Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Now You Can See Select Events, Live As They Happen, On Your Douglass Website!

Welcome to Live TV, Douglass-Riverview style!

Visitors to the Douglass Website, now have the ability to see selected live events, streamed on the website.

On the website's main page, on the left side, just above all the links for "CLICK HERE FOR OUR NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS", "CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY", etc, is a box that looks like a TV screen, under the heading "Click on Video Screen to See Live Events." If the event is being broadcast live, all you have to do, is click on the "play" button in the middle of the screen, and whatever is going on, can be seen live on the TV screen, and heard through your PC speakers. It's a live window to the world of Riverview and South Central Kingsport, with a two-fold purpose.. to bring live events to people who may not be able to attend them, and to broadcast those live events to our folks who are out-of-town who want to "see what they're doing over in Riverview" (remember when our church elders used to say that about other churches?)

The live streaming feature was tested during this past Saturday's meeting of the Douglass Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting in Kingsport. The entire meeting was streamed live with sound and video, and the announcement that one of our meetings was being streamed live for the first time, brought smiles (for the most part) from the board members. I had spotters viewing it in Nashville and Oceanside, California, and they report good picture quality and sound.

The software we are using to stream live is the Adobe Encoder 2.5, a companion to the Adobe Flash Player that we use for videos in the PHOTO GALLERY, and was selected over many other services available in the marketplace. The encoder provides an input signal from the webcam, which filters through the software to eek out bugs and glitches, then the output is fed to a separate IP address, which is embedded right now on the Douglass Website's main page.

The server we are using is Onyxservers, which came highly recommended by several national online flash streaming applications. It allows for instant access through the Adobe Encoder, and also provides a backup file to help maintain service. I know none of this may make much sense, but believe me.. we've got a good system and setup here.

We are working on a link to a bigger screen, but for now, the little screen is picture-compatable with our webpage. The sound is digital quality.

Whenever we are streaming something live, I will attempt to let you know prior to the broadcast by emailing everyone on the Douglass Website mailing list.. if I do not have your email address, please send it to me at: so we can sign you up. I will also attempt to notify everyone by posting a note in the NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS section, but the email will come first.

If, for whatever reason, we are streaming a live event and you are unable to see anything when you click on the "play" button, please drop me an email at:, and let me know. Chances are, I will know what the problem is, and can correct it.

Now, we can bring events to you live, like programs, shows, meetings, outdoor and church concerts, church services, children's events and special projects, just in case you cannot attend any of them. TV stations do this all the time on their websites, and so do many schools, unlike ours, that are still open. It is our pleasure to offer this dimension of service on our website to Douglass Alumni, friends and neighbors in the Riverview-South Central community, the city of Kingsport, and all alumni and friends out of town.