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.

Brent Kearney
Technology Manager for BIRS

Instructions for Using the Live Stream Effectively

  1. Check the schedule for upcoming talks, so you know when to "tune in".
  2. Before the scheduled time of the talk you are interested in, go to http://www.birs.ca/live.
  3. If the person speaking chooses to record and broadcast their talk, they will press a button that causes live streaming and recording to begin.
  4. Recordings of the talks are posted approximately 10 minutes after the talk finishes. The latest recordings appear on the BIRS Homepage, and the rest are listed in the "Workshop Videos" section of each workshop's web page. We also provide a list of all recordings in a given year, organized by workshop, here.

System Requirements

The live video streaming uses dynamic streaming to automatically scale the video quality up or down based on your connection speed and screen size. Switching to fullscreen mode, or attempting to advance the play position, will force a re-evaluation of the connection. In it's highest resolution mode, the stream displays 1920x1080 HD video at 2464kbps and 29.97fps. The other modes are 1280x720 at 1464kbps, 640x360 at 664kbps, and 480x270 at 464kbps.

The live stream should work on any modern computer or mobile device that supports Flash or HTML5 streaming video. It has been tested and works with Microsoft Windows IE 8 and 9, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Sony BluRay players, iPhones, iPads, Playbooks, and some Android devices. Please let us know if it does not work on your device.

Plans For the Future

We plan on adding interactive telepresence capabilities that allow remote parties to participate in workshops, or give lectures to the audience in Banff.