FAQ - Live Streaming

This FAQ is about delivery of live streams and the use of Clevercast Player. See the FAQ overview if you have questions about other topics.

General Questions

Do all live streams work on mobile?

Yes. Clevercast Player works on every modern device and browser. The embedded player will show all available closed captions and audio languages through a dropdown menu, also on iOS and Android devices.

Clevercast does real time server-side transcoding of your broadcast into multiple video resolutions which are all available to the player. A typical adaptive set is 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p and 240p. For each viewer, Clevercast Player will automatically choose the best possible resolution and switch to a different one if necessary (depending on screen size, bandwidth, GPU, CPU).

Do you have worldwide coverage? How many viewers can watch a live stream ?

Clevercast uses global CDNs (currently Akamai) for live stream delivery, so viewers anywhere in the world will receive the stream from a local server. The number of viewers is almost unlimited. But if you expect more than 100.000 simultaneous viewers, we would appreciate a heads up.

What about China?

Only companies located in China and having a specific Chinese business license are allowed to use edge servers in mainland China. This also applies to global CDNs that do worldwide delivery. Since we’re not a Chinese company, we don’t have such a license.

But the global CDNs we use for stream delivery have other edge servers which are geographically sufficiently close (eg. Hongkong) for HD video streaming to viewers in mainland China. In practice, our live streams have good reception in China (extensively tested by several of our customers). But since the Chinese government requires all traffic to pass through their Great Firewall – over which they have full control – there is no way to guarantee this with complete certainty.

Can I limit the accessibility of the live stream?

You can create white- and blacklists for countries, domains and IP addresses by creating viewing profiles. Clevercast Player will check these before showing the live stream.

The player does not limit the number of viewers. If you need this, you can use our webinar solution where the player is hosted on a (branded) webinar page. This supports viewer registration and invitation and can limit the number of simultaneous viewers.

How many languages (audio translations and closed captions) are possible per live stream?

The number of languages is unlimited if you use Translate@Home. Otherwise, you are limited by your SRT (max 16) or RTMP (max 7) encoder. Your plan determines how many languages can be used in your account.

Can I have a fully redundant live stream?

Yes. Clevercast has a main and backup ingest server, to which you can broadcast at the same time. If the main broadcast or live stream delivery is interrupted, Clevercast Player automatically detects this and automatically start using the backup stream.

This works for all live streams. For T@H however, it does require interpreters to switch from the main language room to the backup language room (only the video and floor audio will failover automatically).

What is the latency of a live stream?

By default, we use HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) with segments of 6 seconds. Due to player buffering this will result in a minimal latency of 18 seconds, but this may be higher on some connections and devices (with a maximum of 2 minutes on iOS devices).

We can configure your account to use smaller HLS segments, in order to have a latency of 10-12 seconds. Note: this also results in the player doing less buffering, which may cause disruptions for viewers with a slow internet connection.

Can viewers watch the live stream on other platforms?

Some platforms allow a third-party player to be embedded (eg. Swapcard, Docedo, Slido, Hubilo, Prezi …). In that case, it suffices to copy the direct link or embed code to the platform for Clevercast player to show up.

Single language streams can be simulcasted via RTMP to other platforms. For multilingual live streams, Clevercast lets you simulcast a combination of the video stream and a selected translation to single-language platforms via RTMP (eg. to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter).

Clevercast Player

Can I customize the look and feel of my embedded player?

Yes. You can create your own branded player profile (via the Media -> Players menu) and select this as the player for your event. You can also use our player API.

Is it possible to enable autoplay for all browsers?

Yes, if you set the ‘muted‘ property of the player profile, so the stream starts playing without audio. See this guide for more info.

Can I hide the pause button in the live player?

The pause button is hidden by default in the ‘Live player‘, which is the default player used for live streaming (except in older accounts, where you can change the default player yourself). You can also hide it in other player profiles.

Note that iOS devices use their own native player when going fullscreen. So viewers on iOS will still see a pause button, unless you force the use of Clevercast player on iOS. To do this, set ‘Force use of Clevercast player controls on iOS’ to “Yes” in the player profile. In that case, the player will do a ‘fake’ fullscreen on iOS: the fullscreen button will enlarge the player canvas as much as possible while still staying in the browser.

Is it possible to display the player with an audio language other than the default?

You can embed the player with a default language of your choice, by adding the ‘audio_default’ option to the embed code with an ISO 639-1 code (eg ‘en’ for English). When someone opens the player for the first time, this language will be automatically selected. Note: when the player is opened the next time, it will remember the viewer’s selection.

For example, the following embed code will cause new viewers to see the player with the English translation automatically selected:

<iframe style="border: 0;" src="https://player.clevercast.com?account_id=XXXXX&amp;event_id=XXXXX&amp;audio_default=en" width="1920" height="1080" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

It is also possible to use ‘audio_default=browser’ instead of an ISO 639-1 code.  In that case, the player will auto-select the browser language if this is one of the translations (otherwise it falls back to the default language). Or you can use our player API to change the language selection dynamically.

Do you have statistics?

Yes, we have both realtime and post-event statistics. They include standard data like number of viewers, concurrent viewers over time, location of viewers, used devices, referrers… but all data refer to the live stream as a whole. There are no per-language statistics.

Do you support Google analytics?

Not out of the box. But you can use the Javascript Player API to handle events and send requests to Google Analytics yourself.

Can I use my own player?

Clevercast uses the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol. If your player supports this, it should be possible. But by doing this, you will loose all integrated features of Clevercast player like failover, status switching, countdown timer, multilingual menus…

Please let us know if you intend to use your own player. Our basic support does not include this.

Can Clevercast also host the page on which the video is embedded ?

Yes, you can use our Webinar solution if you don’t want to host the video on your own site. In that case, you can limit the number of viewers by requiring them to register or by inviting them.

Other questions?

FAQ Overview