Webcast testing glitches

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
danpass
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Webcast testing glitches

Postby danpass » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:57 pm

I have been testing the (new to us) webcast portal and VidiU encoder, in preparation for our upcoming stake conference.

We have the following equipment configuration:

SD cameras producing 4:3 aspect ratio video.
HDMI output (480i) from a Black Magic Design ATEM video mixer connected to the HDMI input of the VidiU.
Meetinghouse audio connected to the analog audio input of the VidiU.
VidiU loaded with currently recommended 2.4.7 firmware.
Stake Center where all initial broadcast and receive testing has taken place has 60/12 Mbps cable Internet service.
VidiU broadcast settings are configured as advised in the lds.org help page, with Medium quality, Adaptive Bitrate disabled, Frame-rate full and Audio Quality mobile.

I have been scheduling events of type Test (full), using either the US West or US West 2 region and the 4:3 broadcast profile.

Issue 1:
On the receiving computers, the video stream has occasionally stalled. I'm in the process of troubleshooting this issue. Most of the time, it resumes on its own. When it resumes, I see a message indicating that due to a slow network connection, only audio is available. When the audio resumes, it does not resume where it left off, but rather jumps ahead to a more current position in the buffer. Is it normal to lose segments of the stream when playback resumes after stalling?

Issue 2:
Even though we are producing 4:3 video and using the 4:3 profile setting on the portal, the player nearly always automatically stretches the video horizontally. This happens whether or not I check the Limit to SD box for the receiving site when scheduling the event. There have been a few times where the player randomly switches between a true 4:3 and the stretched wide display, while the stream is playing. Each time it switched, there was a split-second audio dropout. Is there a way to control the aspect ratio used by the player?

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:44 pm

First of all, I'm envious of your ATEM setup. Those are nice to work with. :P

So are you both webcasting and receiving in the same building? You should have enough BW to do that, I was just curious. You mention "the receiving computers", how many are there? What program are they using to play the video? (e.g. Windows Media Player, VLC, etc.)
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danpass
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby danpass » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:49 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:So are you both webcasting and receiving in the same building? You should have enough BW to do that, I was just curious. You mention "the receiving computers", how many are there? What program are they using to play the video? (e.g. Windows Media Player, VLC, etc.)


The initial phase of testing has only included webcasting and receiving in the same building. We are about to expand testing to receive at remote locations.

At most, I have had 3 concurrent receiving devices. 2 computers with wired network connections and an Android phone on the WiFi. For each device, I logged into the portal and entered the event code. The video played in the browser, which was Chrome in each case.

russellhltn
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:18 pm

So, you didn't turn off the WiFi? Even if you were the only one in the building, there could be neighbors.
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danpass
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby danpass » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:26 pm

russellhltn wrote:So, you didn't turn off the WiFi? Even if you were the only one in the building, there could be neighbors.


TM showed DHCP allocation only for the expected number of devices and Fing confirmed which devices were on the network. It was at a time when I was the only person in the building.

mstauff
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby mstauff » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:48 pm

Every time we have done a webcast of stake conference over the last 2 years we always have a few times throughout the conference where there are hiccups with the stream, they almost always self resolve (while I'm looking into potential issues I get messages saying "ok, it's working now", and it's rare that I've changed anything). And in most cases the stream reconnects wherever it happens to be (receiving sites miss some of the audio). It's rare that it resumes from where it drops.

In regards to issue 2, we saw that same behavior tonight during our adult session of conference. The stream would randomly switch from 4:3 to 16:9. We actually had 2 different machines playing side by side to compare and one was doing it and one was not. We were originally seeing the issue in IE & Safari (due to the current warning in the portal re: Chrome & FF). I switched one machine over to FF or Chrome and it was just displaying at 16:9, while the other machine running in IE was switching aspect ratio's. We had other users viewing the broadcast reporting the 4:3/16:9 issue as well.

jhawkins75
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby jhawkins75 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:05 pm

This sounds like the same issue I'm having. I broadcast in 4:3 as well, and after running a test with my remote locations this evening and getting some complaints of "choppiness" I thought I'd go take a look for myself. Below is a link to a video I shot of the strange behavior. We've been running this setup since we changed to rtmp streaming with great success, and as recent as April. Now it wants to shift back and forth between aspect ratios, and on one computer it did this a couple of times and then gave me the spinning blue icon and froze.

Take a look, is this what you are seeing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gikeYBdzNSg

Thanks,

Jack

russellhltn
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby russellhltn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:38 am

Looks to me like it keeps switching between two streams of different aspect ratios running at slightly different times. I wonder if it's due to trying to find a stream with a bitrate it likes.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

danpass
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby danpass » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:21 pm

jhawkins75 wrote:This sounds like the same issue I'm having. I broadcast in 4:3 as well, and after running a test with my remote locations this evening and getting some complaints of "choppiness" I thought I'd go take a look for myself. Below is a link to a video I shot of the strange behavior. We've been running this setup since we changed to rtmp streaming with great success, and as recent as April. Now it wants to shift back and forth between aspect ratios, and on one computer it did this a couple of times and then gave me the spinning blue icon and froze.

Take a look, is this what you are seeing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gikeYBdzNSg

Thanks,

Jack


Yes, this looks like what I saw. It only happened once in my testing and only switched aspect ratio 2 or 3 times.

Later, I discovered a "Widescreen" setting in the VidiU Video/Audio settings which was set to "Auto". I changed it to "No", since we are doing 4:3. If your's is set to Auto, try changing it. Unfortunately, even with Widescreen set to No, we are still seeing the video stretched wide. The stretching occurs regardless of whether Widescreen is set to Auto, Yes or No.

Actually, I should test this again. We got a new VidiU, because the front panel display died on our original device and I loaded the newest firmware on it. We used the new one a couple of weeks ago for a stake general priesthood meeting webcast and the video was stretched as we've become accustomed to. But I didn't check or modify the Widescreen setting. I'll test and report back.

jhawkins75
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Re: Webcast testing glitches

Postby jhawkins75 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:17 pm

The stretching occurs regardless of whether Widescreen is set to Auto, Yes or No.


Interesting. One thing that jumps out to me is that I broadcast at 640x480 and when I start my stream the status says that it is a 640x480 stream and then eventually it switches to 1920x1080. Does that mean that the streaming server is upscaling and reencoding my SD stream to widescreen HD?

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