HOW TO: Accommodate Poor/Problematic Internet Connections
Mediasite requires a broadband Internet connection capable of downloading at least 2 Mbps (4 Mbps or greater is recommended) in order to view most Mediasite presentations without excessive pauses/buffering. If a student reports they are unable to watch a presentation, here are some troubleshooting tips you can suggest they try:
Ensure their computer and web browser supports playback of Mediasite presentations using the Viewing Requirements Test Tool.
Check the speed of their Internet connection to verify it performs as promised by their service provider.
Note: It is best to perform this speed test during a time when Mediasite playback is troublesome, as the quality of one's Internet connection can vary throughout the day/night.
Avoid situations where they are competing for bandwidth, such as trying to watch Mediasite presentations while their roommate is streaming Netflix or playing online video games.
If available, plug their playback device into a wired network port and avoid wireless connectivity, which can be unreliable for streaming video.
- Watch presentations in a place with better Internet connectivity, like Hale Library or the K-State Student Union.
The K-State IT Help Desk can help troubleshoot connectivity issues should the above measures prove unsuccessful.
If students still have issues playing back Mediasite presentations due to a poor or problematic network environment, the two options outlined below may offer a solution. However, each option carries additional conditions to be considered.
Option One: Allow students to download presentations
If the videos exist in a Mediasite shared folder (not just a Mediasite user channel), you can embed a Mediasite catalog of that shared folder in your Canvas course, and once you enable either Publish To Go (preferred) or Video Podcast delivery options on your presentation, students will be able to download the presentation from the catalog for later offline viewing.
While this may seem like a convenient option, please bear in mind once your content has been downloaded, you can no longer control how that content is treated or distributed by the person who downloaded it. This method also has implications for content subject to intellectual property restrictions that may legally prohibit others from downloading a copy of the content.
Option Two: Request Smooth Streaming
Smooth Streaming is a video format that creates multiple versions of a Mediasite presentation with varying degrees of quality. During playback, the player will monitor the quality of the viewer's Internet connection and will deliver the version of the presentation best suited to the available download bandwidth. Some other caveats to using Smooth Streaming include:
- Low quality versions of the content may render the content non-consumable or illegible, depending on the contents of the presentation.
- Smooth Streaming dramatically increases the amount of storage required to host the presentation, increasing the university's cost burden.
- Smooth Streaming can only be enabled manually by a Mediasite administrator after the presentation has been recorded/uploaded to MyMediasite. There is not a way to automatically apply the Smooth Streaming option to future content.
- Most of the content on Mediasite is already optimized for low-bandwidth connections, so enabling Smooth Streaming may not resolve the issue.
If you encounter a situation where you believe Smooth Streaming is the only viable remedy, please submit a request for Smooth Streaming, and a Mediasite administrator will contact you to discuss the matter further.