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Live Events 2

Introduction

Live events allow:

  • An event to be broadcast as a live stream.

    Note: A live event should not be confused with a live linear channel. A live event allows a single event to be streamed live, while a live linear channel allows continuous live streaming.

  • Testing to take place prior to the start of the live event.
  • Complete control over the audio/video feed source. In other words, the operator controls when and which Live Slicer will slice content, the timing and duration of ad breaks, and when slate should be inserted into the stream.

Key information:

  • A live event must have a starting and ending point.
  • Once the live event is over, it will be made available as on-demand content. The resulting asset created in the CMS library will exclude slate, but it will contain ad breaks.
  • Security (i.e., a token requirement for playback) may be enforced on a live event.
  • The source of a live event may consist of multiple Live Slicers. This type of setup allows the manual failover to a backup Live Slicer when the live feed from the current Live Slicer is unavailable or suboptimal.
  • Slate will be displayed under the following conditions:
    • Prior to the start of the live event.
    • Upon the completion of the live event.
    • During an ad break when ad content is missing.
    • Outside of an ad break when the Live Slicer is not producing content.

    Note: Slate may also be manually inserted into the broadcast.

Setting up a Live Slicer

Perform the following steps to prepare the Live Slicer for use with live events:

  1. Verify that the latest version of the Live Slicer is installed.

    Note: View Live Slicer release notes by clicking News from the lower-left hand corner of the CMS.

  2. Verify that the system time on the computer hosting the Live Slicer is accurate.

    Note: The Live Slicer Dashboard uses UTC time to schedule certain commands to the Live Slicer. Therefore, inaccurate system time on the computer hosting the Live Slicer may lead to synchronization issues. For example, it could prevent the Live Slicer from ending an event and thereby cause the Live Slicer to perpetually slice content into an orphaned live event. Additionally, it may prevent on-demand content from being generated for the live event.

  3. Define the following settings in the Live Slicer configuration file (i.e., /etc/uplynk.conf):
    Live Slicer ConfigurationDescription
    api_port: 65009Verify that the Live Slicer has been configured to listen for API requests on a specific port.

    Note: This sample configuration configures the Live Slicer to listen on port 65009. However, this setting may be configured to any available port.

    preview: onEnables the live preview capability within the Live Events Dashboard.
    live_preview_max_viewers: 2Limits the number of simultaneous viewers of a live preview.

    Note: Each instance of a live preview consumes resources on the computer hosting the Live Slicer. This setting is designed to prevent performance issues by capping the number of simultaneous connections.

  4. Recommended: Add SSL support to the Live Slicer to allow it to communicate with the Live Events Dashboard over HTTPS.

    Warning: If support for SSL is not added to a Live Slicer, then the Live Events Dashboard will contain a mixture of HTTP and HTTPS content. Browsers consider this type of setup to be insecure and therefore will block HTTP traffic on that page. This will prevent the CMS from communicating with the Live Slicer. Most browsers allow an operator to accept this potential security threat by clicking on a warning icon and then configuring the browser to allow HTTP content to load.

SSL Setup

The Live Slicer may communicate with the Live Events Dashboard over SSL. The use of SSL secures all transferred data by encrypting it. Set up SSL support by automatically or manually setting up a SSL certificate.

Automatic SSL Certificate Setup

A SSL certificate may be automatically generated by the CMS, downloaded, and then installed on the computer hosting the Live Slicer by performing the following steps:

  1. Verify that the Live Slicer is hosted on a computer with a public IP address.
  2. Perform the following updates within the Live Slicer configuration file (i.e., /etc/uplynk.conf) and then save your changes:
    • Set the ssl_port setting to the desired port (e.g., ssl_port: 65010).
    • If present, remove the ssl_cert and the manual_ip settings.
  3. Verify that your firewall is configured to allow traffic on the port defined by the ssl_port setting.
  4. Restart the Live Slicer.

Manual SSL Certificate Setup

Configure the Live Slicer to communicate over HTTPS by generating and installing a SSL certificate on the computer hosting it.

  1. Register a domain for each desired Live Slicer via a domain registrar (e.g., Dyn, Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Freenom).

    Tip: The recommended setup for multiple Live Slicers is to use subdomains (e.g., ls1.mydomain.com, ls2.mydomain.com, ls3.mydomain.com, etc.). These subdomains may then be secured via a single wildcard SSL certificate.

  2. Perform either of the following steps:
    • Order a SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority (e.g., DigiCert, GoDaddy, or Let's Encrypt).
    • Generate a self-signed SSL certificate.

