Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

RealNetworks Streaming Media Server


IT Services provides a streaming media server for Iowa State University faculty and staff who wish to use audio/video media streaming for Iowa State academic or administrative purposes. The server currently runs RealNetworks Helix Universal Server version 14.0 and is licensed to handle 100 concurrent streams.

Get Started

To have an account and directory created on the server, fill in and submit the application form found on the Streaming Media File Request page.


  • 24-hour-a-day, all-year server support and back up.
  • Helix Server uses the RTSP protocol, which is well-suited for lengthy or complicated presentations, or for clips viewed simultaneously by large groups, unlike HTTP protocol.
  • Supports many streaming media types.
Service File Type
RealNetworks RealAudio (.ra); RealVideo (.rv, .rm, .rmvb); RealPix (.rp); RealText (.rt)
Macromedia Flash (.swf, .flv, .f4v)
Microsoft Windows Media (.asf, .wma, .wmv)
Apple QuickTime (.mov) [hinted files only]
Standards-Based MPEG-4 (.mp4); MP3 (.mp3); SMIL (.smil)
Special 3GPP Release 5 or 6 (.3gp); 3GPP2 (.3gp2) [mobile version only]
Image Formats GIF (.gif); JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg); PNG (.png)
Other AU (.au); AIFF (.aiff); WAV (.wav); AVI (.avi)


See the Server Information page at right for additional information about requirements, server and file explanations, and technical details about the RealNetworks Streaming Media Server.


The Helix Server is currently being offered to campus through ITS primarily for the support of student learning. The existing server has been scaled to meet a significant load. To the extent the server continues to adequately meet demand or funding is available to expand capacity, no charges will be incurred for use directly related to credit courses.

For all other uses, the number of streams used or bandwidth consumed when streaming media are currently at no cost. Disk space used by media files on the streaming servers is charged at the standard disk space storage fee of $0.000033 per MB per day, which is billed monthly. Shortly after midnight each day, the sizes of each account's files are used for the charging calculations. As an example of storage costs, a typical one-hour video encoded with a 192x144 pixel dimension at 15fps using SureStream for dialup modem (28.8 Kbps) and on-campus viewing (220 Kbps) is about 205 MB, or approximately $108 per year to store on the Helix Server.