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Media Streaming for Dummies?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the what-no-floppy-drives dept.

Media 41

Jon writes "Back in grade school, one of the things I helped the school set up/run was a in-school broadcasting system based on a few simple switches that went between a HyperCard stack with cool animations and the kids that would tell the news for the day. It's a great way to get kids involved in school, and my mother who is now a principal at another school is wanting to get something similar set up again. However, they don't have cable outlets in all the classrooms, and so I've been pondering streaming the content over their network. All the rooms are running Mac OS X. So, I turn here to Slashdot to ask, if you had 26 classrooms how would you approach the problem of getting video to them in an inexpensive way?"

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the media (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10097831)

you just have to stream it

easy: VLC (5, Informative)

denthijs (679358) | more than 10 years ago | (#10097835)

videolan supports multicasting and VLC player is available for osX

Re:easy: VLC (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10097850) []

TV and a Hauppauge MediaMVP (1)

DoctorHoe (635071) | more than 10 years ago | (#10121097)

The MediaMVP works excellent and all you have to produce is a mpeg-1 or mpeg-2 video. It can handle all the way up DVD quality to boot. The only downside is that it only comes with windows server software but people are working on versions for linux which should be able to be recompiled for mac.

VideoLAN (5, Informative)

rixdaffy (138224) | more than 10 years ago | (#10097837)

is this what you're looking for?

The VideoLAN project targets multimedia streaming of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX files, DVDs, digital satellite channels, digital terrestial television channels and live videos on a high-bandwidth IPv4 or IPv6 network in unicast or multicast under many OSes. VideoLAN also features a cross-platform multimedia player, VLC, which can be used to read the stream from the network or display video read locally on the computer under all GNU/Linux flavours, all BSD flavours, Windows, Mac OS X, BeOS, Solaris, QNX, Familiar Linux...

VideoLAN is free software, and is released under the GNU General Public License. It started as a student project at the French École Centrale Paris but is now a worldwide project with developers from 20 countries.

More information about the VideoLAN streaming solution be found in the streaming section.

VideoLAN works great with Mac OS X 10.3 (4, Informative)

Nice2Cats (557310) | more than 10 years ago | (#10098440)

I can testify that VideoLAN works great with Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther", in fact on a G4, it works better than the stupid DVD Player that Apple includes by default. The important part is the G4 processor, it seems, since the G3 doesn't have the AltiVec [] stuff that is needed for fast video. G3s can do it, they just have to work a lot harder.

vlc (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10097841)

video lan [] ?

QT (4, Informative)

JDWTopGuy (209256) | more than 10 years ago | (#10098166)

QuickTime streaming server. Free. LINK. [] Should be pretty easy.

First non-VideoLan post?

Re:QT (3, Informative)

jterry94 (654856) | more than 10 years ago | (#10098452)

I often use quicktime streaming server with slides now to stream lectures. QTSS is free and slides now is inexpensive. Found at []

The title... (3, Funny)

sahrss (565657) | more than 10 years ago | (#10098346)

Media Streaming for Dummies? Television!

Re:The title... (1)

cvandoren (800743) | more than 10 years ago | (#10098898)

They don't have cable! Read the Post next time.

Re:The title... (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099732)

but I think in a school setting, running cable wouldnt be very expensive.

My school and other ones I know all have big conduit run to clusters of outlet boxes. pulling another cable wouldnt be too much work (you already have people on staff that can do it in most districts and some rooms already have cable). And if they all have TV's, its probobly a better way to display than force the teacher to make their computer accessable to everyone.

uh, what for? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10098948)

if you had 26 classrooms how would you approach the problem of getting video to them in an inexpensive way

How about "not at all".

Why doesn't your school consider that new concept "teaching" rather than "watching tv"?

I can see it now. You set up a "streaming server" for 26 classrooms (a SMALL school). The teachers, administrators, students spend so much time getting their 'content' and 'hard hitting news' ready that the whole thing about 'teaching' and 'learning' are pushed aside.

Plus, how much money are you spending on all this technology that would be better spent on (a) books and (b) paying teachers a decent wage?

