Network Videos on a Roku and Choosing the Monitor for Your Podcast
Today, we're going to show you how to play networked video on a Roku and tell you what you should know about studio monitoring.
Play Networked Video on a Roku
If you've got a media server and a Roku you might get annoyed that there is no easy way to get your networked video to play on your Roku. Never fear, Iyaz has this problem at his house, so he's going to show you how to have your media server files play on your Roku easily.
If you've got a single source for your media (like a home media server), Plex Media Server is an excellent solution. First install Plex Media Server on your PC or Mac. Run the setup to add your media files to Plex's media library. Then install the Plex app on your Roku. Both of these apps are free.
If you have multiple servers, you might want to try the app PlayTo for Android. There's a free version you should try out to make sure it works properly before you shell out $5 for the full application. PlayTo will find your DLNA servers on your network (like your Windows PC or Playstation Media Server or Plex Media Server) and can display that video on your Roku box running the PlayTo app. The PlayTo app for Roku is free. Find out more about DLNA in Know How 34.
The Android phone running PlayTo acts as an intermediary between your DLNA server and your Roku. The app will even send your phone's local files to the Roku.
If you just want to send your phone's content to your Roku, try out the free Roku app with the "Play On Roku."
Stopping Ground Hum
Ground Hum is caused when an unintended connection is made to ground within an electrical system. Electrical systems SHOULD have a single path to ground, that allows for a consistent, even flow of current through the system. When a second, third or more connections are made to ground, you get a ground LOOP. – Current flows unevenly through these multiple paths to ground, creating differential voltage that, at worst can destroy sensitive electronics, and at best will lead to that annoying ground hum.
There are two ways to eliminate the ground hum: (1) remove the excess ground paths, and (2) isolate the ground paths or eliminate the offending frequencies.
Padre's method for troubleshooting Ground Hum is:
1. Isolate the offending component, cable or circuit.
2. Identify the fault within the offending component, cable or circuit.
3. Repair the fault within the offending component, cable or circuit.
4. Replace faulty gear (Spares Anybody?)
5. Look OUTSIDE the system (Fluorescent lights, Dimmers, Large appliances, Plug Polarity)
6. If all else fails: Upgrade.
Ferrite Core (Bead) – Dissipates high frequencies that are typically transmitted into a conductor by a source of interference, or are transmitted FROM the conductor. In other words, a ferrite core can prevent a wire from become a sending or receiving antenna.
Isolation Transformer – Transfers power from an AC source to a target while isolating the target from the power source. An isolation transformer uses insulation between the windings to ensure that primary and secondary are only connected via induction.
What are the Different Types of Studio Monitors
There are MANY different types of studio monitors, here are some of the bigger classes of gear:
Active vs. Passive Speaker Monitors
* Passive (Unpowered) Speakers require an external amplifier.
* Active (Powered) Speakers include the amplifier.
* Passive Speakers are generally less expensive than active, but require extra components and cabling.
* Active Speakers are more expensive, but their self-contained nature lends itself to studios, especially SMALLER studios that can't handle a lot of extra wiring, power leads and clutter.
Open vs. Closed Headphones
* GENERALLY, Open Ear headphones SOUND better, but closed ear headphones offer better sound isolation.
* Having an open back allows "Open Ear Headphones" to offer more "natural" sound. They have better 'width and depth' of sound, more natural bass and better definition of individual sound sources.
* CLOSED headphones tend to be 'boomier' on the bass, with slightly 'boxed in' sound, which CAN make things sounds muddled.
* IMPORTANT: This is NOT to say that open is better than closed... only that is SOUNDS different.
Choosing the right Monitor for your Podcast Studio
There are a few questions you should ask before you purchase your studio monitors:
1. What style of content will I be creating in my studio
* Musical content requires more accurate reproduction, which is not the specialty of an IFB
2. How many people will be in my studio at any given time?
* If you don't use an Active/Passive Studio Speaker, you'll need headphones/IFBs for each person in-studio
3. How good are my mics at sound rejection?
* If your mics are not good at sound rejection, Studio Speakers and Open-Ear headphones are not a good idea.
4. Do I care if people can see my monitor?
* This is where you want to use an IFB
Equipment shown on-set
Audio Technica ATH-M50s (~$100)
* Closed Back
* 45mm Neodyium drivers
* Padre's Personal Favorites
Sony MDR7506 - (~$100)
* Closed Back
* 45mm Neodynium drivers
Audio Technica ATH-M30 (~$40)
* Closed Back
* 40mm Neodynium Driver
IFB (Interruptible Fold-Back)
* Generic 24" Coil Tube Earbud IFB (~$17)
* These CAN run in to the $100s for nicer models
Green Screen Challenge!
We've got a Know How coming up about green screens and we've got a challenge for you. Alex Lindsay and Iyaz shot some video of them running away from a green screen. You can key out the green and put anything you want behind us. Get creative!
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