      Self-Signed SSL Certificate: This type of setup requires configuring each browser that connects to the Live Events Dashboard to trust this SSL certificate.

  3. Store the SSL certificate on the computer hosting the Live Slicer.
  4. Define the following settings in the Live Slicer configuration file (i.e., /etc/uplynk.conf):
    Live Slicer ConfigurationDescription
    ssl_port: 65010Define the port through which the Live Slicer will send and receive API traffic using SSL.

    Note: This sample configuration configures the Live Slicer to use port 65010 for SSL traffic. However, this setting may be configured to any available port.

    ssl_cert: /<Path>/<SSLCertificate>.pemIdentify the SSL certificate through which data will be encrypted by replacing the following variables:
    • <Path>: Replace this variable with the path to the directory where the desired SSL certificate resides.
    • <SSLCertificate>: Replace this variable with the SSL certificate's filename.
    manual_ip: <DomainName>Defines the hostname through which SSL traffic will flow.
  5. Self-Signed SSL Certificates Only: Perform the following steps from each web browser that will load the Live Events Dashboard:
    1. Load a Live Slicer's test page.

      Syntax: https://LiveSlicerHostname:SSLPort/testpage

      Sample URL: https://ls1.mydomain.com:65010/testpage

    2. Upon receiving a SSL warning, configure the browser to trust the self-signed SSL certificate.
    3. Verify that the browser can now connect to the Live Events Dashboard.
    4. Repeat this procedure for each desired Live Slicer.

Dynamic IP Addresses

Typically, the computer hosting the Live Slicer should be assigned a static IP address. However, there are certain conditions (e.g., slicing at a conference behind a firewall) under which the computer hosting the Live Slicer may be assigned a dynamic IP address. A workaround for this type of setup is to use ngrok to expose a local server behind a NAT or firewall to the internet. Ngrok will generate a SSL-enabled URL for that server. After which, modify the manual_ip Live Slicer configuration setting to point to this URL.

Setting up a Live Event Configuration

A live event configuration must be created before the live event may be broadcasted. At its core, setting up a live event configuration consists of assigning it a name and associating it with Live Slicers. Additionally, you may schedule it to automatically start/end, require a token for playback, and assign it an external ID through which a playback URL may be generated.

Note: Appropriate default live event configurations may be defined for slate, content expiration, the ability to resume a live event, etc. from the Slate and Live Events pages located under the tab.

Set up a live event by performing the following steps:

  1. From the LIVE EVENTS tab in the CMS, click + Create Event.
  2. In the Event Name option, assign a unique name to the live event.
  3. Click Create & Edit.
  4. Optional. The following actions may be performed from the Details tab:
    • Schedule the Live Event: Assign the desired start and stop date/time through the Scheduled Start Time and the Scheduled Stop Time options. Configure the live event to automatically run according to this schedule by setting the Auto Start/Stop option to "Yes."
    • Define an External ID: Assign a unique ID to the live event through the External ID option. This external ID may be used to generate a playback URL.
  5. Optional. From the Config tab, define live event settings that determine how it will behave (e.g., assign an operator, determine the post-event playback experience for new viewers, determine whether a token will be required for playback, set up slate, and how long content generated from the live event will be kept).
  6. From the Slicers tab, type the name of the desired Live Slicer in the Slicer ID option and then click + Add.

    Key information:

    • The specified name must match the value defined in the slicerID setting of the Live Slicer configuration file.
    • For your convenience, live slicers suggestions will be provided as you type.

      The easiest way to add a Live Slicer to the suggestion list is to click Yes when adding the desired Live Slicer to a live event configuration.

      Manage this suggestion list from the Live Event Slicers section of the Live Events page located under the tab. The Account Slicers list displays a list of all Live Slicers that have ever sliced content to your account, while the Live Event Slicers section defines the set of Live Slicers that will be suggested when setting up a live event configuration.

  7. Optional. From the Metadata tab, define each metadata field that will be associated with the live event by filling out the Key and Value options and then clicking + Add.
  8. The Playback tab contains a playback URL, test Flash/HTML5 players, and HTML embed code. Use this information to test your live event and set up a media player.
  9. Click Save.

Live Event Authorization

A live event may be created, viewed, and operated by either the owner of the CMS account or any authorized user. Authorization may be granted to other users via the following permissions:

  • Read: Allows a user to view detailed information for each live event associated with your account.

    Note: Either the Write or the Assigned permission is required to operate a live event.

