CityLive and CityTV: Live Broadcasting on Campus

by Joe Chow
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Live Internet Broadcasting Services

CityLive and CityTV are two live Internet broadcasting services provided by the Computing Services Centre (CSC). These two services use equipment that supports streaming media technology, which allows users to capture video and audio signals to be viewed over the Internet instantaneously. It is suitable for live broadcasting of ceremonies, public lectures, conferences, seminars and performances. Some recently held major events such as the CityU 15th Anniversary Opening Ceremony in October 1999 and the Nobel Laureate Lecture by Prof. Charles H. Townes in November 1999 were being shown over the Internet using these facilities.

 

CityLive: Viewing Nobel Laureate Lecture with RealPlayer

 

CityTV: Viewing the CityU 15th Anniversary Opening Ceremony with Media Player

Differences Between CityLive and CityTV

CityLive employs the Real Video technology with RealVideo Server for streaming the video and RealPlayer as the client while CityTV uses Microsoft NetShow Server and Microsoft Media Player.

To hold a broadcasting event through CityLive and CityTV, the locations of audience, video quality and expected number of audience are the major considerations. CityTV service is limited to Intranet users within the CityU campus because of the requirement of high bandwidth (300K or above) and the use of multi-cast streaming technology. CityLive service, on the other hand, can provide video broadcasting to both Intranet and Internet users with different connection speeds ranging from 28.8K up to 200K or above.

In general, the video quality of CityTV is better than that of CityLive because of the higher encoded bit rate. Broadcasting through CityTV can be received by any number of PCs on the CityU Intranet. For CityLive, a limit on the number of concurrent users is bounded by licence purchased.

The table below summaries the differences of the two services:

 

CityLive

CityTV

Software

RealServer G2 and RealPlayer G2 or above

MS Netshow Server and MS Media Player

Location

Both Intranet and Internet broadcast

In-campus Intranet broadcast only

Connection Speed

Support speeds at 28.8K, 56K or higher

 

Video Quality

Low to Medium

Good

Technology

Point-to-point streaming

Multi-cast streaming

Viewer Licence required

Yes

No

Encoding Format

RealVideo Format (RM)

Microsoft’s Advanced Streaming Format (ASF)

How to Watch a Broadcast Event

Choose "VideoNet"on the CityU Intranet home page and click on either "CityLive"or "CityTV"button for the corresponding service.

CityLive

If you are unable to view the RealVideo files on the CityLive Web page, you need to upgrade your RealPlayer to a newer version. On-campus users using Windows 95 or 98 provided by the CSC can simply choose the option "RealPlayer G2 for Netscape Communicator" under the "Departmental Applications Menu" on the Intranet home page. Home and external users can download a free copy of RealPlayer from the vendor's Web site (http://www.real.com/products/player/index.html ) and install it as a plug-in for any standard Web browser.

(Note: CityLive can also be accessed at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/CityLive/ )

CityTV

If you are selecting CityTV for the first time, Microsoft Windows Media Player will be installed on your PC automatically unless the software is already there. After the installation, restart the Web browser software, Netscape Communicator, and follow the "VideoNet"menu again to start the Player for CityTV.

Any Events to Broadcast?

Try CityLive and CityTV next time you host some exciting events. Believe it or not, you may increase the number of participants by ten-fold. The CSC would be very happy to study the feasibility and provide technical support for you. For further queries, please write to cc@plink.cityu.edu.hk.