HTC will soon let users send their extreme mountain biking or skydiving footage to YouTube in real time. On January 9, 2015, the tech company plans to release a software update for its $199 Re action camera which will allow users to live stream directly to YouTube.
HTC will update the Re’s Android app to support this new feature (though iOS users will have to wait until later in the year). Re owners will be able to login to YouTube via the app and start streaming as much footage as they’d like. The app update will also allow consumers to share their footage via social networks, text messages, and email. The only drawback to the Re camera’s streaming ability is that the device will need to be connected to a smartphone – it can’t broadcast footage on its own.
The Verge notes that, for HTC Re rival GoPro, live streaming has been an option for a while. However, the cost of this feature is significantly higher. Only newer GoPro models have wi-fi capabilities, so consumers who wish to stream must pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for a recent model or purchase a converter for around $80, which lets them use their old GoPro cameras for live streaming.
Additionally, the process of live streaming via GoPro is more complicated. Users send footage to Livestream.com using the site’s iOS-only app, but GoPro owners wishing to transmit to YouTube must purchase additional encoders and devices to stream successfully on Google’s online video site.
This hasn’t seemed to stop GoPro from reaching massive success on YouTube, however. The camera company’s channel boasts over 2.6 million subscribers, and videos from GoPro owners regularly receive millions of views. This one, in which a squirrel steals the camera and then drops it out of a tree, has garnered over 6.4 million views since November 2014. Because of the breathtaking ways GoPro uses its cameras to create shareable branded content, we recently named the company one of 2014’s top ten savviest brands on YouTube.
So while GoPros have done very well for themselves on YouTube, the upcoming live stream feature for the Re camera is HTC’s way of saying their device could be a more user-friendly YouTube option. Casual adrenaline enthusiasts looking for just such a simpler (and cheaper) way to stream are likely to consider the Re alongside the GoPro from here on out.