Low Latency Streaming And Fan2Stage

Fan2Stage gets ready for Broadcast as Apple and Microsoft play nice?

Early in the testing of Fan2Stage, a major studio thought it could work for one of their talk shows. Using conferencing platforms like Zoom, just didn’t cut it. While the system was good at preventing audio loops, it had other issues. Fan2Stage was build to solve many of those issues.

During the early testing it was discovered that there was nearly two minutes of delay from the time the shows host made a comment until the fans saw it. No one ever checked it because no one ever cared. There was still a live audience in the studio for the host to work off of. Performers and entertainers of all kinds need an audience. The audience gives them the energy to go on. As an actor I will tell you that I am not a live theater actor but my favorite jobs were shows shot in front of a live studio audience.

Latency is the Delay

That 90 to 120 second delay we experienced testing with the show was due to the way streaming is handled. The technical term for it is latency delay. The delay is caused by the fact that every viewing device doesn’t decode the signal the same. When an Apple iPad logs in to see the live stream, it sends a code to the shows systems saying it is an Apple Device using x.decoder. When an Android tablet check it, it sent that it used G.decoder. The same was true for Microsoft PC’s.

Because each operating system used a different viewer for live events and live stream video, latency delay was inevitable and low latency streaming nearly impossible. The server at the host had to generate 3 or more different streams, and that accounted for the biggest chunk of the delay. Even if the server converted it to Mp4 so everyone could see it, that would take time too.

Lets Get Chunky

In the July 2022 issue of TVTech.com‘s magazine, they announced a new technology. The new tech is called Chunked CMAF. Chunked CMAF is a low latency streaming protocol. In 2016 Apple and Microsoft realized that streaming latency was a problem, and started working with the Moving Pictures Expert Group, the MPEG in Mpeg video files, to create a single standard.

In 2017 demonstrations showed the delay to be as little as 5 seconds, but that still wasn’t the same as a straight webcam which could be sub 1 second. They kept working. Everyone realizes that OTT (Internet live streaming) latency delays are a problem. In the stock market companies pay millions for faster networks, closer to the trading floor to execute trades just milliseconds ahead of the other guy.

Live sports isn’t much different. If you can bet on the outcome of a field goal, and have a 90 second head start on the outcome, that is a major advantage. Interestingly live sports is one of the first areas that Chunked CMAF is expected to be used. Because of that we are working on Fan2Field as well.

Its About a Laugh

The NFL fined teams for adding fake applause as live audiences returned. What if they could add live applause from real people? We thought it would be the right thing. Laughing at a joke 90 seconds after the talk show host delivers it, doesn’t enhance the show. Cheering for the field goal 90 seconds later doesn’t cut it either. Live streaming is about to really be “live”. Don’t be left out, download the live fan app now.

Fan2Stage – “The Audience is Here!”

Fan2Stage Intro Video

Ever missed your favorite singer’s concert, or a sports event you had been eagerly waiting for,

 Or in fact a Theatre performance?

Fan2Stage brings a solution to all of these problems.

Now you can attend live concerts! Sports events and even worship together through Fan2Stage system which is a two way virtual reality platform.

And no!! You are not dreaming,

 Fan2Stage is the next Astroworld! But less chaotic haha.

This Virtual Audience System was built by performers for performers and fans.

So don’t lose fans or funds because of social distancing. Bring the Fans to your Stage! 

And don’t forget to click the bell icon and subscribe for more amazing updates!

Fan2Stage ® – Because Fans Are Everywhere

The lesson we learned during the pandemic is that fans are hungry and fans are everywhere, but we couldn’t hear them. More importantly, we wanted to hear them. Even when they couldn’t make it to the show they were hungry for live content. But live isn’t the same without feedback from the audience. So we found a solution that made sense. We wanted to keep in simple after trying dozens of other methods for our live version of CoolToys.TV

Fan2Stage brings real feedback from real fans to any size studio or live show. Have 50 fans in the audience and want to hear from 1000 more? Fan2Stage can make that happen. Fans can be anywhere they have internet access as long as you have a truly livestream show. We did find a few of the streams are monitored or delayed like Facebook live so while Garth and Trisha did a great job with their live shows there, we don’t recommend it for Fan2Stage.

We can bring the audience to you in realtime, you will need a live stream that brings you to the audience in real time. We are currently working with vendors to cut the latency delay of their livestreams. Some are recording them, others are monitoring them so there is a built in delay that can be up to 3 minutes. We don’t recommend Facebook live or YouTube Live unless you have the pro version on YouTube and even then performance at the time of writing is not as good as most performers would like. For now the best is a simple webcam. If you want to learn about different ways to set up your studio, check out this article.

Fans are Everywhere, hear them with Fan2Stage
Real Fans are Everywhere, Can You Hear Them?

