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How do I stream a webcam to a server from a client laptop?

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Basically I need to have my webcam (live) feed sent to a web-server which can then re-broadcast that feed to other users.  I'm assuming those other users would just go to an HTTP address and it would be displayed.

I need it to be this way because the internet connection will be relatively poor where my laptop will be - but i will be able to upload it to a web server (have enough up-stream) - and this web server has plenty of bandwidth to re-send the feed.

I need this to be a server-type solution.  I can't use a public website which does this for me.  Currently I have access to an ubuntu 8 server running apache and windows 2003 server running apache/IIS.  The client will be running windows, but I could get a laptop running OS X.

Anyone have any solutions?
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Question by:Geesu
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by:Chris James
ID: 22662059
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by:Chris James
ID: 22662069
There are also probably a bunch of shoutcast streaming server hosts:

http://www.viastreaming.com/ is one of them.
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by:Geesu
ID: 22662081
I need this to be on an internal network.. so I can't use public solutions
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by:Chris James
ID: 22662164
Well, you can create a web server, run windows media encoder and embed an ASX object that contains your web cam/audio stream onto a web page.
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Author Comment

by:Geesu
ID: 22662193
Can you provide more details than that? It looks like the encoder is just for files you already have... I'm confused as to how it will stream LIVE
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by:Chris James
ID: 22662867
Basically, you run Windows Media Encoder, you select the video source (via webcam) and the audio source (via your sound card), and you create a server using selected ports of your choice.
When you create the website (ie using apache or IIS) create an index.html file or any web page and embed an ASX object into the webpage so users can simply click on the play button (of windows media player) and see a live stream of your webcam and selected audio source.
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by:Chris James
ID: 22662877
You can use the "new session wizard" to broadcast a "live event" and use the webcam :)
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by:Chris James
ID: 22669148
You mentioned in your question:

I need it to be this way because the internet connection will be relatively poor where my laptop will be - but i will be able to upload it to a web server (have enough up-stream) - and this web server has plenty of bandwidth to re-send the feed.

And in one of your responses

"I need this to be on an internal network.. so I can't use public solutions"

If you aren't looking for a public solution, then you're going to have to stick with your poor connection, and the solution I provided with Windows Media Encoder or ShoutCast is your best bet unless you do want to pay for a streaming hosting provider on a reliable web server.
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Author Comment

by:Geesu
ID: 22669727
I'm looking at a solution which uses VLC (VideoLAN) - have you tried that?
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Expert Comment

by:DavidESL
ID: 22676700
VLC will do exactly what you want it will act as both your live encoder engine and streaming server.
you can use it to stream the feed from your web cam feed to an embedded player object in a page hosted on your webserver.
are you familiar with the settings/ configuration required to stream from VLC and how to embedd your player object in the webpage?
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by:Chris James
ID: 22678216
I haven't tried it, but I guess that's your decision if you want to use a Microsoft product or an open source project.  I do know that WME works very well and is very customizable to your needs in terms of streaming quality, tags, and identification.

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Author Comment

by:Geesu
ID: 22678426
OK I tried WME and windows media server and it works well - there is just a lot of "lag" time in between... and i need it to be live... it's around 15 seconds delayed - I did find a guide here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/howto/articles/BroadcastDelay.aspx

Anyone had experience w/that?
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by:DavidESL
ID: 22679611
you will always get some degree of lag because of the video encoding overheads. you can do what the article says and reduce the buffer times in each stage of the chain but you will take a hit in terms of encoding quality and playback resilience. your end quality with a severely reduced encoder buffer might be unwatchable.

what is your available upstream bandwidth and what bitrate would you be encoding at?



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Accepted Solution

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gheist earned 2000 total points
ID: 22695330
Let me suggest dorgem software.

We should look for some fast encoding solution to not overload our network and cpu.
basically cinepack or mjpeg are fast at encoding. you may succeed with something better from ffmpeg for directshow or smth like that.
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