Webcast resolution

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
craiggsmith
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Webcast resolution

Postby craiggsmith » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:34 pm

With our new internet connection we ran quick test using the high quality mode on the communicator box and the satellite broadcast as the input. The quality was not impressive. I realize the satellite broadcast isn't the best, but neither is a composite video signal. The D70 camera has an s-video out but that's only a little better and I don't know how to get that signal to the webcast box. But I assume the webcast box has a fixed resolution anyway, or does it use the resolution of the input signal, or ...?
Craig
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sammythesm
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Postby sammythesm » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:19 am

There are a lot of moving parts here, so you kind of have to pick apart the system one piece at a time to figure out where you're getting the quality loss.

Start with the connection to the camera - plus the composite connection directly in to a TV. What does the picture look like? I don't suspect your problem is here (especially in svideo vs rca, there is little difference in my opinion) One thing I do like about the D70 is it has better optics than most cameras - so you should have a relatively good picture. You might be able to tweak some things via the remote control (i.e. white balance, contrast, etc) but on the whole, you should have a relatively decent picture.

Next culprit down the line would be your capture card. First of all, check to see what its max supported resolution is, and where to change what resolution it's capturing. This might be in the Windows Control Panel or some other manufacturer supplied software/control. Many capture devices are set by default to only capture at 320x240. If your capturing at that resolution it doesn't matter how "high" you put the webcast software on, it will only just scale up the already bad picture you are capturing. Try to put your capture card into 640x480 mode. This will match the "high" setting on the webcast software.

Next, check the internet connection on the receiving end. I'm not sure if the church's streaming servers are 'adaptive' - but theoretically, a slower/crowded connection on the receiving end should cause the webcast to step down the stream to a lower resolution/bit rate. This would also affect the perceived quality at the receiving end.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:46 pm

Thanks, I'll do some testing this weekend or next. We aren't using a PC but rather the dedicated box. I'll check the receiving connection as well. I was mainly wondering if I shouldn't set my expectations too high given any built-in limitations.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:02 pm

craiggsmith wrote:We aren't using a PC but rather the dedicated box.

I found having the Quality set to "High" didn't cut it either. There's a custom menu there where you can set the quality even higher. I recommend the 750k setting if you have the available bandwidth. At that setting, I noticed a marked improvement in quality at the other end.

After 20-30 minutes of running at this setting, the Communicator I was using would reset itself, stopping the broadcast. Running with the cover removed to allow the trapped hot air to escape solved the problem. YMMV.
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craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:53 pm

Thanks, good to know, I'll give it a try.
Craig
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craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:21 pm

I tried the 750k setting and it was indeed much better. No heat shutdown so far.

The recommended available bandwidth is I believe 2x the bit rate for sending and 1.5x for receiving. One of the buildings only has 1.2 Mbps download speeds so we might be pushing it; maybe running at 600 kbps is safer?
Craig
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:20 pm

craiggsmith wrote:The recommended available bandwidth is I believe 2x the bit rate for sending and 1.5x for receiving. One of the buildings only has 1.2 Mbps download speeds so we might be pushing it; maybe running at 600 kbps is safer?

You might squeak by at 1.2Mbps, as it's just over the 1.5x recommended cushion. Testing for extended periods would probably let you know for sure. It would also help in cases like that to be able to shut off the wireless access in the building during the broadcast.
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craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:21 pm

Thanks. Yes, I will definitely shut off the wireless. The probably with testing is you don't really know if there's a problem unless you sit there and watch it the whole time!
Craig
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South Jordan, UT


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