LIVE WEBCAST WITH EXPRESSION ENCODER
Breakdown of costs.
Webcasting is free for the viewers,
but if you are wishing to be the broadcaster of a live webcast, you will need to take into consideration the following:
Microsoft Expression Encoder for Windows Media
- Newest Windows-based encoder | download now.
- This is the newest Windows-based encoder from Microsoft to replace the Windows Media Encoder.
- FREE for basic Windows-based live webcasts only on PCs.
- Supports audio-only webcasts as well as video webcasts.
- Users need to have Windows Media Player installed.
- You must be a "FULL" Broadcasting Member (more info).
- You must have the "Live Webcasting" option enabled for your account (some fees apply):
- Only $10 is added to your base monthly fee.
- Only $2.00 for each audio-only webcast hour (additional usage fee), OR...
- Only $5.00 per VIDEO webcast hour (additional usage fee).
Our pricing is straightforward and does not scale up or down depending on the number of viewers. We've taken the mystery out of
complicated webcasting costs, so you can easily predict your costs from month to month. Just remember, flat fee + usage fee!
- You must have a direct, high-speed connection to the Internet with a sufficiently fast upload speed.
- At least 250kbps upload bandwidth for video webcasts.
- At least 500kbps upload bandwidth for HIFI video webcasts.
- For video webcasters, a separate, dedicated computer used for only the webcast encoding with a "decent" graphics card is highly recommended.
We also recommend using the Canopus ADVC300 to convert your analog audio/video signal to a single digital FIREWIRE signal that you can feed to your computer (a good laptop solution).
After you have met the above requirements, the following screen shots will take you step-by-step through the
process of webcasting a live event on SermonAudio with the Microsoft Expression Encoder!
Step 1: Make sure your account is Webcast-Enabled.
There's a quick and easy way to see if your account is webcast-enabled. Go to the Live Webcasts section to see if your church is listed as a webcaster.
When your webcast is in progress, the appropriate button on your homepage will automatically change from the OFF AIR button to the ON AIR button.
Step 2: Start Microsoft Expression Encoder.
Next, you will need to start the Microsoft Expression Encoder program on your computer.
This is a free tool from Microsoft that you can download here!
There is a PRO (paid) version but that is not necessary.
Once the program loads up, the first thing you should see is the following screen:
Step 3: Select Live Broadcasting button and proceed.
For this next step, click on Add a live source and select the video device from the dropdown menu.
Then, click on the CUE BUTTON. Do the same for the audio source to complete this step.
Step 4: Next, set the OUTPUT streaming options.
Go to the OUTPUT TAB and select the Streaming / Publishing Point option.
This will allow you to initiate the live webcast to SermonAudio whenever you want and as often as you want. The site will automatically detect your webcast and appropriate activate the right buttons on-site! A truly complete and flexible solution!
As shown below, use your SermonAudio Member ID with "_upstream" appended to it for the publishing point. For example,
if your SermonAudio Member ID is "faith", then the full LOCATION value would be:
See the screenshot below. Also note that the File Archive option is selected.
You can choose to save the live VIDEO webcast as a WMV (Windows Media Video) file which you can upload later as an archived video.
Step 5: Press the CONNECT button to connect to our server.
Clicking on the Connect button on that same OUTPUT tab will initiate a connection to our server
but will not start the webcast. You will be prompted with a login window where you will fill in your SermonAudio
Member ID and Password. You can optionally choose to save the password.
This password-protection is to guard against anyone
else webcasting under your account.
Step 6: Setting the Bitrate & Encoding Options ó Important!
Select the ENCODE TAB and here, you will be setting the bandwidth bitrate of the
webcasting stream. What you select here will depend on your connection. Please review the details of this entire STEP carefully.
HIFI OPTION. Broadcasters that have the HIFI option enabled for their account can webcast at higher bitrates and upload archived media at higher bitrates. You must have this option enabled for your account in order to use the HIFI bitrates. To learn more, please click here..
Please abide by the limits and rules as outlined in the above points.
If you go over these limits, visitors may not be able to experience your webcast properly, your webcast may interfere
with other webcasts in progress, and we may therefore be forced to terminate the stream until it is corrected.
- Audio-only webcasts. DO NOT exceed 16kbps bitrate (37kbps for HIFI).
- Video webcasts. DO NOT exceed total audio+video 150kbps bitrate (330kbps for HIFI).
Video Webcasting is only suitable for churches with high-speed broadband connections.
IMPORTANT!! It is imperative that your upload bandwidth speed is fast enough to ensure a smooth and successful webcast.
Find out what your upload bandwidth speed is at your location.
Your upload bandwidth speed must be at least 250kbps for standard live video webcasts (and at least 500kbps for HIFI video webcasts).
