Live Stream Equipment Update: Wowza ClearCaster

Posted by Ashley McChesney

Making upgrades to our live stream equipment

The NAB convention is always a fruitful time of year for our mobile video production division. Last year we brought back a Ross Carbonite switcher upgrade, and this year, we are shifting focus to adding more features to our live stream services.
We are happy to introduce the newest addition to the Skystorm Production Truck; the Wowza ClearCaster. This dedicated live stream encoder is a game changer for Facebook live streaming, plus it looks fantastic in the rack.
Wowza Encoder in rack
The feature list is lengthy and includes 1080p streaming, remote controls, plus streamlining and backups for all the things that could potentially cause a snag (or an awkward pause) in a live stream feed. This encoding box is an excellent way to take the production value of any live stream to the next level.

A hardware solution made directly with Facebook for live streaming.

Though compatible with any streaming service, this encoder was built for Facebook. In fact, it was built WITH Facebook developers to create a system with perfect integration. It takes advantage of all the features of a Facebook live stream and fine-tunes and redesigns it to allow for live production with smooth transitions and robust real-time viewer interaction. Just how live streaming was meant to be used, but without technicalities getting in the way.

1080p Facebook live stream – seriously.

Technology has been evolving at a break-neck speed. More importantly, the way we use technology has been changing even more rapidly. We are living in an age where the TV screen is no longer the clearest picture available. Most phones, tablets, and laptops have a screen resolution that far surpasses the living room TV. With this shift, stream quality has become a big issue.
Wowza ClearCaster is the only way to bypass the Facebook live stream 720p cap. It also handles the entire encoding process. We are now able to live stream in 1080p to any Facebook page.

Engaging and interactive live stream experience.

No more awkward pauses or missed prompts. Talent view monitor is the easiest and most functional way to give talent all of the control and tools they need to interact with your audience smoothly and naturally.
wowza talent view

Photo Source:

There is nothing more cringe-inducing than seeing a host looking dazed and confused while repeatedly asking someone out of frame ‘I’m sorry, what was that?’. All your audience can see and hear is a confused face and a warbling off-screen voice. Listen, your viewers came to see you for a reason, and it’s not to watch an accidental re-enactment of a Peanuts cartoon.
Wowza ClearCaster Talent View shows live comments, reactions, and a view of the current stream. It’s a clutter-free display of the most important things that your host needs to get the job done seamlessly, all while keeping your audience engaged.

Finally, a countdown!

wowza live stream countdown
Wouldn’t it be nice never to hear ‘Are we live yet’ ever again? Or see the deer in headlights stare? The countdown feature gives a start that is accurate down to the opening frame, allowing for more accurate cueing and slating.

Remote control any live stream video.

A significant benefit of this system is the ability to manage the stream remotely. From starting and stopping, all the way through adjusting settings. This feature is a very exciting addition for our international clients

Backups and redundancies

Stream connection interruptions are the things of nightmares for live broadcasting. In case of a network interruption, ClearCaster caches two minutes of video and the stream will auto restart when the network connection is restored.
In addition, bringing in another box that runs off of a separate network connection allows for a redundancy failsafe. If one ClearCaster loses connection, the second box will take over the stream with absolutely no interruption to the live stream on the audience side.


The Wowza Clear Caster is a system that has earned the trust of huge names like Disney, New England Patriots, and Vimeo, just to name a few. We are very happy to add it to our equipment list.
broadcast has ended screen