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What choices in bitrate-adaptive streams do I have as a publisher?

You have 2 choices: 

1. Multi-bitrate transmuxing 

2. Multi-bitrate transrating

Both have their advantages and this article is designed to help you find the best option for your requirements. 

Here are several questions for your technical environment and situation: 

- How much upstream bandwidth do we have at the streaming location?

- Do we have a budget for transrating services?

- How many bitrates would we like to make available to users?

- Do we want to make both an adaptive stream available, as well as each bitrate separately? 

- How much control over the bitrate-portfolio do we want and need? 

- How often would we try out different bitrates and make changes to both bitrates and number of bitrates?

Here are the advantages of both solutions: 

1. Multi-bitrate Transmuxing: 

Transmuxes your ingested bitrate streams into a bitrate-adaptive stream to be published via bitrate-adaptive players. It requires the publisher to ingest multiple bitrate streams from the live-encoder. 

Requirements: sufficient amount of upstream bandwidth at the streaming location, sufficient LIVE-Channels available in your Lightcast.com Service Package, configuring live-encoder to output your desired bitrates, setup of your multi-bitrate stream.

Advantages: inexpensive (small setup fee, no recurring costs), ultimate control over bitrates and number of bitrates (can be changed via your live-encoder).

2. Multi-bitrate Transrating:

Transrates your ingested single bitrate stream into multiple bitrates. Ingest a high bitrate and we will down-convert it into multiple lower bitrates, serving it to bitrate-adaptive players. 

Requirements: live-encoder and internet connection which can handle a high bitrate output on your end. 

Advantages: no need to send multiple bitrate streams. 
Disadvantages: recurring costs for the transrating/transcoding service dependent on monthly stream-time and number of bitrates, no direct control over bitrates in order to make changes to bitrates on your own, dependency on Lightcast.com Tech Support. 

Contact customercare(at)lightcast.com if you wish to inquire on multi-bitrate transmuxing or transrating for live-streams.