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Unread 12-18-2004, 07:41 PM
sanddrag sanddrag is offline
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Webcasting of Regionals

I have a lot of questions about the regional webcasts:

First, can any informed person give me a number of approximately how many people "tune in" for one of these?
Also, what is the typical bandwidth size of the stream?
Why are some events webcasts and others not? Why are some archived (by NASA) and others not?
Where does the video come from, is it the same signal as what goes on the big screen?
What all goes into webcasting a regional? (equipment, staff, cost, etc.)

Answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 12-18-2004, 08:06 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

Dr.Bot (Alan Federman) is who I beleive does the webcasts for NASA, or at least ARC. When SOAP webcasts a regional, I beleive all they do is send the stream to NASA, and it's broadcast using NASA's bandwidth.

See this thread for more details: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=25026
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Unread 12-18-2004, 08:11 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanddrag
I have a lot of questions about the regional webcasts:

First, can any informed person give me a number of approximately how many people "tune in" for one of these?
Also, what is the typical bandwidth size of the stream?
Why are some events webcasts and others not? Why are some archived (by NASA) and others not?
Where does the video come from, is it the same signal as what goes on the big screen?
What all goes into webcasting a regional? (equipment, staff, cost, etc.)

Answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.
I will try to answer these as best as I can.

1. You can uni-cast from a personal PC, but only one PC can receive it. If you want a multi-cast you will have to have some sort of server. If you can multi-cast from a server, the number of people you can serve from is limited to your bandwidth. There may be some theoretical limit in the streaming software, but the bandwidth always cruds out before that.

2. The bandwidth varies, but expect to take up a lot, especially if you have a high quality stream.

3. The webcast have always been an un-official thing of FIRST. Basically if somebody can webcast it, they will. NASA only webcasts its own regionals.

4. Yes most webcasts are taken from the main feed. From there they are digitized, encoded, and streamed. The main feed is available to anybody who has a VCR or similar recording devise.

5. Well if you have all the equipment, and experience of web casting than not much goes in. The biggest challenge is try to find an internet connection with enough bandwidth. To do a basic "home-brew" webcast you can take a PC (fastest possible) and use a piece of software like Quicktime Broadcaster to uni-stream to a server off-site. Then the server can distribute the stream to specific number of people.
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Unread 12-18-2004, 08:26 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

About NASA webcasting regionals...I know Palmetto was webcast by NASA. Was that a NASA-sponsored regional last year or this year?
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Unread 12-18-2004, 09:04 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

I can answer about half these questions and I'll work on getting you an email of the guy that can fully answer all of them.

Most regionals are webcast via NASA. NASA sends out a person to set up the webcast and run it for the event. A few are webcast by experienced volunteers that work in association with the NASA people. So not all the regionals are webcast because there's not enough people to go around. Bandwidth might also have something to do with it. I'm unsure about the archiving.

The video is typically the exact same as is displayed on the screen if that's available. Regionals have differing levels of AV support, so some might only have an overview camera for a video feed. Either way, the webcasting equipment is given a video feed from the AV system.

Staff for webcasting is minimal. You really only need someone to get it set up and running and occasionally check on things. Equipment is varied. It is possible to use most videoconfencing equipment like a Polycom for this. You can also use a computer with a video capture card, but it can't be a Dazzle or anything that captures in MPEG format. It doesn't have to be blazingly fast. You'll also need network connectivity, which usually means an ISDN modem, or a network drop, depending on where you are. Cost is typically dictated by said network connectivity. Getting one or two ISDN lines can be moderately pricey.

I'll find the emails you need to get in touch with webcasting people and PM you if you're really interested in webcasting your local regional.

EDIT: Scratch that. Dr. Bot (Alan Federman) is exactly who you need to talk to. I also outlined a lot of this info in the thread that Joe Ross linked, but I love to talk anyways, and I got distracted in the middle of this post.

I'm fairly certain that NASA will webcast more than just NASA regionals. Lone Star hasn't been a NASA regional for a while, but it's had a webcast for the past few years. I think the issue is getting someone at the regional to be in charge of all the stuff and getting the ISDN lines rented and such, really. It's not an incredibly simple task that you can hand off to someone that isn't very comfortable with computers.
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Last edited by Kevin Sevcik : 12-18-2004 at 09:10 PM.
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Unread 12-18-2004, 09:10 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Sevcik
I can answer about half these questions and I'll work on getting you an email of the guy that can fully answer all of them.

Most regionals are webcast via NASA. NASA sends out a person to set up the webcast and run it for the event. A few are webcast by experienced volunteers that work in association with the NASA people. So not all the regionals are webcast because there's not enough people to go around. Bandwidth might also have something to do with it. I'm unsure about the archiving.

The video is typically the exact same as is displayed on the screen if that's available. Regionals have differing levels of AV support, so some might only have an overview camera for a video feed. Either way, the webcasting equipment is given a video feed from the AV system.

Staff for webcasting is minimal. You really only need someone to get it set up and running and occasionally check on things. Equipment is varied. It is possible to use most videoconfencing equipment like a Polycom for this. You can also use a computer with a video capture card, but it can't be a Dazzle or anything that captures in MPEG format. It doesn't have to be blazingly fast. You'll also need network connectivity, which usually means an ISDN modem, or a network drop, depending on where you are. Cost is typically dictated by said network connectivity. Getting one or two ISDN lines can be moderately pricey.

I'll find the emails you need to get in touch with webcasting people and PM you if you're really interested in webcasting your local regional.
I know UTC webcasted their regional themselves last year so non-NASA regionals can do it.
I'm hoping Finger Lakes does it.
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Unread 12-18-2004, 11:40 PM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

From the sound of things (the posts in this thread), it seems either "NASA handles it" or "if you can do it, go for it and we'll send over a video cable, but no support beyond that." Do I have the right impression here? The reason I'm asking all this is for the regionals that don't get webcasted or archived. Hopefully maybe there is a way they can be.
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Unread 12-19-2004, 12:30 AM
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Re: Webcasting of Regionals

Currently NASA handles the serving of the webcast. There's still the need for someone to be at the regional to set up a computer or whatever. I believe Alan Federman will be willing to walk you through the process and describe all the stuff that's needed. You wouldn't be left hanging completely if you wanted to run the webcast at your regional.
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