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Frequently Asked Questions about Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips

Questions about Streaming Video

What do I need to watch streaming video?
How do I watch streaming video "on demand"?
How can I watch a closed-captioned version of the "on demand" video segments?
How do I watch the program via live streaming video?
How can I test the stream ahead of time?
How do I watch the stream using Adobe Flash Player?
How do I watch the stream using Windows Media Player?
Can I watch the live stream on my iOS device?
Can I watch the live stream on my Android tablet or phone?
Help! My live stream is jerky!
Can I have all the computers in the computer lab playing the live stream?
What about firewalls?
Are we able to record from streaming?
Help! I’ve tried everything and I can’t get the streaming to work!



What do I need to watch streaming video?
You will need a computer with high-speed Internet access to watch the live stream. You will also need Adobe Flash Player or Windows Media Player. We suggest using a projector attached to the computer, or an interactive white board, so the streaming video can be shown larger on a wall or a screen.

How do I watch streaming video "on demand"?

  1. For on-demand viewing, after you log in, click on "Video & Activities."
  2. Under "Watch Video Now," select Flash or Windows Media.

The streams of the pre-recorded video acts will run on any Internet connection. You will need Adobe Flash Player or Windows Media Player to view the videos. The Question and Answer videos are only available in Flash.

How can I watch a closed-captioned version of the "on demand" video segments?
Closed-captioned versions of the "Watch Video Now" acts are available in the Adobe Flash Player. You can access the Flash captions by clicking on the closed caption (CC) button in the lower right-hand corner of the video player.

How do I watch the program via live streaming video?
The best way to utilize streaming video in classrooms is with one computer and a projector, or an interavctive whiteboard. This will allow all students to view the program on a larger screen.

  • To access the live stream, go to the "Video & Activities" page after you log in to the EFT Web site.
  • Select "Watch Video Live." This page will only function during the testing and broadcast times.
  • For additional help, see the sections on streaming with Adobe Flash Player or Windows Media Player.

How can I test the stream ahead of time?
We strongly suggest that you test your setup prior to the each live EFT broadcast!

  • We offer a live test stream from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time on the Tuesday before each broadcast. Since it is live, this is an accurate test of what your stream will look like on broadcast day.
  • You can also test your Windows Media Player at one of several good websites available online. Try the Monterey Bay Aquarium at http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/cam_menu.asp and watch one of their live webcams. They also have some trouble-shooting tips on that site.
  • On broadcast day, we begin streaming about 30 minutes prior to the live program. You will see the title of the EFT and hear music. At 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM Eastern Time, the live program will begin.

How do I watch the stream using Adobe Flash Player?
Make sure you are using Flash version 10.1 or later. Download the correct version (http://get2.adobe.com/flashplayer) for your Windows or Mac operating system.

  • To play the video: click on the triangular play icon in the middle of the screen, or click the smaller version of the same icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the video window.
  • To pause the video: click anywhere on the video, or select the pause icon (||) in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
  • To adjust the volume: There is a blue circle on a white bar in the bottom right-hand side of the video window. Slide it right for louder and left for quieter. You should adjust your computer's volume settings for more precise control.
  • To mute the sound: Click the speaker icon on the bottom right-hand side of the video window. It will have a red X through it if the video is muted. To turn the sound back on, click the speaker icon again. It will turn blue when the video’s sound is turned on.
  • To view the video full screen (recommended): Click the blue and white square in the bottom right-hand corner of the viewing window. The video controls will be the same in full screen mode, but they will hide themselves after a few seconds. If the controls disappear, move the mouse and they will return to the screen. Once you are in full-screen mode, you can get back to regular viewing by clicking the blue and white square again. You can also return to regular viewing by hitting the Esc key.
  • To see how much time has elapsed in the video: There are two numbers in the bottom toolbar on the screen. The blue number shows how much time has elapsed in the video act. The white number shows the total duration of the video act.
  • To jump to a specific moment in the video: move the blue slider on the bottom of the screen to advance the video. A pop-up box will appear over the slider to show where you are in the video.

How do I watch the stream using Windows Media Player?
Windows users should use Windows Media Player version 9 or later. Download the correct version for your Windows operating system. (If you are using Windows Media Player version 9, download this Security update before using the player for streaming.) Once you have installed the player, you should optimize it for live video streaming.

  1. Launch Windows Media Player.
  2. Click on "Tools," and select "Options." In the "Options" window, click on the "Network" tab. All streaming protocol boxes should be checked. (There may be 3 or 4 boxes depending on which version of Windows Media Player you have.) In the "Streaming Proxy" Settings box, HTTP should state "Browser" next to HTTP.
  3. Click on the "Performance" tab. The "Connection Speed" can be set to "Detect Connection Speed." However, if you experience difficulties, click on the radio button next to "Choose Connection Speed." Set it to LAN or T1.
  4. In the "Performance Tab" is the "Network buffering" setting. If you experience too much buffering in the video, click on the "Buffer" option and set the time to about 20 seconds.

To watch in Full Screen mode, click on "View" in the menu bar and scroll down to "Full Screen." You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Alt + Enter, which will take the video into and out of Full Screen mode.

Can I watch the live stream on my iOS device?
Subscribers can watch the live EFTs on the "Watch Video Live" page on iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Be aware of your available bandwidth while connected to a WiFi network, and note that if you are connected through a wireless provider, data charges may apply.

Can I watch the live stream on my Android tablet or phone?
Our live stream requires Adobe Flash, which subscribers may be able to install on their Android device. Click here to download the Adobe Flash Player 11 app for Android.

Help! My live stream is jerky!
Try switching to the Windows Media Player or Flash stream from the stream you are currently using. If that doesn’t fix the problem, contact your network administrator.

Can I have all the computers in the computer lab playing the live stream?
No. Doing so will probably crash your network. It is best to have only one computer streaming the program at a time. You can use a projector connected to the computer to show the live stream to your entire class on a large screen or blank wall, or show the program on an interactive whiteboard.

What about firewalls?
Many educational institutions use firewalls to protect users from hackers, spam, or large attachments. These firewalls can limit your ability to stream video. If you have difficulty running the video stream when you test your streaming video setup, explain to your network administrator what you would like to do. For a one-hour, curriculum-driven program, he or she can temporarily adjust the firewall settings.

Are we able to record from streaming?
The on-demand and live video streamed by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is designed for viewing only and is under copyright protection. However, subscribers have lifetime rights to video recordings of the television broadcast. If you are unable to record a broadcast, we recommend purchasing the DVD for $19.95.

Help! I’ve tried everything and I can’t get the streaming to work!
If, after following all of these suggestions, your streaming setup is still not performing properly, discuss the issues with your network administrator. Be sure to give him or her a copy of this FAQ and the username and password to the website so that your network administrator can test the video streaming. The more advance notice you give your network administrator, the more likely you will be ready to stream on broadcast day.



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