Live video streaming

I want to create a video server that does live video streaming.  Kind of like setting up a video camera and streaming video to the web in real time.

Any suggestions for the server, the camera to do the live streaming and the web page.
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Hawking makes a pretty good resolution camera if you want to be able to access across the web in real time. It has about 25 frames per second average and can accomodate a 640x480 screen capture. It will not re-feed a 30 fps video stream if you are trying to watch a TV across the web, but it will capture and run good feeds. HNC210 is what we use, it also uses a java script to load, and it has a video port you can use for setup for web viewing remotely - and you can even set up an internal; port if you wnat to remotely connect using Remote Desktop Connection. It costs about $90 and ours has been reliably outputting viodeo for the last 9 months non-stop stream. You can also capture video frames and streams to a server or storage drive and it connects using an RJ45 port so it can connect directly to your router or any switch without need for a PC.
As for a server - anything like an XP box will do, doesn't have to be screaming fast unless you plan on hosting to multiple customers then you should look at a Win 2003 server. But ours is on an XP Pro box (allows RDP connections) and it has a seperate USB hard drive attached to it that serves the video storage, and it also has a second drive that holds video files for retreival (password protected). Total cost for camera - XP PC and (2) remote drives ($720 - US)
darovitzAuthor Commented:
Awesome.  I plan on using a windows server 2003 box.  I will check out the camera. So I am going to be streaming this real time video to my server which is also the web page.  Again I have not built the web page yet.  Suggestions on how to do the live feed?  I am hoping many, many people view at one time.  I need more specifics on setup of the server.  Thanks for your assistance.
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The server should not be the endpoint router (even if multihomed). I would (as we do) use a perimeter router (anything, like a Linksys will do) - and set it up to use port forwarding to the camera internet port to send all videorequests for to that port on the cameras assigned IP. Lets say your camera IP is

You'd want to then have a link on your website that is in reality just a hyperlink to the camera IP (internal IP assigned and be sure to reserve in DHCP that IP - or statically assing the camera this IP which can be done in the camera management interface program and then point the hyperlink to the camera port.... (something like port 2864 as an example).

So your router link for port forwarding would be to Ip and open port 2864. You would also need a link on your web page directly beneath the video port window in your wesbite to be sure you state the customer needs Java to view the feed (and the link should ideally take them to for the file if they don't have it).

Your website will need to have a layer or window for the feed view and your router needs to have the keepalive setting checked (if required) to be sure it doesn't go to sleep on that camera IP x.x.x.50. Be sure your server firewall is set up to allow traffic to pass through to the internal Ip of x.x.x.50 and that port 2864 (if used) for the camera sends all traffic to the camera IP. Thats all it takes.

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Flash Media Server from Adobe is built specifically for exactly what you want: real time video streaming. The basic architecture of your solution might look something like this: 2 flash applications (SWFs) and 1 Flash Media Server application. Of the two Flash applications, one is the video publisher, which is typically used by just one person at a time and the other is a video subscriber, which can typically be used by many people simultaneously. Both of these client side Flash applications would connect to a server side Flash Media Server application, one as the video publisher and the other as the video subscriber.

The video publisher Flash application takes a feed from any USB or Firewire web cam and/or microphone, encodes the audio and video signal on the fly and publishes the video stream to the Flash Media Server.

The Flash Media Server application is completely scriptable using ActipnScript, a language that's very similar in syntax to JavaScript. You can secure access to your applications, segment applications into separate instances and multiplex streams to multiple subscribers in real time.

The video subscriber Flash application simply subscribes to the live video stream that is being published via the Flash Media Server. It can be scripted to implement smart bandwidth detection and error handling routines which allow the end user client application to respond intelligently to any number of status changes and error conditions. And since it's Flash, you can get as creative as you want with the interface.

You mentioned that you wanted to host many subscribers. Depending on your definition of many, this solution may be a little pricey. The free developer edition is capable of hosting 10 connections with a no bandwidth cap. If you want to host more than 10 total connections you'll automatically find yourself in the USD $4,500 range. If that's too much, you can look into hosting companies which would typically charge you a monthly fee with some bandwidth usage restrictions. If you're talking really high volume, there are a few big companies which offer a service called the Flash Video Streaming Service but it's expensive.

Hope this helps.

Rajkumar GsSoftware EngineerCommented:

I have posted a related question and in trouble finding a solution. can you guys have a look at it please ?

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Thanks for your attention.
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