Fan2Stage brings real fans to your shows virtually. There is nothing like the live feedback from live fans when you are on stage. We know because the founders of Fan2Stage have all worked in front of live audiences, on stage and in studio. There is no greater thrill than hearing back from your fans. Get Fan2Stage today.

If you are looking for new fans, remember, fans are everywhere ® and when they get the Fan2Stage app they can find new artists and shows like yours to follow and join the audience. Fan2Stage is about keeping us connected no matter where we are in the world. Doesn’t it make sense to connect to fans everywhere from anywhere? Don’t forget your swag too. There are versions of Fan2Stage for venues and performers of all kinds of show sizes.

If you are ready to hear from more of your fans, then it is time to start using Fan2Stage.

Fan2Stage Logo on Pickle ball court

Live Studio Setup and Live Stream Services

One of the challenges to any live stream show is the live stream service. The next biggest challenge is the studio setup. Currently we have reached out to all of the major live stream platforms and are working with a major production studio for live streaming.

After a full season of CoolToys.TV live, we learned a lot about how to use Fan2Stage, how to set up a studio and which live stream services were live and which ones where delayed by up to three minutes. We also found that conference systems were distracting and didn’t allow enough fans in.

First Your Studio

Before we talk about live stream services, let’s talk about your studio, home, or even a closet in your apartment that will become your stage. While we are a 100% Apple based company almost all of the gear works the same with a PC, so go with whichever you are more familiar with. You will need a Mac Mini or a PC with a good processor and graphics card to make this work. We recommend at least the minimum to run OBS.

Next you need a camera. Here at our studios, we use Canon XF series ENG cameras. They are simple to use, have an HDMI output and an XF-100 series can be purchased used at a very reasonable price. One thing to keep in mind is that 4K live streaming can slow down the process. We use 1080p currently in our studios.

You can also use a very high quality webcam, or stream from a sports action camera. Those too have live outputs.

Avoid DSLR

While many DSLR cameras shoot great video, they tend to over heat in 30-60 minutes. We fried a couple of good ones before switching to the XF series. If you have the money for something like the Canon R5C which has a built in fan, then go for it.

Webcams

For starting out a webcam might work just fine but… Webcams are for video chatting mostly. The fisheye lines take a very wide shot so you may have to be uncomfortably close to get the screen you want. There are a few more expensive Pan Tilt Zoom or PTZ cameras with USB ports but we don’t recommend it.

Networking Note: if at all possible, we recommend a wired Cat5e or better connection to your cable modem or router. WiFi works but has had issues with some of our test studios.

The Basic Setups

Phone + Tablet Only:
With the Phone + Tablet only setup, you literally set your phone in front of you and live stream from your phone. The Tablet runs the OnStage app so you can get audience feedback. If you don’t want to use speakers, you can use ear buds to hear the audience, but they won’t hear themselves. You show stays clean this way, and isn’t as much fun for the audience. Add some computer speakers with the headset jack on the tablet and viola, live sound for you and the audience.

Tech Notes: There are very cool auto face tracking mounts for phones if you are able to keep it this simple.

The Webcam

The most basic setup is a single camera with a USB connection to your Mac or PC. While this works well and has about the lowest delay, it is very limiting.

Web Cam
PC or Mac with OBS loaded
High Speed 40MbS or better internet access
Good Speakers or headphones to hear the audience.

Just like the Phone + Tablet setup, if you use headphones, the audience won’t hear themselves cheering.

The Mini Studio

This is how the CoolToys TV studio is set up. We have three Canon XF series cameras that connect to a Black Magic ATEM Mini. This set up requires an on site “producer”. Someone has to choose which camera to play. We also have high quality wireless microphones. This setup also has an HDMI out from the ATEM mini so we can see what the audience sees. It also can be remotely controlled by a laptop or if you have enough power the PC or Mac running the show.

Black Magic ATEM Mini

Mac Mini M1 (Or PC meets OBS with a High speed USB port and network port available.)
1 to 4 Canon XF or similar video cameras with HDMI out
Black Magic ATEM mini
Wireless microphones as needed for performers and instruments.

Tech Notes:
The black magic software can control black magic cameras remotely. We chose Canon for budget and face tracking focus.
If you have a band in the studio we recommend an audio panel with output to the Black Magic ATEM so that you can control the input levels of each performer and instrument.

The Sports Field

Essentially this is a hybrid system that can be set up very easily. One livestream camera, a tablet and a PA system is all that is needed. We had one team that used a very inexpensive security camera for a while. The problem is they couldn’t allow enough fans to see the stream at the same time.

Live stream cameras have almost zero delay making this one of the best systems to use for outdoor events.

Live Camera
Tablet with Audio Connection to PA System
On Field PA system or portable speaker.

