Alastair Stewart, Journalist - Day 7 - IBM Sta...
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Since last Wednesday we have been livestreaming the IBM Summit at Start from Lancaster House in London. This is an event that is focused on sustainability and business.

Livestreaming can be a fickle thing at the best of times but with what seems like ancient plumbing in this grand old house we have had more than our fair share of problems. Starting on day one we lost the entire internet feed 20 minutes before we were due to go live. Spent 2 hours on the phone the BT and finally got it resolved for the rest of the day.

Following day was surprisingly no problem, but we did have issues with juddering picture since. This has been tracked to the Livestream servers themselves when the IBMUK channel stopped working and we switched on Saturday to another.

Livestream really need to invest in more servers globally. That is about the crux of the issue. While they provide a great service if you happen to be in the USA, back here in the UK the service can be at risk at high traffic times. Channels that broadcast frequently don’t seem to have this problem so much as they get the priority it seems on the server. But when we run one off events like  this we get hit sometimes.

I had a similar experience on the same channel with the opening of the Manchester Lab earlier in 2010. Halfway through it just stopped. But on a much larger event in July when we launched the zEnterprise we had an incredible feed with over 800 viewers, no hiccups. We were streaming that though from the heart of New York.

Overall, Livestream is a great service but it needs to put up the service a notch, especially as we pay for our channels. It’s not like we are using a free web tool. Compared to other services Livestream is I think better than many alternatives, especially when it comes to functionality, however, competitors will catch up.

We have 3 more days from Lancaster House and we are all enjoying it very much, despite the set-backs, which we are learning from.

Find out more about IBM Summit at Start and follow us on Twitter @ibm_start.

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