Frequently Asked Questionsget help

If you do not find your question below, please send an email to its-help@sfu.ca

Last update on January 11, 2021

  • Question #16 - Some of my embedded videos do not show up in Canvas. What is going on?

1. What is Mediasite?

Mediasite is the platform used by SFU to automate scheduled recordings in supported rooms. Recordings are captured based on your SFU Course Outline information and can be distributed through Canvas. A browser-based video editor is also available to make your own adjustments to your recordings.

2. Can I record on campus?

Select theatres are available for automated Lecture Capture during the semester. Recordings in rooms can only be scheduled by using the Lecture Capture Request Form.

To ensure timely scheduling, please make sure to request this service at least 10 days before the start of the semester. You can always fill out the form to begin receiving recordings, even if the semester has already started, but we will not have recordings for any classes that have already passed.

Recordings will appear in a channel created for your class. You can send a link to this channel to your course students, which can also be added to Canvas. 

3. How is My Mediasite different from Mediasite?

My Mediasite is a Content Management System for streaming video available to SFU Faculty & Staff.

It allows users to make changes to lecture recordings, upload new videos, control their visibility and create playlists of other videos from your library that you can share with other SFU users.

My Mediasite can be accessed at http://stream.sfu.ca or through Canvas by enabling the My Mediasite app for your course.

4. What kind of files can I upload?

Mediasite accepts a wide variety of video and audio formats. Popular formats that are supported are listed below. If you are hoping to upload a different file format, please send an email to its-help@sfu.ca

Video: mp4, avi, mov, flv, m4v, mkv, wmv

Audio: mp3, wav, vob, 

Please note that very large files and videos with a very long duration may have difficulty being processed by the server. Processing times for Media Uploads can vary based on capacity and can take several hours to complete processing. 4K Video is not currently supported.

Recommended settings for Video Files

  • Container Format: MP4 
  • Resolution: A maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Frame Rate: 24 frames per second (if you are only recording your slides, set this to 15 fps)
  • Duration: We recommend keeping individual videos to less than 3 hours
  • File Size: A one-hour video should not be larger than 2 GB. (Please compress the video if it is unusually large)

ADVANCED USERS

For faster processing, make sure your video contains the following properties:

  • A Keyframe Interval of less than 6 seconds
  • An Aspect Ratio that uses Square (1:1) pixels
  • A bitrate of 1.5 Mbps or less
  • Audio tracks with a 44.1 Khz sample rate

Required settings for Sound Files

  • Container Format: MP3
  • Bitrate: 128 kbps or less
  • Sample rate: 44.1 khz (48 Khz will also work)

5. How much can I upload?

In response to the rapid transition to remote teaching, SFU has removed any storage quotas for videos uploaded to Mediasite until further notice. 

6. How long can I keep my videos? 

ITS will delete class recordings that are more than one year old, but any content you upload yourself will remain available for as long as your SFU account remains active. 

Class recordings and uploads can be downloaded to your own computer or transferred to your My Mediasite account for long-term storage.

7. Who can see my videos?

Visibility for your uploaded videos can be managed through My Mediasite.

Use the "WHO CAN VIEW?" toggle to set the type of security. Limiting access to particular users or groups can be done using the "Share Presentation" or "Edit Security" buttons and adding your user or group as a "Viewer".

By setting the toggle to "Only Me", visibility can be disabled temporarily in case you need to make adjustments to a video before distributing to your students. Videos will still appear wherever they are listed, but will not be allow playback until visibility is re-enabled.

8. Can users download my videos?

Mediasite streams your video in a way that cannot easily be saved through normal use.

If you would like your audience to be able to easily download a copy of your video or audio presentation, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the "Edit Details" area for your Presentation and switch over to the "Delivery" tab
  2. Check-off the boxes for your desired format. "Podcast" will produce audio files and  "Vodcast" will produce video files. For each you will have to click in the textarea and select a profile meeting your needs.

  3. Save the changes to your Presentation and allow up to 24 hours for the video to be generated
    (If 24 hours have passed, please send an email to lectures@sfu.ca)
  4. Links to the video and audio downloads will appear in MyMediasite when clicking on "Download to Computer".

    To share with users who cannot access MyMediasite (such as students), MyMediasite Channel settings will allow you to enable downloading. This option is located in the "Channel Functionality" section when editing your channel.

9. Can my students submit assignments this way?

At this time, only faculty and staff may request recordings or upload content. Allowing students to submit assignments through Mediasite is currently outside of the scope of the Lecture Capture service.

Students and faculty can share files with one another using SFU Canvas.

10. How can I share videos using a playlist?

The My Mediasite application allows you to share multiple videos with your audience using "Channels". These playlists can be shared with students or other users, or they can be embedded inside of a Canvas course.

Channels also enable the following optional features:

  • Download links for your audience (see Question #8 for more details)
  • Comments from your audience
  • Channel customizations

To create a channel, follow these instructions

  1. From your My Mediasite account, navigate to the "Channels" area by clicking on the "CHANNELS" heading in the left-hand navigation of My Mediasite.

  2. Click on "Add Channel"
  3. The "Channel Name" is the only required field to create your channel. You can edit your channel at any time.
  4. Optional: Enable any relevant Channel Features
  5. You can now move existing or new Presentations into your channel. Channels can be added to Canvas or can be shared using the link from the "View" button from My Mediasite.
  6. Permissions for your Channel can be controlled using the "Security" button. Videos added to a channel should inherit the permissions set in this area, however individual videos can also be set to ignore this and have their own permissions. To set a video to inherit permissions from the Channel, edit the security of the video and ensure that the appropriate checkbox has been selected.

 
6.