When a visitor wishes to watch a video webcast,
they can choose either a high-bandwidth or low-bandwidth (audio-only) stream depending on their connection speed.
Step 7: Optionally set the metadata information.
At this point, you can optionally fill in the
details of your live webcast. This information will NOT appear anywhere on the SermonAudio site
but it WILL appear in the user's Windows Media Player. We recommend using a generic description so you don't have to fill in new details every time.
Step 8: Optionally save all your settings as a preset for next time!
At this point, you can optionally save all of your settings
as a PRESET that you can load up next time you wish to run a webcast.
The small PRESET button is on the ENCODING TAB as shown.
Step 9: Press the START Button and you're ON-THE-AIR!
That's it! Press the BIG RED START button and your webcast will be LIVE and visible on SermonAudio.com!
Please note that usage charges are accumulated at this point, even for test runs.
Keep an eye on your current usage charges in the BILLING section of the Members Only Area.
VIDEO TIP 1: Recommended Encoding Settings.
Video encoding can get confusing. But the following details may help give some guidance
on what settings to use when encoding your video.
Please note: You are welcome to adjust these settings to suit your particular needs but please keep the following
issues in mind if you wish to change the settings:
- For standard video settings (150kbps).
|Video Size:||320x240 (Widescreen: 430x240 or 480x270)|
|Audio Format:||22kbps, MONO|
|Total Bitrate:||150kbps (audio+video not to exceed)|
- For HIFI video settings (500kbps).
|Video Size:||480x360 (Widescreen: 480x270 or 640x360)|
|Audio Format:||22kbps, MONO|
|Total Bitrate:||330kbps (audio+video not to exceed)|
These guidelines provide the optimum encoder settings for the
best possible video and audio experience while at the same time ensuring that
our many dialup users can also enjoy your webcasts reliably.
- Mobile Phones. Many cell phones today can stream live webcasts and we take that into consideration with our Kinoma mobile phone solution.
Providing a satisfactory streaming experience for viewers over a slower cellular network is part of our bitrate policy.
- Portable Media Players. Portable players like Microsoft's Zune can natively play WMV video files. However,
we have found that if the video size is not 320x240, it will take much longer to load these videos on to the device because it must first "convert" them to native size.
- SermonAudio Internet Radio. Although the Internet Radio is an audio-only device, it can also tune into live video webcasts
from the site. However, the manufacturer has advised that only the Windows Media Audio 9.x audio codec be used (do not use the WMA Voice 9 codec).
- Dialup Users. There are still many who use dialup
and for them, only the audio portion of the stream will be used. For this
reason we recommend that the audio encoding settings are kept under 30kbps if possible for the most reliable streaming experience.
VIDEO TIP 2: Improving the Quality of "Noisy Video"
New! This entire step is an optional tip to help improve the quality of "noisy video" for those
experiencing this problem. The "noise" is a result of the interlacing artifacts that sometimes appears in video. The solution
is simply to turn ON the DE-INTERLACING option on your encoder settings if available.
Please note, this option is significantly CPU-intensive and is only advisable if your computer is fairly
new with a higher-end graphics card (that supports hardware de-interlacing).
That's it! Congratulations!
If the webcast has successfully started, you should see a screen similar to the following broadcasting your
stream in real-time LIVE! The site is designed to automatically detect when you are "ON-THE-AIR" and will
make it clear to all who are on the site that a LIVE webcast is in progress.
When you are live webcasting, the button will automatically change from the OFF AIR button to the ON AIR button.
Please note it may take up to one minute for SermonAudio to actually detect that you are on-the-air.
This simply means that the OFF AIR button may not change into the ON AIR for up to one minute.
You can keep the live webcast on-the-air for as long or as short as you wish. SermonAudio will automatically keep track of the number
of hours that are used in your live webcasts throughout the month and then add the total hourly usage charges for the month
to your next billing cycle.
In order to STOP the live webcast, simply press the "STOP" button or close
the program. Please be aware that it may be up to 5 minutes before SermonAudio is able to detect that you
are completely off-the-air. Do not be alarmed at this. We have taken these delays into account when calculating the usage charge for billing.
Here are some last-minute important tips to keep in mind!
Welcome to Live Webcasting on SermonAudio.. and enjoy!
- It is very important that you follow Step #6 (above) precisely
in regards to the bitrate setting. This needs to be correct or we will need
to terminate the webcast while in progress.
- Be sure that you do not "tie-up" the bandwidth at your location by trying
to watch the webcast over the same connection that the live webcast is
currently broadcasting on.
For video-webcasting, do not "disturb" the PC that is doing the video webcast.. not even so
much as clicking on the web browser. In fact, it is best simply to
completely leave it alone while the webcast is in progress. Video encoding
is a CPU-intensive process which can result in the webcast failing if it
doesn't have the computer's 100% attention.
Feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions about this service.
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