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Meetinghouse Webcast: programs that can view stream

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:19 pm
by rgme
Is Windows Media Player the only program that can view the Meetinghouse Webcast stream? I've tried on a Mac with VLC and Quicktime (with Flip4Mac) and at most could get the opening frame. I didn't have success with VLC on Windows, either.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:44 am
by sammythesm
I had the same issues with Mac and VLC. I assumed the default settings of VLC were wrong, but didn't troubleshoot further. My issue was also that I would see the first frame, but nothing else. Audio worked, though.

I haven't tried VLC on Windows.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:24 am
by ksolsen
I haven't found any players that work on a Mac either, unfortunately. There are some for Linux that are compatible with Windows Media Player that work fine, but I suspect your question is really about the Mac and/or iOS devices. This is a problem we plan to fix in the future with our next-generation webcast product offering.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:02 pm
by rgme
Thanks for the feedback. Having a variety of receiving methods would definitely be a plus.

You've alluded to the "next-generation" offering and "strategy." Could you clarify that? (This can go in another post if it gets too off-topic.)
I'm putting a lot of personal time into getting a broadcast solution with the tools currently available/endorsed. I'm concerned it will be a waste of time if the roadmap takes a turn shortly.

Along with the time/effort part, I'm concerned about the equipment we're about to purchase (laptops, EVI-D70 cameras + remote, video mixer, USB capture, some mics, etc). Will it still be useful?
Is there anything we can know now that will prepare us for what might be coming?

Thanks for any enlightenment!

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:44 am
by sammythesm
That's surprising given that VLC is definitely the most platform agnostic video playback program. Unfortunately, it's mostly due to the fact that it relies on software decompression of video (and sometimes ignores hardware acceleration available to certain devices/platforms). Surprising.

Hopefully whatever is in the pipeline for next-gen is NOT Micro$oft Expression-based. Definitely agree with rgme - any details (general or specific) you could give on the roadmap would be helpful in making decisions for stakes purchasing hardware today.

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:29 pm
by rgme
After working with it more, I can report back that I was able to get a working webcast stream in VLC on OS X 10.7. Only once, though. I tried to duplicate it, but didn't work. I have no idea why.

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:57 pm
by Aczlan
We have used VLC Mac PCs to watch the webcast with great results.

Aaron Z

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:15 pm
by ksolsen
We're still quite a ways off from the next-generation product, and it's probably not too smart of me to have mentioned it :), but one thing I can assure you - whatever we implement will ensure, as much as humanly possible, backward compatibility with the investment that Webcast users have made into equipment such as cameras, capture cards, microphones, mixers, etc., also including the Communicator box. The goal is to improve the experience as much as we can - reliability, performance, quality, increased playback system compatibility (as per this discussion), etc. Since our current solutions are PC-based (both the software and Communicator box), and our new solutions will also be PC-based (it would be nice if we can add Macs into the mix as well), logically there is no reason why the equipment you are currently connecting to a PC today should not also work in the future.

Now - one note on that. It is also my goal that we enable some HD solutions as well. Technically, you can do that today. I have just been playing with the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI capture card, combined with the Sony EVI-HD3V PTZ camera. I used it with the Meetinghouse Webcast Software, selected the HD mode, and started a stream. The results were fantastic - very nice HD picture. However, I did all of this testing here on the network at Church HQ, where we have bandwidth to spare. This is obviously not typical of what you would find in all meetinghouses. (If you're interested to see the stream, I'll leave it on for a while - click here , although if you're reading this post sometime after Feb 6, 2012, it's probably not still up).

So my point is this: if you buy standard-def equipment today (like the Sony EVI-D70 camera and Osprey card), is it possible that sometime in the future you will want to go to an HD solution? Sure. Whether or not you can do it easily could be somewhat dependent upon our next-gen solution (although, again, it is possible today), but more than likely it's more dependent on how much bandwidth you have at your building. That's a consideration to think through whether right now or in the future, but I thought I should bring it up.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:47 pm
by Mikerowaved
I was also having problems viewing the video with VLC, both in Windows and Ubuntu 11. I was having the same "first frame only" problem others have experienced. For Ubuntu, the open source SMPlayer worked perfectly. For Windows, an alternative to Windows Media player and VLC is the free GOM Media Player, which is quickly becoming my favorite player. It works flawlessly with most formats you can throw at it, including the church's streaming video. Too bad there's not a version for the *nix or Mac platforms.

Thanks for the demo, Kurt. For those interested it streamed at about 1.8-1.9 Mbps, so don't try this without a decent pipeline to the internet. Also, next time you offer a demo, could you please point the camera at something that's constantly in motion, like a fountain, birds, traffic, or something like that? There were times I had to wait quite a while to finally see someone wander by. :) It really helps to determine if our feed has locked up or is dropping frames.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:51 pm
by lajackson
sammythesm wrote:That's surprising given that VLC is definitely the most platform agnostic video playback program.
We also understand that VLC allows syncing of the sound with the video where there are streaming problems, as we experienced with our last stake conference broadcast. (Alas, VLC was not loaded on the laptop and there were other more pressing issues at the time.)