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Author Topic: Streaming Slams  (Read 2511 times)

karen_g

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Streaming Slams
« on: March 28, 2012, 04:05:38 PM »
There's been a lot of debate and emphasis put on live streaming events, particularly as a way of sharing our poetry and our poetry scenes together across the miles. Some of us have used it as a way to record pieces for history or as a fundraising tool for 24hr+ readings.
More and more, there's pressure to stream events as a way to not completely miss out on the big events we sometimes can't attend.
With this in mind, as well as the various challenges that present themselves in trying to stream, such as sound or image quality, expenses put into streaming and equipment, here are a few informal survey questions for you, so we can info-share, learn from each other and maybe all of us can better our processes.

-How often do you live stream at your slam?

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive?

-If you charge to view, what do you charge?

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other?

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated?

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated?

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)?

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes?

Thank you & if you have questions, especially technical ones to add, please share them.
nerak_g

jesster

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 05:25:52 PM »
This is for Salt City Slam in SLC, UT

-How often do you live stream at your slam? We just started with our last two slams

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive? Mainly publicity and access. There are folks that simply can't get there and want to check out the slam. It also allows local poets more "national" access

-If you charge to view, what do you charge? no charge

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other? UStream. They also allow you to archive the stream

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc) iPhone 4S

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated? Donated

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated? Donated

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)? As long as the audio is good, the video is secondary.

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes? We tried using a current generation iPod touch and that audio quality wasn't great and it was sensitive to low bandwidth. The iPhone S fixed these issues but the lens keeps refocusing and the audio/video is not always in sync.

-Jesse

BrianOmniDillon

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 10:46:35 AM »
This response if for the collegiate program I run at NYU. we do not stream the Intangible Slam. For whatever reasons many locations in nyc, ours included, have funny rules about video, notably streaming.

-How often do you live stream at your slam?

  We stream most of our on campus slams, if not all.

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive?

  In the future we would love this to provide a fundraising component. For now, its more just for out of towners, and friends of ours in the collegiate natiional scene to peek in on our events. We also dont tend to announce the stream through our team FB until a few hours before the shows, so as not to dissuade kids from not actually attending as opposed to watching in their rooms.

-If you charge to view, what do you charge?


we dont as of yet, but i see that as a part of our future

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other?

we do use ustream, yes.

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)

we just set up a laptop on a front row chair facing the mic.

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated?

being a team funded by an exorbinantly wealthy university, we could probably ratchet up the technology a bit. that being said, the technology we use now suits the needs of our audience fine. (my laptop, the internet)

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated?

zero.

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)?

again, in the future we'd love to take this to the next step and have better quality streams, but it appears that a good amount of people will watch regardless. we average 40-60 per stream.

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes?

Again ours is a very simple set-up, the only hitch in the plan is aiming the laptop perfectly so it doesnt stream peoples knee-caps for two hours.


additional thoughts:

I could be wrong, but im pretty sure the absolute height of regular slam streaming technology is NYC-Urbana. Its a super-good quality, its done weekly, and back when i was involved in the managing the series, the slam averaged about 200 views every week (more than there ever is in the actual room at the BPC). The urbana series is the most technologically advanced slam ive seen (in-line phone patch so Mali can call the stage from Qatar or wherever he is). I highly advise anyone inquiring about streaming to get in touch with the folks on the Urbana Committee.

Also, Aaron Samuels of WU Slam has a pretty slick and consistent streaming operation. He's been streaming his college's preliminary bouts at CUPSi since way before i thought that technology existed.
lo the goddamn leaves.

karen_g

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 02:45:59 PM »
Thank you guys & hey, at CUPSI, I'll look out for him ;-)
I'll post our own answers to these questions after I talk to a couple of people in our scene.Java does the laptop thing, too.
nerak_g

RatpackSlim

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 09:38:31 AM »
For Red Dirt Wayward Poets in OKC:

-How often do you live stream at your slam?

Weekly.

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive?

A combination of publicity and document archive.    And because all the cool kids are doing it.

-If you charge to view, what do you charge?


Free right now. 

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other?


We broadcast on justin. tv on Tapestry's channel (justin. tv/tapestry1138).

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)

We're doing the mic/camera mounted next to Tap's laptop, and because it's justin. tv, we have the chatroom up (Tap and I monitor it off and on).

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated?

Donated.

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)?


Tap and I have been using this same method to do our Sunday night "USB Boys" podcast; we aren't concerned about HD quality as much we want the sound to be the best it can (it's a small room, so it's generally not a problem) and we maximize the video quality as high as possible without creating lag.   More about the content.

