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Author: Subject: Technical Impressions of Moogis

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:30 AM
I asked some questions in some of the other Moogis threads about the tech specs of the Moogis video. I didn't see any specific answers, nor did I see any mention of these factors on the Moogis site. So I subscribed to the service yesterday and started looking around.

I want to say that my comments here only refer to the technical aspects that I note of the files currently available for playback. Like all computer technologies, things always get better as time goes on. Even Butch mentioned something along these lines in one of his posts here. The point is; this is just the start. I'm sure it will do nothing but get better from here.

And for the record, I think Moogis is terrific. Like many here; I'm so glad to have this option and I thank Butch heartily for sticking with the project all these years and bringing it to reality.

To establish a baseline, I've been looking at the service with a PC, approximately one year old, running Vista. Processor is Intel Core 2 running at 2.4 ghz, 2gb of memory. Video is supplied through an NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS card. Audio is through a SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme audio card. Display is a 24" Dell widescreen LCD monitor, hooked up via HDMI. Speakers are Altec Lansing PT6021.

Ok, with that established, here's what I note...

I'll get the easy one out of the way first; audio. The audio sounds good, and is presented in stereo. I don't have the means of knowing the compression level used, but I'd subjectively rate it as average to good. I've heard some sites present better audio, but given the variables of source quality, it's difficult to compare without more control of the content. I'd say most people will be satisfied - I am.

As for video, the resolution presented by the Moogis player appears to be running at about 512 x 288. For some perspective, this is lower than standard defination video, which is 640 x 480. Contrast this against some other sites running what they are calling HD -

Here's something on Vimeo, which streams at 640 x 360 -

http://vimeo.com/2985686

And YouTube is now presenting HD at around 854 x 480 -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b1fpn7-c_U&feature=channel_page&fmt =22


I highly suggest that when playing either of those two sample videos above, you enlarge them to full screen (look for the controls in the lower right of the player). In both cases, they look pretty good at full screen on my 24" monitor. Full hi-def quality? Certainly not! But pretty amazing for streaming video on the 'net.

What I note when looking at the Moogis videos are that they don't compare to either of the services mentioned above. One reason is probably that the files on Moogis - especially the older ones - were likely shot in standard def to start with. Perhaps the Piedmont Park video is the same. If they didn't have a higher quality image to start with, it's unfair to compare them with known HD sources.

But noting that, I'll restrict my comments to just what I see from the Moogis video player. When watching a show, and expanding it up to full screen, I note a very blocky, artifact-filled picture. I haven't tried hooking it up to my 50" plasma yet. While that may smooth out some of the blocky artifacts, it certainly can't improve upon resolution that just isn't there to start with.

Another thing I noted was that the sample video of the Piedmont Park show, accessible from the main page, plays better than the actual file you can access once you subscribe. The differences are obvious when playing at full screen. The sample video is smoother, showing far less of the low resolution artifacts than the actual full show available in the archive. The resolution isn't better, but what is there looks smoother. I wonder why the difference?

Perhaps someone already hooked to a big screen TV could test this comparison to see if the video processing in a TV improves upon this difference, but it's definately there on my rig.

I'll be interested to see comments and impressions from others, and perhaps Butch will chime in at some point to let us know if the upcoming Beacon shows are being shot in HD, and if there are plans to support higher resolution playback for those shows or in the future.

Summing up; I'm thrilled to have this service available. While the video is not up to par with what's currently the best available on the 'net, I expect it will get better as time goes on. Thank you Butch!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:42 AM
Butch has stated that it is not HD quality, but is good quality. He said that the limitation is mostly the rate right now - if they go to higher rates, there starts to be buffering problems. Sounds like once technology catches up, there may be future opportunities for HD quality video.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:45 AM
BTW, I ran the Piedmont stream through my Sharp 26" LCD and my Panasonic 37" Plasma, and had no problems - the picture looked great - and this was from a 4 year old laptop with an s-video output running over my wireless-G network.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 12:07 PM
Rich, I posted this elsewhere; can you help me? You are clearly more tech-savvy than me. The issue is likely my computer (or its operator!).

Posted this in the Moogis forums, but thought I'd put these Q's here too.

Re:Ask questions here
17 Minutes ago Karma: 0
I have watched a few vids and am getting this: "Error: NetStream buffer has remained empty past timeout threshhold." It's in a black band across the top of the screen. It looks like a Moogis error code, not my computer's code. Anyone have an idea? I have Flash 10 installed.

