About BIRS Live Stream
In January of 2012, BIRS installed a system of cameras, microphones, and automation technology in it's main lecture room in order to fully automate the production, recording, broadcasting, and distribution of high-quality lecture videos. An overview of how it works is posted here. Since then, we have been busy writing software, adding features, and tweaking the behaviour of the system. As a work in progress, you should expect the occasional hiccup. We would love to hear your feedback or suggestions, since we are building this for the benefit of the community and consider it a collaborative effort.
I would like to extend a huge thank-you to all of the participants at BIRS who, in choosing to record — and now broadcast — their lectures online, provide a valuable resource, contributing to educational and scientific progress.
Technology Manager for BIRS
Instructions for Using the Live Stream Effectively
- Check the schedule for upcoming talks, so you know when to "tune in".
- Before the scheduled time of the talk you are interested in, go to http://www.birs.ca/live.
- If the person speaking chooses to record and broadcast their talk, they will press a button that causes live streaming and recording to begin.
- You can also watch recordings of the talks. They become available approximately 10 minutes after the talk finishes.
The live stream should work on any modern computer or mobile device that supports Flash or HTML5 streaming video. It has been casually tested and works with Microsoft Windows IE 8 and 9, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iPhones, iPads, Playbooks, and some Android phones. Please let us know if it does not work on your device.
The live video uses dynamic streaming to automatically scale the video quality up or down based on your connection speed. Switching to fullscreen mode, or attempting to advance the play position, will force a re-evaluation of your bandwidth constraints. In it's highest mode, the stream displays 1280x720 resolution HD video at 1800kbps and 30fps. In its lowest mode, it plays in most mobile devices at 320x180 resolution at 400kbps and 24fps. There are two modes in between.
Plans For the Future
We will be busy addressing imperfections of the new system, and adding needed supporting software such as online scheduling.
Further into the future, we would like to add some interactive features that allow remote parties to participate in workshops. Sophisticated video conferencing integration has been part of the plan from the beginning, and remains a priority.