Known MvnCaster Issues

If you aren’t familiar with the name MvnCaster, it is the name of our built in broadcast tool. You can find it by clicking the red Go LIVE Now button at the top of our sites (excluding iNSTAGIB.tv)

Recently we rolled out a new MvnCaster to replace the old Flash based one. Right now it’s in Experimental phase of development due to many browsers implementing WebRTC differently. So far the most stable and RFC compliant implementation is with Google Chrome. Although it does work with Firefox, too.

There are some known issues with the new MvnCaster, here is a list (in no specific order):

  • Audio playback on the Go LIVE Now page causing an echo
  • No video device (black screen) even though webcam is hooked up
  • Getting kicked off air as soon as you start broadcast (we believe this is associated with the no video device error above)
  • Doesn’t work on latest version of Opera or Microsoft Edge
  • Only works in Safari on iOS (iPhone/iPad)

These issues are being addressed and will be rolling out bug fixes to (hopefully) address these known issues. Although the Micrsoft Edge issue may be last on the list due to how broken their WebRTC implementation is.

If you have any questions or experience any issues, please visit Tech Corner and one of our awesome volunteer Tech’s will do what they can to help you!

https://vaughnlive.tv/tech_corner

Note: Tech Corner is available on all of our sites.

Flash Is Dead

We have officially shut down our Flash video servers and removed all Flash video players from our sites. If you’re a viewer and use a computer that is less than ten years old, you likely won’t notice anything.

 

Broadcasters

If you’re a broadcaster and your stream isn’t viewable anymore, you will need to update your encoder settings (or even your encoder. Note: Free version of XSplit does not work due to its audio codec.) We recommend using OBS Studio (it’s free and awesome!) [ https://blog.vaughnsoft.com/2017/06/18/obs-studio-setup-tutorial/ ]

Here are the basic encoder settings required:

  • Video codec: H.264/x264
  • Profile: Baseline, Main, or High (preferably High)
  • FPS: 30 or 60. Not 29.9, not 50. If you do not use either 30 or 60, expect your viewers to have playback issues on your stream.
  • Video resolution: Any 16:9 ratio should work (Examples: 640×360, 1280×720, 1920×1080). We suggest starting with 640×360
  • Video Bitrate: This depends on your upload speed and the video resolution used in your encoder. We usually suggest 350Kbps to 500Kbps for 640×360 to start out with. Keep in mind that the higher the video bitrate you use, the less likely folks with bad internet will be able to watch your stream.
  • Audio codec: AAC or MP3

Note: If you use a high video resolution in your encoder with a low bitrate, you are likely to have playback issues.

 

Watching Streams

There is a small group of folks that still use Windows XP. Browser development and updates for Windows XP stopped years ago, meaning the new HTML5 features that modern browsers support, are not supported in Windows XP. So what does that mean for Windows XP users? With Flash removed, they will no longer be able to watch streams on our sites. In fact, they won’t be able to watch HTML5 live streams on any site on the internet since all major websites are dropping Flash. Not to mention that Adobe (the owner of Flash) is officially ending Flash soon.

TL;DR: If you use Windows XP to watch our streams, you’re going to need to use a computer that isn’t old enough to join the military. Sorry.

What is “latency” and why does it matter?

When I say latency I am referring to the time it takes for what the broadcaster says and does to what the viewers see. You can experience latency as high as 30 seconds on platforms such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Twitch, and many more. This high latency is not ideal if the broadcaster is trying to interact with their audience. Imagine asking the broadcaster a question and they respond to it 15 to 30 seconds later. What a mess!

I am proud to say that after over two years of frustration and a lot of sleepless nights, our sites now have a full HTML5 live video solution that can provide 2 second latency even at 1080p60 resolution. This is a huge step forward for VaughnSoft and a big step forward in the fight for low latency live streaming. However 2 seconds is still a long time. My goal is to reach sub second latency with full HD live streaming and I will not stop until that happens.

Thank you all that have been patient and supportive during the frustration of getting this new video system dialed in. There is more work to be done!

This is only the beginning.

Mark Vaughn

The First 48

It’s been 48 hours since we officially rolled out the new low latency HTML5 video system on Vaughn Live. So far everything is looking very stable on the server side and mostly stable on the player side. Here are some known issues with the new HTML5 video player:

  • Stream loads, plays, pauses, then resumes playing smoothly.
  • Sometimes a black screen but with audio. Pause/Play or Refresh typically fixes that. **
  • Fullscreen crops the video if you have your browser zoomed in (CTRL + 0 to reset browser zoom)
  • Volume defaults to 100% when unmuting despite the pre mute volume being much lower.
  • Volume will show as muted but not unmute when muted speaker is clicked if you unmuted the player in another tab.
  • If a stream takes several seconds to load, this is due to you landing on a video edge server that hasn’t propagated the stream yet. This happens the most for streams with few live viewers or streams that have just gone live.
  • If you see a message on the video player that says “Cannot watch this stream on this player Click here to watch on the Flash player”, this is not a browser issue. This is due to the broadcaster using the Go LIVE Now broadcast tool (aka MvnCaster) or incorrect encoder settings. These streams will have to be watched on the Flash player until the broadcaster corrects their issue.

So when will the rest of our sites get this new video player? More work needs to be done on the video player side before that happens. But we are very close!

** UPDATE: Fixed one of the causes of the black screen moments ago.

 

Guest chat and Vaughn Live

After 6+ years we have decided that it is time to retire guest chat on Vaughn Live. At this point in time it no longer fits with the vision we have for the site. Guest chat was once a fun way of quickly interacting with others but in recent time has become a tool for malicious trolling. While this feature was off by default, some broadcasters would turn it on and not moderate their chat at all. And many new broadcasters would be pushed by viewers to enable guest chat simply so folks could hatefully troll them.

Rather than add more hoops for the malicious guests to jump through when banned (as it is we IP ban them left and right), we felt it’s best to move forward without guest chat. You will still be able to view chat without being signed in and you can easily create a free account to chat. This change will allow us to better focus our time on those that enjoy the site rather than those that wish to harm it and its community.

RIP guest chat 2011-2018

Guest chat will be disabled across all VaughnSoft sites in the next 24 hours.

(UPDATED) Watch on mobile devices and Xbox One

(UPDATE: PlayStation 4 support has been added!)

You can now watch your favorite streams on Vaughn Live and Breakers.TV on your mobile device and Xbox One without a special browser! No more Puffin Browser required! Simply open up your devices default browser (or your browser of choice) and browse to your favorite stream!

There are still a few rough edges that need to be sorted out. The front page of each site will say you need Flash Player, but that is due to the spotlight player still being Flash only at the moment. Also a mobile friendly and Xbox One friendly layout is currently in development.

And yes, I can confirm that a native mobile app is in the works.

Chicago and Denver planned network maintenance

Chicago and Denver planned maintenance: December 14, 2017 12am-9am CT (1am-10am ET / 10pm-7am PT). Chicago is updating and replacing core routers. Denver is updating core router software.  Downtime expected to be 30-90 minutes max. Since our video distribution servers are located in Chicago, you will be unable to watch live streams on our sites during the aforementioned downtime. Hopefully it will only last about 30 minutes max. Apologies for the inconvenience ahead of time!