As stream hosting becomes a much more common web hosting option among entry-level consumers, the companies serving those consumers have dramatically slashed their prices. Such is the case at Cheapest Stream, a company which has aggressively promoted some of the most affordable entry-level streaming products in the web hosting industry at large. There are 4 packages, all with consistent levels of quality and robust features, ensuring that customers won’t have to make many sacrifices, if any, to get a great deal on their streaming web hosting plan.
It’s not uncommon to find a streaming web hosting company which will start its entry-level tiers of service at around $20 per month, pushing out some of the internet’s most budget-minded or novice online broadcasters. The people behind CheastStream.com are relatively aware of how damaging this can be to a consumer’s hopes of taking the online broadcasting world by storm, and they’ve adjusted to the needs of entry-level customers by offering a plan which costs less per year that some competing plans cost on a monthly basis.
That plan, known as the “Mini” streaming plan at Cheapest Stream, will cost customers just $1.95 per month, though the company does require those who purchase this plan to pay on an annual basis. Even so, that makes the company’s most affordable web hosting option just $23.40 per year. Customers will appreciate the value, but also the great features which are bundled with this plan. Streaming is done in 64kbps AAC, and up to ten listeners can enjoy the stream simultaneously. It’s a higher quality option than many competing entry-level plans, and customers will enjoy the benefit of both low prices and a great stream without making any big sacrifices.
Moving beyond the entry-level plan, CheapestStream.com offers three packages which increase in price as the company allows more concurrent listeners. Every plan offered to consumers does broadcast in 64kbps AACv2, which is one of the higher-quality online streaming codecs. At $5.95 per month, CheapestStream.com increases the number of concurrent listeners to 30; at $9.95 monthly, that number goes up to sixty. Finally, the highest package offered by the company allows 100 concurrent listeners for a monthly fee of $16.95.
Even despite the issues of quality when it comes to the overall stream, it should be noted that the AAC codec is well-regarded for online streaming and audio distribution in general. It performs much better at lower bitrates than competing technologies (such as MP3), meaning the difference between a 64kbps stream and one of a slightly higher quality might be negligible at best.
Its a great addition to see Cheapest Stream including a free Flash player, where other streaming providers often charge an additional $10 a month. The fact that SAM Broadcaster Lite is included free is also a huge benefit to anyone using Cheapest Stream, as it means setting up your streaming with radio software is very easy. It is a simply a case of entering your username and password, then clicking log in.
The major advantage of Cheapest Stream is clearly the exceedingly affordable packages, especially when compared to many bigger-name competitors. Customers will certainly get a fair deal and if they’re okay with maxing out at 64kbps for their online stream, they’ll enjoy really great service from the company. Online billing and support ticket filing are available through a unified interface, and the company’s support operation is appropriately responsive. It might be a bit limited when compared to bigger hosting companies, but it is that relatively efficient, smaller operation, which allows customers to save so much money on their annual or monthly streaming hosting fees.
One of the things which really stands out, in a bad way, about the streaming hosting plans offered by the company is that they simply don’t offer any increase in quality above 64kbps. It’s true that these plans do increase the number of listeners, but it would be nice to see a package that would increase to 128kbps even if it meant paying more money. Furthermore, while customers are provided with access to the Flash Media Player and SAM Broadcaster Lite, they have no access to popular ShoutCast technologies which are the unofficial industry standard. The other main disadvantage is even if you are using a different radio broadcast software, you still need to use SAM Broadcaster Lite to setup your encoders.
All told, the highlight of CheapestStream.com’s service is that it is ultra-affordable, even for the most budget-conscious consumers currently in the market for a chance to broadcast their own streams around the world. The entry-level plan offered by the company is one of the best and most affordable plans available anywhere, and the helpful “Client Zone” account management portal will help take care of any issues that might arise after a customer’s subscription has been activated. Further, the services offered by the company scale quite well to accommodate increased interest or demand, which is essential for any serious player in the online streaming marketplace.