In this post I want to answer the number one question asked by camera operators who go to buy their own BeOnAIR. Namely, why I switched to Aviwest and why I think in my opinion the BeOnAIR is the best value, most reliable and highest quality live streaming solution. Without any further waffle, lets dive straight in…

One tool does it all

This is something of a big thing and one that I should explain in more detail. It’s simply unfair to think of BeOnAIR as a live streaming box. Whilst it does live stream brilliantly it actually offers so much more. BeOnAIR combines a number of services that I used to pay for separately and bundles them together in one package. In fact thinking about it I’m getting a lot more than I was paying for previously, lets expand on that.

Live streaming

BeOnAIR is an advanced bonded live streaming encoder. Plug your camera in by SDI or HDMI, configure your destination and hit the stream button. It’s that fast and simple to go live wherever you may be. You aren’t reliant on a wired ethernet connection as BeOnAIR has two built in 4G modems, simply insert contract, pay as you go or Aviwest SIM cards and you can stream anywhere. Add into the mixture two more USB modems and you’ve got double the bandwidth. Connect to your phone via a personal hotspot, to a wifi network or plug in into a ethernet connections to get up to six combined network connections. You can of course use any combination of the above.

Restreaming

I used to pay approximately $500 a year to be able to stream to multiple destinations at once by using a service from Restream. Since switching to to BeOnAIR this is no longer necessary as BeOnAIR can stream to 5 destinations at once. By taking Restream out of the equation I’ve also reduced latency in my live feed as I’ve cut out the middleman. But that’s not all, BeOnAIR supports different protocols, such as SST, RTMP/RTMPS (pull and push), RTSP, TSoIP, HLS and SRT which neatly brings me onto…

Live broadcasting

Stream breaking news, live pieces and more to broadcasters around the world. Whilst the BeOnAIR can stream using the Aviwest SST protocol it also streams via SRT. SRT is an opensource video transport protocol that optimizes video streaming performance across unpredictable networks. In short SRT delivers the best quality video over the worst networks and the destination doesn’t need any expensive proprietary decoder!

MoJo App

In the middle of something and your camera kit is at home or in the office, no problems, grab your phone and start streaming. The MoJoPro app is part of the BeOnAIR package and lets you (or your clients) stream live using the same principles as the AIR220 hardware unit.

Be in control

I like being in control of my own destiny and not reliant on others. This is a key advantage of BeOnAIR. If I want to link my output to somebody else’s receiver I can do this myself. I don’t need to submit a support ticket and wait for a reply, I can log into my online hub and quickly and easily add their servers IP address. The BeOnAIR cloud platform (StreamHub) is hosted on Amazon AWS for upmost security and reliability. Streaming from your BeOnAIR encoder goes directly to your cloud server, no clunky command and control layers in between. Rest assured that you won’t be inconvenienced by a misconfiguration or outage with any control software.

Greater flexibility

This is a difficult one to cover in one paragraph but I’m going to try nonetheless. BeOnAIR can be as simple or as configurable as you like. In an area where you have poor 4G, no problem BeOnAIR lets you change its 4G modems band to get better reception, amazing. What to fine tune your datarate and latency, no problem. Want the BeOnAIR to stream a different resolution or framerate no problem. Remotely control the unit and change settings, it’s all in there and much more.

Store and Forward

Instead of live streaming and broadcasting your video you may just want to store your video on your Aviwest StreamHub (cloud server). The StreamHub has two logins allowing you to give your client a guest login where they can access files that you have sent from your encoder from the field. As well as uploading video by playing back from camera connected to the encoder you can also edit video and transfer to an SD card that can be inserted into the BeOnAIR and uploaded to your server for either you or your client to download.

Low latency

Unlike other solutions on the market the BeOnAIR has very little delay. In my test and streaming to my own cloud hosted media player I was able to live stream with less than 2 seconds latency!

Online encoder

Many cameras have strange outputs. Take the Sony FS7, FX9, Z280 as examples. They all have 50i outputs but if you intend to stream a 25P signal the camera outputs PsF. Progressive Segmented Frames are your 25P footage wrapped in an interlaced wrapper. This can easily confuse many encoders and leads to aliasing and other problems with your outputted video. Not a problem for BeOnAIR as the cloud platform has a smart encoder that can take your video and convert it to the standard of your choice. In my tests I streamed a 352×288 image at 360Kbps datarate, I set my encoder to output 1080 HD at 5Mbps. The resulting video was surprisingly useable. Read more about that here: https://livestreaming.uk/streaming-at-an-incredibly-low-datarate/ Another benefit of the encoder is that it allows you to set a custom frame. If your video cuts out because of a lack of internet the encoder will continue to roll and your stream will display your own graphic.

Recorder

Video can be recorded locally to an integrated SD card slot that can be either forwarded to the cloud StreamHub server or imported and edited on a computer.

Price point

Similar devices that offer the services, flexibility and features of the BeOnAIR will cost you in the region of £8000 – I know, I’ve been there. The BeOnAIR is amazing value at just £2300 +VAT. A yearly license fee is payable for the cloud and bonding service which includes unlimited traffic. You will need to factor in the cost of 4G SIMS if you plan to use it in the field. I’ve used EE in the past who charge around £35 for 200GB of data shared over two separate SIM cards, ask for a shared sim on their business plan.

Datarates

Whilst other encoder manufacturers limited both their video and audio datarate you’ll be happy to know this isn’t the case with Aviwest. Audio can be streamed at a superb 512Kbps quality whilst video can be streamed at up to 20Mbps.

In summary

I haven’t touched on the most important aspect of any company, the people. Aviwest support are amazing, both in France as well as their UK operation. I reported an issue to Aviwest and before I knew it I was having a video chat with one of the companies owners who alongside a technician quickly solved by query. Five stars for a great product and great support!