Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my live broadcast is out of sync?

Many encoders will get out of sync, in terms of the video and audio feeds, if the CPU of the machine running the encoder is being taxed.

Adobe, for the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, states the following:

  • Ensure that the CPU usage of the encoding computer and the subscriber computer is not more than 75%.

If you are running into this problem, please try to close other programs (including possibly your virus scanner) to see if it improves performance and sync.

This also applies for the resulting file archive these encoders might be saving to your computer.

When I cancel/suspend my plan, do I keep my bandwidth?

Short answer: no you do not.

When you buy a DaCast Streaming Plan you are buying access to a range of DaCast platform features and services for a period of time and with a certain level of usage (bandwidth) included. This includes the player, broadcast manager software, content management, access to support, and more.

DaCast is unique from most other existing services in the way that we allow unused bandwidth to roll over from month-to-month for up to 12 months.

So if you only used half of your Starter plan bandwidth, the remaining 50% would roll over into the next month. However, this bandwidth only remains available for the life of the plan.

So an account can not continue to be used, or unused bandwidth reserved for later, when the service is canceled or suspended.

When does “Event Plan” Bandwidth expire?

All event plan bandwidth expires 12 months (1 year) after being purchased.

As a side note, this was originally called “Pay As You Go” bandwidth. Although the name changed, the same principals apply to both and each expire 12 months after purchase.

What payment methods do you accept?

If your are looking for how to set up your payment settings in the new BackOffice, follow this link.

If you want to check your received payments in the new Back Office, follow this link.

As our main payment sources, DaCast supports both credit cards (all major credit cards accepted) and PayPal.

The majority of our customers pay with their debit/credit card. Before purchasing you will need to update your company profile and add your bank information, under “My Account”.

If you wish to purchase an event plan or an annual plan you can also pay by check or wire transfer. For wire transfer information please contact one of our sales representative.

What is VP6 and does My Church Stream™ support it?

My Church Stream™ recommends against using VP6.

In particular, if you plan to do All Device (HTML5) live streaming it is recommended to use the H.264 video codec instead.

Live streaming can be done with VP6, but has known playback issues over certain environments. Use at your own risk.

For more information on VP6, it’s a proprietary compression format that was developed by On2Technologies in May 2003. It is also called the TrueMotion video codec. It is a ‘lossy’ video compression format. It is often used by JavaFX, Adobe Flash and Flash Video Files.

What is video artifacting?

This term is used for digital video in general.

Artifacting is the result of compressing a video feed, causing distortions and other visual inconsistencies. It varies depending on how much compression is applied, such as broadcasting at lower bit rates, and the way the source is compressed.

Some of the more overt signs of compression include blocky or overly “soft” images. Older means of compression, seen on older DVDs or if you are transferring content to DaCast that was compressed awhile ago, also left a variety of signs resulting from digital transferring, including ghosting, rainbow bands on finer details, and jagged edges.

What is the latency / delay on live streaming?

Depending on which type of channel you have, there will be a different amount of latency in the live stream.

For HTML5 live channel, due to taking the RTMP feed and making it compatible over mobile devices, there is a delay of 30-45 seconds.
Latency might be longer if your upload connection is “slow” or computer is using too many resources to push through the encoder signal.

To get a low latency live channel, please contact us as we are offering a low latency solution for our pro plans and above (latency of 8s in average).

What is RTMP?

RTMP is an abbreviation of Real Time Messaging Protocol, this is a proprietary protocol developed by Adobe for streaming audio, video and data over the Internet between a Flash player and a server.

DaCast currently used a split Flash and HTML5 based player, which adapts based on the source (desktops will get Flash, mobiles with get HTML5), and allows live streaming through RTMP based encoders.

For more information about RTMP, feel free to visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-Time_Messaging_Protocol.

What is required to have my content indexed on the DaCast Viewer Portal?

In order to have your content appear on the DaCast Viewer Portal you need to have done several things in preparation first.

These include:

  • Filled out Company Profile (MY ACCOUNT > COMPANY PROFILE)
  • Added Description (DESCRIPTION tab of content)
  • Uploaded Splash Screen (DESCRIPTION tab of content)

Also note that if you have opted out of having your content appear on viewer, naturally it will not be indexed.

What is Progressive Download and does DaCast support it?

Progressive Download is a technique wherein video or audio content can be watched at the same it is downloading to a computer or device. This process differs from streaming in that the file is saved to your computer during the process, although sometimes without the user knowing it and sometimes only temporarily.

DaCast uses a strictly streaming approach that does not support progressive download. The reason for this is due to the large volume of content that is behind paywalls for which a progressive download approach would be prohibited and allow people to easily take paid content and then redistribute it to others.

What is monetization?

Monetization describes the process of generating revenue from online content using a variety of means, such as advertising or subscription services.

What is H.264 and is it supported by My Church Stream™?