  • Write: Allows a user to modify and operate any live event associated with your account.
  • Assigned: Identifies a user as a potential operator for the live events associated with your account. In addition to this permission, authorization must be granted to this user on a per live event basis. After which, the user will be allowed to operate authorized live events via the Live Events Dashboard.

Permissions may be defined on a per user basis from the Account Access Settings page. This page is accessible by clicking the tab and then clicking Account Access Settings from the side navigation tab.

Authorize a user as an operator by performing the following steps:

  1. Grant the Assigned permission to the desired user from the Account Access Settings page.
    If the operator requires the capability to view or make changes to a live event prior to its start, then grant the Read and Write permissions as well.

    Reminder: Users that have been granted the Write permission may operate any live event and therefore do not require authorization on a per live event basis. Skip the following two steps for this type of user.

  2. From the LIVE EVENTS tab in the CMS, click the desired live event to open it.
  3. Click the Config tab.
  4. From the Event Operator option, select the user identified in step 1.
  5. Click Save.

Content Expiration

A live event may generate the following type of content:

  • Temporary Live Event Assets: The primary and each backup Live Slicer will generate temporary audio/video assets. These assets are stitched together to form the live stream and on-demand content.
  • VOD Asset: An asset that replicates the viewing experience of the live event will be added to the CMS library upon its completion. Live events whose duration is longer than 8 hours will be split into multiple assets.
    Learn more.

Define a default and/or a live event-specific retention period for the above assets.

  • Account-Level Settings: A default content expiration policy may be defined from the Live Events page. This page is accessible by clicking the tab and then clicking Live Events from the side navigation tab. Define the desired content expiration policy through the settings in the Content Expiration section. These settings determine whether the VOD asset and the temporary assets generated from the live event will be automatically deleted once the specified number of hours have elapsed from the completion of the live event.

    Note: A minimum content expiration policy of 150% of the duration of the live event is automatically applied to the temporary assets generated for all live events.

  • Live Event Configuration: Override the default expiration policy for the VOD asset generated for a live event through the VOD Auto Expire Hours option.
    Valid values are:
    • <Blank Value>: The default expiration policy will be honored.
    • 0: The asset generated from the live event will be immediately deleted from the CMS library.
    • <Hours>: The asset generated from the live event will be deleted from the CMS library after the specified number of hours have elapsed.

Setting up Slate

Slate may either be:

  • Automatically Inserted: Slate will be automatically triggered under the following conditions:
    • Pre-Event Slate: Prior to the start of a live event.
    • Post-Event Slate: Directly after the completion of a live event.
    • Ad Slate: During an ad break when ad content is not being received.
    • Missing Content Slate: During a live event when both of the following conditions are true:
      • The Live Slicer is not producing content.
      • The live event is not in an ad break.

    Default pre-event, post-event, and missing content slate may be defined from the Slate page. This default configuration may be overridden by opening the configuration for the desired live event, navigating to the Config tab, and then clicking Change for the desired type of slate. Additionally, a live event's pre-event slate may also be manually set from the Live Events Dashboard prior to the start of the live event.

  • Manually Inserted: The Live Events Dashboard allows slate content to be manually inserted during a live event by selecting the desired asset from within the Live Events Dashboard's Switcher pane. Manually inserted slate is known as mid-event slate.

    A CMS library may be defined for mid-event slate from the Slate page. The assets associated with that library will be available for selection when inserting mid-event slate during a live event.

Set up slate by performing the following steps:

  1. From the ALL CONTENT tab, organize assets that will serve as slate content into one or more CMS libraries. A different library may be associated with ad, pre-event, mid-event, and post-event slate.
  2. Navigate to the Slate page by clicking the tab and then selecting Slate from the side navigation tab.
  3. Ad Slate: Perform the following steps to set the default asset that will be broadcast as slate during an ad break when ad content is not being received:
    1. Set the Ad Slate Library option to the CMS library that contains assets that may be used as ad slate.
    2. Set the Ad Slate option to the desired asset.
  4. Missing Content Slate: Perform the following steps to set the default asset that will be broadcast as slate when content is not being received and the live event is not in an ad break:
    1. Set the Missing Content Slate Library option to the CMS library that contains assets that may be used as missing content slate.
    2. Set the Missing Content Slate option to the desired asset.
  5. Pre-Event Slate: Perform the following steps to set the default asset that will be broadcast as slate prior to the start of a live event:
    1. Set the Pre Event Slate Library option to the CMS library that contains assets that may be used as pre-event slate.
    2. Set the Pre Event Slate option to the desired asset.

