Streaming Video Capture Software - How to Capture Streaming Video

Streaming Video Capture Software requirements are quite simple as the basic needs are a video editing program and an encoder to save the video in a streaming format. You will also need an FTP program to upload the video file to your streaming video server.

If you have a streaming video capture card it may have come bundled with some form of editing software. Bundled software is usually a cut down version and may not have all the functions of the commercial version. Although most of the top video editing programs have the ability to save video files in streaming formats, your bundled version may be limited in this respect.

Video editing programs with integrated streaming conversion are the most convenient way to prepare your video material. Doing all your editing and conversion tasks in the same environment allows you to experiment with various settings and quickly see the results without transferring files between various programs.

Video editing software such as Sony Vegas has templates that provide basic settings for saving video in streaming formats. Simply choose a template for a particular streaming speed and the program will make all the necessary settings for screen size, audio format and level of compression. Most editing programs that use this template method allow you to adjust any of the settings manually so you have full control over the output.

If you are using a video editor that does not convert to streaming formats, you will need a stand-alone conversion program. Each of the major players such as Windows Media, Quicktime, Realtime and Flash, all have their own conversion utilities, and some conversion programs integrate all the popular formats so that you have a choice of output from a single program utility.

The choices that must be made when saving to a streaming video format include the size of the video image, the number of frames per second and the codec. Bigger video images and faster frame rates will require higher transfer connection speeds, but will result in a better quality video. You must consider, therefore, how your audience will be connecting to the Internet to view your streaming video. Ideally, you should provide several versions of your video material to satisfy a range of connection speeds from dialup to DSL or cable modem.

The codec handles the video compression by removing parts of the video image and replacing them with instructions about how to reconstruct the video. The viewer needs a compatible codec installed on his or her computer or the video will not play. For this reason, choosing a well supported codec provides the most assurance that your video can be viewed by the greatest number of people without having to download a new codec - something that many may be reluctant to do.

As mentioned above, viewers need a suitable codec installed on their computer in order to view streaming videos. They also need the appropriate media player, although some media players can handle a variety of formats such as Quicktime and Windows Media.

Flash videos are increasingly popular because the plugin needed to view Flash content is widely supported. Flash videos are integrated into a browser window and do not need a stand alone player.

Windows media is also a good choice because of the almost universal use of the Windows operating system. The Windows Media Player is integrated into the operating system giving this streaming video format a wide user base.

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