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Webcast Support

General Webcasting Tips

  • For streaming video, high-speed broadband or network connections work best. If you have very low speed connection, you may encounter problems with frequent buffering and/or dropped video/audio.
  • Avoid multi-tasking. Downloading files, streaming other audio/video, or viewing web pages that heavily consume computer resources (e.g., lots of Flash advertisements) is not recommended while watching a webcast.
  • You may need to temporarily lower your browser's Internet security settings so you can download or view webcasts. High security settings may block your efforts.
  • Be patient when first accessing the live webcast. Some initial buffering of the video may occur before the webcast begins playing.
  • Be sure to adjust the volume control on your computer, speakers, and media player (the volume control of the embedded player is located in the lower right corner) for optimum sound level during the webcast.
  • If you missed a live webcast, check the archives. Webcasts are usually published to the archives within 48 hours of their original broadcast.
  • The video image quality of a webcast differs from a TV broadcast in that the video has to be compressed in order to stream over the Internet. Compression results in reduced image resolution and a smaller (less than full screen) frame size, so a webcast is best viewed within a smaller window on the computer screen.

Tips for Webcast Presentations

If you are scheduled to present a talk or presentation at STScI that will be webcast, please take a look at our webcast presentation tips and guidelines.


Real Media and Windows Media

Real Media and Windows Media links (either archived webcasts or live streams) launch the standalone versions of the Real Player and Windows Media Player. In order to view these webcasts you must have the appropriate player application installed on your computer. For optimum performance when viewing, we recommend that you use the latest version of your preferred player. Newer versions often fix performance and compatibility issues and operate more reliably on modern systems.

Firewall Settings

If you are having trouble viewing Real Media or Windows Media webcasts from STScI, the culprit may be that you are behind a firewall that is not configured to allow RealMedia/Windows Media streaming. If you are receving networking-related error messages (invalid servers, invalid sockets, or transport errors) or cannot view streaming media from any site, the firewall may be bocking your access.

If you think you are having problems viewing webcasts due to a firewall problem, you should contact your network administrator or help desk for assistance.

Media File Type Settings

To play the appropriate media type correctly, your player must be configured to open when you choose to view a specific media file or stream. Selecting fiile types that will automatically open in your preferred player can be done via the player's preference settings.

Video Acceleration

If you are experiencing problems with display quality, you may want to reduce or disable video acceleration and/or reduce the displayed video quality settings. These settings can also be configured via the player's preference settings.

Getting Help

For more information on configuring Real Player or Windows Media Player please visit these sites:

MPEG-4 Media

STScI offers H.264 encoded MPEG-4 media which can be viewed with most video players and which can be downloaded for viewing on iPhones and other multimedia devices.

Flash Media

STScI offers webcasts via embedded Flash video and in Flash Video (FLV) format for download. For best results in viewing STScI webcasts, we recommend installing the latest version of Flash; you may need to uninstall you existing version prior to installing a new version. For more information on Flash video and Flash trouble shooting please see the links below:

About Webcasting

Live webcasts, production services, and the webcast archive are managed by the Information Technology Services division of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

To send comment/suggestions regarding the site or report live stream problems, email the webcast team. To get assistance with viewing webcasts on your computer, contact the STScI Help Desk.

For problems or other assistance during live webcasts, you can contact the webcast team at 410-338-4973.

Media Players

For more information on supported media players and webcast help, please visit the webcasting support page.

Windows MediaDownload
Adobe FlashDownload
Real MediaDownload

Other Webcasting Links