    Reminder: The asset that will serve as pre-event slate may be changed prior to the start of the live event from within the Live Events Dashboard.

  6. Mid-Event Slate: Set the Mid Event Slate Library option to the CMS library that contains assets that may be used as mid-event slate. All assets within the selected library will be available for selection as source content from within the Live Events Dashboard's Switcher pane.
  7. Post-Event Slate: Perform the following steps to set the default asset that will be broadcast as slate after the live event has completed:
    1. Set the Post Event Slate Library option to the CMS library that contains assets that may be used as post-event slate.
    2. Set the Post Event Slate option to the desired asset.
  8. Click Save.

Post-Event Slate Duration

After the end of a live event, post-event slate will automatically play in one of the following modes:

  • Loop indefinitely: Indicates that post-event slate will play continuously on loop.
  • Play through one time: Indicates that the post-event slate asset will only be played a single time.
  • Set time duration in minutes: Indicates that post-event slate will play for the specified number of minutes.

Note: The EXT-X-END tag will be included in the HLS manifest file to indicate the end of post-event slate. It is up to a media player to interpret this tag.
Learn more.

Set one of the above modes under the Post Event Slate Duration section of the Live Events page. Load this page by clicking the tab and then clicking Live Events from the side navigation tab.

Setting up a Media Player

Setting up a media player for use with a live event involves the following steps:

  1. Generate a playback URL using either the live event's ID (i.e., GUID) or external ID.
    • Event ID: An event ID is automatically generated upon creating a live event.

      Tip: Copy a playback URL by navigating to the LIVE EVENTS tab, viewing the desired event, clicking the Playback tab, and then clicking copy from under the HLS URL option.

    • External ID: An external ID may be assigned to a live event upon its creation or modification.
    Syntax for both types of URLs is provided below.
    http://content.uplynk.com/event/<LiveEventID>.m3u8
    http://content.uplynk.com/event/ext/<OwnerID>/<LiveEventExternalID>.m3u8
  2. If the live event configuration requires a token for playback, then create a script that generates an authorization token and includes it in the playback URL.
  3. Point the media player to the live event using the above playback URL.
  4. Distribute the media player to the desired viewers.

Broadcasting a Live Event

If the live event has been scheduled and configured to automatically start/stop, then no additional actions need to be taken. Otherwise, broadcasting a live event consists of the following steps:

Note: Override auto start/stop by turning it off from the live event and then saving your changes. Alternatively, an operator may override auto start/stop by opening the live event in the Live Events Dashboard and then clicking Cancel from the upper-right hand window. After which, the operator should start the following procedure from step 3.

  1. From the LIVE EVENTS tab in the CMS, click the desired live event to open it.
  2. Click Open Dashboard.
  3. Verify that a connection was established to the Live Slicer(s) associated with the live event configuration.

    Important: A live event may be managed over the internet provided that a firewall does not prevent communication between the Live Events Dashboard and the Live Slicer. Otherwise, an operator should load the Live Events Dashboard from within the same network as the Live Slicer.

    Troubleshooting: If a connection to the Live Slicer cannot be established, verify that SSL support has been added to the Live Slicer. Alternatively, the operator should look for a warning icon in the browser's address bar. Click on that icon to accept the potential security risk of loading content via HTTP alongside HTTPS traffic.

  4. Test the live event.

    Note: This step may be skipped by removing the live event testing requirement from the Live Events page.

  5. Monitor the live event to identify its starting point and then start it.
  6. Use the Switcher pane to insert ad breaks and slate content as needed.

    For example, start an ad break by clicking "Ad Break." The Switcher pane will indicate the total duration of the ad break. End the ad break by clicking the "Source" tile. The feed will switch over to the content generated by the Live Slicer selected under the Source pane.

  7. Monitor the live stream to identify the ending point of the live event and then stop it.

Note: It is possible to resume a live event after it has been stopped.
Learn more.

Verifying Live Slicer Connectivity

The Live Events Dashboard indicates a Live Slicer's status using the following indicators:

  • Connected (Green): Indicates that the Live Events Dashboard can communicate with the Live Slicer.
  • Slow Connection (Yellow): Indicates that the Live Events Dashboard is experiencing latency when communicating with the Live Slicer. If multiple Live Slicers have been associated with the live event configuration, consider switching to a "Connected" Live Slicer.
  • Disconnected (Red): Indicates that the Live Events Dashboard cannot communicate with the Live Slicer. If multiple Live Slicers have been associated with the live event configuration, it is strongly recommended to switch to a different one.

