FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NASA TV HIGH DEFINITION FEEDHow can I see this live HD feed?
There is currently no way to see it via cable or satellite home providers.
There are two ways to see it via the internet:
1. Via UStream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-tv-hd
2. Via SpaceVidCast
; the direct link to their NASA HD feed is http://www.spacevidcast.com/livehd/
We suspect that these are actually the same feed -- that is, the #1 feed above is actually provided by the SpaceVidCast folks.
SpaceVidCast has been carrying the live HD feed during shuttle missions, however it is a Ustream web feed and at far lower resolution and framerate than full HD. You can see the whole 16x9 frame though (although sometimes if they
are having trouble receiving NASA HD feed they will take the SD feed, and sometimes even crop
it to make it 16x9!) They also will inset/overlay their own commentary in a corner. Time lag is excellent, at most a couple seconds delayed. If the above link doesn't work, you can also try http://www.ustream.tv/channel/spacevidcast
.OK, but that's not real HD. How can I see the actual NASA HD feed live?
In short: you probably can't. It's a media feed, and you need a Really Big Antenna to get it -- aka a Big Ugly Dish (among other things). DirecTV/Dish doesn't cut it. More specifically, you need a C-band satellite antenna (typically 10 feet across) and an HD-capable MPEG2 satellite receiver. If you DO have all that, then just swing over to AMC-3 at 87 deg West and tune to the parameters here
. That satellite transponder is only visible in North America.When will NASA HD be available on cable / DBS?
As of 19-Jul-2010, NASA has the HD feed up on their satellite 24-7, just like they do with the SD feed. It is now available
for cable/DBS to take it and distribute it to your home. So now is the time to call up your provider and ask for it!
(note: "DBS" = direct broadcast satellite; in the US that means DirecTV and Dish)HD video downloads
NASA makes a few of the videos available for download later at:http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/hd/index.html
In May 2011, NASA announced a partnership with archive.org to provide much more multimedia, including HD videos:http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/may/HQ_M11-101_Mission_Audio.htmlhttp://www.archive.org/details/johnsonspacecentervideocollection
Some users here at NSF record the HD feeds and make them available as MPEG4/H.264 downloads -- huge, multi-GB files, usually. Look for them mentioned in the daily mission threads or sometimes linked from http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org
NASA also uploads some of the HD videos to Youtube, but they can be hard to find. Look for videos by Youtube user NASAtelevision
, then click on "Search Options" to reduce the results list to just "Features: HD", then limit further by "Upload date: Today". Also you can try searching for the mission tag, like STS-132. Note: after NASA uploads the video it will appear right away in SD but takes a few more hours for the HD version to become available. Also we DO believe that these are real HD videos, with full 720p resolution and 30 fps framerate.Joining binary files together
NSF user rsmath frequently posts video files of feeds that he's captured from this HD feed, but because the files are so big he has to chop them up. You should rejoin them before trying to view them. In Windows machines, it is trivially easy to rejoin binary files together, without
special software like HJSplit.
In Windows, open a command prompt and do this to get to where the files are:
C: change to the drive where the file chunks are)
dir list files and directories (aka folders)
cd .. change to the parent directory of where you are now
cd directory move down into a directory where the file chunks are
And once you are in the right directory, here's the key command:
copy /b file1 + file2 + file3 fileresulthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_DOS_commands#copy
This will concatenate the files together. I used to do it all the time with mp3 captures. The result will be free of glitches. Mac and Linux has similar capabilities -- open a terminal / command prompt and type "man cat".Video format
NASA went with 720p, because the progressive format makes frame-by-frame analysis simpler. NASA uses many of these camera shots for internal documentation, of course. 1080i is interlaced and creates a bit of a dilemma if you're scrutinizing the video for a particular instantaneous event.
Also note that they don't use the common 59.94 Hz framerate, rather a pure 60 Hz, for the same reason.Video bitrates
Typical bitrates up through Dec 2009, when the HD service was up:
HQ1 6-8 Mbps
HQ2 ~1 Mbps (slate) or ~3 Mbps (programming)
HQ3 6-8 Mbps
HQ4 6-8 Mbps
HQ5 12 Mbps
In Jan 2010 the NASA TV satellite distribution multiplex moved to a new satellite and slightly larger carrier (+2 Mbps), so it was expected that these numbers would change, and here's what they came up with as they started their STS-130 coverage:
HQ1 6.65 Mbps
HQ2 2.98 Mbps
HQ3 6.95 Mbps
HQ4 7.99 Mbps
HQ5 12.00 Mbps
In July 2010, along with the permanent
addition of the HD service, these numbers evolved to:
HQ1 6.08 Mbps
HQ2 4.07 Mbps
HQ3 6.08 Mbps
HQ4 6.08 Mbps
HQ105 14.20 Mbps