11. Why is my video taking a long time to become available?

Once your file is finished uploading to SFU's servers, it usually needs to be re-processed into a format that is optimised for on-demand streaming. 

Processing times average well under an hour, but some things can affect this processing time. 

SFU is continually looking to improve the performance of the Mediasite platform. Below are some things to watch out for when uploading videos.

  • An incorrect file was uploaded (e.g. uploading a PowerPoint .pptx file instead of a video file)
  • Uploading very large, uncompressed video files. If you are using a video editor, try exporting with a lower bitrate (we recommend 1.5 Mbps)
  • Sometimes, the wait is happening before the processing stage. If the status of the video lists "Queued for Processing", then your video has not yet begun processing. This wait time can go above the usual 10-20 minutes when too many people are uploading at the same time. If your video spends too much time waiting in the queue, try uploading your content at a different time of day.

Ensuring the following properties for your video can help decrease processing times.

Recommended settings for Video Files

  • Container Format: MP4 
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels (1280 x 720 is also recommended)
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Frame Rate: 24 frames per second (if you are only recording your slides, set this to 15 fps)
  • Duration: We recommend keeping individual videos to less than 3 hours
  • File Size: A one-hour video should not be larger than 2 GB. (Please compress the video if it is unusually large)

ADVANCED USERS

For faster processing, make sure your video contains the following properties:

  • A Keyframe Interval of less than 6 seconds
  • An Aspect Ratio that uses Square (1:1) pixels
  • A bitrate of 1.5 Mbps or less
  • Audio tracks with a 44.1 Khz sample rate

Required settings for Sound Files

  • Container Format: MP3
  • Bitrate: 128 kbps or less
  • Sample rate: 44.1 khz (48 Khz will also work)

12. Why does my video become "Private" after the upload is finished processing?

This is the default behaviour and it is a safety feature. If you upload a video, this behaviour will encourage you to take a moment and verify that it is indeed the correct video before it becomes watchable by your audience.

If you would like the videos you upload to automatically publish without a chance to verify the contents, please follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the face icon to the right of "Moderation" and navigate to the "My Settings" page
  2. Navigate to the "Publishing" options
  3. Set the option "Set visibility of MyMediasite uploads as viewable" so that it is "TRUE".
  4. Save

To quickly get to this configuration page, please visit this link: https://stream.sfu.ca/media/mymediasite/settings/publish-settings

13. Why does the upload of my recording from Zoom or PowerPoint fail or take too long?

If you encounter a failure after waiting for a long time, make sure you are uploading a video file.

When making videos using Zoom or PowerPoint it is important to acquire a video file. If a non-video file is uploaded to Mediasite you will not receive an error. Mediasite will keep trying to convert the file but will fail after a long time.

Zoom Recordings
When using the Zoom local recording feature, Zoom will create a special temporary file. This file will end with ".zoom". After a recording finishes, please allow Zoom some time to process this file and produce a file that ends with ".mp4"

PowerPoint Recordings
Microsoft PowerPoint will allow you to make a recording of your presentation. PowerPoint files end with ".pptx". When your presentation recording is complete you must export the video to produce a usable video file. This file should end with ".mp4".


14. How can I add closed-captions to my videos?

Mediasite allows you to upload closed-captioning files for your videos. Simply follow the steps below to add your captioning file.

Note: Mediasite cannot automatically create captions for you. You must upload a caption file or create your own captions using Mediasite's caption editor.

Add a caption file to your video:

1.  Navigate to your presentation. Click Edit and go to the Delivery tab.

2.  If you have not already enabled captioning, select the Captioning check box.

3.  Select the Manually Upload an Audio Caption File radio button and click Select a file to locate and select your closed caption file.

4.  Click Upload. Once the file is uploaded, launch the presentation in Mediasite Player and verify your captions appear as expected.

15. Why can't students see the MyMediasite link in Canvas?

The link you see in the navigation is only intended for the owner of the Canvas Course. It is a convenient way to access your MyMediasite interface without having to navigate to "https://stream.sfu.ca" in another browser window. You will only use it to upload or tweak video settings and to create any channels you may wish to embed. Mediasite content can only be embedded on Canvas Pages at this time.

How to add a custom link for your students

In order to have one of your Canvas Pages appear in the navigation menu, you can use the "Redirect Tool" available from the Canvas Apps Center. View this page for more info about adding Canvas apps.

Once you have installed the app, you can use the "Navigation" tab in the Settings area to position the link in your menu. It will appear at the bottom by default.

16. Some of my embedded videos do not show up in Canvas. What is going on?

An issue was discovered that affects some Mediasite videos within Canvas. If a video was added by copying and pasting an embed code from MyMediasite, some users may encounter an error and the video player will not load. Any videos that were added by using the Mediasite LTI for Canvas are not affected.

 

Please follow one of these workarounds:

  • If possible, use the Mediasite widget located in the Rich Content Editor rather than manually embedding videos. More information can be found in this guide. If this is not suitable for you, please try one of the remaining workarounds.
  • For videos that do not require security: Slide the "WHO CAN VIEW?" toggle for your video in MyMediasite so that it is set to "Everyone". The error only affects videos that require authentication before viewing.
  • For videos that must be secured: Please ask anyone that is experiencing this problem to navigate to the video linked below. Once they login to watch the video, they should be able to go back to the Canvas course and view the missing content. The user may need to refresh the page if it was already opened beforehand. Note that this is not a permanent fix and may have to be done again if the user is no longer logged in.

    Watch this video and then return to the page containing the error above:
    https://stream.sfu.ca/Media/Play/fdcd03f7b6e54072b61ce47c0aec2b7f1d