A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
H O W   D O   I   M A K E   ( G O O D )   S T R E A M I N G   M E D I A ?
Compared to the fi nal fi les you would output for other mediums, such as 
SOME CAPTURE POINTERS 
DVD ROM or VHS tape, the fi nal fi les you'll output for the Web will be 
FOR STREAMING MEDIA
small a smaller frame size, a lower frame rate, and more heavily compressed. 
However, it is recommended that you capture your source material (both video 
Use AV hard drives
 SCSI or RAID 
and audio) at the highest quality settings your system can handle 30 fps is 
Research your video capture card
 Test it, if 
recommended for video; 16 bit for audio. You'll be using up lots of hard disk 
possible, before making a fi nal decision. 
space, but it's better to start with high quality (i.e., more data) and, therefore, 
Conserve CPU power
 Disable all anti virus 
have more choices about what information to discard when you reach the 
programs, screen savers, and extensions during the 
encoding stage, than to start with low quality (less data) and potentially 
capture process.
regret having fewer options down the road. 
 Optimize your hard drive
 Defragment your 
hard drive before capturing.
Window size
Frames per second
Color depth
Data rate
Capture high quality
 Capture your source 
(resolution)
(fps)
(bits)
per second
material (both video and audio) at the highest 
640 x 480
30
24
27.65 MB
quality settings your system can handle 30 fps 
is recommended for video; 16 bit for audio. 
640 x 480
15
24
13.83 MB
 Avoid dropped frames
 Test and improve your 
320 x 240
15
24
  3.46 MB
system until you reach a zero dropped frames 
standard. 
160 x 120
15
24
   865 KB
Capture mono audio
 Unless you really, truly 
Make sure your system has adequate capacity. A 3.46 MB per second data 
need stereo output.  
rate is standard for DV. In terms of disk space, you'll probably want at least 
Keep an archive of your raw video fi le
 For 
a 30 GB hard drive. The larger your resolution (video window size), the 
future use, and because  accidents  happen.
more colors, and the higher the frame rate captured  the bigger your 
captured fi le will be.
Dropped frames, during capture, are something you want to avoid. You can't recover dropped frames 
after capture, so you'll want to test and improve your system until you reach a zero dropped frames 
standard. If you are using Adobe Premiere to control capture, make sure to select the  Report Dropped 
Frames  option, so you'll know when frames are dropped. You can also set Adobe Premiere to auto 
matically abort capture when frames are dropped. Dropped frames are usually the result of a 
confi guration problem, or are caused by trying to capture video that exceeds the capture rate for 
your system. DV requires a hard disk capable of sustaining a 3.6 MB per second data rate.
Capture cards for streaming
You'll fi nd there are capture cards designed specifi cally for streaming media. Your decisions will depend 
on your needs and your budget. But the industry is now mature enough that there is, indeed, something 
that's right for every requirement.
The most basic capture cards are for input only. Some popular, inexpensive ones (under $200) let 
you hook up a variety of sources at once (although only one of those devices can be used at a time) 
including S video and full duplex audio input. Such cards provide basic capture software.  But in order 
to stream, you'll need a solid video editing package, such as Adobe Premiere, and streaming software like 
Real Producer Plus, to refi ne and process the video before broadcasting from a site,  reports Joel Strauch 
in his article for Streaming Media.com,  Video Capture on a Shoestring. 
34
More expensive capture cards may have input and output capabilities, and may perform a variety of 
ancillary tasks such as scaling (resizing), color conversion, de interlacing, closed captioning and more. 
namic Medianamic Media
One popular capture card priced under $2,500 has such on board pre processing capabilities, leaving 
yy
the bulk of your CPU power for creating higher quality video streams. These specialized streaming 
cards enable real time (live) streaming from a DV source, with the ability to transfer the digital video 
directly to the host.  
obe Dobe D
dd
AA
26
26
41   Video Capture on a Shoestring,  by Joel Strauch, Streaming Media.com, http://www.streamingmedia.com/article.asp?id=6794
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