Note: This status information is only designed to measure the connectivity between the Live Slicer and the Live Events Dashboard. Monitor Live Slicer health through the Live Slicer Health dashboard.
Learn more.

Troubleshooting: If a connection to the Live Slicer cannot be established, verify that SSL support has been added to the Live Slicer. Alternatively, the operator should look for a warning icon in the browser's address bar. Click on that icon to accept the potential security risk of loading content via HTTP alongside HTTPS traffic.

Testing a Live Event

The Live Events Dashboard contains a test mode that allows an operator to validate source content and replicate the viewing experience prior to the start of the live event.

Note: Determine whether live event testing is mandatory through the Require testing before a live event can be started option which can be found under the Additional Configuration Settings section of the Live Events page. Load this page by clicking the tab and then clicking Live Events from the side navigation tab.

Start this mode by performing the following steps:

  1. Load the live event in the Live Events Dashboard.
  2. Click Enter Event.
  3. Click Start Test.
  4. When prompted to confirm this action, click Start Testing.

Note: Optional. Once testing is complete, click Complete Test twice to exit this mode and to prepare for the start of the live event. Alternatively, an operator may transition directly from testing to the start of the event. This workflow generates a temporary asset that covers the time period leading up to the start of the live event.

This mode allows the following tests to be performed:

  • Under the Switcher pane, click on each thumbnail to verify each of the following audio/video sources:
    • Source: This thumbnail displays a default image associated with the Live Slicer selected under the Source pane. Selecting a different Live Slicer under the Source pane will automatically update this thumbnail to display the feed generated by the newly selected Live Slicer. This allows the live event to be quickly failed over to a different Live Slicer when the current one is experiencing issues.

      Note: It is strongly recommended to only fail over a feed to a backup Live Slicer that is ingesting an identical audio/video feed. This capability should not be used to switch between alternate audio/video feeds.

    • Ad Break: This thumbnail displays the content being ingested from a third-party ad server.
    • Slate: The remaining thumbnails list the set of assets that may serve as mid-event slate.
      Learn how to define slate source content.
  • Replicate a viewer's experience by playing back the stream via the sample media player provided from the Audience View pane. This sample media player can stream the source defined in the Switcher pane using a playback URL with the same query string parameters that will be used by your custom media players during the live event.

    Custom query string parameters for the playback URL leveraged by the Audience View preview may be defined in the URL Params setting. Click Update to apply the new playback URL to the Audience View preview.
    Learn more.

Source View & Audience View

The Source View pane provides a real-time preview of the source selected in the Switcher pane, while the Audience View pane provides an approximation of a viewer's experience.

Key information:

  • The Audience View preview lags behind the live audio/video feed. This delay replicates the viewing experience.
  • The real-time preview provided by the Source View pane requires Live Slicer version 16062200. Additionally, the Live Slicer configuration file (i.e., /etc/uplynk.conf) must be updated to include the following setting: "preview: on."
  • The Source View pane only provides a video preview. Although audio is currently unsupported, audio levels are displayed.
  • The Source View pane contains a slider that controls video quality. Move the slider from left to right to progressively improve the quality of the video preview.
  • It is strongly recommended to keep the video preview at low quality during the live event. This will optimize performance by minimizing the additional bandwidth load on the computer hosting the Live Slicer.

    Tip: If performance issues persist, try turning off the source video preview by clicking < Hide Source View.

Starting and Stopping a Live Event

Broadcast a live event to viewers by starting it. This will cause the following actions to take place:

  • The live stream will switch from pre-event slate to the source that is currently selected in the Switcher pane.
  • The Live Slicer will start slicing to an asset in the CMS library.

Once the live event is over, it will need to be stopped. This will cause the following actions to take place:

  • The live stream will switch from the currently selected source to post-event slate.
  • An on-demand version of the live event will be generated and then added to the CMS library.

    Learn more about on-demand content.

Start and stop a live event by performing the following steps:

  1. Test the live event.
  2. Optional. Once testing has been completed, click Complete Test twice to exit testing mode and to prepare for the start of the live event.
  3. Once the live event is ready to be started, click Start Event. When prompted to confirm, click Start Event.
  4. Once the live event is complete, click End Event twice to switch the stream over to post-event slate content.

Reminder: If multiple Live Slicers have been associated with a live event configuration, then the stream can be quickly failed over by selecting the feed for a different Live Slicer from the Source pane.