H.264, or MPEG-4 AVC, is a video compression standard that is commonly associated with the distribution of high definition content. This is the form of compression used for Blu-ray discs as well as many streaming video applications on the internet.

The video standard is fully supported over the DaCast platform for both live and on demand streaming.

What is frame rate or FPS?

The term frame rate and FPS are often interchangeable. FPS stands for frames per second and refers to the number of video frames that display each second in a stream or other video source. This term is the same as frame rate.

Using your encoder, you can control how many frames per second a video has when broadcasted over DaCast. The human eye is well equipped to see over 100 FPS, although the defacto standard is often around 60 FPS. Some would argue this has been moved to 72 FPS with the advent of more tech heavy setups.

As a rule of thumb, you can get away with lower FPS (which would also lower the amount of bandwidth you are using) if you are streaming low motion content. If there is heavy motion, you will probably want a higher FPS to make the motion feel more fluid.

What is bit rate?

This is used to either track the speed of transfer over the internet, and how much bandwidth it will consume, or to track the quality of a form of media. For example, something with a high bit rate means that the quality is consistently high and is generally better.

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is a rate of data transfer, generally a metric of how much data can be sent in a given time period that is mandated by the stress and traffic caused on a server.

For DaCast, this refers to the amount of traffic caused from streaming (higher audience and higher bitrate translate into more bandwidth being consumed).

If you are unfamiliar with bandwidth and streaming, please use this calculator to get an idea of what bandwidth might be consumed from your streams:

http://www.dacast.com/streaming-pricing-calculator.html

What is an FTP?

It stands for File Transfer Protocol, and deals with FTP clients like Filezilla as a way to upload content to your account. FTP clients are external programs which allow you to connect to a web service, like DaCast, using login details that include a:

server
username
password

This is the suggested method for uploading files around or over 1.5 GB in size. If you need help on using this feature over DaCast, please reference our VOD walkthrough.

If you need help to upload via FTP, you can follow this tutorial.

What is an encoder?

An encoder is software or hardware that converts from one format or code to another. It is integral in doing live streaming.

Over DaCast, you can use any encoder that outputs into RTMP. If you have never used an encoder before or are unfamiliar with what this is, don’t feel intimidated. Instead, simply download the software program Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder which is offered on the Encoder Setup page.

What is Akamai?

Akamai is our CDN (Content Delivery Network) for our HTML5 channels. It is one of the most used and reliable CDN provider in the streaming industry.

The company was founded back in 1998 and has powered such large services including Facebook, Apple, eBay and more.

Akamai employs a large, worldwide server network to allow for mass distribution of content, including resource heavy content such as video.

To learn more about Akamai, please read their Wikipedia article here.

What is a referrer?

Under PUBLISH SETTINGS, there is a field called referrer.

This option talks about the ability to add website referral restrictions to your content. For example, if you own the website www.test.com, you can setup a referrer to block sites that aren’t test.com from trying to grab and reuse your embed code. To continue the example, if you have a referrer restriction setup and www.pirate.com is trying to steal your content, the player will be blocked on their site if they try and copy the code onto it.

Here is a walkthrough to better explain how to set this feature up.

What is a CDN and does DaCast use one?

CDN is short for content delivery network. This is a network of servers that deliver a web page or web content, such as video, to a user. A CDN copies the web content to a network of servers that are dispersed at geographically different locations. When a user requests content that is part of a CDN, the CDN will redirect the request from the originating site’s server to a server in the CDN that is closest to the user and deliver the cached content. The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered.

So using a CDN is ideal for streaming video, especially to a geographically diverse group of viewers.

In DaCast’s case, we use two CDN networks: both Akamai and EdgeCast are employed to help deliver video content globally.

What happens when you turn a file or stream off?

Found under DESCRIPTION, you can set a VOD file, live stream, package or playlist to off like so:

Doing so will make the video inaccessible and, if the content was monetized, will disable the paywall preventing future people from buying the content.

To make it clear, in the case of live channels, the stream will not automatically turn back on again once you start to stream though the encoder. You will have to go back into DESCRIPTION and manually turn it on again before this will happen. If you stream often and have a free stream, it’s recommended just to leave the channel on to make it easy to begin streaming again during your event or programming.

What happens when you run out of bandwidth?

Two possible scenarios:

1. You can setup overage protection, where you put a credit card on file and in the instance that you go over your monthly bandwidth or Event Plan bandwidth, it will rebuy automatically to keep you going.

Check out our Overage Protection walkthrough for more details.

2. You can also just let the bandwidth run out, although this will cause your streams to shut off when you burn through the bandwidth on your account.

Please note that their is a two hour delay on analytic reporting, so it might take awhile for the system to detect you are out of bandwidth. Your stream will not shut off, though, until the detection is made. This means in some scenarios you might find yourself in the negative if enough streaming happens within a two hour window.

What embed code should I use?

DaCast provides two embed options. Both of these work for playback over both desktop and mobiles, as long as the content itself supports it.

