Information Technology
USF Netcast Streaming Video
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I Can't Play the Videos!
Before You Begin Using Netcast:

Netcast is verified to work with WMP9 and WMP10; testing on WMP11 has not been completed yet, but we expect no problems from it since the codecs haven't changed since version 9. Please make sure that you are using Windows Media Player 9 or higher!.

Download Windows Media Player 10
Download Windows Media Player 11
Check Your Connection Speed
Many times, users have reported 'outages' in the services at Netcast, only to find that no other people are having these problems. Usually, it is discovered that there is a problem with their Internet connection, which is not passing data as fast as it needs to support streaming video. Before you do anything else, test your connection speed. There are a multitude of speed measurement sites out there, one of which is at:

HERE at http://www.dslreports.com

When doing a speed test, DO NOT choose the closest server to your location, unless it's Miami! Choosing the closest server will only test the connection from your computer to that server. Choose the Miami connection, as it is the closest one to Tampa, and will give you a better estimate of the line quality all the way to south Florida, not just within your city or state.

Windows Media Player reports That It Is Unable To Connect To the Internet
Windows Media Player is supposed to be smart enough to connect to the Internet automatically. Sometimes this does not happen, and it assumes that the video is on your hard drive. When this happens, Media Player outputs an Error C00D10B3 - Unable to Access the Network - This message may or may not appear when Media Player is unable to access the network. This is an internal error inside your operating system, but can be corrected quite easily.

Open Media Player, then go to "Tools --> Options"

Under the "Player" tab, you will see a "Connect to the Internet" checkbox. Check it and click OK.

Now try your video.

When Clicking the Link, I Get a Blank Page Usually this is because you use multiple players on your computer. Winamp is a common culprit. Although Winamp does a fine job of playing Windows Media video files, it does not handle streaming Windows Media nearly as well. What happens is when you click the link, your browser tries to call up winamp to handle the stream. Winamp is not up for the job, so it doesn't start. Your browser has "passed the buck", so it doesn't check up on the video after the initial click. Hence, the blank screen.

All you need to do is go into Windows Media player,
Click on TOOLS --> OPTIONS.
Click on the FILE TYPES tab, then click the button that says "Select all".
Click OK, and you're done.

You will be able to identify your culprit media player when you open it next time, as it will probably ask you to change the file types back to its "jurisdiciton". There are hundreds of media players out there, so you will need to read the documentation for your 3rd party player for information on how to keep it from seizing wmv files again.

Windows Media Player reports "The source filter for this file could not be loaded"
This has been a very hot issue this week! After extensive searching on the Internet and wading through Microsoft's help forums, it has been found that no one knows why this happens. But, it is widely known that re-installing Windows Media Player will correct the problem. Microsoft's problem and solution outline can be found HERE.

It seems that the codecs get corrupted somehow over the course of time, and when you go to play a video, Media Player doesn't know what to do with it.

Follow the link below to download Windows Media Player (version 10 for XP, 9 for all others).

Download Windows Media Player

Not Connecting
If you are unable to connect to the video stream, and the first solution at the top of this page didn't work, there are several other areas that you can check.

The quickest thing you can try is temporarily turn off any firewall software the you may have running in the background. Norton Internet Security and McAfee Security Center will sometimes block services it deems "unusual". Also, if you are running other identity-blocking products like PeerGuardian, turn them off

Blocked Ports
Sometimes, network routers can block the feed from Netcast, depending on the settings. Windows Media Player negotiates a random PORT to deliver content to your machine, but firewalls and network translation access controls can prevent them from reaching you. If this is at a business, you will need to contact your system administrator and let them know that you are trying to access Netcast. They are the only ones who can open up access for you there. If you are at home, you will need to check your router settings. There are far too many routers in the world for us to go through each of them - you will need to contact your router manufacturer if you need help with that.

What you can try doing is "open up" ports 7000-7007 (traditional Windows Media ports) in your router, and set your Media Player to only receive on those ports - See these instructions. Doing this should funnel everything through these ports, and you should be up and running after that.

If the above method didn't work for you, you can try the next avenue of resolution - it has been very successful in getting people up and running in the past. It is not offered first, as you must disable features in Windows Media that can affect performance on other websites.

Using other Protocols
Windows Media uses several protocols (methods of delivery) to get video to your computer. The first one it tries is Multicast, then UDP if Multicast fails, TCP is tried next, then if all else fails, it goes to HTTP. HTTP is the protocol that your computer uses to browse the Internet. The problem lies in the fact that many home users have a personal firewall or router installed between their computer and a cable or DSL modem. These units prevent many protocols from reaching your computer, due to security issues beyond the scope of these instructions.

The bad news is that your computer really only "sees" the other computers on your network, or only the router if you have no other machines. So, it advertises itself as "open" to any kind of communication. Unfortunately, after requesting the video, the router can block it as soon as it comes from the cable modem.

The good news is that HTTP is never blocked. If it was, you would never be reading this page, as HTTP delivers web pages across the Internet. What we need to do is encourage Windows Media Player to "borrow" the HTTP protocol to play videos. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to do - just click the following link for instructions.

Set Up Windows Media for HTTP

USF Network Only
You may also want to check is whether or not you are on the usf network. Many of these videos are set up to broadcast to USF Only. Just being in range of the wireless network does not guarantee that you are on the true USF network - Unverified wireless devices are given IP addresses that are not on the internal USF network, which will prevent the videos from playing. Make sure that you register your device with Academic Computing, so you can avoid this problem.

This page will check your IP address now:

Your IP address is 54.147.237.64 - You are NOT on the USF Network

You will need to use the VP7N or REGISTER your wireless device!

Overall Network Congestion
This happens when there is tremendous network activity going on in the space between you and netcast. It is similar to being on two sides of a large highway and trying to meet and pass notes. Netcast has to wait for a break in the traffic in order to get across to deliver the note (video).

This problem occurs mostly with dial-up connections, as they do not have the speed to recover as gracefully. If you are experiencing this kind of problem on a broadband connection, check and see if you have any background network applications up and running.

This includes any music services like iTunes or the new Napster, extra browser windows (especially download windows), or any kind of P2P software like Bit Torrent or Limewire. These all consume an enormous amount of network resources on your computer, and can block services because the ports are placed in use before Windows Media can get to them.

Virus Activity
It never hurts to run a full virus and spyware scan on your computer, as many viruses use up network resources in an attempt to spread themselves to other computers. USF offers free antivirus and anti-spyware software to its students. Follow the link to the USF Security site, which will have the downloads and other tips available.