Also, when I press Fn/F8 to return the screen from the TV to the computer, that knocks me off the internet sometimes. Any advice appreciated.

On a more positive note, I have now run the audio through my receiver and the sound is fantastic. Overall, I'm pleased.

 

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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 12:27 PM
the sound's great so far for me. i haven't hooked it up to the TV yet, but i guess i need to do that soon. sigh... i'm so tech unsavvy i can't even plug things IN!
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 12:35 PM
Brock; I can't say for sure, but you "netstream buffer" error sounds like the Moogis server not providing a stream, and the timeout feature becomes active after "x" minutes. If you can stream perfectly well (without pauses) on either of those two links I provided in the original post, then I'd say you are connecting at speeds more than high enough to support the Moogis stream. I could be wrong, but it sounds like the problem is on their end if you have plenty of bandwidth otherwise.

I'm assuming that the Fn/F8 proceedure switches your video output (we're talking laptop here, right?). That function toggles between displaying on the laptop screen and outputting video to a VGA/HDMI/S-video or some other video jack. Loosing your internet connection during that process would seem to be more of a laptop issue. You might want to talk to some manufacturer tech folks for your laptop, but I realize how painful that could be. Worse, it's one of those obscure issues that probably two people in the whole company know anything about.

My guess is that you have integrated video on your laptop, meaning that instead of a separate card, the video is integrated with the main processor. The switching proceedure occassionally interrupts something on the processor, which hiccups your internet stream. That's just a guess - I'm no expert in this area.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 01:47 PM
Thanks Rich, that all makes sense, and yes it's on a Dell Laptop Inspiron 6400, not high end by any means. Will see if there's a vid card, but probably not. When I bought it, it was just for email. Who knew about Moogis then?
 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 02:49 PM
I have a four year old Sony VAIO that doesn't have an HDMI or S-video output. Can I hook up my widescreen laptop to my 34" widescreen HDTV through the monitor outlet on the back??? What cables are needed for video and sound??? Thanks.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 03:12 PM
Butch stated in a Moogis forum that the video was 500Kb. After much testing
they decided that was the best speed in terms of ability to stream.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 03:52 PM
quote:
I have a four year old Sony VAIO that doesn't have an HDMI or S-video output. Can I hook up my widescreen laptop to my 34" widescreen HDTV through the monitor outlet on the back??? What cables are needed for video and sound??? Thanks.
I'm sure you have a VGA output from the Vaio. VGA is a 15-pin connector that looks like this -



It's possible that your TV has a VGA input, and in that case you just need a VGA cable. Otherwise, you'll probably need something like a VGA to component video cable. Something like this -



http://www.amazon.com/6ft-component-video-cable-HD15/dp/B000FM3EQ0

There's probably other ways to convert VGA to whatever you need (HDMI, S-video, etc), but this should give you one option that works.

Sound-wise, I'm sure you have a sound-out port on your PC. It's probably just a 1/8" stereo jack. You can get a cable that would be 1/8" stereo to RCA, like this -



http://www.amazon.com/Monster-IP400-1-5M-Interlink-Portable-4-92-Foot/dp/B0 0003CWAH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1233348361&sr=1-1

No need to go with that expensive Monster stuff. I'm sure Rat Shack has something for half that price that will do just as well.

That should get you started.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 04:42 PM
Thanks Fujirich!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 05:10 PM
Pete, on the audio cable, Fujirich is right, I bought a 6' cable at Radio Shack yesterday for $9 (the monster version is like $33). A 6' extension will run you another $9. Sounds fine to me!
 

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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 06:58 PM
For some people the connecting cable from the laptop/desktop to the TV will be enough to have the video appear on the TV. For others, it won't work. This is because the computer video output (VGA) has a different technical basis than the TV (NTSC). A converter card is needed to make this conversion work. This converter card can be in either the computer, the TV or in between.

If your computer has this converter card, all you need an S-videio or composite (yellow RCA plug) connector to hook them up. If you have a recent vintage flat panel TV that has a VGA connector on the back, the converter card in already in the TV, so again the cable is all that you need. If your computer and/or TV is older and neither has the converter card in it, then you need to get an inbetween converter card to perform the conversion function.

