Live Video Streaming - Could a native solution solve the issues with embedded video delay and experience?

Hi CP Community

I recently found this fantastic piece of software and initially was so excited by its potential for our organisation :grinning: however, we’ve run into some issues that sadly are preventing us from comfortably jumping in at the Conference level. It seems that others have the same issues too and it largely hinges on the delivery of a live, real-time video stream experience.

TL;DR - Would it be possible to develop a native live streaming video experience built within CP that enables someone to live stream and experience and include live video or a presenter or host all in the one interface?

Some context, we currently run a live quiz twice a month to a group of paying members. We currently use Switcher Studio and stream directly into a Private Group on Facebook. My host is in a different location to me but SS has a feature to enable a remote guest so we can initiate a real-time call between us. This remote guest is then added to the “switcher panel” (an iPad) which serves as the control room. I then produce the live quiz and can easily switch between the host presenting the quiz and showing our slide graphics of the questions. WE can have either him or the questions or a split-screen of them both. All the members then play along watching on Facebook - be that on mobile, tv, computer etc. They don’t currently have a way of registering their answers via their phones or computers (like they do with CP) rather they just give us what they scored after we go through the answers at the end. There are no prizes currently so all just for fun. It works because we don’t need to be fully interactive with the audience (which I think has been described as “static” in a previous thread). So the host and I essentially produce and broadcast the quiz in our own time bubble and then about 10-15 seconds later the audience is delivered the quiz but the experience is fluid and there are no delays. The only time there are slight delays is if we do read out comments and scores cut then we tend to let them comment, read another round and then go back and read the comments that came in whilst we were reading out questions.

What this doesn’t give us however is a nice slick way of allowing our audience to interact and engage with the quiz by answering using their devices.

Coming across CrowdPurr, I was extremely hopeful that this would provide us with the ultimate solution. In testing though, we bumped into a few issues with the embedded live stream and finding workarounds for the production workflow.

  • Even with Ultra-Low Latency via YouTube embed the latency issue and delay was just far too slow.

  • Equally, the way the live stream is embedded is not very aesthetically pleasing and furthermore seems to be able to be paused by clicking on the video thumbnail. Worse still, clicking on the thumbnail too many times ends up taking them away from Crowdpurr and over to YouTube. I appreciate this is a limitation of the way the Youtube embed works but it’s far from ideal.

  • It also seems that the crop mode (9x16 HQ Trivia mimicking view) leaves letterboxing on the top and bottom on a modern iPhone where you can see the quiz window open behind it - plus its poor quality as it’s simply cropping the embed feed.

My thinking is that the only real way around this is for Crowdpurr to build their own live streaming capability into the software. That way the two would be able to be kept in sync at least at a broadcast level and I’d say we’d have much more control over how the live video appears.

For example, if we’re fitting a 16x9 video into a portrait mobile view, rather than it floating above the questions why not have it appear above the questions in the UI (pushing the questions down the page essentially and stealing focus). This would be for when the live stream is being shown. Equally, the cropped mode would allow the video to steal the spotlight and push the questions down. This would mean live streaming from a mobile device in 9x16 mode would be possible (maybe with a green screen option so you could apply a live chroma key). Then when you hide the live stream, the questions would come back up as the small bubble appeared showing the host at the top of the UI.

Just having the ability to switch between a live camera view of the host and the CP quiz interface but continue hearing their audio would be really helpful.

Is there even a remote possibility of Crowdpurr developing its own video streaming capability in the future rather than relying on a live stream embed?. I for one would be willing to invest in a higher tier if this option were available or even would participate in a crowdfunding campaign to make this possible.

The issue with a Zoom or WebEx call is that the plans are limited to a certain number of participants. We often get 300+ people playing along. This means that you have to opt for a higher package which again is a greater investment. Equally a zoom meeting means that you have to have all the participants visible and there’s less control over the way it appears to them given they can choose how they display who is speaking etc.

Not to mention that there are fewer ways to protect and control our product from non-members being able to access the call and live quiz as the link could be freely handed out. That’s why hosting the entire quiz within Crowdpurr is a must from my point of view.

This is a truly slick bit of software and I’m still very excited to use it more and more. I’m hopeful that the experience and options for virtually hosting the experiences can be improved. It seems to me if you’re in a live, in-person situation this is absolutely perfect. However, in this remote and virtual world we’ve found ourselves in, being able to open up our experiences to more people and have a seamless remote experience is really important.

If anyone can offer any advice or workarounds then I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Equally, if the CP team do read this…is there any chance that we’ll see a native live streaming option at any point in the near (or distant) future.

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I’m not with CP, but @RossN has mentioned that they are actively investigating exactly this kind of solution; here’s an excerpt from his post:

We’re thinking the solution to this will be likely rolling our own embedded real-time streaming WebRTC solution that is zero-latency (same technology as Zoom, WebEx, or Teams) and works right within Crowdpurr. More on this later in the year.


@alex_carryonquizzing we hear you my friend. Sorry about the delay. We are working on it now. We’ll have more news about it very soon.

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Official Version Updates - #47 by RossN :partying_face:

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