What is Beam:
Beam is a free online interactive livestreaming platform/service.
Beam officially started January 5th, 2016, although it was live prior to this. It offers some very cool benefits for streamers. The biggest being is it offers its viewers the ability to participate in the stream via interactive game play. Beam has a gamification system that allows viewers to accrue points (Spark) while watching streamers or when streaming themselves. The viewers can spend these points/Spark on interactive games that the streamer they are watching has set up for them within their channel.
The Big Difference:
One of the big differences with Beam, from other online live streaming platforms, is that it uses an SDK (software development kit). This allows developers to create their own third party interactive applications for Beam. The interactive applications list is not long at this time. Interactive sound boards are the most popular among streamers. These interactive sound boards allow viewers to spend points/Spark to hear certain sound bites during the streamers live stream. Viewers can spend those points/Spark by clicking a button under the streamers live video feed and hearing the sound chosen live during the stream, such as a fail or cheer type sound bite.
Other interactive applications offered at this time consist of Surgeon Simulator, Minecraft Survival Adventure, and Hypixel. As developers work more with the SDK, we should expect to see more interactive options in the near future.
Beam has a few other aspects which make it stand out from other online gaming livestream platforms/services. The one aspect that many talk about is Transcoding. They allow standard streamers the ability to transcode at 480p (partner streamers are allowed the options of 720p, 480p, and 240p). If you stream at a higher quality rate (such as 1080p) this allows viewers the option to switch to 480p if their internet in not as good as the streamers. Without this option, the viewers with poor internet who watch streamers who stream at high quality (1080p) would be watching more of buffering symbol than the stream. Basically, this allows streamers to have more viewers who can watch their stream than if it were not offered. Other online gaming livestream platforms/services only offer these options to partnered streamers, or may not offer it all. It takes a high amount of resources for the online gaming livestream platforms/service to offer this. It is included, even for the startup caster.
Faster Than Light (FTL) Streaming Protocol:
Beam offers a new streaming protocol that grants streamers a “sub-second” video latency when streaming. The push behind being below one second latency is to allow streamers the ability to more quickly interact with their viewers, specifically viewers who are using the interactive applications during the stream. No delay is vital when it comes to a full online interactive experience.
Microsoft and Beam.pro
We want to quickly point out that Microsoft has recently acquired/purchased Beam.pro. They purchase it back on August 11th, 2016. In October, 2016, Microsoft announced that they will be integrated it within Windows 10 and the Xbox One. These features will come via a “Creator’s Update” in the spring of 2017. With Microsoft fueling everything, it’s only a matter of time before this platform/service becomes a major mainstream player. If people can stream or view Beam directly from an Xbox One console, the user account numbers will soar and only good things can become of this.
Gamer.Ninja's Thoughts on Beam.pro:
Gamer.Ninja has had a channel now for about three months. One of the first things we did after creating our channel was to sign up for Beam Pro streamer status. Besides turning our user name purple (which people notice and is cool), it helps further development and allows us to earn double points/Spark. Our streaming level (at the time of this article) is currently at 103 which means we have put some time in.
Gamer.Ninja's thoughts on Beam.pro are very positive.
- Website user control and layout of channel options: It is very easy to use and understand.
- The community base: We have yet to have any trolls and only had very positive interaction with the community.
- Very little to no delay when streaming: What shows up is only a second behind what shows up on our broadcasting software display.
- Very insightful and helpful forums: They offer forums that can help you with everything from setting up your stream to getting the interactive options installed and going.
- The willingness of the staff to connect to its user base: Staff is always coming out to address any concerns that may arise.
- The quickness to address issues: The Dev Team seems to be on top of issues that crop up with the site and software.
- (Selfish, I know) The vast majority of the streamer community speaks English.
- The size of the community: Right now it is hard to grow at a rate other sites like Twitch can offer you. Simply put, there are not a lot of people on Beam.pro right now. This should change considerably in 2017.
- In Google Chrome the website crashes due to not enough memory: There is a possible memory leak that is being addressed. I have to refresh the tab on occasion to fix this.
Overall, Gamer.Ninja gives Beam.pro a 9 out 10 stars rating. In many ways it is way better than Hitbox or Twitch. We are very excited to watch them grow over the next year. Many things are set in place to make this service/platform grow in 2017. We want to grow with them. We are at almost 1000 views and above 60 followers as of this article.
Follow our channel on Beam: GamerNInja is the name of our channel.
It’s simple and easy. Register at Beam.pro today and try it out for yourself. Let us know what you think of Beam.pro in our forums:
Gamer.Ninja Beam forums:
Have fun streaming!