BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why is the Livestream Blurry? Compressing 8 hours to 30 minutes

I hope that some of you have been looking at the daily livestreams from the sanctuary at

However, I'm sure you also have found these livestreams (and the archived versions thereof) are rather blurry. I felt that the main reason was probably my limited upload bandwidth (~ 0.7 mbs with Verizon DSL). So I've been comparing the livestreamed version with simultaneously recorded straight-to-disk on the camera itself. Above are a couple of examples of the latter, which can be compared to the archived livestream itself:

Of course the clips are very short, and the livestream is very long (11 hours!) but it turns out there's not that much difference in the quality.  Please note that I'm annotating the archived livestreams with the timings of the perching episodes so you can immediately jump to the interesting bits. So in fact much of the blurriness is simply due to the pixellation introduced by the digital zoom I'm forced to use because of the long distance from camera to perch. Please Fred, start using a closer perch!
If you use Chrome as your browser, you could also consider adding the "Youtube Playback Speed Control" extension. This is a marvelous gadget that enables speeded-up,  up to 16X compared to the standard 2 X) playback of Youtube videos. If you use this on one of my 8-hour livestreams it rolls by in 30 minutes! Of course Fred's head jerks back and forth like a jackhammer, but don't worry it's not going to fall off! With this device I've discovered some very brief perching episodes that I cannot spot by simply scrubbing through the video, which might show only 1 frame every minute. Of course if you have not already done so you should also add the wonderful Adblock extension. Youtube without Adblock is hell.

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