Screencast Live: How To Make Your Own Web TV Show

Encoding Live Video

The next step uses Flash Media Live Encoder, so you'll need to download that. This program receives the video from VH Screen Capture, encodes it into the streaming video that all of your viewers receive, and sends it to the distributor.

First, we'll need to get a Flash Media Encoder XML file from your streaming Website. Here's how we do it with ustream.tv:

1. Log into your ustream.tv account. (Register for one if you haven't already.)

2. Click Manage Your Show, and open the Settings tab.

3. Select Advanced settings at the bottom.

4. Click the Download the Flash Media Encoder XML file button and save the file.

5. Ensure that the ustream broadcast console is closed, then launch Flash Media Live Encoder.

6. Go to File, Open Profile, and select the file that you downloaded.

7. Press Broadcast Now on ustream, and it should find your stream from Flash Media Live Encoder.

If you see that Flash Media Live Encoder is using too much CPU power, try clicking on the wrench as shown in the video, setting the profile to Baseline instead of Main, and play around with the Level setting. The Baseline profile uses less computing power but gives less quality per byte. This means that the same bit rate will not look as nice, but it will be easier on your computer.

The Level setting should be related to the video width and height. For 360p video, you can use 3.0; for 480p, use 3.1; and for 720p, try for around 4.1. Keyframes are uncompressed frames, which means they lower your quality since other frames will need to be compressed more to make up for them. They do serve useful purposes (such as allowing viewers to easily skip around in the saved video), so don't turn them off entirely.

While I do not recommend using Auto-adjust, it may be necessary for your setup if it has a hard time handling your video feed. Checking the Drop Frames box will make the video appear to stutter or jump forward from time to time, while checking Degrade Quality will dynamically lower the resolution of the video as necessary. The latter option is my personal preference, since it's less jarring for the viewer than skipping frames.

Streaming the Show

To complete this part, you will need to register, or open an account, with a video broadcasting site such as ustream.tv, justin.tv, or livestream.com. This guide will be for ustream.tv. These sites will read in the data coming from your computer and send a copy of it to anyone who wants to watch. Follow the video tutorial on how to go live with your show once you have an account set up.

When choosing settings here, the most important number to watch is Total Video + Audio Rate. If this number ends up being any higher than 1200 KBps, you will likely have viewers complaining that the video is lagging, skipping frames or jumping. This might be a problem with the streaming site that you use, but more often your viewers simply do not have enough bandwidth to download all of the data from the stream in real time, which causes the player to freeze and and skip over missed frames. If you see complaints like this, just lower your Total Video and Audio Rate until your viewers are okay.

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