Clearer Channel Training / Help files

These Clearer channel help files are designed to be as clear as we can make them. They are also used for training sessions. We want video collectives and media activists to be able to contribute Media files themselves. To help make this happen, we run training sessions every 2 months. If you are interested in these training sessions please get in contact - training @ clearerchannel . org

Watching / Transmitting Media



Producing Media - Encoding, Uploading



Watching / Transmitting Media - Some tips

Download and use Video Lan Player.
Most of the collectives that upload their video files here will try to make sure that the Video Lan Player will play those files. This is because Video Lan works on Linux, Windows and Mac, and because it's a player that supports open source formats. You can download Video Lan here.

Installing the right Codecs
A codec is a little bit of software that runs on your machine to decode video/audio files so you can play them. If you can't play a file then it may be because you don't have the right codec installed. Some codecs get installed with video players like Quicktime, Real Media, and Video Lan, some are separate like Xvid. Here is a guide to what codecs you may want to install.

Viewing Subtitle Files
Sometimes encoded files come with a separate Subtitle file. This is usually a smallish file which contains the text of the translation of the Video file. There a few ways to display these files. Here is a page which gives help for displaying Subtitle files.

Using Democracy Player and Media RSS to subscribe to channels. and many other sites are encouraging viewers to subscribe to online Channels of Video Content. This help file shows you how to subscribe to a Media Channel with Democracy Player.

Projecting Video Files.
There are many different settings for projecting from a computer to a projector. However for many in need of help you will be using Windows and connecting via a datacable to a projector. There are help files here for this way of projecting video.

Building up your Archive / Creating a Video Server
This section is to give you some ideas for building up a public resource of Video content for you an others to use. Part of this is common sense and some of it is technical concerning how to set a computer to put on a network to server video files. Here is the page on Building up your Archive / Creating a Video Server.

Putting on a Screening
There are some technical tips for putting on a screening here. There are many other factors involved in putting on a good screening. It's the ones that you don't really understand that make it so interesting. Here are some more thoughts about what can help make a screening go well.


Producing Media - Encoding, Uploading, Distributing

Encoding Media Files

Because there are so many different ways of encoding Media files sometimes help files can be really confusing as they try to give you some ideas of all the different options. In these help guides we've tried to do the opposite. The idea is just to give you some simple instructions of one way to encode each type of file. This should get you started. Then it is up to you to make improvements by tweaking the settings after finding out information elsewhere.

Making Windows Media Files - at 1 Meg per Minute from Dv avi files.
Window Media Files give a good picture for a small file size. They are good for people using Windows who may not be able to install software [ie if they are at work]

Making Mpeg1 files using TmpegEncoder.
Mpeg 1 is a good format to make sure that your file is compatible with any computer at a good quality. The preset we use here is VCD / PAL and is VHS quality. It creates quite a big file about 10Meg per minute. These can be used for public screenings.

Making Xvid files using Virtual Dub Mod.
Xvid files are often used to convert DVD files to fit on a CD. They are commonly used to put up big files on Indymedia or similar sites. The file size is quite flexible you can create files that are suitable for screenings which are between 3 Meg and 15 Meg per minute.

Making DVavi files from DVD's using Virtual Dub Mod.
This is useful if you want to extract part of DVD to use in your own Video Editing project.

Making Xvids and Divx's straight from a DVD with Gordian Knot.
This is an external help file which will show you how to use the Gordian Knot software. GK combines different tools to make it easier to take a DVD and make an Xvid or DivX file from it.

Making Subtitle Files with Subtitle Workshop.
This is useful for creating subtitle files for an Mpeg or an Xvix file you have. It is also useful for creating subtitle for DVD projects you are working on, especially for collaborative working.

Ripping subtitle files from DVDs for re-use - and Burning these subs to Xvid or similar files.
If you know why you need to do this you may need to know how to do it.

Uploading Media Files

Using "FTP" to upload your video files to the Internet.
Ftp is a way of connecting to the Internet. It is much more "stable" a way than using web pages to upload, as you do when you use attachments on web mail. Above about 10 Meg you have to use FTP to have a good chance of uploading your file to the Internet. Normally to use FTP you use an "FTP" programme. One common one is smart FTP for Windown and Cute FTP is for Mac. Here is some help to on FTP.

Some thoughts on Distribution. Where to upload your Video Files? Where should you host them? Indymedia? Your own space?
When you have learnt how to FTP files, where should you transfer them to? One of the main considerations will be - " Is the File released under a Creative Commons Licence?" If so then you can upload it either to the main Indymedia Video site. or the Internet Archive Project If not you may need to find your own space to upload it to. Here is more help on where to upload your files.