It sounds so simple. Send a live stream from one device to another. What live streaming software does is rather straightforward. Send a stream from the broadcaster to the subscriber. How it actually does that, is quite a different story.
There's a lot more behind that [broadcast button](https://blog.red5pro.com/where-does-latency-come-from/) then you think.
The live streaming software has to separately capture the audio and video from their prospective sources and encode the inputs into compressed codecs so that it can be implemented as a transport stream to be delivered over a specific protocol. That protocol is then sent over a network where it is further processed. Then once the subscriber establishes a connection, the protocol has to be decoded into a viewable format on the subscribing device.
Of course, that's just for a one-way connection. What if you want a two-way chat? Or maybe you are concerned about poor streaming quality in slow networks. How about cross-device compatibility? Then there's future-proofing with WebRTC-
Woah-woah-woah... woah. Slow down.
I know all that. Can't I just build it myself?
Of course! You can definitely have your own team of engineers build out a streaming solution with cross-browser compatibility, failover support, scalability and maybe even low-latency. You could even get your team to code your own mobile SDK, too.
Here's the problem: all those things will take time which then, importantly, takes money. Don't forget you still have to build (and test) an actual, functioning application.
OK. So... is there an easier way?
Certainly! Use a pre-existing solution. There are a variety of options to meet your specific needs.
If you are looking to get a basic prototype or smaller application up and running, TokBox offers a quick and easy solution. You don't have to worry about setting up servers so it simplifies the process involved to get a POC out the door.
However, you may need more control over your application, or require the ability to grow and scale the application to a larger user base.
In that case, you will need a more robust solution like Red5 Pro.
Since 2005, Red5 Pro has streamlined a fully scalable, live streaming platform with an industry leading, sub 500ms latency. Our engineers have spent years honing their expertise, ensuring compatibility with a variety of server platforms and making sure that it works across all devices and browsers.
Concerned about maintaining quality? We added Adaptive Bitrate functionality.
Native app support? Both iOS and Android.
Future-proof? That's why we integrated WebRTC (we even made it fully scalable)
The reality is, you could instead build all this yourself, but in the long run, it will likely cost you much more effort, time, and money. Besides, you'd be putting a whole lot of work into creating something that already exists.
We've spent years developing so you don't have to.