Playback of lesson is jittery: how?

Now if you can view the lessons, but the playback is jittery, then it is probably due to the slow download speed of your internet connection. Note that suppose you have subscribed to say a 128K broadband line, this 128K represents the highest speed your ISP will send data to you from its local gateway. The actual data rate will depend on other links, the most critical is the international link your ISP has with the rest of the world. Outreach will set up download servers in different parts of the world once a certain critical mass is achieved in that particular area. If there is no Outreach download server in your area, then most likely you are accessing a server in Singapore or the US.

However Outreach Lesson is designed to work in the worst of situations. While we cannot change the physical nature of things, our design attempts to make the access workable, even it may not be ideal.

The first time you view a lesson, RLS will pre-download about 5 mins worth of the voice and screen data. This is about 600KB. You will see the words "Buffering n%" on the video screen. In bad situations, say you have only a 20Kb/s (normal dialup modem can achieve about 40 Kb/s) connection speed, playing will start in 4 mins. Once it starts, you will be able to view the lesson with voice and screen smoothly, as long as your connection can maintain at least 16Kb/s on the average. If your connection can do better than 16Kb/s, sometime later in the lesson, you will start to see video. All data received are reconstructed by RLS and archived on your local harddisk. This means the next time you view the same lesson, data that were sent the first time round, will not be requested again by RLS. Only missing data will be requested and sent. This means the second time round you will not wait the 4 mins, but lesson will start immediately. Your experience will also improve. If all data had been archived, you will get a perfect experience.

If your connection speed is really slow, then your playback will be jittery. You may want to do this to avoid frustration. Just play a lesson, and leave the computer on. Go and do other things and do not watch the lesson the first time round. Watch it the next day, and it will be fast. For the next day viewing, do like what you did in the first day. Just go online and play the lesson. Note that RLS is an intelligent downloader. It will create multiple threads to maximise download speed. If you need to shut down your computer in the middle of a download, no worries, the next time you play the lesson, it will resume at the place that it ended the last time. It will not start from the beginning again, as long as you do not manually go to the 'c:/outreach edusys' directory of your computer to delete those files that RLS had stored there.

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