Long removed from the days where a webcam was the means of capturing video frame by frame at an extremely slow pace, USTREAM acts as a website which is devoted to providing a platform for lifecasting and real-time live video streaming. Aimed to revolutionize the way people and media are broadcasting information, USTREAM has over 2 million register users. Each user has the ability to tell his or her own story through the numerous different channels provided.
USTREAM is the brainchild of John Ham and Brad Hunstable. The two men were classmates during their time at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ham graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He was then deployed overseas to Iraq as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. Hunstable graduated with a B.S. in Engineering Management, and was also deployed to Iraq, as a captain. The two men completed their tours and teamed up in hopes of created a medium where their fellow Army friends still deployed would be able to communicate with people back home in the United States. The idea for USTREAM was born.
USTREAM was launched publicly in March of 2007. It works as a live video website that allows users to not only watch live broadcasts, but create live broadcasts of their own. After registering a log in, users have the ability to name their broadcast and create their show. Users are able to interact with other broadcasts through votes, chats, and ratings. They can customize their channel and even are presented with specific URL’s that link only to that channel in order to invite others. As long as a user has some sort of Internet connection, whether that be via computer, cell phone, or notebook, they can access USTREAM quickly and efficiently.
The Good Attributes:
-as mentioned before users can access from any form of technology that has an internet connection
-has developed applications for iPhone/Android use
-the basic service is FREE
-it is very simple to set up and use actively
-the amount of shows/broadcasts a user can create is unlimited
-chat rooms are built into the channels which allow for interaction with other users
The Bad Attributes:
-As is the case with many real-time video websites, the video quality requires a strong internet connection to effectively work with regularity. Lack of a strong internet connection could result in weakening of the video quality
USTREAM deals with a number of competitors that offer generally the same services:
-Justin.tv: “Streaming live video broadcasts for Everyone.”
-Livestream: “Be There”
-Stickam: “Turn on, Tune in, Go Live”
-BlogTV: “You’re Featured”
USTREAM is something I enjoy using because it gives me the ability to find all different types of channels that meet my preferences. It allows me to stay up to date on current events within the news, music, sports, and entertainment fields. I feel more connected with what’s going on in the world through my ability to browse different channels and see what other people are saying in regard to topics or issues that interest me as well. It is a valuable tool that only contributes to the way information is broadcast around the world.
I feel as though USTREAM has the ability to grow even more as time passes. Although it is in a battle for supremacy with other live-video websites like Justin.tv or Livestream, one thing that USTREAM has going for it is there will always be a need to digest information. Users will always want to be up to date on the latest news in whatever field they prefer. Also, as the field of broadcasting continues to shift to web-based technology, USTREAM will be at the forefront of that shift. The fact that the website is easy to operate and is free is something that cannot be overlooked. Users are able to navigate the website with ease and can interact with other users at their leisure. What is important is that USTREAM continues to cater to the growth of technology outside of laptops. Smartphones and notebooks give users a different means of acquiring their information at a speedy pace. Creating applications that directly correlate with the development of these technologies can only help to better USTREAM as a brand.