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How to: Configure Microsoft Expression for PULL Streaming
The purpose of this article is to show you the procedure that needs to be followed to successfully configure your Microsoft Expression encoder to stream using the Pull Method.
'Pull' Live Webcast with Microsoft Expression when Windows Media Services 'Pulls' the content from the encoder, the server connects to the encoder stream in progress and pulls the content. The primary advantage of ‘Pulling’the encoder is the auto re-connect feature.
If you lose your connection to the server, the server will re-connect to your encoder automatically once your Internet connection resumes. In order to stream in a 'pull' configuration you must have a static IP address. If your encoding computer is behind a router, your router must also be configured to port forward.
Requirements before starting:
•Have a Publishing Point or Channel created on the portal: How to: Setup your service
•Setup your network for PULL streaming: How to: Setup PULL to stream in Windows Media
1. To start a live "Pull"stream with Microsoft Expression: Download Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 and install the encoder with the default installation settings.
2. Start the encoder and click on the “Live Broadcasting Project”
3. Click on the “Select an Output type”
4. Select Broadcast and enter the port you have previously configured on your network and firewall and click Next. Default port is 8080.
Note: Max connections can be left as it is.
5. Click on the Encode Tab.
Note: The following settings are recommended for general usage, but you are encouraged to experiment.
6. In the Encode options, the following settings are suggested which are the defaults:
- Output Format=Windows Media
- Video=VC-1 Advanced
- Main Audio=WMA
7. Click the Video bar to open the Video Options menu. The following settings are suggested which are the defaults:
- Mode=CBR-2 pass
- Buffer Window=3
- Frame Rate=Source Key Frame Interval=30
- Bitrate=350 (if quality is low, then increase bitrate and try again. Keep increasing until satisfied.)
You can ignore the other options but again, you are welcome to experiment.
8. Click the Audio bar to open the Audio Options menu. The following settings are suggested which are the defaults:
- Mode=CBR- 1pass
- Bitrate=64 kbps (higher bitrate will give better audio quality, but you won’t hear the improvement above 128 kbps.)
- Sample Rate=48 kHz
- Bits Per Sample=16
9. Select “Add a Live Source”if you will be using a video capture card or attached video device.
10. Proceed to select your device.
11. If you want to stream pre-recorded files using Microsoft Expression, click on the “Add a File Source.
12. Proceed to select the files you want to use to stream.
13. Next, Cue your devices or files to you need to stream.
14. After this you should be ready to start streaming so you may click on the Start button located in the middle of the Expression Window.
15. To test that your streaming is working on your machine, you may click on Test button located under the Output tab. This will bring up a Windows Media Player.
16. If you want know more on the available options for Microsoft Expression encoder, please click on the next link: Learn Expression Web.
17. To view your stream on NetroMedia, go to Services, My Active Services, click on the publishing point you created and finally click on "Public Link".
Testing Your Live Stream
If the encoder is running and you are not able to connect to your stream through our server link, you can test if your encoder is working properly by the following:
- Open your Windows Media Player and click on ‘File’then ‘Open URL’.
- If you enter your IP address and port number here you should be able to connect directly to your encoder using the following format: http://IPADDRESS:PORT
- If you are unable to connect to your encoder, then the most common issues are:
- You are behind a software firewall and need an exception for TCP port 8080 or the port you used, you may also need to port forward through your router's hardware firewall.
- You are trying to distribute your content at a bit rate your internet connection up-load capacity cannot support.
- Your currently have the Windows Firewall turned on: Turn off Windows Firewall