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Live Web Content

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Most events are live and in person, but in some cases you may want to have live content on your website while the performance is occurring. For these types of performances, use Live content

 

Live streaming content is set up in the Live tab on the performance's setup and described below.

 

Live Content Styles:

  • Video streaming for an online-only event
  • (Coming Soon) Mobile-friendly supplementary content for the performance

Live Video Performance (Virtual Events)

Online-only video performances allow you to show streaming video at a specific time to ticket buyers. The video can either be pre-recorded or live streaming, depending on your selected video provider.

 

Supported Video Providers:


 

Aside: Producing Video Content

If you're looking for tools to start recording and streaming live video, then a good place to start is OpenBroadcaster Software (OBS). The OBS Beginner Tutorial gives a good introductory video walkthrough. OpenBroadcaster Software supports a wide range of video providers. The primary way to use OBS is to send an RTMP Stream to the video provider. In turn the video provider will "duplicate" the stream and send it out to all live users. In other words, the video provider handles all the bandwidth required to broadcast your stream to hundreds, or even thousands, of users.

Vimeo

Vimeo supports both pre-recorded and live streaming content. In order to do truly private content -- content that is not also available on Vimeo's free, public website -- a subscription to Vimeo Premium is required. The subscription permits access to the "domain level privacy" feature which restricts videos playback so that it can only occur on your Theatre Manager website -- e.g. tickets.yourvenue.org. More details on the various levels of Vimeo privacy, and their implications, can be found on the Vimeo privacy, explained website.

If you're looking for a way to save money, then you can use lower privacy options, but beware that doing so might allow ticket buyers to share the video link with other ticket buyers, and you might miss out on ticket sales.

Setting up Vimeo in Theatre Manager

Live Performance Detail
  1. Determine your video's Vimeo Video ID.
  2. Determine the video's Aspect Ratio
    • Widescreen (16x9)
    • Original TV (4x3)
  3. Open Theatre Manager
  4. Locate the Event that contains the Live Performance
  5. Locate the performance on the Events & Dates window
  6. Edit the performance
  7. Click the Live tab
  8. Select Vimeo from the Video Service drop-down menu
  9. Enter the Vimeo Video ID
  10. Select the video's Aspect Ratio

YouTube

YouTube is a very popular video streaming service. The service itself is free, but videos are always accessible from the YouTube page. It can be a good choice for events that are free to access -- where it's not a problem that the video is accessible from youtube.com. It's not possible to restrict access to only your ticketing website with YouTube.

Setting up YouTube in Theatre Manager

  1. Determine your video's YouTube Video ID.
  2. Determine the video's Aspect Ratio
    • Widescreen (16x9)
    • Original TV (4x3)
  3. Open Theatre Manager
  4. Locate the Event that contains the Live Performance
  5. Locate the performance on the Events & Dates window
  6. Edit the performance
  7. Click the Live tab
  8. Select YouTube from the Video Service drop-down menu
  9. Enter the YouTube Video ID
  10. Select the video's Aspect Ratio

 

Live Experience

Theatre Manager comes with a default set of web pages for a full live video experience. The experience has three parts

  1. Discovery
  2. Pre-Show
  3. Show

 

Discovery

Users can enter the live show by clicking the Watch button under Tickets for Upcoming Performances in their home

Discover Live Tickets

Users will also be made aware of any Live tickets they have if they are logged in and have a ticket to a live performance occurring in the next 6 hours.

 

Watch Live Show

Pre-Show

The pre-show helps build excitement for the upcoming event. It has a countdown timer that let's users know when the event will begin

 

Pre Show

Show

The in-show displays a minimal frame for the video, so that the video content is front and center

 

Show

Supplementary content (Coming Soon)

Supplementary content is information that you'd like to be available on an attendee's smartphone, for the duration of the event. This type of content is most suited to events that are interactive and require audience participation. For example, an outdoor festival that might have maps to various activities. Or a "Theatre in the Wild" event where audiences can self-direct to one of several small performances in different locations.

