Tech tips and help

Sign up for chat | Viewing the Decorah Eagles | Viewing the FSV Eagles | Stream Quality issues


Where can I watch the eagles and falcons?

You can watch the Decorah Eagles ads-free, with no membership or ad-blockers, at:

You can watch the Decorah North Eagles ads-free, with no membership or ad-blockers, at:

You can watch the Great Spirit Bluff falcons ads-free, with no membership or ad-blockers, at:

We no longer stream any of our channels to Ustream/IBM Video.


How Do I Sign Up For The New Moderated Chat?

The new chat uses chatroll. You have three choices to log into chat:

Signing into Chatroll

  • Chatroll! If you already have a Chatroll account, you can log into it to chat at https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/. If you don’t have a free Chatroll account, you can sign up for one at https://chatroll-cloud-1.com/.
  • Facebook! You can sign into Chatroll with your Facebook account. It is very easy and Chatroll does not post to Facebook on your behalf.
  • Twitter! You can sign into Chatroll with your Twitter account. It is very easy and Chatroll does not post to Twitter on your behalf.

Signing in is easy! Go to https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/ and use your preferred sign-in method under the chat!


Viewing the Decorah Eagles, Decorah North Eagles, and GSB Falcons

The Decorah Eagles, Decorah North Eagles, and GSB Falcons are being streamed via Youtube and our website and Explore.com. All three streams are using HTML5. Most modern browsers support HTML5, and youtube and Explore.org offer devices for apps. You can find the apps by going to your device’s app store.

I can’t see the Decorah Eagles, Decorah North Eagles, or the GSB Falcons
If you can’t see one or all of those three streams, refresh the page. If that doesn’t work, clear your cache and cookies, shut the browser, and re-open it to the page you want to watch.

If you still can’t see the stream, the most likely possibilities are:

  • Your youtube account is set to restricted mode. Read this if a message about ‘Restricted Mode’ appears where the video should be. Or:
  • Your browser or app doesn’t support HTML5. Read this if you are seeing a hazy screen that resembles white, grey, or black noise, but no message. Or:
  • Your browser or app doesn’t accept third party cookies (and a few other issues). Read this.

Restricted Mode

Image of youtube restricted mode screenYou need to disable youtube’s restricted mode. If you have a home computer, follow these instructions: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/174084?co=GENIE.Platform%3DiOS. If you are accessing through work or school, you may need to have an IT person or system administrator help you.

No support for HTML5

If you are seeing a hazy grey screen that resembles white, grey, or black noise, your browser or app is most likely not compatible with HTML5. To test, follow this link to our stream page at https://www.raptorresource.org/embed-test/ and note which of the three streams you can see.

If you can’t see streams #1 or #3, visit https://www.youtube.com/html5 to see whether your browser supports html5.  If your browser is not compatible, we strongly suggest upgrading. Adobe is end-of-lifing Flash, our former presentation method, in 2020. Many newer browsers have very uneven support for Flash!

Third-party cookies, privacy seetings, compatibility mode, and youtube blocking

If your browser should support HTML5 but you still can’t see the Decorah Eagles, the Decorah North Eagles, or the GSB Falcons, check your third party cookie and privacy settings. You can also check to see whether youtube is blocked on your computer. If you have IE, check your compatibility mode. If you have the compatibility mode turned on, try turning compatibility off, adjusting your settings, or watching live at youtube: https://youtu.be/R4b_1rUNCUY.

If that doesn’t work, post in our support forum (you will need an account if you don’t have one): https://www.raptorresource.org/forum/index.php?board=55.0

Can I watch your streams on my phone or tablet?
You can! You can use your browser or download the Explore and Youtube apps. To download, go to your device’s store and search for Youtube and Explore. Download and install the free apps and start watching! I’ve been able to watch the stream via an IPad, an IPhone, an Android phone, and Gen 10 Kindle Fire.

You will need to use your device’s browser to chat.


Device and Computer Issues: Xcel Energy Birds of Prey

I can’t see any Xcel Energy Birds of Prey

Make sure you are watching the eagles here  or here. These locations are consistently available and working. If that doesn’t work…

Xcel Energy’s cams are streaming via Flash. If you can’t see the Flash streams on our test page (stream #2), you need to make sure you have Flash enabled for your browser!

Enabling plug-ins for individual websites 

If enabling Flash per the instructions above didn’t work, you probably have to enable it for specific websites. Look for an icon with a small red x through it in the upper right corner of your address bar (Chrome), or a grey ‘lego’ piece to the left of your icon in Firefox.

A blocked plugin icon in Chrome

Firefox Flash plugin icon

A plug-in icon in firefox

To enable the plug-in for a given website:

Step one: Click on the red puzzle piece or grey lego icon to pull up the Flash/Shockwave tool.

Step two: Click ‘Always allow plugins on raptorresource.org’ (or ‘ustream.tv’, or wherever you are trying to watch.

Step three: Click ‘Manage plugin blocking…” and enter a hostname pattern in the hostname pattern box! Your pattern is:

  • [*.]raptorresource.org for our website, raptorresource.org
  • [*.]birdcam.xcelenergy.com/ for Xcel Energy’s birdcam website

Giving the Flash plugin permission to run on our site only, steps one and two!

Site rule for unblocking flash plugin

Giving the Flash plugin permission to run on our site only, step three!

