Troubleshooting Video FAQ


Video Streaming

"Streaming" refers to video that plays while you are connected to the internet. This way you don't need to wait for the entire file to download to your computer before you can start watching.

Saving Clips

Due to undecided copyright policy, video clips can not be downloaded yet. You must be connected to the internet to watch video clips. You can bookmark the page and return to view a clip as often as you would like.

Playing Video Clips

Video clips at Videolectures are currently only available in the Windows Media format. You will need the Windows Media Player plug-in installed on your computer. This is a free program that is often included with newer versions of browsers and computer operating systems. Windows Media Player is regularly updated and it's recommended you have the most recent version installed (Version 7 or higher). You can download it free from the Microsoft Windows Media website

What are the system and browsers requirements for optimal site and video viewing?

Multimedia files, such as the ones used in this site can put a considerable demand on your computer. For PC users, we recommend using a computer that is running Windows 95, or a more recent version of Microsoft Windows. For Apple Macintosh users, we recommend using a computer that is running OS 9 or later.Although our videos and web site can be viewed on any popular browser, we suggest Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 5+ on the PC or 5.2+ on the Macintosh or Netscape Navigator version 7+.
What monitor settings are recommended for viewing the programs?
Because of the media-rich content we provide, we recommend viewing the programs at a minimum screen resolution of 800 X 600 pixels. We prefer to use 1024 X 768, but most settings should provide enough space for display of the pages.
Why do interruptions, or “hiccups,” sometimes occur when I watch a video stream?

The number one cause of buffering is poor network connectivity. This may not be a problem with your network but may be caused by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) being overloaded. This is especially likely during peak usage hour.
If you experience excessive buffering after 15 seconds to 1 minute, your firewall may be experiencing a problem handling streaming traffic. To fix the problem, you must update your firewall’s firmware. For instructions on how to update your firewall’s firmware, contact your firewall vendor.  They will be able to provide you with firmware updates and easy instructions on how to install them.

Is my Internet connection sufficient?
Modem users will not be able to view the higher bitrate streams (i.e., Cable/DSL or MPEG2).
The webcast stopped while I was watching it. How can I fix it?
Occasionally network connections are dropped due to problems somewhere on the Internet These problems could cause your Media Player to stop playing the stream. In most cases the Media Player will automatically start again after a short period, but in other cases you will have to refresh the page.
My video player just says “Ready” and does not play any video or audio. What should I do?

The video player will say “Ready” when you have reached the end of the video clip, or when there has been a serious error with the video file. If you have Windows Media Player version 9 or higher installed and still get this message, right-click the black area of the video player, and select Error Details from the pop-up menu. Write down the exact wording of the error message, along with the name of the video that you were trying to watch, and report the problem to the webmaster.
There is an issue with the Windows Media Player for Mac software that results in problems viewing Windows Media files. Often refreshing the browser window is all that is required to kick-start the video.

Is my computer fast enough?
Lack of memory or a slow processor can cause video to stutter or not play at all. Try closing other programs while viewing our video. If it is older, your computer may simply be too slow to play the stream.
Why does the stream continuously buffer?

The player needs a certain amount of video buffered into memory before it can play. If it doesn't have enough network bandwidth to buffer as much as it needs to, the player will keep trying but never succeed at playing the video stream. Issues that could keep you from having enough bandwidth for buffering include:

  1. a slow network connection (such as a dial-up modem)
  2. too many services or applications using your local network (e.g., watching video while downloading files and surfing the Internet)
  3. too many people using the local network

If you have previously played the stream successfully but are currently experiencing problems, try clearing the history and cache in your browser.

Why did I get an error message saying the file cannot be opened or found?

Try playing another webcast. If that program is working, then the first webcast is only temporarily unavailable. Contact streaming support to get an idea when it the program will be made available.

Also, check whether you can connect to streaming content from other websites. If attempts to view video on other sites also fail, the problem is most likely with your network connection. Make sure all your cables are plugged in, wait a few minutes and try again, as the problem might have been a temporary hiccup. If the problem persists, you may want to contact your Internet Service Provider or system administrator.
You may also be behind a firewall, a software or hardware appliance that prevents certain types of network connections. Your local network administrator should know whether or not this is the case.

I'm behind a firewall or using Internet security software. How does that affect my connection?

A firewall is used to block unwanted traffic from your network and/or computer. If you are on a university or corporate network, check with your Network Administrator to make sure that the local network’s firewall is configured to allow streaming media content to be viewed. You need to open the following protocols and ports: WWW/HTTP port 80, TCP Ports 8080, 7070 and 554, and, if possible, UDP ports 4040, 7007 and 554.

If you have your own software or hardware firewall installed, please refer to the documentation that shipped with the product or visit that company's website for more information

How do I check my connection speed?
Windows Media Player will automatically detect your connection speed by default and does not need to be set manually. If you need to change this setting go to Tools > Options, and click the Performance tab. Go to the dialog box Connection Speed and click the radio button next to Choose connection speed to pick the appropriate connection speed for your computer.
For MAC users
Video on is also compatible with MAC OS.

For OS X you will need to download Flip4Mac Windows Media plugin

Note: When connecting to Windows Media streaming servers, the Flip4Mac may try to download the requested media instead of streaming it. This can cause the video stream to stutter or loop back after a few minutes of play. To correct this:

  1. Open the System Preferences utility
  2. Click Flip4Mac WMV to open the Flip4Mac preferences pane
  3. Open the Movie tab
  4. Select "Create streaming movies"
  5. Close System Preferences and restart any open browsers

The next time you access a WMA or WMV stream, the plugin will display the streaming progress bar instead of the download bar, and the stream should play correctly.For OS 8/9 you will need Media Player 7.1

After you've downloaded the correct codec or Media Player you may need to quit your browser and then re-start/re-open it for the player to work correctly.