FAQ



  • Q: Do users have to purchase any expensive video hardware or software to use ezXchanges?

    A: No new or additional computers are needed* and new technologies are easily incorporated into ezXchanges’ servers with no disturbance and with little or no additional cost to our users. Users exchange all their games in a format that is compressed for efficient transfer via the internet. The most popular transfer formats include H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC – the iPod/AppleTV format) and Windows Media 9 files. We have also added the popular XviD CODEC as one of the acceptable upload formats. If your current sports editing equipment can’t open or save into these formats directly, we can recommend a software utility to do the job. (Excellent utilities for doing this are available online at modest cost, and, in certain cases, inexpensive hardware accelerators are available.)

    *Existing computers must meet minimum specifications.

  • Q: What are the system requirements in order to use ezXchanges?

    A: For Windows users: To just upload and download games, any Pentium 4 or higher machine will be fine. For encoding live or doing conversions you should have a newer machine such as one with an Intel Core 2 DUO with at least 2GB RAM (3 GB RAM for Vista and Windows 7).
    For Macintosh Users: To just upload and download games, any G4 or Intel based desktop or laptop will be sufficient. For encoding and transcoding files, the Mac should be at least an Intel Core 2 Duo and should be able to run Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) and QuickTime 7.6.

  • Q: How secure is ezXchanges, and how do you ensure that games cannot be “stolen” off your
    servers?

    A: By design, only teams that have been approved to download a particular game can access the game. The handling of the security for the games is further protected by UNIX permissions and database security as well as a dedicated hardware firewall. Even if someone were to get into ezXchanges’ systems, additional security measures and strategic misdirection within our data storage architecture would make it extremely difficult for them to access
    the games.

  • Q: Who owns and manages the servers where my games are stored?

    A: We do. We think that’s the only way that proper security can be maintained, and we are committed to that goal. When game videos are, instead, stored on shared servers, or on a variety of servers run by each school, it can weaken safeguards against tampering both by parties interested in the games and by intruders looking for weak spots in the school’s network.

  • Q: How long do you store games?

    A: Owning our own servers and network storage allows ezXchanges to offer full and post-season access. Optionally, multi-year archiving is also available.

  • Q: Do users need to download management software?

    A: No additional software is needed on laptops or desktops that are connecting to and using the ezXchanges network.The only thing that is needed is a Java enabled browser (we recommend Firefox) and an up-to-date install of
    Java.

  • Q: What virus protection do you offer when downloading games?

    A: The files are protected in two ways: First, they are run against a security algorithm that runs a checksum before each game is uploaded or downloaded. Then they are scanned on access by a virus scanner to provide an
    additional layer of protection.

  • Q: Do you offer online support?

    A: Yes, ezXchanges has support pages available within every account that gives the user access to many of the common questions and their answers. The support pages, called ezHelp, provide step-by-step instructions on how
    to use each feature within your ezXchanges account. Additionally, ezHelp contains over one hundred step-by-step
    guides for importing, exporting, and transcoding videos using a variety of sports editing programs and video
    utilities. Users can browse ezHelp pages by keyword or topic. If you have a question that isn’t answered there,
    you can also send questions directly to ezXchanges and receive the response via email.

  • Q: Do you offer 24/7 tech support?

    A: Of course. We support the ezXchanges network and our users with free 24/7 telephone and email support.

  • Q: What is the recommended minimum Internet connection to use when uploading / downloading / games through / ezXchanges?

    A: A high speed broadband connection is necessary for uploading and downloading. A minimum of 1.5 Megabits/sec upload and download speeds is highly recommended.

  • Q: How long does it take to upload a game?

    A: Some users are able to upload games in as little as 6 minutes. Our users average upload transfer time is approximately 26 minutes. Using an Internet connection that only meets the recommended minimum speed, usually
    takes just under an hour to upload an hour-long game. (Times vary depending on connection speeds, Internet speeds, and traffic on your LAN.)*

    *These are estimates. Depending on the sport, games may be longer or shorter. Outdoor sports are recorded at a higher data rate and will therefore take somewhat longer in each direction.

  • Q: How long does it take to download a game?

    A: Some schools are able to download games in under 6 minutes. At average university connection speeds, a game takes 20-30 minutes to download, and an hour-long game, at the minimum recommended connected speed, takes just under an hour.*

    *These are estimates. Depending on the sport, games may be longer or shorter. Outdoor sports are recorded at a higher data rate and will therefore take somewhat longer in each direction.

  • Q: In what format are the videos transferred?

    A: MPEG4-H.264 (the iPod/AppleTV format), Windows Media 9, XviD (upload only) and ezDVD (a form of DVD disc image, download only)

  • Q: Can Internet-ready files be captured live?

