Monthly Archives: July 2009

iPhone Windowed HTTP Live Streaming Server

After some more work I have enhanced the HTTP segmenter and uploading script from my iPhone streaming using AWS S3 and Cloudfront post. I added a number of features and tried to pull together some of the ideas from the comments. I'll go over some of the features here and there is a full list of configuration options on the HTTP Live Video Streaming server project page and the source is available at the github repo.

So the major changes I have added are:

  • Yaml based configuration file. See the project page for a complete list of options.
  • Ability to transfer segments via copy, ftp, scp and s3.
  • Added the ability to do variable bitrate streams.
  • Added re-streaming support.
  • Added logging to a file and better debug output.

The variable bitrate streams where done by using pipes. I haven't done a large amount of testing but it seems to work fairly well. I am able to stream a live HD video source into 3 different bitrates on a fairly old PC. Here are a couple clips I created to show the progressive enhancement in action, you probably want to switch to the HD version of the video and watch it full screen to get the bet view:


The configuration file will allow for any number of encoding options or transfer options and they can be put together in a number of different ways. Here are a couple examples of both, see the example configuration files for more.

An encoder example:

ep_128k:
  ffmpeg_command: "ffmpeg -er 4 -y -i %s -f mpegts -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -ab 64k -s 320×240 -vcodec libx264 -b 128k -flags +loop -cmp +chroma -partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8 -subq 5 -trellis 1 -refs 1 -coder 0 -me_range 16 -keyint_min 25 -sc_threshold 40 -i_qfactor 0.71 -bt 128k -maxrate 128k -bufsize 128k -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.6 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -level 30 -aspect 320:240 -g 30 -async 2 – | %s %s %s %s %s"
  bandwidth: 128000

Transfer configuration example:

ftp_dev:
  transfer_type: 'ftp'
  remote_host: '192.168.1.1'
  user_name: 'user'
  password: 'pass'
  directory: 'html/streamingvideo'

As a final note on changes, you are no longer able to use the segmenter without the script now really. If you want to do that you should use the original version of the segmenter source.

Please note that there is still some work to be done on the script to be complete. If I have time my next enhancement will be to add encryption and I will probably try to test builds on other distributions (maybe attempt to create segmenter binaries).

iPhone Windowed HTTP Live Streaming Using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront Proof of Concept

This post should be seen as a proof of concept. I'm working on creating a more concise and easier to use package of everything covered here but I felt like getting the knowledge out sooner rather than later would be of help to people looking for a way to do this. If you are interested keep an eye on the HTTP live video stream segementer and distributor project page as well as the github git repository.

After my post on using FFMpeg and an open source segmenter to create videos for the iPhone that conform to the HTTP live streaming protocol I decided to see if I could get the same segmenter to work on a live stream. As it turns out it didn't take much modification to work.

If you are looking for something you can buy out of the box it appears that Akamai is doing iPhone video streaming now. I believe that the following solution using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront is probably as good as what Akamai can offer but it may be a better choice if you don't want to have to maintain the configuration.

I put together a quick diagram of the process of transferring the video stream from source to final destination that will hopefully help people understand the full picture before jumping into the details:

HTTP Live Streaming Diagram

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Streaming Video Between QuickTime Broadcaster and VLC

In my attempt to stream live video to my iPhone I ran into an issue with the USB QuickCam I have. Instead of fighting the problem I decided to turn to the iSight camera on a macbook but I quickly found that there isn't a great way to get the video stream to another machine. The best way that I have found to stream from the iSight to a second machine is to use a combination of QuickTime Broadcaster and VLC. In this post I detail how I got it set up and working.

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