In the past couple years a few regionals every week have been streamed through NASA by teams. But this year with free services like ustream.tv and stickam that let you stream video very easily I hope we can see more regionals streamed this year.
Hopefully I will be able to stream Waterloo using ustream.tv, and I know the blue alliance guys have some plans of the sort for other regionals. As with recording match footage from the regionals all FIRST events provide an array of video outputs that is a feed off what is being displayed on the main screen, from this all you need is a cheep video capture device (like this). The hard part is finding an internet connection, talk with your regional coordinator and see what you can do. Many of the regionals are held at Universities and talking to the University you may be able to wrangle up an internet connection.
Both services allow you to embed a player in a webpage (like youtube), so hopefully we can figure out some way to embed a player in a forum page, so that can have a central location to watch the stream and talk about the regional.
I believe NASA TV only shows the Championship and Kickoff… (not too sure), but they also provide online streams of regionals that teams help set up. From my experience last year at Waterloo these can be a major pain to set up properly. Thats why I am suggesting services like ustream.tv that make it as easy as using youtube.
The Suffield Shakedown is a great event that rivals the size of most regionals and uses an official FIRST Field and has many Referies and utilizes the official FIRST Scoring Systems. So if you want a sneak peak before your first regional (and you cant make it in person) TUNE-IN.
Same links will also be Hosting the CT Regional March 13-15th 2008:
The Blue Alliance will be webcasting Boston through ustream.tv. We’re investigating how to spruce up the stream with overlaid images and other things. If anyone knows how to do this sort of live video mixing (especially if I can do it in software on my computer) please let me know!
I have experience web casting and will try and answer questions you may have.
There is a demo titler available for windows media encoder, not sure what its called. I used a Tricaster pro for the web cast i did. It does a great job and has many features, but is very expensive (~$9000), I borrowed it from a local college for the event I did. I used mostly my own equipment for the event except for the tricaster, audio mixer, cameras, and wireless microphone.
Im sure NASA will update their page as we get closer. The previous link looks like they are starting the prep for that info (so far the only active links for the regionals are going to my teams home page)
If you want to webcast. You can simply run windows media encoder but you need a capture card that can take in a signal from the Video Crew.
If you can/want to do this at your regional, I suggest you contact the regional coordinators and see if they have the capacity and if they will allow you to help.
We started about 7-8 years ago with the UTC/Suffied Scrimmage- it took us another year to get past Firewall Issues with the school we were in. (First Year we ended up only streaming to the pits becuase of network issues)
Most Network People wont be able to help you because they typically arent experienced with the full protical.firewall issues- so we resolved to Pushing a Stream to a server instead of Pulling it from the Encoder. This has some limitations (like not being able to send to multiple locations) but will bypass 99% of the firewall issues. After two good years at the scrimage we approached the Regional Contacts and have done that for thet past 4or5 years (but I digress) The point- it helps to have experience under your belt before trying a large event. Id been doing it for a while before even the Scrimage so I could do the trouble shooting needed to make it all work.
If you get past step 1 and the commitee says YES. then you need to determine the video signal you need to take in (composite/S-video/dv/etc.) based on your computer capture device. Then confirm you can get that signal from the Video Crew, if not see if there is a convertor you can run it through. Other wise I recomend seeing if there is a USB capture card that takes in the signal type they have. WinTV cards are a good standby and are pretty cheap.
Then you need a server to go to. I am not sure what UStream.tv has for resources or requirements/limitations. But that may be your best server option if you dont have access to other servers.
Lastly post links on this site, and try to contact NASA (via robotics page) and see if they can post it for you. They are busy so plan ahead (for their sake and yours-- as you see they already have our links up there!) You can ask the regional coordinator to ask FIRST to post it on the Regional page as well.
Re: NASA TV. They typically find one event a week that they can broadcast. I dont know if they just give sattellite time or if they handle the entire uplink. But I would tell you to look there (NASA TV) on saturday of each regional event week (and the Chanpionships). If you have DishNetworks look for Educational Files on the program guide. That is normally the heading (but they use it for many other shows so dont think its only FIRST when you see that listing).