Canon XF-100

Tech Notes: The Live Camera can be a sports webcam or an ENG Camera like the XF-100 connected to a PC running OBS. Multi cam setups with OBS or The Black Magic ATEM series work great too.

The tablet runs the OnStage (Soon the OnField) app with the feedback audio going out to the PA system.

Live Stream Services:

Live Webcams – With most providers there is a .02-.2 second delay, almost un noticeable.
Vimeo Live – Requires Pro Account .5 – 1.0 second delay
YouTube Live – 2.0-12 second delay
YouTube Live Pro with reduced delay set – 1.0-4.0 second delay
Facebook Live – 30-90 second delay
Samsung Studio – 90-300 second delay

Other tests to follow.

Fan2Stage Logo on Pickle ball court

Fan2Stage Sponsors Make a Wish Pickle Ball

Fan2Stage joined the local community and sponsors for the Make a Wish pickle ball tournament at Newport Beach Country Club.

The OCIE chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation held a fundraiser at the Newport Beach Country Club. Fan2Stage joined the Cain Group and other sponsors as part of the nearly $70,000 raised to make wishes come true.

“Obviously with our Fan2Field app in development it makes sense to sponsors sports related events. Maybe next year the event can be live on Fan2Field to raise more money.” said Fan2Stage CMO Kelly Bourquin who also played in the tournament. Pickle Ball is a cross between tennis and ping pong according to some, but many of the players found it to be a bit more challenging.

The next event for make a wish is the Galaxy of Wishes on December 7th, 2021

About Make a Wish

The Make a Wish Foundation mission is based on the idea that “A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness.”

This one belief guides us in everything we do at Make-A-Wish. It inspires us to grant life-changing wishes for children going through so much. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible. Most of all, it’s the founding principle of our vision to grant the wish of every eligible child.

For more information about the OCIE Chapter of Make a Wish and other events, you can visit their website.

Youth Sports

Fan2Field – The Virtual Audience For Youth Sports

Fan2Stage Ltd has announced the development of Fan2Field, a version of their patent pending virtual audience system specifically for youth sports.

Social distancing isn’t the only reason you might not make your kids or grand kids games. Sometimes jobs take families to far away places. Sometimes it’s health or mobility issues. Sometimes as a parent you need to be a two places at once. With Fan2Field you can still cheer on the kids no matter where they are.

Kids Soccer needs a virtual audience - photo courtesy of https://pixabay.com/users/dimitrisvetsikas1969-1857980/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=5596790

A virtual audience system is very easy to add to any sports field that has a webcam and internet access. The Fan2Field system will run on just about any iOS (Apple) or Android (Google) mobile device. With a tablet that costs less than $200, and an audio cable, the Fan2Field Game Connect Application can bring the sounds of real fans to the field virtually.

Youth Sized – Affordably Priced

The Fan2Field system is based on the original Virtual Audience Servers designed for college and pro sports. All of the same benefits with a much lower cost to implement and manage. Fan2Field brings in a Virtual Audience for Youth sports. It doesn’t matter what game your kids play as long as there is a webcam, internet access and a speaker. Fan2Field works the same for Baseball, La Crosse, Soccer, Football and Tennis. One parent recently used an iPhone and a blue tooth speaker during a test to let grandparents cheer on the kids from another state.

Let your kids know that you are watching even if you can’t be there. Be part of the live virtual audience with Fan2Field!

Grow Your Audience With Fan2Stage

Grow Your Audience With Fan2Stage

If you want to grow your audience, start with Fan2Stage Virtual Audience System.

The key to success as a performer is to grow your audience. Actors, musicians, comedians, ministers and athletes all need an audience. Growing an audience is tough work. There is marketing, search engine optimization, live shows, live streaming and selling seats to make money. Today there is a better way.

grow your audience like CoolToys TV with Fan2Stage.

Performers at all levels are always looking for a better way to find people that might be interested in their work. Getting lost in the hundreds of Live Streaming apps, is easy. With Fan2Stage Virtual Audience Systems, your show can stand out because the fan know that you want a live audience. When you are connected with a live audience instead of just looking into the camera hoping they are watching is very different. With the Fan2Stage Live Fan Audience app in their hands, fans stay engaged with your show.

Created by performers like you for performers like you, the Fan2Stage virtual audience system is designed to help you grow your audience. The CoolToys TV host needed to find a better way. After trying dozens of systems, CoolToys TV host tried to find a better way. Working with the top performance Psychologists, he found the top interactions between audience and the hosts on stage. Now you can have a live stream show with the real live connection with the audience that you have been missing.

Sign up today at onstage.fan2stage.com and find your new better audience.

Live Fan Audience App Screen

What Does Fan2Stage Virtual Audience System Do?

