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Online Video
Department of Information Technology
2180 Milvia Street, Fourth Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704

TEL: (510) 981-6525, TDD: (510) 981-6903,
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Email:
webmanager@ci.berkeley.ca.us
 
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Video:
 
Q:     What are the minimum system requirements for watching the live and archived video?
 
A:       System Information:  To view and hear our online video, your computer must have a sound card, a minimum 56 Kbps Internet connection, and Windows Media Player.  If you have a Macintosh, be sure that you are running Mac OS 8.1 or later, have a PowerPC 603e 180MHz or better with 32MB RAM, virtual memory turned on, and 10MB of free disk space.

    Player Information:  In order to view the video streams you must have Windows Media Player (Netscape users should download the plugin version  found under 'Windows Media Tools and Services').  In most cases, if you do not have the software already installed, you will be automatically directed to the download page.

    Browser Information: Please be sure that you are using Internet Explorer 5.0 or Netscape 4.7 (or later).

    Connection Information: As with all Internet-based video, the more bandwidth available to you the better. The video on our site is configured to stream at various speeds from 20kbps (audio-only) up to 350kbps. Our servers will automatically detect your connection speed and send the highest quality stream possible. If you are trying to view the webcast with a dial-up connection, you will find the best performance is achieved by manually selecting an audio-only version of the webcast.

 
Q:     I have all the recommended software installed but I'm still not able to view the webcasts. Any suggestions?
 
A:       Double-check your connection speed?: To ensure maximum quality for a wide-range of connection speeds, we frequently include separate audio-only versions of our webcast. If you have a slow connection speed (less than 100kbps like a dial-up connection) you will receive better quality if you select the audio-only version.

    Are you firewalled?: Occasionally a firewall will reduce the speed with which you can receive webcast information on an otherwise high-speed connection. We have gone to great lengths to make our data as 'firewall friendly' as possible but bottlenecks can still occur at a firewall (especially when connecting from a corporate LAN). Most users experiencing this problem can still enjoy the audio-only version of the webcast.

    Is your volume turned on?: This happens more than you think. Double-check to make sure that the volume is turned on loud enough and, if you have them, external speakers are turned on. This is especially important when using a low-speed connection where there might not be enough bandwidth to display video.

    Is your plugin installed properly?: Sometimes Netscape browsers will not pick up the Windows Media Player plugin properly, to fix this problem re-install Windows Media Player and try again.

 
Q:     I can hear the audio but I can't see anything. What's wrong?
 
A:    The problem is one of three things: (1) You don't have a fast enough connection to receive the video portion of the webcast, (2) you have selected an audio-only webcast, or (3) you do not have the proper codecs installed. To insure that your Windows Media Player has the proper codecs bring up the Player in it's own window and click on Tools/Options on the menu at the top of the window. Within the options window be sure that "Enable automatic codec download" is checked, and click on "OK".
 
Q:     How can I determine my connection speed?
 
A:       The easiest way to check your effective connection speed is to select a webcast (live or archived) and place your mouse cursor over the small picture, usually of a sun or storm cloud, on the bottom-left hand corner of the viewing screen as the webcast buffers or plays. A small pop-up window will appear displaying the speed at which you are receiving the webcast.
 
Q:     Is there any way I can make the viewing area larger?
 
A:       You can make the video viewing area bigger by right-clicking on the video box and selecting the full-screen option or type ‹alt›-‹enter›. To return to the normal viewing size right-click and deselect full-screen or simply hit the ‹esc› key.
 
Q:     The webcast stopped while I was viewing it. Was it something I did and how can I fix it?
 
A:       Occasionally enough packets will get lost in cyberspace on the way to your computer to cause a noticeable interruption. In most cases the system will recover automatically and resume the webcast after a few seconds without any special action on your part. However, if you get no response after the first minute, refreshing the page is the best way to resume the webcast.
 
 

City of Berkeley Home / Departments / Information Technology Home

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Department of Information Technology
2180 Milvia Street, Fourth Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704

Phone: (510) 981-6500
Fax: (510) 981-6560
PC Desk: (510) 981-6525
Email: infotech@ci.berkeley.ca.us