Fortunately these inbetween converter cards already exist commercially in the form of ready to go kits, complete with all connecting cables. They are presently used by people who play computer games on the PC (rather than on a PS3 or XBox), and who want to play them on their larger size TV screen. They don't seem to carry them at Best Buy, but they can be found at Fry's. and probably at other computer stores or online. They run $40-60.

For the audio, it is easier as all you need is a 3.5 mm male stereo plug to 2 RCA jacks cable (about $6), and then enough stereo extension (red and white RCA plugs) to reach whatever stereo that you have.

I hooked up my desktop to my widescreen TV last night to check how Moogis looks, and the older videos presently on the site looked like SD in-arena material that was intended to be shown on the large video screens for the benefit of the folks further back who couldn't see the stage too well. The videos were windowboxed (bars on both sides and top and bottom), so the inage only filled about half of the screen area. When I have time I will try to see if there are some adjustment that will help the sizing.

If newer vintage HD cameras are used at the Beacon, (I'm hoping!!), then the Beacon video will be better, even with the relatively limited internet connection speed of the Moogis feed.

However it turns out, I just want to say "Thank You Butch". Even if it was a black and white feed on a 9 inch monitor, I would still subscribe as long as the sound is OK. I see any better video as being a bonus.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 07:17 PM
Watching the Raleigh show from Moogis on my plasma tv and listening thru my new Yamaha 7 channel receiver - "The night is so young"....................


Doh moment - after messing around hooking up the cables to the back of my TV and leaving them hanging around for when I needed to plug in - I realized the new receiver has s-video and audio plugs right on the front - much easier. It is an A/V receiver, so it is hooked up thru HDMI to the TV....so everything goes thru the receiver.


I am very psyched....

 

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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 10:39 PM
I agree with you on both counts. I am glad that Moogis is available, but disappointed with the video. Youtube and others have much better quality. Hopefully it gets better.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 10:43 PM
I haven't signed up yet.

went through the demo stuff.

Seems more like a dating site than a music site from the demo.


I realize it's much more than that based on reports here and Butch's posts.
Just saying the demo is not convincing.


That was the impression I got.




 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:17 PM
It looks as though my problems have been solved. I ran Piedmont again w/ no error code this time and seem to have mastered the screen switch keys. The difference was this time I ran Moogis through Internet Explorer rather than AOL. Maybe I have a version of AOL that saps my computer's chi or something.

On a programming note, I enjoyed Piedmont alot more this time than live. Seeing JaBuMaOt from timpani head level was great. It was bloody hot that day too.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:30 PM
All I can say is Butch has said the live streams will be better than the archived stuff that is out there today. I'm watching Derek play slide close-up on the Charlotte show and it's pretty impressive. It's not being there, but it's better than following the setlist on the guestbook.....

 

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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:32 PM
quote:
All I can say is Butch has said the live streams will be better than the archived stuff that is out there today. I'm watching Derek play slide close-up on the Charlotte show and it's pretty impressive. It's not being there, but it's better than following the setlist on the guestbook.....


Is that the Charlotte show form this year?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:37 PM
quote:
quote:
All I can say is Butch has said the live streams will be better than the archived stuff that is out there today. I'm watching Derek play slide close-up on the Charlotte show and it's pretty impressive. It's not being there, but it's better than following the setlist on the guestbook.....


Is that the Charlotte show form this year?


No - 2002

 

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  posted on 1/30/2009 at 11:40 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
All I can say is Butch has said the live streams will be better than the archived stuff that is out there today. I'm watching Derek play slide close-up on the Charlotte show and it's pretty impressive. It's not being there, but it's better than following the setlist on the guestbook.....


Is that the Charlotte show form this year?


No - 2002


I was at that show. Man, was it HOT....the temp, that is. Good show, too

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2009 at 12:02 AM
Funny thing was Lee was at that Charlotte show too and didn't leave halfway through it....but the next night in Raleigh he had a cut foot and some guy stepped on it so he spent half the show (the best half) in the medic tent....LOL

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2009 at 12:14 AM
Lee will want Moogis once he finds out the Rockford show is on it......

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2009 at 12:18 AM
quote:
Lee will want Moogis once he finds out the Rockford show is on it......


Does it have footage of that chick that tried to pick him up the entire show?

I had the vantage point of being right next to him and believe me, she was no prize...fat, sweaty and drunk....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2009 at 12:36 AM
In other words, perfect for Lee.......

 

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