Big Questions

3 replies [Last post]
Richard Payne
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

What exactly do you need to set up a streaming server if your audience is:

a) 10
b) 100
c) 1000
d) 10,000

What is the Pinnacle Stream Genie exactly and why is it so expensive?

Are there any other devices for streaming video already configured?

What are the most popular formats for streaming video?

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DVC

dacquinh
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Joined: Nov 7 1999

quote:Originally posted by Richard Payne:
What exactly do you need to set up a streaming server if your audience is:

a) 10
b) 100
c) 1000
d) 10,000

Richard

I would suggest installing Windows Media Server, it's free and comes with a liscence for an unlimited amount of users. Although the Realserver is probably more robuust (it runs on Unix/Linux servers) it is also painfully expensive, with prices skyrocketing when there's more than 100 simultaneous users. You do need a very popular website to have more than 100 simultaneous users though. My experience (and we have 200+ hours of streaming video online) is that we never exceed 50 simultaneous users. But we don't stream on the internet, just an intranet.

You can adjust the number of users in the streaming server software and I would not exceed 100, if only it was for bandwidth constraints. Imagine you have 100 users, looking at 300 Kbps. That's a bandwidth pipe of 30 Mbps you will need. The bandwidth will be the highest cost factor.

So limit the amount of simulataneous users and encode the clips at a lower bitrate if you are looking to make a popular site. Look at CNN, their clips are never higher than 150 Kbps and they have a reason for that.

quote:
What is the Pinnacle Stream Genie exactly and why is it so expensive?

It is a realtime encoder and spices up the video on-the-fly with titles, wipes and superimposed images. It's used for live encoding and thus live broadcasting (with the option to present it on-demand afterwards)

Personally I think this is a bad strategy. I would add titles, wipes, camera selection before I go to the encoder and free all processor power to the encoding process itself. So if you need wipes and page-peels I would use a video mixer like the MX20 or MX50.

So streamgenie is just an encoder with two videocards capturing directly to realvideo and windows media. It is ridiculously expensive. You can build your own encoder, add a mixing desk and have all functionality of streamgenie for less than half the price.

You'll find that all fun toys, streaming video related, are still very expensive, still aiming at those corporate companies.

Streaming encoder cookbook:
Just take a dual processor (essential when you are encoding several clips at the same time), add two or three Osprey video cards and you are set. You can buy good encoding software seperately.

quote:
Are there any other devices for streaming video already configured?

Have a look at http://www.pcportable.com
(sells lunchbox style PC's), http://www.viewcast.com , http://www.videum.com

There are lots of others who sell portable video streaming encoders.

quote:
What are the most popular formats for streaming video?

Windows platforms: Windows Media
Apple: Quicktime
Cross-platform: Realvideo

Quicktime has definitely less market share han real and windows media, Real still being Nr. 1. But changing dramatically.

Hope these answers are clear (I am having a terrorising flew at the moment)

Hendrik

[This message has been edited by dacquinh (edited 20 March 2002).]

Richard Payne
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Thank you Hendrik. You have answered some questions Pinnacle have avoided for years !

Hope your Terrorist Flew gets better soon.

dacquinh
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Joined: Nov 7 1999

quote:Originally posted by Richard Payne:
Thank you Hendrik. You have answered some questions Pinnacle have avoided for years !

Hope your Terrorist Flew gets better soon.

I never believed in a product like streamgenie. Besides the real asset of streaming media is not that you can add overlays and titles to the video. The bog advantage is that you can synchronize the video with a lot more and different multimedia items, like the obvious powerpoint slides, flash, banners or , text (HTML). Why encoding titles in a video signal when you can send is as ASCII text.

Streamgenie seems to answer a demand which was not existing.

My 2c

Hendrik