Viewing Live Event Details

The following live event information may be viewed at any time after entering the event by clicking the Event Details tab:

  • Pre-event slate

    Reminder: A live event's pre-event slate may be changed from this tab prior to the start of the live event.

  • Metadata associated with the live event configuration
  • Audit log data that tracks major events (e.g., event creation, source switching, event started/ended, etc.). Audited events may be posted to your web server.
    Learn more.

Resuming a Live Event

A live event may be resumed for a short window (i.e., 1 to 5 minutes) after it has been stopped. This capability allows an operator to undo a premature stop event action.

Key Information:

  • The length of this window is determined by the Minutes option which can be found under the Resume Event Buffer section of the Live Events page. Load this page by clicking the tab and then clicking Live Events from the side navigation tab.
  • Make sure that the After Event Buffer option defined under the System Conflict Buffers section meets or exceeds the length of time defined in the Minutes option.
  • If a resume event buffer has been defined, then, upon stopping a live event, the Live Events Dashboard will count down the length of time that an operator has left to resume it.
  • The maximum value for the Minutes option is 5 minutes.
  • Post-processing (e.g., creating on-demand content from a live event) will not start until after this window expires.
  • Additional content sliced after resuming a live event will be included in the VOD asset generated from the live event.

On-Demand Content

Upon the completion of a live event, an asset will be automatically added to the CMS library. This asset is described below.

  • The contents of this asset contains the entire live event feed including markers for ad breaks. However, it will not contain slate inserted into the live event feed.
  • This asset will be named after the live event's description. If the live event has not been assigned a description, then it will be named after the first Live Slicer associated with the live event (e.g., [MySlicer].

Playback

The playback URL associated with a live event may be used to stream it while the live event is in the Live (On Air) state. Once the live event is completed, the live event's VOD Replayable option determines whether that same URL may be leveraged to stream it as on-demand content.

The effects of this parameter on the user experience are described below.

  • Enabled: Post-event slate will be streamed after the live event is over.

    Note: If a specific duration has been defined for post-event slate, then it is mandatory for new and existing viewers.

    The playback experience for new and existing viewers is described below.

    • An existing viewer may refresh the page to view the on-demand version of the live event.
    • New playback requests for the live event will stream it as on-demand content.
  • Disabled: Post-event slate will be streamed after the live event is over.

Long Live Events

The behavior for a live event whose duration is 8 hours or longer will vary as described below.

  • Multiple assets will be added to your CMS library for long live events. These assets will be named according to the following convention:
    <LiveEventName>_<SequentialNumber>

    For example, if three assets were generated for a live event called "Marketing Conference," then they would be named: Marketing Conference_1, Marketing Conference_2, and Marketing Conference_3.

  • On-demand playback of the live event will be through a multi-beam playlist. This playlist references the live event's temporary audio/video assets.

    Note: A media player may not support the playback of content that lasts over 8 hours. Please verify playback for each of your media players.

Manually Generate On-Demand Content

Although on-demand content is automatically generated once a live event is completed, there are certain circumstances under which you may wish to manually generate it. For example, you may wish to address a quality issue that was noticed during the live event. If one or more backup Live Slicers were associated with the live event, then you could generate alternate on-demand content by using any combination of content generated from the Live Slicers associated with the live event.

A temporary asset is generated by each Live Slicer associated with a live event whenever any of the following actions take place:

  • Upon testing a live event.
  • Upon starting a live event.
  • Upon switching to a different Live Slicer.
  • Upon switching back to the Live Slicer from slate.

Note: Switching between the Live Slicer and ad breaks will not interrupt a temporary asset. Although the content of the ad break will be excluded from the temporary asset, markers will track each ad break. Leverage these ad break markers and the Preplay API to insert ads during on-demand playback.

The naming convention for temporary assets will be set to either:

NameDescription
Test Primary

Test Backup

Primary

Backup

Each temporary asset generated from a live event will be assigned one of these names. The label(s) associated with each temporary asset describe it.

Each label is described below:

  • Test: Identifies temporary assets that were generated during the testing phase of the live event. If this label is missing, then the temporary asset was generated during the live event.
  • Primary: Identifies temporary assets that reflect the live event's viewing experience.
  • Backup: Identifies temporary assets that were generated from the content provided by backup Live Slicers. A backup Live Slicer identifies any Live Slicer associated with a live event that did not provide the content that was streamed to live viewers.
<Live Event Name> Identifies the temporary asset that replicates the live viewing experience. A copy of this asset was imported into the CMS library.

