Professional quality live video streaming, rivaling what was once only available on traditional television, has become one of the biggest trends in the video industry in recent years. With so many large broadcasters, corporate video departments, universities and government agencies getting in on the live streaming action, the strong demand for video accessibility technologies in this area has also developed.
We at EEG have a huge announcement about our improved capabilities to serve this growing market with our popular Falcon encoding product, but to help understand why this is important I want to quickly share the history of our efforts in this area.
Falcon gets its Talons in Live Streaming
In 2015, EEG developed Falcon to serve our customers need for a live stream closed captioning solution. A cloud-based, hardware-free, service that allows the thousands of transcription professionals on the iCap network to deliver captions to live web streams running on a select number of platforms. To this day, Falcon is the only commercial product to allow broadcast-style caption embedding directly into streaming video across multiple commercial video streaming platforms.
For almost two years, Falcon has been seeing steady growth helping video producers put live captions on streams running through partners and platforms like Wowza Streaming Engine, YouTube Live Events, UVault, and VideoLinq.
Until now, the delivery method for these captions has been live chunked HTTP uplink direct to the streaming platform, with each platform individually responsible for integrating endpoints that can receive these caption messages and embed the text data into their output video streams. While this has delivered many high-quality captioned streams -- all too often were hearing from excited customers looking to implement Falcon, only to find that the HTTP caption uplinks were not compatible with a particular streaming platform they had already chosen and standardized on.
We have since responded to this user need with an ambitious new program to upgrade Falcon to ensure compatibility with any video platform, provided it preserves and displays closed captions (which most do). This effort has culminated in April 2017 with the launch of Falcon version 2.0, which now brings the caption embedding piece directly into the Falcon system.
Increased Demand Results in Big Developments for 2017
With the new Falcon upgrade, content providers can now uplink their full stream directly to the Falcon servers on eegcloud.tv, and captions from any iCap captioner (or our new Lexi Automatic Captioning service) will be embedded directly into the video stream. The captioned video stream is then passed directly into the ingest URL for the customer’s video platform of choice, and the captions will ingest into the platform smoothly with no additional setup or integration.
We have run successful user tests with a broad range of commercial streaming platforms and software including Twitch, YouTube, UStream, Wowza, Adobe Media Server, and more.
Even better, low-latency audio and video proxies for the remote captioner are now created directly from the RTMP stream ingested by Falcon automically, with no need for separate software in order to create a separated encrypted proxy feed.
We are hopeful that this development will open the benefits of affordable, high-quality closed captioning to live streaming content producers in a broad range of fields. The consumer demand for closed captioning has always been strong in the live streaming space, and now with Falcon, producers can now deliver a fully captioned, television-quality live streaming experience.