Webcasting Technical Information

Webcast Technical Information

Test your connection before the webcast begins

This webcast is provided in Adobe Flash, Windows Media, and Mobile viewing formats. One or all players may already be preinstalled on your computer or mobile device.

Click to test!

Not all webcasts are available via mobile devices. If the webcast you are viewing has a mobile video stream, the link to the mobile page will be on the main launch page, or download our mobile app by searching for "Capitol Connection" in your app store (iTunes, Android, and GooglePlay).

What are the minimum system requirements?

The system requirements vary for different versions. 

  • Flash—Please see the Adobe download page and click on "System Requirements" for the latest information. 
  • Windows Media—Please see the Windows Media support page for the latest information. 
  • Silverlight—Some browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) will use the Silverlight player to display the video. If you need to download the Silverlight player, please go to www.silverlight.com.

How do I download a webcast player?

Adobe Flash
Download the Adobe Flash Player and follow the installation instructions.

Windows Media Player
Download the Windows Media Player and follow the installation instructions.

Mac users: If you do not already have Windows Media Player installed on your computer, you may need to download Flip4Mac or VLCPlayer to view Windows Media content. Follow the on-screen installation instructions for download and installation.   

Internet requirements

For best results, view the program over a broadband Internet connection of 500 Kbps or above. Please check with your IT department to ensure your network meets this minimum requirement. You can also check your connection speed by going to http://speedtest.net/.

Firewall requirement for networked office environments

Some corporate networks block live streaming media at their network firewall. If you are unable to view the test link (above), your network/IT administrator may need to open ports on the firewall. Please advise him or her that the following firewall ports need to be opened in order for you to view this webcast: TCP: 80, 554, and 1755 and UDP: 554 and 1755. Additionally, he or she should ensure that the computer-level firewall is not blocking streaming media over port 80.

For more information concerning firewalls and Windows Media Player, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827562.
For more information concerning firewalls and Adobe Flash Media, please see http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/164/tn_16499.html.

Playing a webcast through an LCD projector

It is very important that prior to the webcast, you test your webcast connection (see “Play a webcast test,” above) from your laptop through the actual LCD projector you will be using for the webcast itself. It is not uncommon for the webcast to play normally on the laptop but for the video to be blocked by a setting on the connected LCD projector. Two common fixes for this issue are:

  • Uncheck the Use Overlays Options in the Video Acceleration Settings window of your Windows Media Player. From the Windows Media Player, go to Tools/Options/Performance/Advanced, then uncheck the box next to Use Overlays.
  • Some computer systems are configured so that the Windows Media Player may only display on the output chosen as the Primary device in the display properties (depending on the video codec). If you see a video playing on your PC's LCD screen but just a black box in the media window through the external output, change the external output to Primary and your PC's LCD to secondary in the display properties.

However, quite often, settings on the LCD projector itself need to be changed to view the streaming video. Each projector has its own settings. Try to test an actual video stream prior to the event.

Troubleshooting

I do not see the active link when I log onto the launch page.

Links are normally available approximately a half hour before a live event. Refresh/reload the launch page if you log on more than a half hour before the webcast is scheduled to begin.

Can I watch the webcast on my iPad or other tablet?

Not all webcasts are available via iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. If the webcast you are viewing has a mobile video stream, the link to The Capitol Connection mobile app or mobile launch page will be on the main launch page. At minimum, iOS 3.0.2 or higher is required to be able to view or hear the webcasts on Apple mobile devices.

When I click the link to connect to the webcast, nothing happens or I have a black space where the video or video controls should appear.

Make sure that your computer has Adobe Flash Player, Windows Media Player, or Silverlight installed. Click here to test your player.

If you have Adobe Flash installed and are using Internet Explorer 9, but still cannot view the live stream, you will need to switch to Compatibility Mode. To do so: Click Tools (if you do not see the menu, hit the F10 key) > Compatibility View (a checkmark will now appear next to "Compatibilty View") > Refresh the page and the video should start working.

When I click on the link, the wrong video or program appears.

This may occur if your system or proxy server has cached a previous link. This may be resolved in one of two ways:

1. Refresh the page by hitting the F5 key while on the page or by holding down the Alt Shift and Cntl keys while simultaneously hitting the Refresh button on the browser. You may need to do this several times.

2. Clear your systems cache. Please note: Each browser had unique instructions for clearing the cache. Please refer to your browser for the instructions on clearing the cache.

The media player automatically stops or it continually stops and rebuffers.

Press the Play button to restart the video stream. There are many variables that can affect streaming video over the Internet.

Network congestion can occur at any time due to the following problems:

  • You are trying to access an event during peak Internet traffic hours.
  • There is heavy traffic on your local computer network.
  • You are connecting to the Internet from outside North America.

Network congestion can be alleviated by:

  • Upgrading to a faster connection.
  • Minimizing the number of applications you are running during a webcast.

 

My computer crashes when I try to access the event.

  • Verify that your settings meet the minimum event requirements.
  • Try clearing your browser's cache and restarting the event.

The video becomes choppy or freezes up (connectivity and firewall issues).

There is possibly an issue with your connection to the Internet (your Internet service provider or network connection is busy or having issues) or a firewall is causing problems.

 

I get a picture but no sound.

Make sure that your computer speakers are connected and turned on, and that you have adjusted the volume with the speaker volume knob and on your computer's volume control setting. Also, make sure the computer's sound is not muted. Occasional, the issue may be with your sound card drivers. To correct this issue, you will need to reboot your computer or reinstall your sound card drivers.

Some of the video or slides go off the edge of my screen.

Your computer screen display settings may be causing the distortion. Webcasts are best viewed with a display setting of 1024x768 or higher.

I am having trouble viewing the webcast using my Mozilla Firefox.

Windows Media files may require changes to your system configuration. Click here to download and install the plug-in and follow all of the steps exactly. After doing so, you should be able to view the Windows Media files via Firefox. Adobe Flash files play automatically on the Firefox browser.

The text on the branded viewer window is missing, distorted, or incomplete.

Using the toolbar while in Internet Explorer, click View, Menu, Choose Text Size. Set it to the default Medium or Smaller rather than Large or Largest.

I am having trouble viewing the webcast using Windows Media Player.

If your player stops during the program, refresh/reload the Web page or press the start button on your player to initiate the webcast again.

  • If you are having difficulty with the audio or video stopping or experience excessive buffering/freezing, please try the following: In Windows Media Player, click Tools>Options>Performance. Click on the dot beside the word "buffer" and increase the time in the box from five seconds to 10 to 20 seconds. Hit "okay".
  • If you are using the Firefox browser, you will need to download the free plug-in for Windows Media Player. Click here to download and install the plug-in.

My Adobe Flash Player does not work and I can't view the video or hear the audio webcast.

For technical support installing or using Adobe Flash Player, please visit: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/.

Captioning and accessibility information

We continuously strive to ensure that our webcasts are accessible to individuals with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

We provide captioning for the hearing impaired for live and on-demand webcasts when required by the agency or organization. When captioning is required, all of the Windows Media Player formats are captioned and, depending upon the agency, some of the Adobe Flash videos are captioned.

We recommend using Microsoft Internet Explorer to watch captioned webcasts in Windows Media Player formats. Please note that Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and other non-IE browsers do not currently support captioning for the Windows Media Player.

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Need More Help?

For technical support, please contact capcon@gmu.edu or (703) 993-3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.