Be Here Now: Connect with Loved Ones Live During the Holidays

Live video technology is quickly becoming an innovative solution for friends and family to stay connected when it matters most. From lavish holiday feasts to New Years celebrations, Ustream allows anyone, anywhere to share the ultimate gift with their loved ones: their presence.

Looking to optimize your holiday experience this season? Transform standard audio phone conversations on your smartphone into visual, interactive experiences in live time. Be here now.

The holiday season exemplifies togetherness and giving. Social Tree is a joint campaign between Ustream Korea and Holt Children’s Services Inc. where donations will be given to children in need depending on the number of viewers watching the video below.

The Santa Tracker, a well known broadcaster on the Ustream platform, are well into their 5th year of integrating live video in their holiday traditions.

Live streaming has enabled me to create a unique way to involve my users in the Santa Tracking fun each year. Back in 2009, I came up with the idea of producing a type of stream that highlighted the many different ways that people celebrate Christmas around the world while still providing Santa Tracking updates. Over the last few years, the stream has slowly evolved to the tradition it is today – a “Christmas Memories” broadcast. Users have the ability to submit holiday themed home videos, artwork, photos, etc to be broadcasted for the world to share. Once combined, viewers take a virtual trip around the world to see the common happiness that is shared in many different cultures during the Christmas season. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of TheSantaTracker.

Secondly, it provided me the ability to create a live interactive experience. This is most evident with my Santa’s Controllable Christmas Tree channel. The channel has been very successful because users can turn Santa’s Christmas Tree lights on or off from the comfort of their own home and see the results live. I highly preferred this method over simply refreshing still images of the tree every few seconds because I think live streaming makes a user feel much more connected and involved.


*Broadcasting Tip – Don’t Forget to Record!

Saving a Recording

  1. To start your recording, press Start Recording    
  2. To save your recording, press Stop Recording      
  3. A preview of the video will appear and some fields to add a title and description for your video.
  4. Fill in the title and description
  5. There is a small checkbox in the lower left corner to choose whether to make your video public or private. If private is checked, it means only you can access it when you’re logged in. If you’d like everyone to be able to watch this video, uncheck the box.
  6. Click save

Viewing Tip

Recommendations on mobile viewing:

  • Do not use private browsing mode on Safari on iOS
  • Use Wi-Fi rather than 3G or 4G connection whenever possible
  • If the content does not work in the mobile browser, get the Ustream app for iOS or Android and try watching in the Ustream app

Holiday Highlights

Video streaming by Ustream

Video streaming by Ustream


Upcoming Events

Luckily we have a great lineup of New Years Eve streams to celebrate the start of 2014! All of the programming below can be found on our New Years’ Eve Super Channel–where you’ll be able to choose from a live view of Times’ Square, fireworks in Portugal, or live performances!

EarthCam Live from Times Square in NYC

Start time: 12/31 at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET
A special birds-eye view webcam allows visitors to watch as the massive crowds gather at the Crossroads of the World and showcases a perfect view of the famous New Year’s Eve Ball.

Madiera Fireworks 2014!

Start time: 12/31 at 3:45pm PT/6:45pm ET
Spectacular NYE fireworks show from the Madeira Islands.

CBS News Live from Times Square
Start time: 2:50pm PT/5:50pm ET
Watch live coverage of the Times Square 2014 festivities with panoramic views of Times Square. There will even be live musical performances and a special guest at midnight!

And as usual, if you want to go LIVE and stream the festivities in your town, comment on this post and you might find yourself featured on Ustream’s homepage! Happy New Year everyone!

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