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Office of Cable Television

OCT Online Video, Availability, Format, and Requirements

OCT Online Video, Further Information

TV-13 Council Hearings and DCN Programs Availability
Overview of OCT Video Streaming
OCT Streaming Media Technical Specifications
File Types and Protocols
To view and listen to our programs
Web Browser Issues
Phone Modem, DSL and Cable Connections
Troubleshooting Video Playback Issues
Recommended Resources
Contact OCT Website Assistance at 202-671-0066

Notice to Viewers of OCT Streaming and On-demand Video

OCT, and other DC Government agencies, use only Windows Media Format to encode and deliver streaming video on the Internet. The supported player is Windows Media Player. Other players such as the freeware program VLC Player, from www.videolan.org, can also play our streamed files.

OCT archived video-on-demand files are also in Windows Media Format. OCT video-on-demand files can be viewed with version 11 or earlier of Windows Media Player (WMP), or with certain other media players, including VLC.

Please note that OCTO hardware and software standards specify using Windows Media Player version 10, not version 11, and they recommend using Internet Explorer version 6, not the more recent version 7, until further notice, due to questions about program security.

OCT Online Video, Further Information and Technical Specifications Related Links

TV-13 Council Hearings and DCN Program Availability

DC Council hearings, mayoral announcements and press conferences, as well as DCN original programming and many city events are filmed and broadcast by OCT.

TV-13 and DCN videos are available in a variety of convenient formats:

 • Broadcast in the District of Columbia via Comcast, RCN and Verizon FiOS
 • Streamed 24x7 over the internet available anywhere in the world
 • Stored and accessible 24x7 as video-on-demand for viewing at any time
 • Available on VHS and professional tape formats for a fee
 • Available on DVD and CDs

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 OCT Mission


OCT Streaming Media Technical Specifications

File Types and Protocols:

OCT Streaming Media is broadcast from our encoders to a stream hosting service due to the high bandwidth requirements. A hosting service allows an unlimited number of viewers to receive our streaming video, without a concomitant increase in the bandwidth at our end of the pipe. So instead of paying for a very large pipe to the internet, we use a small pipe and use the surge capacity of the stream hosting service.

TV-13 and DCN streaming broadcasts are sent in Windows Media Advanced Streaming Format (.asf) files.

OCT on demand video files are also in the Microsoft Advanced Streaming Format (.asf). They are called forth by a link to an .ASX file, for example 03_12_07_FINANCE.asx, where .asx designates Microsoft Advanced Stream Redirector File using which uses Microsoft MMS protocol to pull files from the OCT TV Video-on-Demand server.

OCT .asf files contain one stereo stream of audio and two streams of video.
Our files are indexed, allowing you to go start playing at any point in the file.


Windows Media Audio 9
20 kbps, 22 kHz, stereo (A/V) 1-pass CBR
Codec: 0x0161 (WMA v2)
0x01:22050Hz 20 kb/s tot (2 chnls)


File type: .ASF (Microsoft Advanced Streaming Format)
Two streams, one encoded at 40 K and one at 100 K.
Size: 320x240 pixels, 30 FPS
Aspect Ratio: 1.333 (4:3)
Windows Media Video (.WMV)
WMV2; WMP v8

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 Windows Media FAQ


To view and listen to our programs

You must have a Pentium class or better computer, sound card, a 56 Kbps telephone modem, DSL, Cable Modem, T3 or T1 Connection and the Windows Media Player. If you don't have it already, you can download the Windows Media Player free from Microsoft .
There are compatible versions available for computers running either Windows or Mac operating systems.

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 Windows Media Players


Web Browser Issues

Windows Media Player, versions 11 to 6.4, will play the video streams on our server.

You can use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Opera or Safari to view our broadcast streaming and video-on-demand. You must have a properly installed "plug-in" to your web browser, which is the way Media Player installs by default.

Media player, or the player of your choice, will open automatically, locate the video stream on our server, and play the file after a short delay for buffering. You may have go to your program options and associate your player with Microsoft .ASX files.

If your computer is running a Windows operating system and you are using a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser you should have all the necessary software pre-installed and configured to view our streaming video without problems.

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 Internet Explorer 6


Phone Modem, DSL and Cable Connections

TV-13 and DCN live video streams will work with both broadband and dialup connections. Each stream contains two versions of the same video and one version of audio. Our server will connect your computer to the highest resolution video image it will support. One stream is for viewers with DSL, Cable Modem, T3 or T1 Connections; the other will support much slower connections.

Dialup versions are optimized for access via 28.8Kbps and 56Kbps telephone modems.
For the best viewing experience, a broadband connection is recommended, however, a dialup connection will deliver a good enough picture for you to recognize the speaker during close-up shots and the audio portion will be adequate.

The OCT TV Stream is a "smart" stream delivered from a windows media server. It will automatically detect the available bandwidth of the connection and deliver either a high quality 143 Kbps stream or a lower quality 47 Kbps stream according to the bandwidth detected between your computer and our server.

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Troubleshooting Video Playback Issues
If you have trouble viewing our streaming files, one of the links on the right may help. You may also try another media player, particularly for Macintosh or Linux computers. A free, open source alternative media player that works for our streams and our video-on-demand files is VLC. It is available at www.videolan.org. You can have Media Player installed and use all of its features, and install VLC at the same time. To view our video files with VLC, you need to set file associations in Windows File Explorer, Folder Options, File Types so that .asx files are opened with VLC. Your IT person can help you if you are unsure how to set this up, or telephone OCT Website Assistance at 202-671-0066 for further information.

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 Microsoft Troubleshooting

 Firefox Troubleshooting

 VLC Player

Recommended Resources
For further help, contact your IT person or contact ITServus for help. OCT can help you with your concerns but cannot reconfigure your computer or make house calls to help.

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