skip to page content skip to site menu skip to section choice menu skip to local section menu skip to instructions menu
DFAIT logo partnership The logo for the by design elab, an independent research development and production think tank specializing in online forums for policy development, incubated in 1997 at the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto
DFAIT Home Site Map Help Policies Partners Feedback Netcast Français
Message from the Minister
Dialogue Paper
Answer Questions
View Answers
Expert Interviews
More Resources
Discussion Forum
Final Report


Netcast >> FAQ

What do the acronyms mean?

Legend for explanation of video clips on web pages
WM=Windows Media Encoder
MOV=Quicktime player
AUDIO=audio only for those who need only to hear the sound
MODEM=Easiest file to play. Sound is emphasized. 28.8 Modem speed. N=Netscape
IE=Internet Explorer MS Windows

What kind of computer do I need to see netcast video clips?

RealVideo player requirements -- you may assume the player will work if your computer is not older than 3 years
Processor recommended -- Pentium or PPC (Mac)
Ram access memory -- 64 meg
Disc space needed -- at least 10 meg

What software do I need to see netcast video clips?

To view the speeches from the resources, you need to have the proper player for the video file. Netscape, Internet Explorer and other browsers will allow video files to be played back on your computer without downloading the entire file. You just click on the hot links that you will see on the DFAIT Web site for your specific connection speed (56k modem or high speed DSL) For example go to this web page to try your browser and RealVideo clip player (Video clips are very large but clever methods of compressing the video information make the video file playable.)

The byDesign eLab prefers to use the RealVideo encoder because this format can be played by PC compatible clones using MS Windows, as well as Linux/Unix and Mac computers. RealVideo player is most the widely distributed player amongst the internet population. However in the interests of accessibility we have also tried to format all video clips in WM windows media clip format - but you must use Internet Explorer as your browser) and QUICK (Macintosh / MOV Quicktime format-works with Mac and PC). For very slow connections we have also included an AUDIO (audio only format in RealMedia format). Try these formats now to see which format you like best or which browser and player combination works on your computer.

If this is your first time receiving a netcast, remember you will only need to install this software once! If you are really new to this, ask a friend who knows about "RealMedia streaming." Try it: you can do it, and there is lots of great material online once you set up your computer for netcasting!

What if my computer links to the INTERNET from a telephone line?

I suggest you try the MODEM speed video clips. They WILL play OK if your connection is 28.8k modem. The video clips are formatted to play the audio first thus emphasizing the sound which is most important.

What if my computer modem is 28.8 speed?

I suggest you use the "audio or MODEM" version of the netcast clips. For the most part the visual aspect of the netcast clips is only someone speaking but what you really need is "what they are saying" not "how they are saying it," although the people "saying it" are all notable academics, writers and politicians.  Or why not just download the entire video clip -   but with caution since your ISP may add extra charges or if you are spending $$ per minute the download time might be a substantial expenditure as well as the amount of time necessary to spend at your computer monitoring the download.

How do I install the software to play the netcast video clips?

To get started playing RealMedia netcast video clips if you are using Windows 98

  1. Click this link which will take you to the archive of old versions of RealPlayer.
  2. Select RealPlayer 8. You will be presented with a set of locations from which to download the player.
  3. Select a location close to you and click on the link.
  4. Select Your browser will open a box that asks you if you want to save the file or open it.
  5. Click on SAVE FILE.
  6. Next a box will open asking if you want to save the file in a particular directory. Note the location where the computer would like to save the file.
  7. Save the file and note where it is saved.
  8. After downloading the installation file find the file where you have saved it.
  9. Double click on the file name and follow the instructions for installation. Ignore other browser windows that may ask you to "upgrade" We recommend de-selecting all requests for information from REAL.COM since no more information is necessary for basic operation of the video player.
  10. You may need to add your name and email address to install and configure the player.

Where do I go for the latest version of the Real player software?

If you would like, you can get the very latest version (free/basic or paid version) of RealPlayer from ( look for "Our Free Player" in the centre of the page ).

What if my computer is not new, the software is old, or I use a computer other than a Windows computer?

If your computer is not new or you have another computer platform such as LINUX / MAC / UNIX or older versions of Windows go to the
archive and select an appropriate player.

Installing RealPlayer for a computer not using Windows 98:

  1. Go to the download page
  2. Choose your operating system,
  3. your computer processor
  4. your connection speed. (Unclick the arrow indicating that you want to receive updates to avoid getting unwanted email)
  5. Follow directions found on this web page.
  6. Download should start immediately after the computer asks you where you want to keep the file.
  7. Note where the computer wants to save this file. We suggest using your computer's desktop (meaning save to desktop on your file menu) to easily locate your saved file, or save the file wherever you usually save downloaded files for installation.

What if I don't like the Real Media Player or Can I use the Windows media player that is already running on my computer?

Windows Media Player

In some cases it is not possible to install the software necessary to view RealVideo files. On some computers in locations such as libraries, and locations behind fire walls, program installation is not allowed, thus we have provided some of the video in Windows Media encoded format which does not require a separate video clip player but is included in the later versions of Windows software (Win98 or higher) for PC computers.

You may download the latest version of Windows Media from Microsoft or from their legacy site ( the latter is a slightly older version that works well with older windows operating systems - i.e. before XP ).
Please let us know if you have problems, as the eLab is researching the uses of citizen technologies for public participation in the policy process. Hopefully you will not have major problems playing the netcast video files. Even if you do have some trouble at the beginning, you will be amazed once you get it working. We hope you will share these netcasts with others, perhaps by viewing in a group. Let us know how it goes. Send email to

What if I want to download the video clips to see them later to show to others?

For expert users who want to download the netcast files for viewing at their convenience

  1. Place your mouse cursor over the hotlink of the RealVideo file you want to download
  2. Read the URL at the bottom of your screen or where your browser shows the contents of the hotlink
  3. Open another browser window
  4. Type the URL you see in the location or address bar of your browser
  5. For example
  6. Substitute (change the .ram to .rm)
  7. Repeat for any other files you would like to save on your computer.
  8. Hit enter on your keyboard.
  9. The RealVideo file will then download to your computer
  10. Time to download will depend upon the speed of your connection to the internet.
  11. The RealVideo file will then start to play automatically after completely downloading. You may stop it after you have noted that this is the correct file if you wish.
  12. You will find the downloaded RealVideo file at the directory c:\windows\temp with a name as in the example above or search for the name of the video file on your computer if it is not in that directory.