Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions and their answers.
- What type of video format is provided, as in flash, html5, m4v, system requirements, etc?
TMTV video is high definition (HD) MP4 streamed over the internet, although the alternate player (when available) defaults to standard definition (SD) to conserve bandwidth if you have a slower internet connection.
MP4 video will play on any PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. On a PC, you will need to use a player capable of playing MP4 like the Quicktime player, available at apple.com/quicktime/download
Video streams use about 1 GB of bandwidth per hour in standard definition, and double that in high definition. Your ISP can be slowing your speeds down because it thinks you've used up too much bandwidth. This is common if you are using a mobile broadband connection.
You can use a speed-test website to test your ISP's upper speed limit. See: speakeasy.net/speedtest
Look for at least 1 mbps, which is one megabit per second. Anything less is likely to result in choppy video when trying to play back higher definition.
Also note that some providers make special exception for popular mainstream sites like YouTube, but will throttle other sites that are not as popular (such as TMTV) to save bandwidth. You may need to work with your ISP to see if they do any special throttling like this.
If you see speeds much less than that promised by your ISP and paid for by you, call and complain. A service rep can run tests with you and remotely reset your modem. The company can also send a tech to check cables in your building and replace bad modems, and so on.
- What resolution can I expect? Does it look good on an HD TV?
TMTV's default resolution is HD - 1280 x 720. However, the alternate player defaults to SD - 854 x 480 to conserve bandwidth. On the alternate player, you can change back to HD by clicking the HD logo on the bottom of the player.
Some videos in our archive were orginally shot in SD and they've been upsampled to HD, which can result in softer video at HD resolutions. However, since the video is older and was mastered in SD, we feel this is a resonable compromise so we can make this archive footage available on TMTV.
Feeback from our viewers is that TMTV video looks quite good on an HD TV.
- Can the video be downloaded for offline viewing, or only streamed with internet connection? I'd love to watch when traveling.
TMTV uses a streaming video delivery method, meaning we keep our archive of videos forever available online for streaming whenever you want. If you want to own the video for offline viewing, that's currently not a TMTV feature we offer, although we will probably be making this capability available at sometime in the future for an extra fee.
Model Trains Video does sell many of the TMTV archive videos in DVD or downloadable form, but currently there is no special discount for TMTV members. Again, we're evaluating the idea of making this video content available at a discount to TMTV members for offline viewing.
- Video playback is choppy, and it pauses a lot. What can I do to make it playback better?
For a complete list of tips for making video playback better, visit this page.