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Live video stream over -very- low bandwidth connection

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New Member

Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Live video stream over -very- low bandwidth connection Reply with quote

In a pinch, I'm trying to setup a live feed to my wedding for a grandfather who has fallen ill and will be unable to make the trip. I'm very new to the world of IP cams and am hoping you all can lend some insight into whether they'd suit this situation:
* Bandwidth constrained to 100 kiloBITS (!) per second
* Camera should be wireless
* Camera must ultimately be "tuned in to" from elsewhere on the internet, not just a LAN

Now: thinking out loud...

The big problem is that my only internet connectivity at the venue will come from a cellular modem whose upload throughput peaks at about 100kbits/sec.

If I can find a camera that provides direct-access to its video stream (not via some proprietary software, but a recognized streaming protocol) then maybe I could use VLC to transcode the camera's live stream to a lower bitrate before re-streaming it.

Then with some clever networking I could setup my laptop as a server (with a wireless access point to bridge the laptop and IP cam), keep my cellular modem dialed up for the duration and relay an IP address to my grandfather, who would preferably use something like Windows Media Player to tune into my laptop (which would route the connection to the camera) and receive the stream.

I'm confident I could get a live stream published to the internet, but the low-bandwidth constraint seems to imply I must do some manual transcoding. I've seen some IP cams that let you specify a variable bit rate, but these same cameras don't seem to expose their stream in a way consumable by ordinary (internet-capable) media players like Quicktime Player or Windows Media Player.

Gah! Too much too quickly. I'm also looking at setting up a more proper media server with Windows Server 2003 and a simple webcam, but haven't tested it yet.

Any insight is much appreciated!

Jeff S.
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Mr Sots

Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 194
Location: UK Midlands

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeff, first and foremost CONGRATULATIONS!

100k is pretty slow and the quality of the stream is never going to be breathtaking but if you're OK with that then what you are trying to achieve is easier than you think.

Like you say, a lot of cameras that support the MPEG4 standard will allow you to set the bit-rate to control file sizes for low bandwidth applications like yours. As you are only looking to provide your (?) grandfather with access to the live feed you don't need any additional software. Provided you can get your grandfather access to the laptop/camera over the web Internet explorer is the only software required by the vast majority of cameras to view the stream.

Good luck with the setup and indeed your wedding, have a great day.
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New Member

Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Wedding Reply with quote

I am trying to plan a wedding and to stream video live. I'm going to use http://www.mogulus.com with a small laptop and a web cam. I wish I could just use regular IP cameras but they cannot encode the signal and transmit to a video server. When you add up the cost, you can just by or rent a laptop for an event and use mogulus for free.

if anyone has any other alternatives that simplify the cost and process let me know.

arikinthecity at gmail.com
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New Member

Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

object01 & arikinthecity

I can't imagine that you will get anywhere near a "realtime" video stream thru a 100kbs connection, but if you're willing to deal with a 2fps update rate, I can recommend 2 options..

1: IP Kamera 9000A Plus Internet IP Camera, which is a stand-alone single camera with built-in streaming server.

2: IP Video 9100A Plus Network Video Server, which is a stand-alone video streaming server w/ 4 composite video inputs. This allows you to send composite video from a better quality camera if you want..

Neither of these units are to be considered pro quality, but they do work, and are very inexpensive.

I just setup a 9100A to monitor my house and it took about 15 minutes to setup the internet access part of the setup..

NOTE: viewer will need IE6 or newer, they will need to install an ActiveX control, and a good internet connection.

let me know if you have any further questions..


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