BlogTV Tech Notes

I’ve been completely reworking the BlogTV system, so I thought a few tech notes were in order. I’ve released most of my streaming video methods to the public, the methods rely on commercial software but there are other ways to do the job. This is just one of them.

There were some big problems with the last video, I found out I made some tiny miscalculations cropping the video, the codec insists the video be resized to exactly 50% with pixel heights in multiples of two. I did everything about .001% wrong, causing the video to crash when played. But I appear to have the problem under control now.

I got a lot of hits from the Jobs video, and I had to limit the system to 5 streams. This may force me to change the way I put the videos in the blog. This is the first time I’ve had so many videos up on the monthlong page, if I put up 6 videos on the page at once, it will error every time it loads, thinking it doesn’t have enough bandwidth to stream more than 5 videos at once. This could be a problem. I’ve been playing with some of the fancy in-window player systems, but the coding is virtually incomprehensible. I think people use something like Livestage Pro for this, ooh it’s expensive.

I just upgraded to QuickTime 6.2 and QuickTime Streaming Server 4.1.3. I was worried about how well they would run on my ancient G3/400 server, but it was a smooth upgrade. With the new QT6.2, I’m considering using MP4 encoding for the videos, but preliminary experiments don’t look good. I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to tune the video codecs so you can see subtitles clearly, and the MP4 codecs are weak on fine detail, the subtitles show a lot of artifacts and become illegible. If I can work this one problem out, it looks like MP4 is the way to go. MP4 will require QT6, I hate to force upgrades but QT6 has been out for ages. It’s a big download for a 56k modem user, but they will probably benefit more than broadband users.

I noticed that SCOLA has been providing a better signal lately. I usually have to adjust the brightness up and the contrast down, but I’m working on a new video and it didn’t require any adjustment at all. I have no way to preview these videos on a wide range monitors, so if you think the video is too dark or too bright, or bad contrast, please let me know and tell me what platform and monitor you’re using. Thanks.

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