What is a Webcast?
A webcast or streaming is a transmission of video (and audio) over the internet. Video cameras capture the live events. An encoding PC compresses Audio and video content reducing the file sizes so they are small enough to be sent over the internet. This data is sent over a Broadband Internet connection (DSL Line) to our central server, which in turn makes it available to anyone that would like to view the video. Picture quality will depend on the internet connection and also the choice of camera.
Is the Webcast Live?
While the term webcast is associated with live events pre-recorded material can be webcast. For discussion purposes here, assume the webcast is live. FF
Who uses Webcast technology?
A webcast can be used by anyone trying to get pictures and sound delivered out over the internet. This could be an individual, a business organisation, media companies such as radio stations and TV stations. The scope and the use of webcasting is endless - sports, concerts, speeches, training seminars, conferences, lectures , regional and local government agencies, special interest groups, , marketing, corporate communications, press relations…
How can I webcast?
L-CAST can set up cameras and sound gathering equipment at your venue, translate this into a signal suitable to distribute over the internet (encode). This signal is then sent by a broadband connection to L-CASTs Streaming server. This server sends individual streams of video and audio out to the viewers worldwide.
Do I need expensive cameras and microphones?
The choice is yours. At basic level Digital camcorders and basic microphones can be used. In venues like churches there is often an existing Public Address system- the output of this can be sent to the webcast. If greater sophistication is required then more cameras and video equipment can be added. At the end of the line there is one video and /or one audio signal to be encoded in a suitable web distribution format.
What is an encoder?
Video encoding and video compression are often seen as the same. The raw video and audio signals need to be translated in type and reduced in size to allow delivery over the world wide web network.
What encoding does L- Webcast use?
L-CAST uses Flash Video - this is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player. There are two different video file formats defined by Adobe Systems and supported in Adobe Flash Player: FLV and F4V. Flash Video FLV files contain video bit streams compressed with On2 VP6 for use with Flash Player 8 and higher. Flash Player 9 includes support F4V and H.264 video standard as well as AAC Audio Standard.
What is L- Webcasts distribution mechanism?
L-CAST uses Wowza Media Server to deliver your content from one encode simultaneously to multiple clients on the desktop, mobile and the living . It delivers file streaming in all Flash player-compatible formats, including FLV and H.264 video, MP3 and HE-AAC audio. Wowza Media Server 2 is a fully interactive Flash server. It communicates with the Adobe Flash player using the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). It can deliver multi-bitrate live and on-demand media, data and remote procedure call information to and from the Flash player using RTMP. Additionally, Wowza Server supports features beyond media.
How do I get the encoded video to Libirels' streaming server?
The encoded video and audio is sent over a broadband (DSL) line. It is important that the line has sufficient bandwidth to send the stream. The absolute minimum would be 512K out which we know could serve a 256K live stream when taking all of the overhead into account.
How do viewers get the webcast?
Using a software based player. The player can be embedded anywhere on your website or on www.l-cast.com for instant viewing.
What is embedding the video?
Flash can be used to embed video in web pages. When video is embedded on a site it becomes part of the site, an enhancement that removes a lot of the complications associated with third party players.
What is a Video Player?
A video player is software that allows you playback and/or watch video (and audio) or multimedia files in your Browser. When you connect to the internet to view files/web-pages you will open browser software such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc.
What player does L- Webcast use?
L-CAST uses Flash player that makes it possible to add FLV, H.264/MPEG-4, and MP3 content to your site. Flash, refers to both the authoring program and the Player. Flash files are called "Flash movies". These are special .swf format files that are sent to your web browser screen as you watch them The Player fully supports playback of videos through the RTMP protocol. Adobe's Flash Media Server, Wowza's Media Server and Red5 can be used.
What is H264?
H264 is a standard for Video Compression which is the method used to make digital video data small in size so as to allow video transmission over low bandwidth connections such as DSL(broadband) lines.
What is AAC?
Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standard to compress and encoded digital audio. It is the successor of the MP3 format and generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 (at similar bit rates).
Why use Flash Player?
Flash Player has a small install size, quick download time, and fast initialization time. The use of vector graphics combined with program code allows Flash files to be smaller — and thus for streams to use less bandwidth — than the corresponding bitmaps or video clips. Flash has a widespread distribution and in most cases no Player Download is required. At present Flash is as near as we have to a to a de-facto standard.
Can I get crawling text over my video?
RSS ticker type text is possible.
Can I record my Webcast?
This transmission can be recorded/stored on the source/encoding computer to allow copies be distributed to anyone you wish. L-CAST will assist in the scheduling of recordings, their archiving and delivery to recipients. We will store your video in segments as part of the encoding process, making it accessible to all users. This can be done in one hour chunks or in segments suitable to your event schedule. Users can then get a copy of a segment, from your staff. This can then be viewed and analysed on any PC or laptop or projected onto a large screen for bigger audience viewing.
Can I use my recordings to playback from my Website?
You can record parts of the live stream and replay them as on on demand video placed on the site? This archived footage can be built up to a sophisticated level to create a controlled accessible library.
Can I edit my recordings?
If you require material recorded in an editable format then we can set up a system that will produce a Windows Media version for editing and a Flash version for streaming. In order to edit WMV files, you will need to use special editing software. With Windows Movie Maker you can create and edit on your computer. Build your edited programme with a few simple drag-and-drops. Delete bad shots and include only the best scenes.
What support is offered by L- Webcast?
L-CAST support include phone and email response. We supply all customers with a User's Guide and our Website has frequently updated FAQ section.