92 STREAMING MEDIA July/August 2018
for the duration of the stream. One of the great
features I noticed with Stroom was the ability
to change parameters on-the-fly without stopping the stream. While Stroom doesn’t handle
automatic variable bitrates, it’s irrelevant when
sending a stream to a service like You Tube since
it automatically adapts based on the end user’s
connection. Stroom’s goal is to send the highest
quality stream to whatever service is sending
the final stream to viewers.
Finally, Bernier offered a few things to say
on how Stroom’s system has advantages over
more traditional portable encoding solutions.
“Mobile phones are often the first devices to
commercially implement low-power, miniatur-
ized hardware implementations of cutting-edge
technologies,” he explains. “Because of this, the
Stroom platform will be able to take advantage
of these technologies well before our compet-
itors are able to put out new hardware imple-
menting this technology.”
Bernier then went on to mention three spe-
cific up-and-coming technologies that will sure-
ly be implemented into “cheap” cellular phones
before the video hardware makers get in on the
action: HEVC, AV1, and 5G.
The Stroom platform doesn’t have all of the
f lash and sizzle of beautiful interfaces and savvy
marketing. It doesn’t have to. What the Stroom
system offers is powerful, flexible streaming at
the touch of a button with minimal hardware
requirements. The biggest “hole” I found in the
system initially was the fact that it relied on a
smartphone. It wasn’t the hardware alone I worried about, but something more basic: the battery. Streaming in just 1080p sucked the fully
charged Pixel down to nothing in less than an
hour. For many events, this won’t do.
Fortunately, Bernier had a remedy for this
also. He sent me a USB hub that allows you to
input power from a portable power supply or
wall plug. Adding that into the mix kept the
phone at 100% during the entire stream.
Although Stroom doesn’t have the polish
of similar live-streaming solutions, it comes
through where it counts: reliability, simplicity, and—at 15 cents per minute for the Stroom
Paul Schmutzler ( email@example.com) has been involved
in various aspects of photography, film, and video production,
post-production, and motion graphics for more than 10 years.
He reviews tools of the trade as a freelance tech journalist.
Comments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check
the masthead for other ways to contact us.
Streaming from the
church at 1080p