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes?


I do think that Urbana is the standard that all other livecasts should be set to.   The biggest issue as a viewer is not being able to hear the poets due to crowd noise or room echo.    There were times watching the WoW finals that I got frustrated because I had clearly missed a dope line due to the whoops and hollers of the audience.    I'm no tech wizard, but for the larger events, running the broadcast mic through the soundboard seems to be the easiest solution to that.   

mistafunn

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 11:54:54 AM »
-How often do you live stream at your slam? - Not as often as we should but we've done 5 events

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive? Document and archive but mainly for out of state fans and friends who don't want to catch a youtube clip but want the entire show

-If you charge to view, what do you charge? just learned about charging haven in the past but for our next fund raiser it is being considered

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other? Ustream

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)
Laptop but going forward we will use a camera with laptop to get better lighting and better quality

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated? not part of the slam budget donated

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated? donated

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)? in the past quality was moderate but looking to make it better

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes? adjusting sound from a laptop but having ppl call in really helped that

Thank you & if you have questions, especially technical ones to add, please share them.

karen_g

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 03:24:26 PM »
-How often do you live stream at your slam? - Not as often as we should but we've done 5 events

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive? Document and archive but mainly for out of state fans and friends who don't want to catch a youtube clip but want the entire show

-If you charge to view, what do you charge? just learned about charging haven in the past but for our next fund raiser it is being considered

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other? Ustream

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)
Laptop but going forward we will use a camera with laptop to get better lighting and better quality

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated? not part of the slam budget donated

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated? donated

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)? in the past quality was moderate but looking to make it better

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes? adjusting sound from a laptop but having ppl call in really helped that

Thank you & if you have questions, especially technical ones to add, please share them.

What's the camera? I'm also trying to remember what we used for the 24hr fundraiser last year.
nerak_g

WilliamJames

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 01:27:39 AM »
Pittsburgh JUST broke into the streaming world, mainly because I got a really good deal on a HD webcam at Staples and figured I could find all manner of other uses for it. So far, we've only used it once for streaming our finals, so we're learning as we go.

-How often do you live stream at your slam?
Streamed finals as our debut, plan to stream monthly

-If you do, to what purpose? Publicity? Fundraising? Document-archive?

Publicity mostly; to give our poets some exposure, as well as give our slam itself more exposure. Two years ago, the most frequent reaction at Nationals was "Wait....Pittsburgh has poets?" I'd like to change that, both for the slam's sake AND for the sake of our poets.

-If you charge to view, what do you charge?

Free, probably going to incorporate some form of donation system soon.

-What system do you use? Ustream or some other?

UStream

-What camera or equipment do you use? (I-phone, the mic and camera on a laptop, etc)

Microsoft LifeCam 1080p HD webcam mounted on a tripod

-Does your equipment come from your slam's budget or is the use of it donated?

Technically donated...I bought it myself, mainly for our slam use, but also for my own

-How much money do you budget to do this or is it donated?

Again, technically it's donated.

-Are your quality expectations low or high (HD, someone's laptop, doesn't matter, it's the content that counts)?

It's supposed to be a fancy-pants techno-gadget camera, with the HD and the 1080p and whatnot, so my expectations are sort of high; on the other hand, it's also going to be streaming and then later posted to YouTube, both of which are free services, so...you get what you pay for.

-What challenges, problems, solutions did you find in doing this; your trials, errors, and fixes?
So far, the main error has been audio quality, and that was my fault. I didn't adjust the mic volume for the room, and some of our louder poets (myself included) suffered from blown-out and fuzzy sounding audio. Haven't streamed a second event yet, so I'll have to get back to you on what fixes worked. It's also all trial and error as far as camera placement goes - using a tripod gives me a BIT more flexibility, but I'm still at the mercy of the USB cord length.

Our debut stream had all of 9 viewers. I also didn't have a link to promote until 2 hours before the slam. Now that we have the Ustream account set up, it'll be interesting to see if the viewership grows, or if nobody really seems to care.

weslowski

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Re: Streaming Slams
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 05:48:03 PM »
Our venue, Cafe Deux Soleils, in Vancouver has no Wi Fi so we can't get on the internet there.   So, unfortunately we don't live stream.   However all of our shows are videotaped and uploaded to the Van Slam You Tube Channel by Duncan Shields.
WPS 2007 is in Vancouver.  The Vancouver Poetry Slam happens the 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday of the month.