Social Live Facebook streaming on Sony Xperia Z1 explained & tested
Stream video live to Facebook from your Sony Xperia Z1
One of the features Sony announced on the Z1 is Social Live which links the Z1’s camera with Facebook.
To date there hasn’t been too much information on how it works and what needs to be done, so we have put it to the test., including a video showing it working.
What is Social Live on the Sony Xperia Z1?
Social Live is a feature of the Sony Xperia Z1 camera that can stream video live to your Facbook page providing you have an active internet connection and are logged into Facebook.
Others (depending on your settings) can then view it when they are logged into Facebook.
How does it work?
When in the camera on the Z1, you select Social Live as a shooting mode. You log into Facebook via an active internet connection on the phone. You configure the live stream how you want it and share it with the world. It is quite simple.
What does it cost/account types?
There are 2 versions of the social live service. The first is the basic version which is free and the second is the premium version which costs £1.38 per month.
With a basic account you get:
- Up to 10 minute long videos
- Video stored online for 24 hours
- Up to 270p video recoding resolution
- Ad supported playback
With the premium version you get:
- Up to 30 minute long videos
- Unlimited online storage
- Up to 360p resolution on live video
- Ad free playback
Who can I share the live stream with?
You can share it with whoever you choose. You can set it to be a public stream, to friends only or to certain people you select.
Can I name the feed?
Yes, you can name the feed to whatever you would like. You get to set this before recording/streaming.
Can people comment?
Yes, people can comment when you stream live on Facebook and the comments can be viewed on the Z1.
How do I know who is viewing it?
You select the people you wish to view the stream so you will have a good idea. It will then show how many are viewing the stream on the screen of the Z1.
Can people like the video?
Yes, people can like your stream live on Facebook and the like can be seen on the Z1.
Can I use the front and rear camera?
When streaming the video you can use either the front or rear camera but you can only use one camera during the feed. You can not switch between the two. To switch you need to stop the stream and start again.
Can I change the video quality?
No. Based on your account type will depend on what quality the video streams in. The phone itself will record in full resolution but the live stream is at the time of writing limited to 270p for free accounts and 360p for premium accounts.
Does it save the video?
If you are using the free service, the video will be available online for 24 hours. A premium account will leave it online forever.
However the video is saved to the Z1 as well, so you can upload it to the likes of YouTube if needs be.
Is there any lag?
In our testing there was a little bit of lag on the stream on Facebook, which is to be expected. The lag was approximately 5 seconds, which we think is more than acceptable. The stream remained consistent with little breakup or stalling/buffering.
Does it tell you how long you have been streaming for?
Yes, in the corner is a countdown clock telling you how long you have left.
How do I start and stop the stream?
Quite simply press the red record button to start and stop the live stream.
What does it look like?
Take a look at the screenshots/video below and throughout this post to see what it looks like.
Can I see it in action?
Below is a video showing it in action. Please excuse the fact that it is not quite as polished as some of our others, but we were keen to show the feature to you.
Is it worth upgrading to the premium option?
This is going to be a personal decision. It will cost you bout £17 per year for the service so it depends how much live streaming you do.
If you blog/attend events or need to stream live video back to your office then this could be a worthwhile feature, even for some businesses.
We hope the above has answered some of your questions. If you have any more, please ask below.