medical professional or has been determined to represent peer reviewed or medically relevant information.

“Our producers are among the most popular shows in their categories in directories such as iTunes and we often have nine or 10 shows in the top 20 medical programs listed,” Davis said. “Clearly our listeners and viewers continue to come back for more. The programs on the network really do represent the best of the best.”

ProMed, powered by the RawVoice Generator platform, joins the Tech Podcasts Network and Blubrry podcast communities in providing content creators the ability to be seen and heard on television. The digital media communities are properties of RawVoice, a base for media sharing, discovery, publishing, hosting, measurement and monetization for a vast group of content creators and networks.

RawVoice delivers mass content through multiple platforms; the RawVoice media statistics system offers unsurpassed insights into user consumption: tracking audiences, listener-base demographics and geographical data with worldwide mapping – all delivered via web-based interfaces, custom reports and daily e-mail summaries.

Contact Davis at press@promednetwork.com.

About RawVoice Inc.:
RawVoice offers new media producers an easy, efficient means to get media online and measure audience behavior. The RawVoice Generator is a configurable, customizable, user-friendly media platform that combines the power of podcasting and new media with social networking. The RawVoice Generator lets you push content to portable and home media devices, such as iPhones, Roku and Boxee. RawVoice’s Integrated New Media Statistics analyzes downloadable and streaming media. It’s easy to use, powerful and flexible.

Brands:
RawVoice Generator, RawVoice Media Statistics, PowerPress Podcast Plugin, TechPodcasts.com, Blubrry.com, TravelCastNetwork.com, ProMedNetwork.com, Podcasternews.com

Popbox Initial Reaction

You all know my excitement for Over the Top TV due to our overwhelming success so far with our Roku channels, heck thousands of you are watching my show on the Roku every day. Since January we have known the Popbox was coming, and my team at RawVoice really wanted to have channels ready for the device. Sadly we did not get invited to their developers program until just recently, even after personal chats with the Popbox folks at both CES and SXSW. I was told at SXSW that the device would have a lot of premium, high value content on it, and that is how they were going to set themselves apart from the competition.

Yesterday when I received the Popbox that I purchased on Amazon I was surprised to find that the unit did not come with WiFi, and that they had a second model available that had a WiFi Dongle for an extra $20.00. My advice to Popbox kill the wired only model no one wants to run cables. So today after stringing a network cables to get it hooked to the network on my big screen here are my thoughts about 60 minutes into playing with it.

First shocker only 10 channels, plus no Netflix that was promoted back in January? Our competitor in the space Mediafly was not in the channel list either which we fully expected so I am not sure what the deal is with that. Does that indicate that Popbox does not want any user generated content on the device? Time will tell. While I understand they are promoting this box as a media center of sorts to play your pictures and your personal media. They could have had at least four more channels from us if they would have gotten us into their developer program.

When I loaded the Channel from Revision Three, the videos loaded pretty fast resulting in a pretty good experience, the one thing I did notice is that the menu system required me to do a lot of clicking to change channels and get to content. You have to exit each channel,  then load the next, it is not easy to quickly navigate the menu system.I am sure this is a limitation of the software running the device.

I loaded the YouTube application, went to my show channel, clicked on my latest show and guess what it never played. I played some other YouTube videos, and they are simply slow to start,  it appears to me that they are not using the flash media, but instead are using the physical media file. Probably the reason my show did not load is that the file I send to YouTube is over 900 megs.

Other videos in other channels loaded and played ok, the video quality is pretty good. I am sure that the Popbox folks will face the same challenges that the Roku folks did, but the Roku now has tons of content/channels. If the barrier to entry on channel development costs to be in the Popbox are as high as they are to be in the Roku then I am gonna have to really weigh my options on whether we develop for this device or not in lieu of the Vudu etc.

Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, they are going to have to get a lot more channels in the device in a hurry. Google TV is coming and in order to compete they are going to have to get a lot of content in their that makes it worthwhile for folks to purchase.

New Media v. Old Media

How social media points the way forward for journalism. It’s a real example of how traditional media are becoming social media-aware and are using Facebook, Twitter and their ilk to get the news stories out faster and with more information.

However, what really registered with me is at the very end of the article.

There is a word of caution that goes with trusting what we read on this great “word of mouth” network.  Recent rumour mill stories on Facebook on the private lives of footballers ended up in the press and were proven to be totally wrong. So while this new technology can speed up the newsgathering process, journalists will need to make sure they do what they have always done – double check the facts.

I have real concerns about the loss of the old news media.  Obviously there’s no single cause but the rise of new media, the Internet “no cost” expectation and the “now” culture are all taking the toll.    But what will be the cost to our society when we no longer have professional journalists?

What will happen to investigative journalism?  What will happen when hysterical but unfounded rumours sweep across the social networks?  How will politicians be held to account when there is no-one to report on their mistakes?  How much more easy will it be to cover stuff up?

I can’t think of a single other instance where it’s become acceptable for amateurs to take over the role of professionals.  Would you want an amateur doctor to treat you?  An amateur engineer to design a bridge?  An amateur firefighter to attend an emergency?  No, I want these people to study for years to become competent at what they do.  Why should journalism be any different?  Just because you can string a sentence together, doesn’t make you a journalist.

Now, you may think that it’s a bit rich coming from a blogger for a major new media site but to tie this back to the original news story, I think it genuinely points the way ahead.  We have to get away from old media v. new media, it has to be co-opetition not competition, symbiotic not parasitic, and we have to find a way to reward news organisations and professional journalists to keep doing what they’re doing.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know is that it will be social disaster if we lose professional journalists because we were too cheap to buy a newspaper.