Tricks AND Treats

We’re coming up to one of my favorite traditions – Halloween!

You have to admit, its pretty fun to don a costume, consume tons of candy, and, of course, greet three to four foot, PowerRangers, Harry Potters, Dora the Explorers, and Little Mermaids as they shuffle to your door and shout "Trick or Treat!"

And while I can’t share a piece of candy with you today, I can provide you with a few tricks so that you can treat your classroom to unitedstreaming.

Listed below are a few questions/problems that have been haunting teachers and their solutions/answers.

Q:  My video keeps starting and stopping when I play it – it says it’s "buffering." How can I get it to play smoothly?

A:  Buffering occurs when your connection to the internet is filled with lots of traffic. Think of your internet connection as a highway. The more cars on this highway the longer it takes to get to your final destination.
Downloading the video first, instead of playing it live from the site, should solve your problem.

If you download your video onto your computer you can play the video without ever getting into this traffic.

Q:  I keep getting bounced back to the log in screen or I keep seeing some weird errors.  What can I do to fix this?

A:  It sounds like you may need to clear your cache (i.e. delete your cookies).  Everytime you go out to the internet a little piece of information, or cookie, is stored on your computer.  This helps you to get back to websites quickly.  Sometimes you get a bad cookie and you need to clear them from your computer.

To clear your cookies, pleae follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Open up your Internet Explorer, then click on Internet Options
  2. Click on the Delete Cookies button
  3. Click on the Delete Files button – Make sure you check the box next to Delete all offline content – and the click on OK
  4. Click on the Settings Box
  5. Click in the circle next to Every Visit To the Page
  6. Click on OK and then OK again
  7. Close out your browser
  8. Open up your browser and go to
  9. Search for your content.

Q:  Help!  I can see the video on my computer screen but I can’t see it projected on my big screen.  How do I fix that?

A:  We need to adjust the Hardware Acceleration on your computer.  Basically your computer is spending lots of its resources trying to run a particular program and needs to spread out its brain power, multi-task, if you will.  Most importantly show your stuff on more than one screen!

To adjust the Hardware Acceleration please follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on your desktop
  2. Click on the word Properties
  3. Click on the Settings tab
  4. Click the Advanced button (lower right-hand corner)
  5. Click on the Troubleshoot Tab
  6. Move the carrot in the middle of the box from "Full" to a location that is somewhere between "Full" and "None"
  7. Click Apply, and then OK

Q:  I am playing your videos but I don’t get any sound.  Why can I see the video but not hear it?

A:  First you should check the obvious.  Check your computer settings to make sure that the volume is turned up and that your speakers are working.

If that doesn’t do the trick, it sounds (sorry couldn’t resist the pun) like you may need to update your Windows Media Player Codecs. To do so please go to this link, scroll down and choose the package that corresponds with your operating system.
After you download the appropriate codec you should be able to hear the video.

Q:  How do I get my video to play full screen?Video_player_full_screen_2

A: To get your videos to play full screen simply press play and then click on the full screen icon at the bottom of the blue box. See picture to the right.  NOTE:  You must have Windows Media Player to do this function. 

Only Windows Media Player v10 enables you to see CC full screen.  Now this WMP 10  is only compatible with computers operating Windows XP. If you don’t have this operating system or Windows Media Player 10, you can’t see the captions when you go full screen.

If you do have WMP 10 and XP make sure that you select the following settings:

  • Click on the word "Play" in the WMP toolbar, then "Captions and Subtitles", and then choose "Play Captions when present"
  • Click on the word "Tools" and then "Options" and choose the Security tab.
  • Once you do place checks within the boxes "run scripts when present," and "show local captions when present"

Here’s a document that you can download that outlines the steps above – Download closed_caption_instructions.doc

Of course the Implementation team is only a phone call away to help you trouble shoot and solve your technical woes.

We await your call.  In the mean time, I’m going to visit Monika’s cube and snag a little Halloween candy!

Talk to you soon,
Matt Monjan
Discovery Education unitedstreaming


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  1. Dave Solon said:

    Funny how you read something on the Blog one week and find someone who has the exact same problem the next week or two down the road.

    Thanks, this helped with the following:

    Q: Help! I can see the video on my computer screen but I can’t see it projected on my big screen. How do I fix that?

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