Conferences and events may be viewed at home with video streaming.

Video Streaming–On Demand, Live Streaming and Hybrid

Options for Video Distribution

A hybrid of live streaming and an audience
A hybrid of live streaming and an audience

Video streaming is an amazing technology that lets viewers virtually attend a San Francisco video production event or conference, from the comfort of their homes. Digital content may be streamed to the end users in three different ways:

  1. On Demand (or video on demand–VOD),
  2. Live streaming in real time
  3. Hybrid, where remote participants can be seen at the site where the event or conference is presented.
On Demand or Video on Demand (VOD) lets viewers watch a video when they choose.

On Demand

Netflix, Max and the other entertainment providers allow their subscribers to watch videos when they want to, rather than having to watch at prescribed times. That is their advantage over network and cable television, and they use the term On Demand, which is what we, in the video industry have called watching videotapes—video on demand (VOD).

Pros: Who wouldn’t want something “on demand?” We are all kings and queens of our living rooms, and the TV remote is our magic wand. Commercial and event video producers use YouTube, Vimeo and other services for their clients to click and view on demand.

Cons: This is not live. If there is a need for live video, such as when remote presenters need to be seen by the local viewers, video on demand does not fit the bill. For some events, you may want to extend the excitement to remote viewers. It can be engaging to watch an event at the same time as the local audience.

Professional live streaming has the quality of TV broadcasting.
Professional live streaming has the quality of TV broadcasting.

Live Streaming

The pandemic popularized live streaming, but it has been used by organizations such as Oakland Video Production company Audio Visual Consultants much earlier. Once broadband internet became ubiquitous, YouTube, Facebook and other social media offered online video channels, and everyone wanted their own TV show. Some of these adventurers became “influencers” and some got so many “followers” that they made money with ads sold by the social media companies.

Live streaming can be as simple as someone with a smartphone and a social media account. There may be limits to the sound quality, and the static “talking head” shot can bore viewers.

Professional live streaming frequently includes two or more cameras with live switching. In addition to switching between the cameras, a switcher can be loaded with photos, logo, graphics, animations—even music and narration. Much like a TV show, live streaming events are scripted and include a variety of visuals to maintain viewer engagement.

Pros: Viewers have learned to expect scripted programs with visual variety and clear audio. A professionally produced, live streaming webcast can have all the elements of a high-budget TV show. An experienced producer knows how to use newer technologies to deliver top notch programming, without the expense of studios and satellite transmitters. Cons: Viewers in different time zones may be inconvenienced by having to watch a program very late at night or very early in the morning. For example, if you schedule an event to start at 7:00 to 9:00 pm in San Francisco, viewers on the east coast will have to stay up until midnight to see it all. A 7:00 am breakfast seminar in New York would require San Franciscans to arise early enough to view it at 4:00 am Pacific Time.

Hybrid video streaming gives participants a choice of attending an event in person or from home.


Live streaming that includes remote presenters, even a keynote speaker, shown on a large screen to the audience, is considered a hybrid webcast. In many cases, participants have the option of either going to the venue or joining from their computers. The pros and cons of hybrid are much the same as live streaming.

Audio is a major consideration when planning a hybrid streaming event. It is easy for feedback to be introduced when a remote presenter is projected on a screen. The presenter’s audio goes through the house sound system, and a sound technician needs to adjust the audio to eliminate feedback. Additionally, anyone who may be using their laptop or mobile device in the room, may cause an echo if their speaker is on. That is why “Audio” is the first name in the Bay Area Video Production company, Audio Visual Consultants.

Downloadable Video

As an adjunct to live streaming, a high-resolution video and audio recording is usually produced. Sometimes, the producer will perform some editing to add graphics and music, and generally smooth over any rough spots.

Pros: The viewer has their own copy of the video, usually as an MP4 file. It resides on their computer, and they may make backup copies as an archive. While video and audio quality can sometimes be compromised during live streaming, a downloadable video is usually free of those anomalies. If needed, the video editor may employ some audio and video filters to make a high-quality video.

Cons: This is not live, as with on-demand streaming. Since the video gets downloaded to the users’ computers, it takes up storage space on those computers. Downloads can take a long time to complete, especially with slower internet connections.


Video streaming is a remarkable technology that lets users watch videos live, in real time, as if they are in the room with the presenters. Streaming eliminates the need to take up computer storage space, although some users may want to both stream and download. It saves on travel expenses and can help protect the environment from the byproducts of travel.

While live streaming offers the excitement of virtually attending an event from home, video on demand and downloadable files give the viewer choices on when to view the program. When the content is on your computer, it may be shared, revised, repurposed and distributed.

Oakland’s video production company, Audio Visual Consultants is rated as one of the top San Francisco Bay Area online video producers. Whether it is On Demand video production, Live Streaming or Hybrid video, AV Consultants has the experience and knowledge with internet video.

See samples of video streaming

Audio Visual Consultants 510-839-2020

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