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Old June 12th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
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what solutions are working for you?

My boss just popped his head in my room asking about live event web streaming. This is something that I've never dealt with before, so after reading for about an hour and getting myself good and confused, I thought I'd go ahead and just ask a few questions.

First off, am I understanding the basic workflow here:
cameras/audio run into live switcher, feed from the switcher runs in PC with capture/encoder card, encoded signal then streams from PC to internet based server company who then provides the appropriate bandwidth to feed lots of folks watching the (nearly) live stream.
Is there anything I'm missing in that over simplified equation?

Assuming I'm on the right track, what capture/on the fly encoder cards are you using? Also, what online server services have you found to be reliable?

Lastly, if I'm way off base here, please be gentle.
Ethan Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 04:06 AM   #2
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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
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Hi Ethan,
I have never tried streaming live before so my answer could be off track a little..
First thing, if your boss wants a closed or private non interactive type stream then my suggestion is not for you.
I was watching "the lab with Leo Laporte" the other day where he was talking about a service called ustream.. It seems to be free and is interactive (the people watching can type questions etc.)
and can also be embed on a web page...
A quote from there site

Ustream is a platform that provides live interactive video for everyone. Anyone with a camera and an Internet connection can use Ustream to broadcast to a global audience.
end quote.

Im guessing that its free because along the bottom of the live stream are small ads like AMD INTEL etc...
Anyway it may be worth a look
James Watt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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Right on track

Ethan, you've already done your homework. The workflow is exactly as described.

I am doing this for about two years now, a two hours live transmission each week from my church. I use firewire to capture the audio/video and Windows Media Encoder for pushing to the server, which in our case is www.simpleupdates.com - even if they don't have this service advertised on their website.

Should you go with them, please mention my name and Atlanta North Church. They have been 100% reliable in over 100 live transmissions (plus another 75 or so audio only before we started video).

Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2007, 03:59 AM   #4
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Hi, I'm looking for some information on the same thing. This post has given me the basic workflow but I am still slightly confused about a few things. My setup will be a single camera (most likely a Panasonic DVX-100) from which I intend to capture the footage using firewire on my computer. This is where I lose track. Do I need software on the computer like Windows Media Encoder to encode the captured footage? Wont I lose a substantial amount of time that way? I'll need it to be as close to live as possible.

Maybe I'm confusing myself here but I couldn't help wondering if there were hardware based solutions to this to save time? Like say, a capture card that would encode to the final streaming format (eg: Windows Media) on the fly?

Also, what kind of bandwidth would I need to send the streams to an internet based server company?

Thanks in advance.
Ashwath Ravee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:37 AM   #5
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The encoding itself is real time, even a mediocre PC (say 3GHz sigle processor with 1GB RAM) can handle that without sweat. I don't know of any hardware solutions and I don't think the encoder would interface with that anyway: you can specify only either a file on the hard drive or a capture device (analog video or firewire) as signal source.

The delay is programmable in Windows Media Encoder; I would suggest to keep it above 15 seconds for buffering purposes in order to effectively proof your transmission against internet hiccups - I have it at 20 seconds.

You can use any bandwidth available; of course, the higher the better. Do not be confused by the "official" internet speed as that reffers to download - ISPs rarely tell you what that would be. Typically it's only a fraction of the download speed (except T1 or higher of course), 1/4 to maybe up to 1/5 of your download speed. Test you connection extensively with a free service like www.speedtest.net and count only on about 75% of your average if you want your transmission to be reliable.

Good luck,
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for your quick reply. I understand that you need to look at the upload speed instead of the advertised download speeds.

On a related note, would you or anyone else have any idea about the bandwidth and hardware requirements for the Streaming Server itself? The one which is typically bought from an internet based company for serving to the viewers? I'm looking at this since I work for an IT company who prefer to do everything in house and bandwidth is not a problem for them at all. Is the setting up of this server easy? I'd probably approach a company that provides this service if the set up is a hassle but I usually like the DIY approach.
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