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Old 3rd April 2011, 13:44
cekilgore cekilgore is offline
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Thumbs up Improving Screen Capture Quality

We do alot of screen capture feeds and I've consistently had trouble with the quality after Livestream encoded the feed. During playback text would always look blurry and difficult to read. I finally hit on some settings that really improved the playback quality. Here they are.

Procaster Settings:

On startup at the intial settings window (before you enter preferences) set the Quality to
"Custom Quality" which provides a bitrate feed of 778 kbps.

Within Preferences

Video Settings
1600 x 1200 aspect ratio
20 fps (frames per second)
714 kbps target bit rate
2 second key frame interval

Audio Settings
+ 13.2 db on the mic (Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser)
+ 99 db master control setting.

I found that the closer I got my aspect ratio settings to my actual screen resolution the better the encoded playback appeared.

I also suspect that the actual internet connection speed may affect the feed quality. You can see your connection frames per second and bit rate kbps in the lower left corner of the Procaster interface once you've gone live. They fluctuate and may be affected by viewer and production activity on Livestream.

Looking at off hour production times may provide an advantage to the quality of the feed into the Livestream encoder.

Given our production volume and audience size we are not a Premium User and rely on the advertising supported level of Livestream's free service.

Hope this helps those doing screen capture production.

Carl

PS.
I saved a sample recording (in my Recordings Folder) of a screen capture and voice over providing these settings for future reference if I'm ever using someone else's Procaster that needs to be configured. At my age I need every memory assistant I can get ;-)

Last edited by cekilgore; 30th April 2011 at 15:30. Reason: Added Recommendation
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  #2  
Old 4th April 2011, 14:25
jasonlive's Avatar
jasonlive jasonlive is offline
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Thanks for sharing, Carl. If any users are screen capturing PowerPoint presentations, please also see the following link:
http://www.livestream.com/userguide/...Procaster_Tips

Best,
Jason
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  #3  
Old 3rd May 2011, 17:11
medecau medecau is offline
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You sir are a god among man.

Those tips for screencasting are awesome.

I changed my Quality to custom and in preferences made it match my screen size(1280x1024). Deselected lock ratio and device rate and set framerate to 20(I agree it's a good FPS for streaming HD for free), set bitrate to 714(but it seems to assume 774) and left keyframes at 2sec.

The result is a live stream that is of such high quality I was not really expecting to be able to see some small text so sharp.

Thanks for the tips.
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  #4  
Old 31st May 2011, 07:37
sputniktv sputniktv is offline
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thanks so much for change!!!
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  #5  
Old 19th February 2012, 00:57
cekilgore cekilgore is offline
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Default Screen Capture - Update Procaster 20.2.69P

With the Livestream upgrades to Procaster I too have some additional quality tweaks to offer for screen capturing to my original post.

Keyframe Intervals in the Procaster Preferences under the Video tab have a lot to do with artifacting cleanup when the aspect ratio of the screen capture changes or the area of the screen capture changes. A smaller number means it takes longer to clean up the screen distortions. A higher number greatly improves the clean up time and image quality stability.

I've adjusted my Keyframe interval to 30
With a target frame rate of 20

Also you want to make sure your Output resolution is close to your screen resolution setting.

If you are using a Microsoft OS, right mouse click on the desktop and select "Personalize" then "Display Settings" you should get an interface that will allow you to ID your monitors and shows you the current resolution setting.

Procaster tops out at 1600 X 1200 so if you are running at a higher resolution you need to step down your screen resolution setting to a range Procaster can run at or proportion your Procaster Output Resolution to the same aspect ratio.

For example: If your screen resolution is 1680 x 1050
1680 / 1050 = 1.6
1600 / 1.6 = 1000

Procaster Output Ratio Adjusted Resolution = 1600 x 1000

In the Procaster Preference > Video interface uncheck the Lock Ratio and set your Output Resolution to the appropriate settings for your screen or the adjusted resolution you need to match your screen ratio.
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  #6  
Old 8th March 2012, 05:57
billmcintosh billmcintosh is offline
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this is awesome. can't wait to try this.
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