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Switchover FAQ for broadcasters

What’s happening?

On July 9, 2018, Original Livestream will be officially discontinued and shut down as a platform. This means that all Robloxian television channels using Original Livestream to broadcast will have to move to another platform in order to continue broadcasting their channels. This is the HD Switchover.

What do I need to do to be ready for the HD Switchover?

As a broadcaster, it is your responsibility to move to a new streaming platform before July 9, 2018 if you wish to continue broadcasting. Additionally, you should also make sure to publicize when your new channels will be launching as well as where they will be located (including making the necessary arrangements with premium television services if you’d like to continue airing there).

Why should I move to a new streaming platform?

In addition to the ability to continue broadcasting your channels into the future, the move to a new streaming platform will also enable you to offer an enhanced viewing experience, through the launch of high-definition broadcasting. High-definition streaming allows broadcasters to air in up to 16x the image quality that they could on Original Livestream (comparison between 1920x1080 HD stream vs. 480x270 Original Livestream video). This means a dramatically higher-quality viewing experience, and an astonishing increase in image and sound quality.

What platform should I use when migrating my channel as part of the HD Switchover?

Given that all streaming platforms have their strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages, the RTNG cannot recommend a single platform as a catch-all solution for all broadcasting needs. Instead, we suggest finding and moving to a platform which best suits your channel’s needs, programming type, and scheduling style. You may discover that you will have to use multiple platforms as different platforms better cater to the needs of different channels within your company.

How do my publicize my company’s plans as part of the HD Switchover?

Please feel free to use your existing broadcasting and social media outlets to promote the plans of your company as part of the HD Switchover. To help tie your announcements in with the RTNG’s wider HD Switchover campaign, use the social media hashtag #HDswitchover and the resources provided in the Broadcaster Materials section.

What will happen to Original Livestream channels on July 9, 2018?

On July 9, 2018, Original Livestream will shut down and be discontinued as a platform. This means that channels running on Original Livestream will no longer be able to be viewed, either free-to-air or on premium television platforms. Because of this, the RTNG is encouraging broadcasters to move their channels to another platform well in advance of this date. You are free to do as you wish with your specific feeds on Original Livestream.

What changes to my channels’ programming will I have to make because of the HD Switchover?

The RTNG is working hard to ensure that you have to make as few changes as possible to the channels you currently broadcast, through our research and development of various platform proposals; however, we cannot guarantee that things will be exactly as they were on Original Livestream due to limitations which may be apparent in any new platforms that you a broadcaster may choose. We suggest that you choose a platform that works best with your specific content and programming strategies to ensure the smoothest transition for viewers.

Do I need to shut down my existing Original Livestream channel in order to broadcast on a new service?

You are under no obligation to shut down your existing Original Livestream channel in order to broadcast on your new platform of choice. Feel free to either shut down your existing Original Livestream service early, or offer both versions of your channels until the shutdown date (on which the old feeds will likely be shut down automatically) in a “simulcast” format to help viewers adjust to the changes. This may include denoting the version of the channel on the new service as “HD”.

What happens if I switch to a new streaming service before July 9, 2018?

If you decide to move to a new streaming service prior to July 9, that’s okay – simply ensure your viewers are well-informed about the changes. July 9, 2018 serves as the deadline, not the switchover date, for when all services must be broadcast on a new streaming platform.

What happens if I don’t move from Original Livestream before July 9, 2018?

Channels which don’t move away from Original Livestream before July 9, 2018, will become unavailable and unviewable on that date, as the Original Livestream service shuts down. Channel management through Livestream Studio or any third-party means will be unavailable, and channels on Original Livestream will be unviewable.

How do I get the new versions of my channels available on premium television services?

It is up to you, as the broadcaster, to ensure that the new versions of your channels are available on the premium television services you currently carry your channels on, or the services you would like to carry your channels on, in advance of whatever launch dates or migration schedule you announce. Generally, you should be able to get your channels carried in the same manner in which the premium service in question regularly adds new channels.

Can I get the Original Livestream versions of my channels removed before July 9, 2018?

If requested specifically by you, premium television services can remove the Original Livestream versions of your channels in advance of Original Livestream’s discontinuation on July 9, 2018. Premium television services should be aware of the HD Switchover; however, how they handle the change from Original Livestream to new streaming providers is ultimately at their discretion.

I still use direct links for some channels – how will those be affected by the HD Switchover?

If you still use direct links for some of the channels you watch, especially if they begin in “livestream.com” or “original.livestream.com”, these links will be affected by the HD Switchover, as they will not work after July 9, 2018, when the Original Livestream service and its streams are discontinued. It is up to you to create and promote new free-to-air stream links if you wish to continue offering your channels through direct linking after the closure of Original Livestream.

What if I have a question that hasn’t been answered here?

If you have a general question about the HD Switchover not mentioned here, query the RTNG on Twitter using @theRTNG and hashtag #HDSwitchover. For questions about specific channels or broadcasters’ plans, discuss those issues with the broadcasters directly.