  • JS
    This is the default embed code and supports the most features. This includes being responsive, if the elements it is designed inside uses %, and the referrer restriction feature.This code, sadly, can not be used on WordPress ,Wix  and 1&1 websites
  • Iframe
    This is the most universally compatible embed code. The caveat is that some features do not work with it. This embed code is not responsive, means its a fixed size. The full screen feature is also sometimes removed, in particular if you are using iframes within iframes. Finally, as previously mentioned, the URL based referrer restriction feature does not work with the iframe embed.
What does VOD stand for?

video on Demand

What does FMLE stand for?

FMLE stands for Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder.

DaCast supports almost all RTMP enabled encoders, although FMLE gets mentioned most often as its a free, software based encoder.

More information about the encoder can be found here on Adobe’s site:

http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-media-encoder.html

What does GB stand for and how does it relate to DaCast?

GB is an an abbreviation for gigabytes, this is a measure of data generally used to specific storage space on a platform or as a level of traffic for bandwidth, and is equal to roughly one billion bytes, or 1,073,741,824 bytes to be exact. Another measure for a gigabyte is that it is traditionally equal to 1,024 megabytes (MB). DaCast does a simpler metric where a GB is equal to 1000 MB, and similarly a TB is equal to 1000 GB.

In terms of how this relates to DaCast, there are two ways. The first is from bandwidth, which refers to the amount of traffic caused from streaming (higher audience and higher bitrate translate into more bandwidth being consumed). The second is from the amount of storage given to accounts, which is measured in terms of GB.

 

What does “Use my credit and watch now” or “Save my credit” mean?

There are two options at this screen:

“Use my credit and watch now” means that you can start to use what you just purchased. For example, if you bought for two hours, you would get two hours of access from the time you select “Use my credit and watch now”.

“Save my credit” means that you are choosing to save your purchased time for later. This would require coming back to the page at a later time, clicking the play icon and logging in to be given this option again. When you are ready to start watching, select the “Use my credit and watch now”.

If you are trying to watch a live event, please try to learn the schedule of your program, especially if you bought a small access of window and are trying to watch a certain segment.

 

What are the differences between subscription and Pay Per View?

In general, a subscription is a viewer paying to access something as much as they want over a fixed amount of time. Pay Per View, on the other hand, is someone paying directly to access something. For example, someone can set up an annual subscription where viewers can watch uploaded content as much as they like over that year. While someone else can set up a pay-per-view for a 90 minute program where someone gets to watch only 90 minutes of content and nothing more.

 

Want to broadcast using my own encoder, does DaCast support this?

Yes, DaCast supports almost all encoders which can output in Flash (RTMP).
This includes, but is not limited to, hardware devices such as:

TriCaster from NewTek
TouchStream from Digital Rapids
Cube from Teradek

This also includes software solutions as well, such as:

Flash Media Live Encoder from Adobe
Wirecast from Telestream
Discover Video
VidBlaster from CombiTech

 

My site is hosted on sites.google.com, will all embeds work?

Google recently pushed out an update that breaks the embeds of many services, ours included.

In order to continue to use the embeds over Google Sites, please choose the iframe embed code when publishing your content to get it to work.

Is the DaCast live service available in Canada?

Yes, DaCast uses a worldwide content delivery network in order to send streams to viewers. This includes both live and on demand services.

As a DaCast user, you have access to several points of presence (POPs) to publish your live stream to. Furthermore, you stream will then be pushed to servers located all through out the world, enabling many viewers (regardless of their location) to view the stream.

I was billed from DACAST LLC, what was this?

If you haven’t signed up for a DaCast account and are seeing this on your credit card statement, chances are you bought access to a stream/video recently from one of our users.

So either you did a Pay Per View for an event or signed up for a subscription. Try to line up when you purchased and if you watched anything that day for which required payment.

I need to whitelist IPs to view my DaCast content, what IPs can I use?

DaCast offers services for live streaming:  “All Device/HTML5” live channels.

For the “All Device/HTML5”, there is no list of IP addresses to whitelist. You will have to enable dacast.com instead.

Does DaCast work with Android Devices?

DaCast works with any service that supports HTML5 or Flash.

This includes versions of Android such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • KitKat
  • Jelly Bean (4.1 – 4.3)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0)
  • Honeycomb (3.0 – 3.2)
  • Gingerbread (2.3)
  • Froyo (2.2)
  • Eclair (2.0-2.1)
  • Donut (1.6)
  • Cupcake (1.5)
Does DaCast support 5.1 surround sound?

No, DaCast currently uses a Flash and HTML5 based player that does not support surround sound.

This content can still be uploaded to the DaCast system, but can not be delivered to the viewer/listener in a surround experience.

Does DaCast provide any discounts for certain types of organizations?

No, DaCast does not offer any discounts for certain types of organizations.

For example, there isn’t a special rate for non-profits, schools, religious entities or other organizations. The pricing found on the main page applies to all, although discounts are available through larger plan commitments.