Communication Platforms for Live Streaming with Lightboards

You can engage a live distant audience using your lightboard. Here we discuss some of the communication platforms you could use.

Many of these platforms are also used for other types of webinars, conferencing, and webcasts, so you may be able to leverage software that you're already familiar with. Below is a short overview of some of the top services, along with several key features.

Zoom

Overview from Company: "Our easy, reliable cloud platform for video, phone, content sharing, and chat runs across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems."

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use interface from a service growing in popularity.
  • The basic free plan includes up to 100 participants.
  • Low Latency, typically below 1/2 second to allow 2-way conversations.
  • One-way "webinar" capability can be added to pro ($15/mo) and above plan levels. The additional monthly cost depends on the number of participants, 100 for $40, 500 for $140, and so on.

Visit Zoom Website

GoToWebinar

Overview from company: "Easily host large-scale webcasting events with live audio, video, polling, Q&A and more."

  • Familiar interface for GoToMeeting users, which is highly popular in many business settings.
  • Webcast toolkit includes tools for registration, email automation, and CRM integration.
  • Requires desktop software download for both viewers and presenters.
  • Latency specs are not clearly stated.
  • $89 per month per user for a starter plan (up to 100 participants). Higher plans at $199 and $429 include additional participants and several other features, including a custom URL, and the ability for attendees to view directly in the browser.

Visit GoToWebinar Website

WebEx

Overview from company: "Our webinars are dependable, secure, and professional. And we deliver them reliably to any device or platform."

  • Familiar interface for existing WebEx users, which is highly popular in many business settings.
  • Latency note from WebEx: There will be some latency with transcontinental meetings. It is not unreasonable to see a 5 to 6 seconds delay for overseas attendees.
  • Web-app based service that doesn't require downloads or plugins.
  • Month-to-month pricing is available.
  • Plans start at $13.50 per host per month for up to 50 participants with up to 200 participants available for $26.95 per month.

Visit WebEx Website

YouTube Live (Hangouts On Air) 

Overview from Company: "Whether you're streaming a video game, hosting a live Q&A, or teaching a class, our tools will help you manage your stream and interact with viewers in real time."

  • Choose between public, unlisted, or private broadcasts.
  • Offers Normal, Low, and Ultra-low latency options. Choose ultra-low latency if you'd like real-time engagement, but are ok with the chance of buffering.
  • Web-app based service that doesn't require downloads or plugins.
  • Q&A feature with Google Slides integration.
  • Content is easily promoted on and saved to YouTube.
  • There are no direct costs associated, all that is required is a Google account for your business and a YouTube channel.

Visit YouTube Live Website



Feature Overview

Based on information from Q2 2019 and a comparison of the entry-level (but not "freemium") plans. Higher-tier plans provide additional features.


Zoom GoToWebinar WebEx YouTube Live
Cost $14 / month
$89 / month
$13.50 / month
Free
Participants 100 100 50 Unlimited
Recording
Local Storage and Up
to1GB in Cloud
Online & Local
Up to 5GB
Save to YouTube
Reporting / Analytics Yes Yes No Yes
Requires App / Plugin
Yes
Yes (for starter plan)
No
No
Free Trial? Free account available
(limited to 40-minute meetings)
7 Days 30 Days Account is free