View Full Version : Webcasting Recommendations

03-16-2010, 01:57 AM
I am currently working on how to webcast an FRC Regional and have come across one concern. When I take the production crew feed (RCA+ Video RCA) and send it to the computer via USB it looks fine, clear enough and pretty good quality. (I am testing using a DVD player since I dont have the feed until day of) This leads me to believe that the converter I am using is not damaged or broken, since the feed on the computer is acceptable.
However, once I use Flash media encoder or a similar product to send the feed to Ustream, for example, the quality seems to degrade and becomes a little blurry and not as nice.
Can anyone that has webcasted an FRC Regional before tell me about the products / combinations of products they chose to use?

Scott L.
03-16-2010, 07:02 AM
The reduced quality is probally do to a reduced bitrate being sent to u-stream, either do to a setting, or because of the limit of your internet connection.

The equipment I have used for off season events is as follows:
1 Server to handle all website related features (Match database, ranking, live embeded meebo chat) Dual Xeon 2.8GHzHT 6GB Ram
A second server to serve the stream Dual Xeon 2.66GHzHT 4GB Ram
I use the Newtek Tricaster Pro do the encoding and live chromakey switching.
I send the final stream to TVUNetworks. All network connected through a 24-port Switch(DES-1228), which receives internet through a VPN Router(RV-082)

I have a Canon XL-1s Camera I use to film the video for the webcast, I use a 24 input audio mixer mix the audio from the arena, 3 microphones, and DJ's music.

03-16-2010, 12:27 PM
I just completed the Webcast for the Wisconsin Regional. You are under the gun to get this ready but the following instructions should guide you.


NASA will provide the webcasting if you provide the uplink. Windows Media Encoder works great and is simple to use. I used the recommended AVERMEDIA device and it worked great. ($50 from Tigerdirect). I would be happy to send the device to you for use this weekend if you need it. You can probably use the device that you have with Windows Media Encoder. You may want to download it and try it.

NASA was GREAT to work with. Knowledgeable and helpful. Feel free to write back if you want more help.

Dave G / Wisconsin Regional Planning Committee

03-16-2010, 12:30 PM
Followup, we used the feed from the venue - you need to get this arranged with the planning committee for the regional you will be webcasting from as they will need to provide the internet connection as well.
Also, I used a basic computer running Windows XP to encode and deliver the stream to NASA. Only hassle is having enough room on the hard drive to store the archive file if you plan on having one.
Shout out if you need some help.

03-16-2010, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the recommendations.
I happen to be on the planning committee, so that is fine. I was mostly confused as to why the quality was fine on the computer, and then so poor once visible on the internet. Sounds like it was likely the internet connection or web browser. Ill let you know if I come across anything else.