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Web Casting

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Mike CohenWeb Casting
by on Feb 16, 2009 at 5:41:22 pm

Has anyone done a live video web-cast? There seem to be a lot of providers, just wondering if anyone has had a good or bad experience they want to relate.

Mike Cohen

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Craig SeemanRe: Web Casting
by on Feb 17, 2009 at 4:25:42 pm

That's a very broad question.

I've used Mogulus. They crashed once during my stream. I know it was their because it was a simultaneous stream with someone in another part of the country and they went down at the same time. It took Mogulus about 20 minutes to get back up.

I've tested Ustream and had camera compatibility issues. They claim Flash has issues with certain DV cameras. I was attempting to use Sony PD-170. Their recommended solution was to use CamTwist as a front end.

I'm currently working with Wirecast.
For "small" viewership you can use the computer it's installed on as the server.

When picking a service you really need to define who you want to reach and your potential budget and pick the appropriate service. You target might range from internal corporate to wide area broadcast. You need to think about whether you want to use Flash vs Window Media or Quicktime.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Web Casting
by on Feb 17, 2009 at 4:49:09 pm

We do a statewide webcast at least once a month for various clients, it is an added-value thing we include when we do satellite teleconferences. Our guys use Windows Media, I think Helix. I don't have much to do with that side except to provide them a signal to encode.

One problem we face when doing a simultaneous sat and web broadcast is, the longer the show runs, (and we typically go as long as 2 hours) the more the web cast falls behind realtime. I would say, after an hour of live, the web stream could be twenty seconds behind the live shot. If all you do is stream lectures one way with no interactivity, not an issue.

Where this makes for trouble is, we have live call-in Q&A segments in our shows. Before webcasting was really big, the worst delay you faced was 2 seconds of sat delay to someone on the phone, easy to adjust to, especially since we feed a mix-minus to the phone to cancel echo. But much of our web audience finds it hard to understand the longer delay over time, and so you get a lot of awkward pauses and false starts on the phone-ins when the sides of the conversation are simultaneous over the phone, but they are paying attention to their computer screen waiting for the cue to speak.

So far I deal with this by running lower third crawls that re-instruct viewers continuously that if they are on the web, listen to your phone in realtime, and not to the screen, while you are on hold with your question. You don't miss any content that way, but the audiences are resistant to doing this for some reason I can't understand.

You would think that with decades of listener experience hearing 7-second delayed talk radio call-ins, the average person would understand about the delays, but they don't. Not without continual on-screen prompting about it. I am still looking for a better answer, but I fear it will have to be on the streaming software/hardware side and be out of my budget reach to implement.

Next such show starts with a 60- second tutorial before the live Q&A to remind the audience about web delays. Inelegant, but what else have I got?

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Ron LindeboomRe: Web Casting
by on Feb 17, 2009 at 7:32:00 pm

One of the newer players (though not all that new) is Microsoft's Silverlight. There have been a number of companies opting to use Silverlight over either Flash or Quicktime, with Netflix and CBS Sports being two of these companies.

You may want to look into it, Mike, as a possible consideration for your situation.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

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Mike CohenRe: Web Casting
by on Feb 17, 2009 at 8:34:35 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Silverlight is cool, however folks on corporate networks seem to be unable to install anything.


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Dan AsselinRe: Web Casting
by on Feb 18, 2009 at 12:52:57 am

Hi Mike;

My partner and I work as subs for live webcasts of all different types of events including medical where, for obvious reasons, the procedure cannot be done on site.

We primarily use windows media with generally excellent results.

If you could narrow down your question somewhat I would be pleased to put you in touch with my partner who is a real "Einstein" when it comes to this stuff.


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