Questions - Help
Many people have chosen to use the open-source browser called
Firefox. We have spent a fair amount of time and expense to adapt
our product to work with Firefox. Because Firefox is open-source,
you must use plug-ins to let the browser know what to do when it
encounters certain types of data. This is not the case with Internet
Explorer, which comes fully ready to deliver multimedia content.
If you choose to use the Firefox browser, you'll have to install the
latest "plug-in" version of Windows Media player. Here's a link to
the same materials are also provided by Firefox on their plug-ins
(scroll to the bottom of the page).
If you have problems or issues installing these plug-ins or the
media still won't play, please contact technical support for Firefox:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/support/ where you will find FAQs,
newsgroups, chat sessions, message boards and searchable knowledge
bases. Unfortunately, as this is an open-source product, you will
not find a phone number or any actual technical support personnel
who work at Firefox. There is third-party support at this number
1-888-586-4539 for $39.95 per incident.
Or, you can just use Internet Explorer which is free, supported and
has all the capability to run this media built right in.
Probably the most often-asked question is "How do I tell what my bandwidth is?" well, just click below:
I click on a video link and nothing happens
First, make sure that your Internet connection is working
-- go to a site like http://www.yahoo.com/ or http://www.cnn.com/ ,
it’s very rare that these sites are not working. Once you’ve
established that your Internet connection is working, make sure you
have downloaded and installed the Windows Media Player. You may need
to re-install the Windows Media Player.
I get an error message back to
Microsoft has provided an extensive list of error codes
and what they mean. You can read about them here:
There may be
some problems that you’re not able to solve, these may be related to
network or simply some “bad code” on the website. If you’ve tried
everything from your side, you may wish to notify the webmaster of
the site where you’re encountering the problem.
I can hear something, but I’m not seeing
video back to
This is usually caused by one of two things -- either
your connection to the Internet is too slow to view this particular
video or the video has been incorrectly encoded. Windows Media
includes a very low quality audio track as the “lowest common
denominator” in all its streaming video files. If your connection to
the Internet OR to that particular server is very slow all you may
be able to do is hear audio.
I get video, but it looks choppy
This is most likely due to the speed at which data is
reaching your computer over the Internet. A faster connection will
generally mean better video.
The video keeps “buffering” -- what does that
mean? back to
Windows Media Player will attempt to “store up” frames of
video to insure a smooth playback / viewing experience. Lots of
“buffering” coupled with the video stopping and starting usually
indicates that you have a slow connection to the
Why do I see a big broken puzzle
graphic? back to
This is usually caused by a missing plug-in. This means
your browser does not know that it has the capability to play a
certain type of video or you haven’t installed the correct video
player. Typical causes of this behavior would be that you’ve been
using Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player video -- then you
click on a page which is supposed to contain some video content --
and a big, broken puzzle picture appears. This would indicate that
the content you’ve chosen is either Real Video or QuickTime Video
and you don’t have the plug-in.
What do I need to view streaming
video? back to
You need a computer (at least a 486 with 32 megs of ram
running Windows 95), an Internet connection (dial-up with modem,
DSL, cable modem or LAN) and a “player” application (Windows Media
What kind of computer works best?
All computers running with a 486 or above processor
running Windows 95 or above have the capability of showing streaming
video. The faster the processor you have and the more memory you
have will make your system run faster -- streaming media will work
better on a faster system. Macs can also run streaming video, but
some of the earlier operating systems have problems with different
versions of the media players. There is a new version (released in
2001 - Ver. 7.1) of the Windows Media Player that works very well on
the Mac with OS 8 and above.
What does “streaming” mean? back to
Most of the content that you view on the Internet is
downloaded to your computer. This means you “request” to view
something, and a server sends it as a file to a special place on
your computer. You them view this content through a web browser
(Internet Explorer or Netscape). Since video files are very large,
you don’t want to have to wait for the entire video file to download
before you start viewing -- so your video player just shows you the
part you need to see. The data you’ve just viewed is thrown out, you
view the current content while the content you’ll need in a few
moments hasn’t been sent yet. This data is sent in a “stream” that
is not saved on your computer.
