Recently, NewBlue launched: NewBlue Stream, a new product designed for live streaming. Their website says: “Our philosophy with NewBlue Stream is simple – make it as easy as possible to produce live broadcasts, give you tools to make them engaging and interactive, and do it in one elegant solution that’s priced right. The result is a lightweight streaming and broadcast solution paired with dynamic, data-driven graphics that you won’t find anywhere else.”
To learn more, I contacted Todor Fay, CEO of NewBlue, to learn more. Here’s our email exchange. (I did not edit Mr. Fay’s comments for content, but did change the formatting.)
Larry: What is NewBlue Stream?
Todor: NewBlue Stream is a downloadable software program that lets anyone easily reach, engage, and build audiences through live video with smart, easy to use title graphics.
And that’s the key thing, those titles. Think of high-quality animated broadcast titles, such as
We found that doing this required:
That second part was key. And indeed, that’s where we ended up doing a lot of work as we were building the Titler Live system. We learned that data is either prepared ahead of time or coming from live sources. We built a rich system of intelligent “controllers” that are actually little web pages embedded in Titler Live. These apps connect into the services, documents, even hardware, from Facebook Polling to Google Sheets. They intelligently parse the information and drive the graphics.
So NewBlue Stream comes with all these great ways to build an engaging, responsive visual production, integrated with elegant yet simple camera switching and streaming.
Larry: Why did you create it; what problems did you see that you needed to solve?
Todor: We saw two problems in the streaming solutions space that led to the development of NewBlue Stream.
First, for a lot of people who have important goals with live video but who are not necessarily technical, mastering the additional tech to cobble it together with the encoder becomes a weird barrier to entry.
NewBlue Stream was built specifically to address this, allowing everyday people to quickly and easily reach their audiences with highly polished live productions.
The second issue we saw was the lack of a system that was purpose-built for engagement. This has become especially important in the age of social distancing, when people with no prior experience in live streaming are being called upon to become engaging, interactive visual content creators.
Larry: There are a LOT of other streaming products out there, from NewTek to Telestream Wirecast. Why should we consider using Stream?
Todor: That’s a really important question. We’re different. Think of Stream as a live video engagement platform, not another streaming app. It gets back to the focus of our Titler Live product line: Professional communicators (i.e. the Broadcast industry) spent half a century perfecting the visual means to communicate best, and now everybody else can have access to those techniques.
With NewBlue Stream, we integrate this with easy to use switching and streaming, for one comprehensive, focused experience.
Let me be clear about this: Stream is not meant to compete with the excellent products you’ve mentioned from Telestream and NewTek, with their sophisticated feature sets, switching power, and more. (Add to that list Broadcast Pix, Epiphan, Roland, Blackmagic, Data Video, vMix, and a few others – all great in their own way, each with unique benefits.) Once you are at that level, you should be using one of those, and guess what? That’s exactly where our Titler Live product line comes in – we work really well with all of them.
If your focus is on what we bring to the table, and that is powerful visual tools to create a more engaging, informative communication, then Stream is a great place to start.
As I said earlier, NewBlue Stream (and then Titler Live) users will soon have something very important that is truly unique – the ability to fully edit all the graphics in a previously recorded stream in the non-linear editor of their choice. It truly bridges live and post-production in a way that will save time and money. As we bring that capability to our Titler Live products, we intend to enable this same feature in conjunction with most of those above that offer their own ISO recording.
Larry: NewBlue gained its name by creating effects and, more recently, titling with Titler Pro. Is streaming a new direction for the company?
Todor: You are right; it starts with FX and then Titler Pro, where we focused on creating high-quality, cross-platform graphics and titling for post-production. Meanwhile, as live streaming started to grow there was an equivalent need. This was brought to us by customers and companies that were pivotal in the democratization of live streaming (Wirecast and NewTek), asking if we could bring our titling to live video production. Since the introduction of Titler Live in 2014, we’ve grown to become an important part of the live streaming and broadcast markets, giving people the ability to truly communicate with the tools and methodologies that high-end broadcasters use – but with the ease of use and affordability expected of modern software.
NewBlue Stream is not a new direction, but a natural progression of our mission to give people the tools they need to communicate.
As our Titler Live system became increasingly effective for customers with sophisticated systems and complex needs, we saw another opportunity in the market; other customers newer to broadcasting or streaming. For them, the complexity of wrapping Titler Live with the full system, connecting up a camera or two and a streamer was a barrier. You would think this would be simple, but it’s not. In response to these requests, we added video capture and streaming components to our Titler Live core to give the user one focused, integrated experience. With that, the concept that would become NewBlue Stream was born.
Taking on the live video and audio components also opened up the opportunity to finally bring to market something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. As you know, we provide many components, like transitions, chroma key, and of course, titling, that are very useful for editors, but we recognized these would be great to use in live production.
Combine these with the ability to manage audio and video ISO recording in the broadcast, and suddenly we have everything we need to do a complete Live to Post workflow. That means everything that goes into a broadcast can be edited non-destructively afterward. Awkward pause? Cut it out. Audio level on Camera 2 too low? Raise it. Skin touch up missed a blemish? Adjust it. Name of speaker misspelled? Fix it.
Getting back to your question… as you pointed out, we started with effects and titles, and so now with NewBlue Stream we come full circle. Now we can use those effects and titles in both live and post-production and tie the two worlds together with our live-to-post workflow – which is truly a first.
Larry: What operating systems and hardware do we need for NewBlue Stream?
Todor: NewBlue Stream is available for both Windows and Mac, and will run on most modern laptops or desktop computers.
Larry: Is this designed for solo presenters or fitting into a larger video production system (i.e. connectivity)?
Todor: We feel it does a great job for solo presenters and small teams that want a turn-key system they can easily take anywhere. We see those who are putting together larger systems as a different type of customer, and we have different products for them that also do a great job.
Larry: There are three pieces to a live stream: creating the content, converting it into a digital stream for the web, the distribution network to bring it to viewers. Where does Stream fit in?
Todor: NewBlue Stream handles the first two parts, creation and conversion of the content. For the third part, distribution, NewBlue Stream outputs to a number of popular destinations, including Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, Microsoft Stream, SwitchBoard Live, or any RTMP endpoint.
Larry: How is Stream priced?
Todor: We offer NewBlue Stream as a monthly or yearly subscription: $19.99 USD / month or $168 USD / year. A free 14-day trial lets anyone get introduced, no credit card required.
We chose a subscription model based on the success we’ve had with our post-production suite subscription, TotalFX 360. What’s nice about it is that subscribers continually get new updates and features without having to upgrade. We see that they like that.
Larry: What advice do you have for producers who are new to streaming to have a successful presentation?
Larry: As a wrap-up, write a one paragraph commercial explaining why we should consider NewBlue Stream?
Todor: Have big goals with an audience? Tackle them right now with NewBlue Stream, an exciting new tool to reach and engage people through live video.
Click, click, go live today.
Larry: Todor, thank you for your time and comments.
NOTE: All images, except the photo of Todor Fay, courtesy of Pexels.com.
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