Over the last week or so (I've been either busy or sick - and I missed a local Una Voce meeting also), whenever I can get a spare moment, I've been encoding that episode of "The Catholic Hour" at different bit rates to see how well it performed. Tests were done at 500kb, 800kb, 1800kb, 2000kb, and 3000kb. Obviously, the higher the bit rate, the better it looked. The thing that stuck out to me most, though, is that the difference between 500kb, 800kb, and 1800kb was just about negligible. This is good, at least in the interim. I'm not going to have near the bandwidth that I will need to do 3000kb or even 2000kb bit rates, even though that ultimately, MDTV will be on it's own line (it's actually waiting - we have had DSL for a while now, and cable internet came with my day job, so like, two lines). I know what kind of bandwidth will be needed, but it's going to take a little time to get there. In the meantime, I'm hoping a dedicated cable line will do the trick.
And the only way it can do the trick, if what I'm thinking is correct, is to stream out at 500kb. That way, the bandwidth won't be eaten up too much and the file size will still remain small; roughly 120MB for a 30 minute program, compared to 189MB for the 800kb stream, 342MB for the 1800kb stream, 450MB for the 2000kb stream, and 667 for the 3000kb stream.
Next, we move the file over to the linux server and set VLC up to stream MPEG-4 on VOD.