Generate highlights and alternate on-demand content by performing the following steps:

  1. From the LIVE EVENTS tab in the CMS, click the desired live event to open it.
  2. Click the Assets tab.
  3. Play back each desired temporary asset by clicking the icon under the Actions column and then selecting Launch Test Player.
  4. Perform one of the following tasks:
    • Generate alternate on-demand content by importing each desired temporary asset into the CMS library. This may be accomplished by clicking the icon under the Actions column and then selecting Save as Asset. Once all of the desired temporary assets have been imported into the CMS library, generate a playback URL that combines all of the imported assets.
    • Create a highlight clip. Launch the Clipping Tool by clicking the icon under the Actions column and then selecting Clip Asset.

Live Event Status Reporting

Major events (e.g., creating, starting, and stopping a live event) are tracked for each live event. These events may be reported to a web server via HTTP POST requests. This allows your web server to log this data and to perform custom actions in response to specific types of events.

The HTTP POST request body will contain the following parameters:

Request ParametersTypeDescription
usernameStringIndicates the e-mail address associated with the user account that triggered the event.
user_idStringIndicates the system-defined ID associated with the user account that triggered the event.
external_idStringIndicates the user-defined ID for the event that took place.
event_idStringIndicates the system-defined ID for the event that took place.
timestampIntegerIndicates the date and time, in Unix time, at which the event took place.
event_descStringIdentifies a live event by its description.
stateStringIndicates the state of the live event at the point in time at which the event took place.
Valid values are:
  • pre: Indicates that the live event had not started.
  • live: Indicates that the live event was in progress.
  • resume: Indicates that the both of the following conditions were true:
    • The live event was ended.
    • The capability to resume a live event via the Live Events Dashboard was available. This capability is controlled by whether a resume event buffer has been defined.
  • post: Indicates that the live event was ended and post-processing (e.g., creating on-demand content from a live event) was initiated.
  • complete: Indicates that the live event was ended and all post-processing tasks were completed.
testing_completeIntegerIndicates the date and time at which live event testing was completed. A null value is reported when live event testing had not been completed at the point in time at which the event took place.
testing_startIntegerIndicates the date and time at which live event testing was started. A null value is reported when live event testing had not been started at the point in time at which the event took place.
eventStringDescribes the event that took place.
Valid values are:
  • Event Created: Tracks when a live event was created.
  • Event Updated: Tracks when a live event was updated.
  • Added Metadata: Tracks when metadata was added to a live event.
  • Added Slicer: Tracks when a Live Slicer was added to a live event.
  • Added Test Player: Tracks when a test player was added to a live event.
  • Switched to <Source>: Tracks when the audio/video feed was switched over to different source content via the Switcher pane. The term "<Source>" identifies the new source (i.e., Live Slicer name, Ad, and the name of the VOD asset that was served as mid-event slate) for the audio/video feed.
  • Started Test: Tracks when an operator started testing a live event.
  • Completed Test: Tracks when an operator completed testing a live event.
  • Event Started: Tracks when an operator started a live event.
  • Event Ended: Tracks when an operator ended a live event.
  • Event Ended: Resume Available: Tracks when an operator ended a live event that could have been resumed.
  • Event Resumed: Tracks when an operator resumed a live event.
  • Event Deleted: Tracks when a live event was deleted. This deletion may have been performed manually or automatically upon its expiration.
  • VOD Available: Tracks when a VOD asset containing the audio/video feed for a completed live event was created.
  • VOD Asset Deleted: Tracks when a VOD asset was manually deleted.
  • VOD Asset Auto-Expired: Tracks when an expired VOD asset was deleted.
  • Auto Event Mode Cancelled: Tracks when a live event's auto start/stop mode was turned off.
  • Auto Event Schedule Cleared: Tracks when a live event's scheduled start/stop time was cleared.
  • Auto Event Slicer Scheduling Error: Tracks when there was an issue scheduling a Live Slicer for a live event that was configured to automatically start.
  • Error Scheduling Slicers For Auto Stop: Tracks when there was an issue scheduling one or more Live Slicer(s) for a live event that was configured to automatically stop.
  • Event VOD over max duration (8 hours): Tracks when a live event's duration exceeded 8 hours and therefore resulted in the creation of multiple VOD assets.

    Reminder: On-demand playback of a long live event requires that your media player(s) support multi-beam playback.

Note: A HTTP POST request will be submitted to your web server for each of the above events.

Post a live event's status information to your web server by performing the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Live Events page by clicking the tab and then clicking Live Events from the side navigation tab.
  2. Under the Event Callback URL section, type the URL to which HTTP POST requests will be submitted.
  3. Click Test to submit a test request to your web server. Verify that your web server received the request.
  4. Click Save.