Can I save a streaming video? back to
Because you’re only viewing a portion of the entire file
at any given time, you cannot save a streaming video. If you want to
view it again, click the Play button to start the “stream”
again. Live events cannot be played again, but most live events are
"archived" or saved on the companies' website for later viewing.
What are the different types of streaming
video? back to
There are currently three major types of streaming video
available on the Internet. They are Windows Media (created by
Microsoft), Real Video and QuickTime (Created by Apple). Each one
has it’s own player which must be downloaded and installed on your
computer in order for you to view that type of video. BroadBandVideo
uses Windows Media exclusively as this player is now the most
popular and remains a free offering from Microsoft.
Why does the BroadBandVideo player look
different than other players? back to
The BroadBandVideo player uses the core technology
provided by Windows Media but uses additional “embed” technology to
create a better viewing experience. By minimizing the distractions
created by the “stand-alone” players, BroadBandVideo is able to
create a focused video viewing experience.
Why does a faster internet connection mean
better video? back to
Video is compressed data. In fact, it’s a LOT of
compressed data. The more data you can get faster, the better the
video will perform.
How can I get a fast Internet
connection? back to
There are many different Internet Service Providers
(ISPs) who will sell you a connection to the Internet. They usually
charge a monthly fee for what is known as “access” --this allows you
to view content (and video) on the Internet. Most people still use
what is known as a “dial-up” connection. This means they use a phone
modem over a telephone line to connect to the Internet. This is the
slowest way possible to connect to the Internet and the worst way to
experience Internet streaming video. New companies are offering new
technologies that allow you to access the Internet faster -- they
are DSL and Cable Modems.
What is DSL? back to
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line -- it’s a system
that uses your regular phone line to provide a very fast connection
for your computer while still allowing you regular phone service.
This service may or may not be available where you live based on how
close your residence is to certain types of telephone switching
equipment. Call your local phone company to see if they offer this
type of access.
What is a cable modem? back to
A Cable Modem is a device that allows your computer to
hook up to the same cable used by your cable television service.
This allows for one of the fastest connections available to home
consumers. Call your local cable television company to see if this
service is available in your area. This is generally the most cost
effective type of high-speed access for home consumers.
Can I see video at the
office? back to
Many companies have computers that are hooked to a LAN
(local Area Network), which is then hooked to the Internet at a very
high rate of speed. This allows for optimal viewing of streaming
video -- however, many companies have policies or software in place
that restrict employees from viewing streaming media from their
workplace. Here are some of the ways that are used to restrict
employees from viewing video at the office:
- Proxy server
- If you are using a local or remote proxy server to cache
frequently viewed web pages, streaming media may not work.
sensitive firewall - Some offices restrict the downloading of
materials from web.
filtering - Sometimes certain server ports will be shut off in
your office / network environment. This can affect streaming
- IP Sharing -
Sometimes router settings, specifically where many people are
sharing the bandwidth through a single IP address, can affect
- IT browser
configuration - In some companies, the IT department
pre-configures the web browser so it won't accept streaming
How do I install the Windows Media
Player? back to
You need to use your computer, web browser and Internet
connection to go to:
to download the latest version of Windows Media Player. The current
version is 7.1, though if you have an older version of Windows Media
Player installed on your computer it will “auto-update” itself when
it encounters a new type of content.
What is “auto-update”? back to
This is a process where the Windows Media Player
encounters a newer video format and usually displays the message
“There is a newer version of the Windows Media Player than the one
you currently have installed. Would you like to upgrade your player
now?” -- the correct response to this is to click the “Yes” button
provided. This will allow you to continue to enjoy streaming media
presented in the Windows Media Format.
How long will the “auto-update” process
take? back to
This depends upon your Internet connection. If you’re
using a dial-up connection and have a very old version of Windows
Media Player, this process could take an hour or more. For most
users the process will take no more than 10 or 15 minutes. Users who
have a high-speed Internet connection will have to wait only
seconds. Unless your version of Windows Media Player is very old,
you won’t have to re-start your system to enjoy the new