The Virtual Audience System by Fan2Stage creates a virtual audience for any live streamed event.

If you are not sure if you should be using the Fan2Stage virtual audience system, take a look as CoolToys TV host Scott gives a quick and dirty demo. All live performances are better with a live audience. The the Fan2Stage system you can have a live audience anywhere, virtually.

If you want to follow along, make sure you click the Login button at the top, select “Artist” and then sign up at the bottom.

Download the apps today at Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

Little league field

Little League Parents and Grand Parents Love Fan2Stage

Fan2Stage helps little league parents and family members cheer on the kids even when they are watching from home on a webcam!

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, USA, April 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Fan2Stage apps aren’t just for musicians and stage performers. “Shakespeare said “All the World is a Stage”, and that includes my kids little league games.” said Tom Hannigan. Mr. Hannigan recently decided to sign up his kids team as an “host” with the Fan2Stage Cloud system. With the Live On Stage app, Mr. Hannigan and other family members can be at home or anywhere they want watching the games live on a webcam. The webcam is positioned just over home plate and so the families can watch the game remotely. With Fan2Stage they can still cheer on their favorite players.

Using the Live Fan App by Fan2Stage, the family members can clap, cheer and even boo the umpires using an iOS or Android mobile device. The Patent Pending technology used by the Fan2Stage Virtual Audience System or VAS combines all of the fans inputs. Using that information, the system then generates a real live audience sound for the players. It works the same way that it does for musicians on stage. The PA system at the little league field can be used to play the audio so the players can hear it. When they hear the cheers, they know their family is watching and cheering them on. The family members can do this even if they can’t be in the stadium watching live.  

Beyond Social Distancing

Even after social distancing rules are eased, the VAS systems and apps will still allow out of town family to be part of the crowd. Live audience feedback and virtual audience feedback combine to create an even bigger experience for the kids and the fans at the same time. The fans in the stands can hear the virtual fans as well adding to their experience at the game. No engineers hitting “cheer” while everyone quietly watches. This is a real and virtual fan experience at the same time.

The original idea for the Fan2Stage VAS was developed for college sports when the University of North Dakota was planning to host the National Collegiate Hockey Championships. Jed Shivers, the CFO of the school was concerned that without fans cheering the competition wouldn’t be at it’s best. Founder Scott Bourquin realized he was having the same problem with the live versions of CoolToys TV. Without an audience the energy wasn’t the same. He developed Fan2Stage to solve his problem and the athletes problem. The UND event was cancelled, and the VAS development continued opening up virtual audiences to any type of event that is live and online.

Local Band Late Night Union

Fan2Stage Expands Reach Of Local Bands

It has been a while since anyone saw a live show with a great local band like Late Night Union, Dead Poets Society or even bigger names. Late Night Union Lead singer Christian Eric is a fan of the new Fan2Stage virtual audience system. Before the covid shutdown, the band would open for larger bands or play small local gigs. In both cases, making money is tough. All musicians know that selling albums for a living doesn’t work any more. The key is to bring in fans, and most importantly paying fans. Many of the small local gigs depended on tips that many times wouldn’t cover a couple of beverages at the establishment.

“When the Covid-19 lockdowns hit, local music was decimated. With Fan2Stage, I could play in my home studio and still reach out to fans.” says Christian. “As a live performer, the audience energy is critical” he adds.

Scott Bourquin, the creator of Fan2Stage and host of CoolToys felt much the same way, and when live fans were not allowed in the studio he created Fan2Stage. The live audience element is critical for hosts and comedians to maintain the timing of the show. Using Question and Answer chat boxes or trying to look at 30 little tiny faces was just too distracting for the hosts of CoolToys TV. The idea for the Fan2Stage virtual audience system was a result of trying to use chat boxes and two way video systems for fans. He realized that Fan2Stage could also be a tool for live shows with local bands but the servers would be too expensive. For them he created a cloud based version.

Realizing that the key elements for any on stage presenter is the audience energy. People on stage presenting like comedians, musicians, religious leaders and talk show hosts all depend on that instant feedback from the audience. After several months of testing a beta version of the app, the musicians were the first to ask how they could use the virtual audience system to make money. Working with Stripe payments, Fan2Stage was able to set up a system within the software so that the hosts of the event could either charge admission or receive tips. For the upcoming House of Worship version it will of course be called “giving” instead of “tipping”.

As the economy begins to open up and restrictions are reduced, the number of people allowed to watch a live show is still restricted. Fan2Stage creates an opportunity to expand the reach of the show by including a virtual audience with a live show. Even after the economy returns to normal, a small gig can suddenly become a nationwide or even world wide event with Fan2Stage.

Anyone who gets on stage will appreciate the virtual audience system by Fan2Stage. Cloud based plans start at the price of a fancy latte.