Ok boys and girl, the correct URL is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/belton-hamfest. You do not need a Ustream account to see it, and viewing is free for the watcher.
What definitely is *not* free is the account necessary to host the videos and streams. Ustream is currently into me for a minimum of $100/mo., maybe more depending on monthly hours of viewing. That is certainly colon-tightening, but the alternative was to let Ustream roll in ads that might be inappropriate for our audience. I thought not. My expectation is that, if this thing gets popular, people can pitch into its upkeep. Otherwise, they can deal with a horde of inane ads. (Yes Tom, I know about free Youtube accounts, but our videos will far exceed their 10-min. cap. Besides, Youtube doesn’t offer streaming to us lowly mortals. Ustream is the only company I know of with cajones large enough to do that much chugging continually.)
Technically, there are going to be challenges. The uplink bandwidth required isn’t an issue through cable, but we’ll be using 3G cellular. Although Verizon is quite good, we are going to be pushing their upload capacity to the ragged edge. Also, be aware that the Ustream client runs in Flash, which, is very inefficient. I wouldn’t even attempt this stunt on a small laptop with no intestinal fortitude. Even “Flat Ari,” as I call the M15x, will soon be panting, but this is exactly the kind of humping that she was built for. Of course, Flash is also quite brittle, meaning that, when things break—and they will, I’ll have to totally restart the browser. Splicing video fragments back together Sunday could get a bit tedious.
All in all, this will prove an interesting adventure. Let’s hope it also proves worthwhile. I bet Dayton hires someone to do their streaming. J