Justin.tv: Free Streaming for Live Video Broadcasts

Photo © Justin.tv

As the web has progressed, video has become a huge part of it. YouTube has already grown enormous as a video sharing platform, but there’s another called Justin.tv, which allows users to stream live video for anyone to enjoy.

Justin.tv Live Video Streaming

Justin.tv was created to help users live stream events, parties, presentations, monologues or anything else, to anyone in the world in over 250 countries.

Viewers can actually use a chatroom on the side of the video to chat and interact in real-time with the video streamer and with other users.

The site sees about one new video start streaming each and every second, with users watching over 300 videos every month.

Why Use Justin.tv?

The platform is great for communicating a message to a wide audience, especially when that audience is spread out across lots of different locations. You can use it to motivate others to take some form of action or pass on a message, encourage people to connect with you on Twitter or other social networks and tell people about a product they should purchase or a cause in which donations are needed.

Viewers of Justin.tv

First, users should know that while Justin.tv is free for everyone, viewers that use the platform often for watching videos have the option to sign up for a Pro account. A Pro account allows viewers to enjoy videos from all channels without advertisements.

To view videos, all you need is a good Internet connection and any Internet browser that’s up to date. Justin.tv works in the browser--there is currently no option to download it as a desktop application. The latest version of Adobe Flash Player also must be installed on your computer as well.

Broadcasters of Justin.tv

Users who wish to broadcast video on Justin.tv should know that signing up for a Pro account won’t do anything to avoid advertisements showing up on their channels. Instead, there is a Premium broadcasting page that offers broadcasters all kinds of storage, branding and other solutions.

Like viewer users, to be a broadcaster you only need an Internet connection, an up-to-date browser and of course a working webcam to show your video. You need to sign up for a free account to get started, which only requires a few personal details and a valid email address. Once you have an account set up, you can press the big red “Go Live!” button on the top right corner. The Broadcaster Wizard will guide you through the process of getting your video set up.

Tips for Ensuring High Quality Video

If you’re a broadcaster, there are a few things you should to do make sure that the streaming experience is a good one for your viewers.

Ideal Internet connection: Justin.tv recommends a broadband connection, although users can still broadcast video with as little as 100kbps of upload bandwidth. But the better connection you have, the better the video will stream.

Camera: You can use almost any camera to stream video on Justin.tv, including any USB webcam and several USB/Firewire camcorders.

Obviously, more expensive and more advanced cameras will probably give you better results.

Bandwidth: To avoid choppy streaming, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough bandwidth to match the settings you selected for your video. You can lower the quality setting or video bitrate to make the video stream more smoothly.

Lighting: Try playing around the lighting of your video setting. Bad lighting can make the picture look dark, discolored or grainy.

Other Software: If you’re serious about video streaming and plan on using more than one camera, transitions, logo additions, or switching from camera to desktop, Justin’tv recommends investing in software like Wirecast or Xplit.

Justin.tv Mobile Apps

Last but not least, anyone can enjoy watching videos from Justin.tv by downloading the app for iPhone or the app for iPad. At this time, it doesn’t look like there’s any app option for Android users.