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Streaming to Periscope is no longer confined to phones

You'll be able to stream from high-end cameras and drones.
Roberto Baldwin, @strngwys
October 13, 2016
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Twitter's livestreaming service is moving beyond the phone. Today, Periscope CEO, Kayvon Beykpour, announced that Periscope will stream videos from, well, anything. The new "Producer" feature is aimed at content creators who might not want to be limited to just streaming from their phone.

In the near future, users can point their live streams to the Periscope servers whether it comes from a handset, drone or other connected camera. Those videos then show up on a user's account as if they were shot on a phone. The difference being that the video can originate from a high-end camera, computer or hardware encoder (which opens this up to gaming streams, too). If the images can be streamed to a URL, it can be sent to Periscope.

During a demo, Periscope user Alex Pettit showed how using OBS Studio (an open source video streaming app for macOS, Linux and Windows) he could add graphics, footage from his phone and pre-roll to this Periscope feed.

In fact, Periscope noted that companies like TechCrunch, Disney, Louis Vuitton, CBS 12, Telemundo and others have been beta-testing Producer for the past six weeks. While power users like Pettit and content-creating companies will start using the feature, it's unlikely your average streamer is going move away from the phone and start using higher quality equipment for streams.

Beykpour notes that those who use this new feature will be a very small subset of users. "There are far more people who are interested in sharing what is happening in the world with their phones," he told a group of reporters.

This isn't the first time the company has added support for something other than phone. GoPro cameras have been able to stream to the app since January. Beykpour says the company thinks it's about how viewers interact with live video that's important. Today's announcement is just an additional way to get that video onto Periscope's platform. "It's a natural evolution for us to cover as wide of a spectrum as possible," Beykpour said.

The new feature will begin rolling out slowly. Interested users will initially have to fill out a questionnaire to be whitelisted and have the feature added to their app. It's unclear when, exactly, the feature will be available to everyone. For now, it's iOS only but engineer Sara Haider did say that Android support will follow at some undetermined date.

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