Tag Archives: Bandwidth

Streaming Video Test Day 1

So I’ve just finished 800 miles from Vancouver, WA to Salt Lake City, UT and have tried my best to get decent live broadcasts from my Samsung BlackJack II via QIK and LIveCast. I wasn’t really happy with what I saw in the results.

 

First, Many of the videos we cut off well before my stopping them. When I finished my videos they were at least 30 seconds in length, but what was uploaded was about half that. I have to blame this mainly on the lack of a strong signal as I was broadcasting. So, I guess when it comes to data more bars in all places doesn’t necessarily mean the same for data. Many times I had an E indicator which meant I had at least EVDO bandwidth and many times I had a G indicating I had 3G capabilities. So, the fact that both programs have the capability to store the video stream if a delay in transmission occurs, but it looks as if both fail to stream all of the data to the server. The LiveCast client also has the ability to record to local memory and then stream the video, but it is not very intuitive to work, so I’ll need to read up on it to see how it works and let you know if that works any better. The fact that the BlackJack II has the capability to record video to local storage, should allow both companies to take advantage of the existing capability and then try to stream the video from local storage to get the whole stream.

 

Second, Both clients are too hard to operate for point and shoot usability. Many times I had to wait for the clients to connect to the remote server before I was able to start shooting which means that it can be hard to catch the ultimate shot, because by the time the client comes up the moment may be over with. The only advice I can give hear is learn to use the thread pool or multi-threading if you are not using .Net. Having to wait for connectivity to shoot video should never really happen, I should be able to load the client and start shooting and the program should start streaming video in the background once a connection has been made.

 

Third, Video quality seems to vary between the two clients. QIK provides the best picture at 320 x 240, with LiveCast only providing a 160 x 120 picture. I can understand why this is happening and it mainly has to do with how much video one can shove down a small pipe, but if both companies spend some time to look at streaming from local storage it would never matter unless the true goal is to always broadcast without a delay. And if that is so, then I only have to say is then both clients are going to have to wait a couple of years before the infrastructure will be built out enough to support that capability.

 

Forth, Is a basic usability suggestion around trying to use phones with cameras on the back of the phone. Why not play a beep or some audible sound when you start to record so I know recording has started so I don’t have to watch the screen to indicate it is recording and then quickly turn the phone around to record. Its a simple little thing to do and you could provide an option to turn it off or on.

 

Anyway, that’s my input from day 1. Hopefully tomorrow will provide a little better streaming for the viewers. Check-in with you when I reach New Mexico.

 

A Test of Mobile Streaming Video Phone Applications

I just spent the last three days driving to Portland, OR from Dallas, TX and I tried to use QIK.COM’s streaming video client for my Samsung Blackjack II Windows Mobile 6 SmartPhone to record the trip and share with my friends and family. It turned out miserably! Most of the time when I thought I was sending video, I’d end up with a single second or two and nothing more, even though it showed I was recording the entire time. I don’t know if it was lack of signal, Internet congestion or just a bad configuration. While looking for tuning advice on the web I came across livecast.com, who also has a similar application, but includes GPS integration with Google maps.

 

So, I have 2000 miles to drive over the next week to get back to Dallas, TX and nothing much more to do but play around and I thought it would be a great test of the two applications to see how each one fares in the wide open spaces of the great American west. As I drive back I’ll be logging my trip using both applications and posting the results for everyone to see via my twitter account at http://twitter.com/jimlavin.

 

Now I don’t plan to pit the two applications head to head, but provide a fair and balanced perspective of how each works in several different environments. Since I’ll be traveling back via interstate, the bandwidth should be great and I hope to have 3G capabilities during most of the trip. Each night I’ll post an update of how the day went, hopefully you’ll know better than me, since you’ll be able to see it live at the following locations:

 

http://qik.com/lavinjj

http://www.livecast.com/live/Default.aspx?lavinjj

 

Until, then see you on the Bleeding Edge