    A: Live recording requires either a camera with a firewire port or a camera with A/V out (almost all do) and a composite-to-DV converter box and a matching firewire port on the laptop.
    Windows Media 9 can be encoded live during the game using a computer with Core 2 Duo, or i3, i5, or i7 chip.
    On Macs, MPEG4-H.264 can be recorded live using Quicktime player. Gamebreaker 8.4 and newer can also record H.264 directly. Mac users can also record live in other formats and programs (iMovie, for instance) and convert
    the video using the Mac CPU or offloading the work to a Turbo 264HD accelerator ($99).

    On Windows, XviD can be encoded live, depending on system and equipment (pre-testing is recommended).

  • Q: Are these formats good quality?

    A: Yes, MPEG-4 H.264 is designed to deliver DVD or better quality at lower data rates and smaller file sizes. Windows Media quality reflects the result of a major investment by Microsoft in digital video technology and is the basis for the VC-1 video standard. XviD is a favorite codec of quality-conscious open-source enthusiasts.

  • Q: What are the recommended computer specifications for converting (encoding) video files if
    necessary?

    A: A minimum of an Intel Core Duo (2.0GHz or faster) PC with at least 2 GB RAM (for XP) or 3 GB RAM (for Vista and Windows 7) and a large hard drive. The intel i5 and i7 chips are recommended for best performance. Macintosh H.264 encode time is determined by the speed of the CPU. The minimum CPU recommended is an Intel Core
    2 Duo. The intel i5 and i7 chips are recommended for best performance.
    Macintosh users also have the option of using a Turbo 264HD video accelerator ($99) which can cut the encoding time by up to 2/3 and can also rip (unencrypted) DVD’s to H.264 with similar speed.

  • Q: What if I don’t have enough space on my laptop to convert and save all these games?

    A: Most modern laptops have more than enough space for ezXchanges’ files. But if space should get tight, external
    USB or firewire hard drives can expand your storage by 250 or more gigabytes, at reasonable cost.

  • Q: What is the estimated length of time it will take to convert files to H.264 format if
    necessary?

    A: Conversion times vary widely with the strength of the computer’s CPU. With the minimum recommended chips, a
    one-hour game will take approximately one to two hours to encode. Systems with more powerful CPU’s can be
    considerably faster. We recommend Mac users pre-test this to see whether they might want to use a Turbo264HD
    accelerator ($99)

  • Q: Does the download need to be complete to begin watching the game?

    A: For Windows Media the download must be complete (in most cases. depending on your version of Windows Media
    Player). QuickTime player can begin playing sooner than that if you have a fast and reliable connection. The
    network architecture is not actually intended for streaming, so your mileage may vary.

  • Q: Can a user stop an upload at any time and pick up where it left off at a later time and
    different location?

    A: Yes. If you have to stop an upload you do not lose what you have already loaded. You can simply resume uploading
    at a later time.

  • Q: How do I use the video file once I have downloaded it?

    A: Files can be viewed on the computer screen with no further manipulation, using either Windows Media Player or
    the QuickTime Player. Files can also be opened or imported into your sports editing system for editing. Files
    can also be put onto DVD for viewing by a variety of means and H.264 files can be viewed on video iPods, or on
    TV screens over your LAN using a device like Apple’s AppleTV.

    Our ezDVD format can also be downloaded for quick conversion to disc. An ezDVD is a pre-made disc image that,
    once downloaded, can be burned to a DVD in just a few minutes.

    ezXchanges will help you arrive at the best workflow for your needs.

  • Q: When selecting the date and time for a game request, what time zone is used?

    A: When you register with ezXchanges, you select your time zone and our servers convert everything to it
    automatically, regardless of whether you are sending or receiving requests from different time zones.

  • Q: Are conference offices and Coordinator of Officials provided with an ezXchanges account to request and access games as well?

    A: Yes, every conference office and all Coordinators of Officials are provided with an ezXchanges account that can
    request and access full games from schools. The conference account can also elect to directly receive “game
    clips” from each school that may need to be reviewed by conference administrators and/or official coordinators
    for every game that is played.

  • Q: Can conference officials use ezXchanges?

    A: Yes! Our optional Officials Package allows for quick and easy review, self-evaluation, and professional
    development among all your officials.

  • Q: Can I share games outside of my conference?

    A: Absolutely! You can take advantage of our ezGuest service to share your games with other schools, or with
    individuals, just by issuing an invitation. Your guest gets an ezXchanges guest account which can access any
    game that you have approved them to see. When you share games with ezGuest you retain all of the control and
    security that ezCoordinator provides for your regular account. ezXchanges offers ezGuest accounts at no
    additional charge.

  • Q: Can I share other video, not just games?

    A: Yes! Our ezShare feature lets you upload video outside of the formal game sharing system. Access may be granted
    to any school, conference office, or coordinator of officials. You just have to make sure it’s in one of our
    approved formats before uploading.

  • Q: How do I contact ezXchanges?

    A: Send email info@ezxchanges.com or call (802) 891-3155.