Conflicting Scheduled Events

The following warning indicators will be triggered when overlapping events on the same Live Slicer are detected:

  • The Live Events page will apply yellow highlighting to each live event that has a scheduling conflict.
  • When viewing a live event configuration that has a scheduling conflict, the Slicers tab will display a warning icon and list all of the live events that conflict with it under the Conflicted Events column. Click on a live event to view and update its schedule.

By default, overlapping events are detected via a live event's expected start/stop time. However, a live event may potentially start early or extend beyond the scheduled stop time. Account for these factors by setting before and/or after event buffers to pad live events.

Note: Before and after event buffers are applied to all live events.

Note: The Live Events Dashboard will only check whether a scheduling conflict will occur for scheduled live events. Before manually starting a live event, verify that it doesn't conflict with scheduled live events. Additionally, verify that the Live Slicer has not been associated with a live channel.

For example, let's assume that following conditions are true:

  • A live event has the following schedule:
    • Expected Start Time: 11/11/2016 at 06:00 PM
    • Expected Stop Time: 11/11/2016 at 08:00 PM
  • The before event buffer has been set to 15 minutes.
  • The after event buffer has been set to 45 minutes.

In this scenario, a warning will be generated if another live event is scheduled on the same Live Slicer that meets either of the following conditions:

  • Expected Start Time: 11/11/2016 before 09:00 PM
  • Expected Stop Time: 11/11/2016 after 05:00 PM

Using the CameraSlicer to Stream a Live Event

The CameraSlicer (Mac only) provides a simplified alternative to the Live Slicer for live event streaming. However, it does not support the following features:

  • The live event must be managed through the CameraSlicer. It cannot be administered through the Live Events Dashboard.
  • A live event operator should not be defined in the live event configuration. The operator for the live event is determined according to the user account used to log in to the CameraSlicer.
  • Live events cannot be scheduled to automatically run when using the CameraSlicer. The Auto Start/Stop option should be set to "No."
  • Only a single slicer ID should be associated with the live event. This ID must be specified when starting up the CameraSlicer.
  • The CameraSlicer does not allow mid-slate to be added to a live event.
  • Most actions that describe the live event, with the exception of "Event Started" and "Event Ended," will not be logged.
  • The CameraSlicer does not support the capability to resume a live event after it has been stopped.
  • Only a single temporary asset will be created for the live event. This temporary asset replicates the live viewing experience. Although the ad break content served during the live event will be excluded from it, it will contain ad break markers.

Install the CameraSlicer by performing the following steps:

  1. From the desired Mac, load the CMS.
  2. Click Download Slicer from the lower-left hand corner of the CMS.
  3. Click Download Slicer version xx.xx.xx.
  4. Extract the compressed file to the desired directory.

To stream a live event using the CameraSlicer

  1. Create a live event by performing the following steps:
    1. From the LIVE EVENTS tab in the CMS, click + Create Event.
    2. In the Event Name option, assign a unique name to the live event.
    3. Click Create & Edit.
    4. From the Slicers tab, type a value to identify the CameraSlicer session. Click + Add.
    5. The Playback tab contains the playback URL to which you should point your media player.
    6. Click Save.
  2. Navigate to the directory where the CameraSlicer was installed and then open the CameraSlicer application.
  3. From the Username/email option, type the user name or email address associated with the user account associated with the live event.
  4. From the Password option, type the password that corresponds to the specified user account.
  5. From the Slicer ID option, assign an ID for this CameraSlicer session. This ID should match the slicer ID assigned to the live event created in step 1.
  6. Click Sign In.
  7. From the 1 Select Event step, select the live event created in step 1.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Select the desired video and audio sources using the Video Source and Audio Source options, respectively.

    If valid inputs have been selected, then a video preview and audio levels will be shown.

  10. Move the slider bar to adjust the streaming quality to the desired bit rate. Make sure that the specified value does not exceed the expected upload bandwidth.

    Note: The specified streaming quality may not be changed during the live event.

  11. Identify the starting point for the live event through the live preview and then click Begin Event.

    Important: If prompted, please allow the CameraSlicer application to accept incoming network connections.

  12. Insert an ad break by performing the following steps:
    1. Under the Ad Break section, assign an estimated ad break duration in minutes and seconds.
    2. Click Begin to start the ad break.
    3. Click End to stop the ad break.
  13. Click Finish Event to end the live event.