you say that you want to stream video on the internet, OK. Let
me show you how to do it and with some time and effort on your
part, you will be streaming.
start with the basic video package. First you will need a video
capture card and the software to go with it. This does not need
to be a very high dollar item! The one that I used to capture
all the video is a Creative Labs RT300. While you can go hog
wild on the cards and spend upwards of one thousand dollars,
it is really not necessary to do so.
Your second item
on the list, streaming software. I have tried three different
ones and by far the Real Audio
people have the best in my opinion. I like the way it is configured
to run the within Windows 95 platform and you should have no
problems setting it up. You can get their free software here,
as well as info on commercial tools here.
The other major
item and probably right next to the most expensive would be
something like Adobe Premiere to edit your creations. I wont
go into the details of how this program works, that is a whole
other story ;-). For now lets just say you have an edited .avi
or .mov file that you want to stream and work from that point.
Ready, now we have
the HARDWARE and SOFTWARE items and are ready to roll. I am
going to recommend a setting of 240x180or smaller. Why you ask?
Because it streams the fastest and looks the sharpest in fast
action video. The most you are going to achieve with the Real
Media streaming software it 15 frames per second. That means
you should capture the original as close to 30 frames a second
as possible and let the Real Media software compress it from
there. The audio setting should be at the lowest setting possible
so that the frame rate stays hi and clear.
Lets back up for
a moment on that point. Believe it or not most Internet users
still use a 28.8 modem. In theory that means you should not
go above the 26,000 kilobits per second bandwidth. Well let
me share a secrete with you, that is not true. I usually format
my videos to somewhere in the 30,000 kbps range. But Mike, you
just said that everyone still uses 28.8 modems, how it possible
for them to watch? BUFFERING. The Real Audio Player buffers
the signal to provide smooth playback to some degree. While
I do not have an exact number for it is appears to be about
20 kbps better than what you are watching it on. Put in simple
terms, if I want to watch a 33,600 or even a 56 kbps stream
it will run well, it just takes extra time to buffer before
it starts to play on a 28 kbps modem.
The other very
important thing is the audio stream. Make sure that you dont
use any more than necessary. I use the 6.5kbps option with most
of my stuff. You can certainly tell that the audio is a poor
quality when compared to CD but it does get through OK. If you
are more concerned with picture quality and sharpness but dont
need a high frame rate, then dedicate less for Video section
and use it for improved audio. Once again the ultimate balancing
act with the limited bandwidth.
look over at the Destination side of the form. The Real Media
file box should be checked, if not, do so now. The reason for
this is that we will not be broadcasting live video streams.
Then select the SAVE AS button and save your creation in the
temporary filedirectory you made and that name will appear in
Almost ready, and
your file will show up on the left side of the window, that
screen will disappear when you click OK. Now is for compression.
Choose the Advanced button on the right side of the Real Publisher
window. There are many options to choose from that are already
set up in the Template. Find the one that best fits what the
general public has to view the video that you wish them to.
Remember that is a total of about 33 kbps total.
Once those settings
are in place check SAVE. You will now go to the next screen
that will look something like this. Hit the START button and
watch as the Real Encoder takes control of your PC. When the
encoder is done you will have a new file in your temporary directory
that you set up. At that time you can double click on it and
review it. If it is to your liking you are now ready to publish
it on the internet.
Lets cover that
quickly. In order for you to publish it on an internet site
without the use of a Real Media Player on the server side a
trick must be made so that it will play correctly. Quite simply
you must make another file that refers to the clip. Why, because
if you dont the entire clip will have to download before
it would play and that would not be a good thing for real-time
streaming. So then, go to Note Pad or Editor in windows and
make up the following file. http://www.(your domain).com/(your
user name)/video/(and the name of the clip you just made).rm.
Save that file as a .ram for an extension and upload it to your
root directory on your internet site. This file will also be
your reference file when you hyperlink it. The entire purpose
of this file is to redirect the media file to the clip and then
play it in real time. This little trick is called Pseudo Streaming
and work quite well. Remember the reference file you just made
has an extension of .ram the file that is your video clip is
That is it. You
are now set up to streem video and or audio on the internet.
If you have any questions give me a jingle and I will see about
getting back to you.