JW Video Streaming Alternatives: Dacast and ServerRoom.net

winnerEverybody on social media nowadays—and that’s most people—is familiar with live streaming in one form or another. It’s everywhere, and people and businesses are quickly adapting and taking advantage of the streaming boom. As more and more live streaming platforms become available, deciding on the best option for your specific needs can be a hassle. To make the task easier, below is a side-by-side comparison of three different but uniquely advantageous platforms.

 

  1. JW Player

Since its inception in 2005, JW Player has made a name for itself as one of the most commonly used video players in the game.  JW Player was the chosen platform for YouTube before it was acquired by YouTube. At the moment, the JWPLayer HTML5 video player is installed on more than 2 million websites. That’s a whole lot.

JW Live is one of the most recent additions to this video platform giant. This new live streaming service, while comprehensive, is only available to Enterprise customers. Its main selling point? JW Live promises to be easy to use. The most promising aspect of the streaming service is that it is a step above the original JWPlayer, which is already recognized for its wealth of features. The advanced features supported by JW Live’s HTML5 player include MPEG-DASH playback, CSS skinning, and DRM among others. It also boasts real-time audience analytics and Facebook Live simulcasting. Adaptive HLS automatically adjusts video quality to connection speeds on any given device.

While it is a good big-budget streaming option, JW Live does not come without drawbacks. It is not ideal as a long-term live streaming solution. According to the JW Player site, it is strictly for event-based live streams and cannot support 24/7 broadcasts. These event streams only last for up to six hours. It also lacks the ability to support a paywall for monetizing videos or provide video playback on a Facebook news feed. Customer support also leaves something to be desired—it is limited to email support regardless of which plan one chooses, with premium support offering responses within two business hours at the least. For a service that runs on the expensive side, these are major drawbacks.

 

  • Free Plan
    • 25 GB of monthly bandwidth
    • 10,000 video plays per month
  • Premium Plan – $299 per year
    • 250 GB of bandwidth per month
    • 100,000 video plays per month
    • HLS adaptive streaming
    • Multi-bitrate HD encoding
    • Airplay/Chromecast
  • Platinum Plan– $999 per year:
    • 500 GB of monthly bandwidth
  • 200,000 video plays per month,
  • Support for HTML5 and mobile advertising via VAST or VPAID
  • Google IMA integration
  • Mobile SDKs

 

 

  1. DaCast

DaCast, on the other hand, is mainly dedicated to live video streaming and is known for just that. It was founded in 2010 and is based in San Francisco. It promises fast, simple, no-frills service.

This platform deploys content using Akamai CDN, which is considered a leading CDN. In other words, content is delivered at lightning fast speeds. It has custom features for monetizing content, such as an integrated payment system with a payment option directly in the video window, which is not found on platforms like JW Player. Like with a number of other services, it includes HTML5 and Flash functionality and defaults to whichever is supported on the device being used. DaCast is a white label service, meaning that one has the ability to customize and brand video content, free of company logos like with Facebook and YouTube. Its advanced features also include geographic fencing, social integration, and digital rights management.

DaCast offers around the clock support, however, 24/7 phone support is only available to Pro and Premier users. This may be a huge inconvenience to users who are just starting out. Users must also commit to a three month minimum when paying month-to-month, and there are additional storage fees of $0.15 per GB over plan bandwidth limits. Encoders for DaCast depend on selected stream configurations, and setup is not as quick and easy as claimed. While DaCast is a decent competitor in the parabolic ring of live streaming platforms, its limited tech support and lack of user friendliness sets it back.

  • Basic Plan – $19 per month:
    • 100 GB of bandwidth
  • Pro Plan – $165 per month:
    • 2 TB of bandwidth
    • 125 GB of storage
    • Phone support
  • Premier Plan– $390 per month:
    • 5 TB of bandwidth
    • 250 GB of storage
    • Phone support
  1. ServerRoom.net

ServerRoom has been around since 2004, establishing itself as the longest running video platform in comparison to DaCast and JW Player. It is similar to DaCast in the sense that its entire premise is an online management platform with which you can upload and manage content and set up live streams, and is an excellent candidate for all live streaming purposes. The aspects that make the ServerRoom platform stand out are ease of access, consistent quality, and superior customer support.

This platform offers customizable, fully managed streaming services designed for small or large scale broadcasters to any size audience, with the ability to broadcast live or pre-recorded video on any device and support up to 1,000,000 simultaneous connections; setting up and tuning in are, in fact, as fast and simple as promised. There are no bandwidth limits and plans are commitment-free.

ServerRoom includes an array of advanced features, including adaptive multi-bitrate streaming and feature-rich transcoding options. The user possesses the ability to record broadcasts, either on its servers or on the user’s device.  Not to be outdone by its competitors, ServerRoom also has MPEG-Dash, RTMP and HLS protocols for rich media delivery, DRM integration, white label players, and geo-fencing. It can provide distribution across all platforms (free of charge) and VAST ads integration for easy monetization of video content.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of ServerRoom, however, is its unparalleled technical and customer support. For all paid plans, there is 24/7 telephone support. Whichever service you decide on, dedication to the customer sets ServerRoom apart in the vast, puzzling sea of live streaming platforms.

 

  • Free Plan
    • 25GB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays
    • HTML5/Flash player
  • Simple Plan – $39/mo
    • 1 TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • 24/7 support
  • Premium Plan – $99/mo
    • 5 TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • White label players
    • 24/7 priority support
  • Enterprise – $499/mo
    • 25TB monthly streaming
    • Unlimited plays and storage
    • White label players
    • VAST Ads Integration
    • DRM integration
    • Dedicated account manager
    • Free mobile app
    • 24/7 priority support

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