Export Center Webcast -- Technical Support Page

Watching video and listening to audio on your PC can be a technological challenge, especially for older computers on dialup connections. Let's start with the basics. If your computer is more than 2-3 years old it is important that you free up as much of its' resources as possible. Be sure you have NO other programs running in the background. Anti-virus programs that check incoming data, e-mail programs that check your mail at regular intervals, and any other programs that use up RAM or CPU cycles will degrade or interrupt performance, especially on older, less powerful machines.

PC or Personal Computer…for the Export Center Webcast Series we recommend at least a Pentium 1 class processor at 200MHZ or above, and suggest a Pentium 2 class at 300MHZ or above for good results. Your operating system can be Windows 95 or above, but different systems require different versions of Windows Media Player (WMP for the rest of this document).

You also must have a sound card and the volume turned up, and no other software running at the same time. You can download WMP at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp

Dialup Internet Connection…You must have an Internet connection and at the least a 56K Modem. A “56K” modem on its' best day might hit 40K if all systems are running perfectly. Remember, you are using a regular telephone line. Sometimes you can call across the country and it sounds “right next door” and other times calling “across the street” can sound like calling the space shuttle. Your modem will occasionally have the same problem. For a good page to check your connection speed try DSL Reports. You can find DSL Reports at www.dslreports.com and go to the “Tools” page and select “speed test”, and follow their instructions.

BroadBand Internet Connection…If you are connected to the Internet with a cable modem, DSL, or your company network you are on broad band. You will see a larger picture than on dialup, and will notice better sound quality, especially on music. This connection is more reliable. The the Export Center broadcast page automatically tests your connection and selects the “stream” best suited for your connection. If you wish, you can switch streams using the hot link (BroadBand/DialUp) above the video image. You can test your connection speed at DSL Reports, they are an independent site that has a number of tools to test and tweak your Internet connection for free.

Browser….It is truly unfortunate, but we can no longer support Netscape in any version. At less than 6% of the market and with it's own idiosyncrasies that require almost an entirely parallel website devoted to Netscape alone, it's just not worth it at this time for us little guys. Internet Explorer from Ver. 4.5 up comes with the WinMediaPlayer plug-in installed and ready to go. It looks like Billy Gates won this one folks.

A Word about AOL…. America on Line is NOT the Internet, it is a very large, but still private network that you log into. AOL makes every effort to keep you within this private network behind their proxy server where they can entertain you and sell you stuff. While valuable to protect children from evil, and very easy to use, it is not a business-class Internet connection. Because we cannot control how AOL handles our data on their network, we cannot always guarantee a top quality experience

Measuring your Connection to the Export Center Webcast Series …When connected to a live stream or an archive, place your cursor over the video image (or the black box where the video should be), and RIGHT click. A drop down menu will give you a series of choices. Under “Statistics” check your “Bandwidth” This is the true connection speed that you are receiving from our server. If you are not receiving video, it will indicate an “Error Code”. This code can be helpful to the Export Center Webcast Series tech support in diagnosing your problem. You should get 30K or more on dialup, and 70-93K on broadband.


“I get Audio but no Video”…Ninety nine per cent of the time this is because you have an older version of WMP installed. Microsoft is always improving their audio and video compression/decompression (codecs) software. If your audio codecs are compatible but your video codecs are not, you will receive the compatible portion, in this case the audio. The solution? Download and install the latest version of WMP (click here), or go to:     http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp

“I get Video but no Audio”…Because the video “rides on” the audio stream, unlike the scenario above,  it is impossible to receive video without audio. Check your computer's volume setting (usually a small loudspeaker shaped icon in the lower right corner of your screen), move all sliders to the uppermost position. Be sure none of the inputs have the “Mute” box checked. No volume control in the lower right corner? Virtually all computers now come with a soundcard, but many corporate office systems have the sound card “disabled” to prevent annoying your officemates. Call the IT dept. If you have external speakers be sure they are powered up and the volume is up.

“I Don't Get Anything at All”…If you get no audio or video, and you have no “VCR” like controls in the upper corner of the the Export Center Broadcast Page, then either you don't have Windows Media Player installed, or the plug-in is not properly installed in Internet Explorer. Go to the MS Download Page and follow the instructions. If you are using Netscape 6.0, this could be your problem. Due to the large number of incompatibilities in 6.0, and the age of the last reliable Netscape browser (4.7) we are not offering tech support for Netscape users at this time.

If you are on a corporate network behind a firewall and/or a proxy server you may need to have the IT dept. allow you to pass both video and java applets through the firewall/proxy server. Please have your technician contact us (below) and we will be glad to assist.

“Everything's working but”….The slide area and the chat box are cut off. When designing a web page it's hard to make it look good on every possible size monitor at every possible resolution. On smaller monitors (up to 15”) Select “Start>Settings>Control Panels>Display>Settings. In the lower right corner of that panel should be a slider set on “800x600”. If it's on “640x480” move it to “800x600”. Return to the the Export Center broadcast page (you can try this while watching an archive and get setup for the next live event in advance). If some of the elements are still cropped, go to “View(in the browser bar)” and select “Full Screen”. This will eliminate the borders and menus that you will not need while watching. To restore click the upper right corner icons for the view you want. On larger monitors it's the same drill, but the slider will go up to “1024x768”, which is recommended on newer, larger monitors. Expewriment with these settings, you can't hurt the hardware, and you can always change it back after the broadcast.

Still no luck?…the Export Center Webcast Series is a small, customer service driven company. If the above suggestions don't get you up and viewing video in a convenient amount of time just call, toll free, at 1-877-289-7553, or e-mail to RicM@hvactv.com. There are no long questions or bad “hold” music. You can talk directly to the guy who put this all together and he will walk you through configuring your system to enjoy and learn The Export Center Webcast Series.