CH73.NET - FAQ's

Windows Media Encoder download

Windows Media Encoder can be downloaded at Microsoft. This is a free program. At the moment the latest version is WME 9. There also exists a 64 bits version for 64 bits OS users (like Windows Vista or Windows 7 64-bits versions).

Downloads can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx

Several language versions are available. The 64 bits version is only available in english.


Two kinds of streams

For making an audio and/or video stream with Windows Media Encoder a choice has to be made what kind of stream will be used for the uplink. There is a choice out of two, Push of Pull:

PUSH

When using a Push stream for the uplink the stream is made on the PC where Windows Media Encoder is active on. It is the PC which is starting the stream and sending it to the Server. Therefor you will need an user account and password on the Streaming Server. This will create automatically a 'Publishing Point' on the server. After that everyone can watch this publishing point. This method normally works allways, even from a PC behind a firewall or a modem with NAT.

PULL

When using a Pull Stream the PC on which Windows MEdia Encoder is used must be reachable for the Server. The Administrator of the Streaming Server has to configure the stream on the server. Usually this means that the PC has an external IP or is reachable through Portforwarding (configured on the Internet-modem). Which port is used can be set in Windows Media Encoder. On the Server the configuration for the stream is set (i.c. the IP address and port of the PC) in the Publishing Point on which the stream has te be viewed. The server is activating the stream.


Making an audio/video stream with Media Encoder

1. Start Windows Media Encoder.

2. This immediately will start with a Wizard. In the Wizard we chose in this case:

"Broadcast a live event"

Click this and after that click OK.

This way we will create a live stream.

3. After this a screen appears where you can select the audio and video source.

First select if you want to stream images (select Video) and sound (select Audio). So it is possible to select only video or audio.

Standard the indication is "(default video device)" and "(default audio device)". Standaard staat hier "(standaardvideoapparaat)" en "(standaardaudioapparaat)". It is also possible to select a source by yourself. When you are using the standard sound card and the capture card the settings normally will be good. But when more sources are available be carefull to select the right sources for audio and video. When for example using a USB webcam these webcams normally also have their own microphone. Be sure you want to use this or another source.

With the "Configure" buttons changes can be made in the video and audio device, like the video source (Composite, s-vhs, PAL or SECAM or NTSC etc) or the audio source (line, microphone...).

After these selections click "Next"

 

4. Now we have to select the way of transmission for the uplink.

Choose for PULL or PUSH.

We will choose at this moment for PUSH.

After making your choice click on "Next"

5. In the next screen the information about the server is provided. First the nam (URL) of the server. In this case we have given the name of our Streaming Server CH73.NET.

In the next field you will give the name of the Publishing Point. We have chosen test (you will fill in the real name of the Publishing Point).

The third field will remain unchanged. We keep the standard "(Use default publishing point settings)".

When using the publishing point not to often it can be wise to select the setting "Remove publishing point automatically". This will result in the automatic removal of the publishing point after ending the stream and keeps the streaming server cleaner.

In the field "URL to server" the Internet address of the stream is indicated on which the stream can be seen soon.

After these selections choose the "Next" button.

6. After this we are going to choose the quality of the stream. The higher the bitrate, the better the quality, but.... the Upload of your Internet connection must be high enough to handle this upload! When choosing the stream to high, the image and the sound will stutter or even stand still. Test this carefully.

When the upload of your connection is for example 512 kbps, the upload of the stream must be lower, like 340 kbps.

When the upload is sufficient also more then one bitrate for the stream can be chosen. The viewer then decides which stream is most suitable for him. But this also costs a lot of processor capacity of the streaming PC, so it must have resources enough to be able to do this.

The selection behind Video and Audio usually are right, so leave them like they are.

Standard selection behind Bit rate is 282 kbps. remove this if not applicable and choose the wanted bitrate.

After the selection choose the button "Next".

Remark: Frame Rate and Output size cannot be changed at this moment. This can be done later.

7. It is possible to record the transmission at the same time. Then check the selction "Archive a copy of the broadcast to file" and give a file name. This will need a lot of free space on the Hard Disk and processor capacity.

Usually we don't use this possibility.

Click again the "Next" button..

8. In the next screen we have the possibility to add other things like extra video recordings before or after ending the transmission. For a permanent stream this is not so usefull. This can also be arranged on the Streaming Server.

Click again on "Next".

9. The next screen is used to fill in information about the stream. Most players later will give this information during watching the stream. It is a kind of recognition of the stream.

Normally the Title and the Author are filled in. Both will be visible later. Other fields can be filled in also but are less important.

After filling in click the "Next" button.

When clicking the "Finish" button the next screen with the result of all the information will not be shown.

10. After clicking the results can be seen on the screen. If all right the "Finish" button can be pressed.

It can be wise to check the button for "Begin broadcasting when I click Finish". Only when after this other changes have to be made like the use of widescreen camera's etc it is wise not to do so.

Extra information:
The normal use of WME is standard for camera's with 4x3 images. Most older camera's and webcams use this. In that case WME can be started without other changes.
When using a widescreen camera with 16x9 image and planning to show this actually as widescreen (when not doing this, the image will be compressed horizontally and shown as a 4x3 image), the image has to be changed in WME. Don't check in this case "Begin broadcasting when...".

In FAQ "How to stream widescreen with WME" the settings for this will be explained.

After this the PC is starting to make contact with the server. There will be asked for an User name and a password (when using pull this won't be asked). Fill in the given User name and Password.

Be carefull: it can take a rather long time (even some minutes) before authentication has taken place!

When the option "Begin broadcasting when..." was checked in the previous screen, the streaming transmission will start after this. But also this can take several minutes before it really starts.

When the option "Begin broadcasting when..." was checked in the previous screen, the Start-button of Media Encoder still has to be pressed in the main screen (Start encoding).

Now the transmission can be seen or heard via the server on the publishing point.

The settings can be saved for later use. We do that preferably on the screen of the computer. By clicking the icon of the settings it won't be necessary to do all the settings again and the transmission can be started easily again.