If you want to stream live, we have a package for you! You can get started in seconds using our basic free plan, with no credit card required. As you grow, or if you have more advanced needs, you can upgrade to one of our premium accounts to remove advertising or add features. You can view pricing and a plan comparison by clicking here.
Create an account in seconds using our signup tool here. You can begin using your account as soon as you complete the signup.
We don't require broadcasters to sign a contract, so you can go month-to-month as needed. And, your billing date starts on the day you sign up, so you don't need to sign up on the 1st of the month. Broadcast from the 2nd to the 2nd, or the 23rd to the 23rd. You can upgrade or downgrade your account at any time. And, when you're dormant (i.e. not using your account), all of your archives and settings remain intact. (But if you absolutely need a contract, as some schools do, we can do that for you.)
Meridix makes it easy to begin webcasting using whatever cameras and microphones you already have. If you want to broadcast in HD, you'll need HDMI enabled devices, and for SD, analog devices are fine. You can even broadcast from a mobile device, such as from an iOS or Android smartphone. We have a recommended equipment list to help get you started here.
A LiveID is your unique channel on our network, that could represent your school, team, or organization. Thus, a school such as Naperville Central High School could have a LiveID of "NapervilleCentral", or a broadcaster with multiple LiveID accounts could be "ILSportsChannel1" and "ILSportsChannel2", or a single radio station could be the "SportsRadio947FM". You can use and customize LiveIDs in any manner you need. A single organization can also have multiple LiveIDs (channels).
Our broadcasters use a vast array of equipment to conduct broadcasts, from the most simple setups to very complex professional setups. However, the most common setups we see are as follows. For HD quality, an HDMI-enabled camcorder, an Elgato Game Capture HD converter, and a Windows computer with i7 CPU using our free MBP4 encoder software. For SD quality, an analog camcorder, a Pinnacle Dazzle converter, and a Windows computer with Core2Duo or higher CPU using our free MBP4 encoder software. You can get more info about these devices by clicking here.
Just because you can load a web page does not by itself indicate that your connection is suitable for broadcasting. First of all, you should test your connection for its true speed, analyzing both the DOWNSTREAM (internet to you, usually fast) and UPSTREAM (you to internet, usually much slower) bandwidth. Run the following test a few times to determine an average speed for your download and upload speeds:
Meridix Bandwidth Test
After you determine your reliable download and upload speeds, compare them with your broadcasting needs. You'll most want to pay attention to the upload speed. If you are trying to broadcast a 1200 Kbps video stream, you'll need at least a consistent 1500 Kbps or greater upload speed. If you're broadcasting 32 Kbps audio, you'll want at least 50 Kbps or greater of upload speed. We generally recommend having speeds at least double the bitrate of your stream. If you find you don't have enough bandwidth, lower your broadcasting bitrate.
Once you are familiar with your available bandwidth, you should also test your connection for stability and reliability. It is very possible to have a connection with adequate speeds but poor stability, which would cause your stream to frequently stop or cut out.
We continue to see a tremendous increase in the number of broadcasters utilizing 3G/4G cards from various carriers. In most cases, these have proven to be valuable tools allowing broadcasters to produce events quickly and easily by taking an internet connection with them, often to areas with no other internet available.
However, broadcasters must take into account the limitations of these devices if they are to have a successful streaming experience. First of all, these types of connections can, and do, cut out. Often times the delay is just for a few seconds, but it still can be enough to be noticed by both the broadcaster and the audience. Next, these types of connections are subject to interference, in that the signal can still drop momentarily even in areas with full bars of signal. Third, mobile broadband capabilities can vary from location to location, meaning your experience in the gymnasium of a school can be completely different than your experience in an outdoor football stadium. You may get full signal, and yet have a slow or unreliable connection, or vice versa. Lastly, while our software and network does as much as it can to mitigate all of these issues, broadband cards are only as good as their weakest link - for your broadcast to go off without a hitch, ensure that your card is giving you adequate bandwidth, strong signal, low latency, high reliability, and good stability.
Verify coverage in your area:
If you notice that your video is choppy, not smooth, starts and stops, or seems like it won't catch up, you may want to try a more powerful computer, or lower your framerate/bitrate. Encoding and streaming simply requires more CPU (processor) power than many activities, such as viewing a web page. While most computers manufactured within the last few years should work fine (i.e. we've tried to make our system work on as many computers as possible), the more processor and RAM resources you have available, the better your experience will be.
You can easily check whether your CPU is overtaxed in Windows, while running an encoder, by right clicking on the taskbar, selecting Task Manager, and then selecting the Performance Tab. On a Mac, use Activity Monitor which is located in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder. While running an encoder, your CPU should be at no greater than 90% average usage.
An unlimited number of people can access your stream, and there are no limits on the number who can connect at any given time (concurrent audience).
With a premium account, there is no limit on the number of total events you can store in your account. Remember, no more than one event can be going on per channel at a given time. If you have 5 events all in the same day, and they do not overlap, then you can use one LiveID (channel) to produce them all. However, if you're broadcasting 5 games in a day but 3 of them occur at the same time, you'd need three channels. You need as many channels as you have concurrent events.
Directly through embedding in your organization's existing website (premium accounts), via a link on your own site, or via a customized channel page we give to you. Once your audience arrives, they simply click once to launch the broadcast instantly - no need to wait, nor login.
This is built right into our platform. If ever you choose to charge your audience to watch or listen to a broadcast, you simply indicate this as you are setting up the event, set the price, and we take care of all credit card processing for you. You can even set up a season pass, weekend pass, or a pass that is valid across multiple channels. Redeem your earnings at any time via ACH transfer.
If you downgrade to a free plan with storage or feature limitations, don't worry - you won't lose anything. All archives and settings are preserved. The account will simply convert to a free plan, meaning certain features may no longer be available, you may see our ads, and you won't be able to create new broadcasts if you already exceed storage limits. When you're ready, you can upgrade at any time to resume broadcasting.
The vast majority of internet connections will let you broadcast just fine. However, if you're in a particularly restrictive school or corporate network environment, ensure that your internet connection is allowing traffic IN/OUT on ports 80, 443, and 1935, as well as to any *.meridix.com domain. You can check ports here.