 

 

You may have to close and re-open the browser tab or refresh the page to get it to work.

UUUUUGGHHHHH! IT STILL DOESN’T WORK!!!!!!!!! 

I know how you feel! If you’ve hit this point and still can’t watch any of Xcel Energy’s streams in Chrome:

  • Open a tab in Chrome and type in chrome://flags/#prefer-html-over-flash (or click the link)
  • Change the Run all Flash content when Flash setting is set to “allow” dropdown to ‘Enabled’ (see image below)
  • Press the Relaunch Browser button.

Change flag in Chrome

If none of this works, take a look at Adobe’s website: https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/enabling-flash-player-firefox.html

Security Warnings

Our website forces https, which means that all connections between the server and your browser are encrypted. The Decorah Eagles, Decorah North Eagles, and GSB Falcons streams are all served via https, but the Fort St. Vrain eagles are not. This can cause a security warning on our website, which can appear very obviously as an alarming warning, or not so alarming as a shield somewhere in your address bar. You should not have this issue on Xcel Energy’s birdcam website. 

Mixed content warning. The Xcel FSV eagle stream is served via http, not https, but our website forces https. Conflict!

Click the shield to allow http content on raptorresource.org. We aren’t collecting data from you, so the lack of encryption shouldn’t be an issue.

Final Steps

If you have solved plug-in and mixed content issues and still can’t see the FSV eagles, try clearing your Flash cookies. These locally stored objects weren’t removed when you cleared your cache. To clear them, follow this link. Once you have reached the Flash Player help page, click the Delete All Sites button, followed by the Confirm button. Close the browser, re-open the browser, and try again.

If none of these steps work, you may have a more complicated problem.

  • Are you using Net Nanny or a similar piece of software to mediate online interactions between your family or students and the internet? Check the settings to make sure they allow participation.

Choppy Stream and Stream Quality Issues

The stream is super-choppy. Why?
There could be more than one reason for that:

Bandwidth: At my house, a choppy stream is usually due to low bandwidth, especially during evenings and weekends. As shown in the image below, youtube allows you to manually select the resolution that best meets your bandwidth. Click the HD button just below the stream to access your options. Drop it down to 360 or even 240p to reduce bandwidth consumption, or throw caution to the wind and see if you can stream at 720p or 1080p!Setting resolution via YouTube's player

 

Hardware Acceleration: Thanks to 7streetoak for this tip! Browser-based hardware acceleration can impact stream quality. If it is on, try disabling it.

Ad-Blockers: Ads will not be an issue on our new ads-free streams. If you still want to watch at Ustream, they will be. We have had reports that ad-blockers are impeding stream performance, including AdMuncher and Ad-Block Plus. Try disabling them on ustream.tv and see if that impacts performance. Fair AdBlocker users are not experiencing problems that we know of, but that could change. If you have an ad-blocker and are experiencing problems, try disabling it on the ustream.tv domain to see if that helps. Or watch ads-free at our website and on Explore.


Facebook Issues

I follow you on Facebook, but I’m not getting your notifications and posts. Why?
Facebook NotificationsWe’re hearing from Facebook fans whose news feed is not showing our Facebook page, even though they liked it. Make sure per the image at right that you are signed up to receive notifications in your newsfeed. If you are, comment on one of our threads – even with just one word! – and we’ll be back in your news feed. Keep commenting and sharing pictures and posts to keep seeing us. Facebook algorithms no longer show content that people don’t interact with, as documented here: http://bit.ly/1JLx5D5 and here: http://slate.me/1ReLjWx. Of course, the articles don’t talk about Facebook’s dirty little secret – bots that pretend to be real people. Limiting your news feed to things you are interacting with makes your feed more rewarding and reduces your changes of encountering a bot that scams you, gives you malware, or locks up your hard drive.

This SUPER-ANNOYING Facebook pop-up won’t let me see your page unless I have a Facebook page too! It didn’t used to be that way…
The all-caps annoyed person is me. I am ALL-CAPS ANNOYED that Facebook is spamming people with a register screen if they aren’t logged into Facebook. This is a new thing and not something we have control over, although we did file a ticket with Facebook to complain (in a polite non-caps way). We are a business page and as such are supposed to be available to the public, Facebook or not.

To block the pop-up, add adblockplus to your browser if you don’t already have it. (Note: I recommend really limiting where adblockplus is enabled. As mentioned above, it appears to impede content delivery on Ustream and many other sites). Ad-block currently has a version for all of the big browsers used on standard Macs and PCs. Add these two lines to your filter:
www.facebook.com#dialog_0
www.facebook.com###pagelet_growth_expanding_cta

Don’t know how to add filters? Check this tutorial out: https://adblockplus.org/getting_started#add-subscription. This will not remove the option to register or login at the top of the page, but it will stop the pop-up from covering the page.

If you aren’t interested in blocking the pop-up, you can reduce it. Try pressing the escape key when it pops up. If it doesn’t go away, click the x on the right-hand side to reduce it (outlined inside the red circle below). We will also be posting news and video round-ups on this website.

Image of non ADA-compliant Facebook pop-up

The ‘X’ is non-ADA compliant for contrast, which is why it is so hard to see. We made sure to notify Facebook of this problem as well.


 

We hope you enjoy watching this year!