Information Technology Services


Streaming Frequently Asked Questions

General

  1. What are the advantages of using streaming media?
  2. What is the step-by-step process?
  3. Who is authorized to use this campus resource?
  4. Are there any restrictions as to the content of my media?
  5. How much server space is currently allotted for my department?
  6. Does ITS provide equipment for recording/editing my material?
  7. Getting Started: How do I put in a work order for Streaming Media Services?

Compression

  1. What is the purpose of compression?
  2. Is there significant reduction in quality?

How to Stream

  1. What sort of material/media can be streamed?
  2. I'm not sure who will be accessing my media; any advice?
  3. How can I make sure that my audio/video will look good when streaming?
  4. My work order has been completed; how can I view my files?
  5. Does Streaming Media Services automatically link my files to my Web site?

 


General FAQ

  1. What are the advantages of using streaming media?
    "Streaming media" refers to listening to or viewing digital media (audio or video) on your computer in real time as it comes across the Internet. Originally, people had to wait up to an hour to hear or see a few minutes of downloaded audio and video. Internet media via the download-and-play method means your computer downloads a compressed media file, such as .mov, from the Internet to your hard drive. Once that file has downloaded completely, the media starts to play. With streaming media, you can view content and information instantly on anything from an ordinary dial-up line to a broadband connection or here on campus. Real time streaming broadcasts directly to your computer from our server and is played back as the information is received.
  2. What is the step-by-step process?
    After shooting video or recording audio, you should "capture" the media into a digital format. Technology Checkout at Jackson Library provides the equipment you can use to transfer from tape to a hard drive. Once you capture the media, you can edit the files with computer software. When you have a final product, the files are sent to Information Technology Services (ITS) for compression. After ITS uploads the media to its server, you can link these files to your home page. Online viewers access these links to view your final product in real time. Please visit Technology Checkout at Jackson Library for a list of available resources to record the project. For editing and post-production capture and digitization, please visit Jackson Library Digital Media Commons.
    1. Record
    2. Capture/Digitize
    3. Edit
    4. Compress
    5. Stream
  3. Who is authorized to use this campus resource?
    YouTube is available for use by faculty, staff, and students. Mediasite lecture capture is currently available to faculty and staff.
  4. Are there any restrictions as to the content of my media?
    UNCG has strict guidelines prohibiting the streaming of copyrighted material without the written consent of the original creator. The University also has a firm policy regarding subjects' decency and appropriateness. To read more about current guidelines and policies, visit Streaming Media Policies.
  5. How much server space is currently allotted for my department?
    • YouTube Channels
      Departments, faculty, staff or students who wish to take advantage of these services will be granted access to YouTube via their iSpartan account. To upload videos longer than 15 minutes, users must verify their YouTube accounts. Please follow the instructions for verifying your account. The maximum file size is 128 GB and the maximum length is 11 hours total running time.
    • Mediasite Quota
      Faculty and staff groups will be granted access to a folder within the My Mediasite interface inside of Canvas. There currently is no quota cap for the use of this service, but the Recorder is wiped at the start of each semester. Today, our agreement with Sonic Foundry allows for 320 GB of recorded video per semester.
  6. Does ITS provide equipment for recording/editing my material?
    No. ITS can only provide each client with the means to compress and store the data on YouTube or Mediasite. Authoring of the material is the sole responsibility of the client. For recording equipment, contact Technology Checkout at Jackson Library. If you are interested in editing your work, please contact the Digital Media Commons.
  7. Getting Started: How do I put in a work order for Streaming Media Services?
    Please call 6-TECH Technical Support at 336-256-TECH(8324) to begin a work order or to consult with someone before starting a project.

Compression FAQ

  1. What is the purpose of compression?
    The way to reduce file size is through compression. All media files streamed across the Internet have been compressed considerably. The goal is to make the original raw material more compact and transportable. In the process, you need to remove something from the raw material. In working with media, the raw material consists of your captured or digitized audio and video files, often referred to as raw media. Raw media files are normally very large and need to be compressed for better transport across various Internet bandwidths.
  2. Is there significant reduction in quality?
    During compression, what is taken out can never fully be restored. Hence, the quality of highly compressed media files will never look and sound as good as the original media. When you compress audio and video files for streaming, you will always lose some quality. As you make file sizes smaller and smaller to accommodate lower bandwidths, loss of quality is more noticeable. This is especially true for video media. However, current compression software enables us to cut down these obstacles, providing a superior stream.

How to Stream FAQ

  1. What sort of material/media can be streamed?
    YouTube  is capable of streaming a wide array of video formats. Mediasite encodes all recorded video into the MP4 format. Streaming Media Services can accept various formats of material to compress or convert to an alternate format.
  2. I'm not sure who will be accessing my media; any advice?
    Transferring rich media files across the Internet with limited bandwidths is a powerful technology. Reducing file sizes through data compression is absolutely necessary. It is important to have a good understanding of the technical capabilities your target audience possesses. To smoothly play an audio or video file, it must be compressed below the target bandwidth capacity. For instance, the bandwidth capacity of on-campus connections is about 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps). Off-campus connections can run between 500 kbps and 5 Mbps.
  3. How can I make sure that my audio/video will look good when streaming?
    There are several things you can do to ensure that your final product leaves an impact. Though these are not binding rules, they can save your final product from looking cumbersome and sloppy.

    Good Lighting - More light means better detail. Compression will take away some very fine points; be sure to over-compensate in darker areas.

    Fixed Camera - The more movement the image has, the bigger the file size will be. Unnecessary, erratic movement is harder on the compressor software and can cause problems while streaming.

    Close-Ups - The tighter your image is on the subject, the better the stream will appear. The compressor will encode every movement. If the image has only one source of movement, there will be less loss in quality while streaming.
  4. My work order has been completed; how can I view my files?
    You can log in to YouTube via your iSpartan account. You can access My Mediasite presentations (recorded lectures) via Canvas.
  5. Does Streaming Media Services automatically link my files to my Web site?
    No. Your department's Webmaster usually takes care of this process. For information about linking your files, read about how to share your YouTube video.