 

Common Questions

Question: Zoom is designed for video conferencing. Can it be integrated as a video streaming option?

Answer: We've looked into Zoom however it might not be the choice that you're looking for. At least not directly embedded streaming links into the Theatre Manager web pages. Zoom makes the assumption that what you're doing is more of a webinar -- that everyone in the meeting is an active participant. For live streaming events, that's often not the case. Usually, one person is doing the filming while the others are watching.

If you're attempting to use Zoom purely for it's easy-setup, you may want to consider one of two things:

  1. Connect Zoom to Vimeo Live
  2. Switch setups to OpenBroadcaster Software for streaming to Vimeo. It's quite easy.

If you're using Zoom because you want audience participation, then that's something else entirely. Zoom does have integration points with web pages which would require engineering effort within your webpages to treat the interaction that it allows the audience interaction in the correct way.

You could very easily do this kind of event outside of the live streaming portion of Theatre Manager by sending Zoom invites to the patron's email address via a Form Letter email. The attendance reports could be used to know who to let into the class or not, and you could mark attendance using a Course Attendance Report or in Theatre Manager directly.

You may also be interested in the Managed Courses feature in Theatre Manager, which can allow user web access to setting a class attendance. That would allow the Meeting Moderator or Class instructor that isn't a Theatre Manager employee to mark attendance, and also see who is in their meeting/class.

 

Question: Using the free version of Vimeo, the webpage the video is embedded in appears not to be secure as I can see the video ID link in the HTML coding of the page. A patron can right click and find the static link by both via the "save as..." function or the inspect element function. The "save as..." function is the most concerning for us as it is the most simple and easily exploitable. Can the web page security be updated to prevent this?

Answer: The Theatre Manager web sales and the Vimeo and YouTube links that are embedded in the page are secured by HTTPS, which ensures that the content streamed to your user's computers is private and can not be seen by other users. Theatre Manager requires that level of security in order to pass PCI compliance, and we take that notion of security very seriously. Theatre Manager is very secure for your users.

When it comes to Live Streaming video though, what you're referring to is the Gate Control required for a live streaming event, such that only ticket buyers are allowed access to the stream. As of today, that is only possible with Vimeo when using the paid Premium Live Streaming Plan.

The Vimeo feature you'd need is called "Domain Privacy", and it allows you to restrict playback of a video to only people that are viewing the video from your website, which requires a Theatre Manager login and a Theatre Manager ticket to watch. In other words, while people could copy and paste the Vimeo link, it wouldn't help them, because the video would only play through your site's tickets.yourcompanyname.com URL.

The reason that this is the only way for true Gate Control is that it's not possible to fully obfuscate or hide the link that's embedded in the page. There are some ways to attempt to disable that right-click context menu, but many browsers won't respect those options because the same options can be used to make abusive websites. Further, there are actually many other ways that you can see the Vimeo or YouTube link beside right-click, and your patrons could copy and paste it from those as well. YouTube, for example, has no controls for Domain Privacy and so it's not possible for us to restrict the video to only your website.

You're left with a couple choices:

  1. Trust. Hope that people just don't share the link, or if they do, hopefully it doesn't impact sales enough to matter. This option is part of the "free" package options, but your sales could be lower than they might otherwise be with good Gate Control. You could even potentially acknowledge that it's possible, and have a "plea" on the website that mentions the importance of buying a ticket -- the idea seems far fetched, but many news sites have had success with similar pleas for adblockers.
  2. Use Vimeo Professional with Domain Privacy: This will allow you full Gate Control, and it won't matter if users copy and paste links, because they won't work outside your website.

In this instance we're at the mercy of the video CDNs -- YouTube and Vimeo -- and what their options allow us to do. Of the two choices, Vimeo is the more flexible, and the one we currently recommend. We'll continue to look for other CDNs that can guarantee tight Gate Control on the web site for live streaming.