Re:uh, what for? (1)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 10 years ago | (#10108154)

I know I'm not supposed to feed the trolls, but consider this praise for the concept.

There are two reasons why this is a good idea:

1. The news that the kids themselves generate needs an incentive to be generated. It gives the kids an audience for works they themselves created, and encourages further efforts (and learning in the process).

2. The audience isn't passive. The shows encourage discussions and recruit new members. By utilising preexisting technology (using the LAN instead of installing a cable feed), the goal is to create a system the kids can use themselves.

Re:uh, what for? (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 10 years ago | (#10112995)

It's a good idea. Don't let the trolls rain on the idea's parade.

Quicktime streaming (4, Informative)

gozar (39392) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099061)

If the clients are all OS X there is a pretty good chance there are some OS X servers in the building. Turn on the Quicktime server [] and install Quicktime Broadcaster [] on a client machine. Plug the camera into the client and you can broadcast through out the school.

If your content is on VHS tape use a media converter to send the content to Quicktime Broadcaster (or edit it into Quicktime and put it on the server).

Use Flash (2, Interesting)

SiMac (409541) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099070)

Use a web server (OS X has simple personal web sharing) and Flash (or LiveMotion, if you prefer it). It'll save stress on your school network, and it's easy to create crisp-looking presentations.

Re:Use Flash (3, Informative)

magefile (776388) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099130)

And if you want to do it cheaply, have the students create a presentation in Powerpoint or OpenOffice, then use OpenOffice to export it to a Flash file. Much cheaper than FlashMX.

OS X mplayer with Tivo support? (0, Offtopic)

mccalli (323026) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099497)

Whilst we're at it, does anyone have a compiled binary for OS X of mplayer with Tivo support?

I've hacked the Tivo to do streaming, but can't currently watch the streams on an OS X box. Which is a shame, because that's exactly where I'd like to watch them from.

All help or comments appreciated. Well, within Slashdot norms obviously...


Re:OS X mplayer with Tivo support? (1)

irving47 (73147) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100600)

Look into tystudio/tyeditor. You have to install one more thing on the TiVo, but it lets you browse through the shows on the tivo in question and download the mpegs point-and-clicky like. (You have to run the X11 version unless they've made an OSX Native version by now)

Re:OS X mplayer with Tivo support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10101311)

Grab source from CVS:
cvs mplayerosx login
(hit enter)
cvs mplayerosx -z3 co mplayerosx

Get the tivo patches and start hacking!

Amazing… (-1, Flamebait)

david-bo (578532) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099636)

I am stunned...

How about if American kids learned something about the world outside USA rather than looking at stupid animations when they are in school?

Let the flames begin...

Re:Amazing… (3, Informative)

jonjohnson (568941) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099962)

Well, two things. 1) Some kid generally creates the animation, which in turn makes him/her learn how to do that, and 2) The kids read the news to be able to broadcast it.

Interactive learning is the best way to go. Not only do kids hear the news from their peers, they also get to participate in sharing the news, as well as helping out with the process behind the broadcast, as minimal as it may be. The days of using text books only while having a teacher lecture are over!

As the OP, I just wanted to thank everyone. I did google for this, but I couldn't get the right combination of keywords -- too many people sell "live video streaming."

QuickTime broadcaster looks like exactly what is needed for this job.

Thanks again everyone. Sorry for being too easy ;)

Re:Amazing… (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10101007)

There's a world outside the U.S.?

Macslash (-1, Offtopic)

nickinho (793868) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099798)

You might generate more discussion, or at least a few more creative responses, if you post this question to macslash: []

But then again, VLC or QTSS are both great (free) options!


Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (1)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 10 years ago | (#10099923)

I know I'm opening myself up to criticism here, but since a tech guy isn't going to be running the show, windows media encoder [] may be the way to go. You can create a 'stream settings' file, drop it on their desktop and they can begin streaming by simply opening it. It's free, streams all kinds of video and can even do complex stuff like shuffling through a power point presentation - which sounds kind of what you'd like to do. It handles my little fishcam [] without problems :).

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (4, Informative)

severed (82501) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100175)

Windows Media Format production on a Macintosh OS X is a pain in the ass. Does Microsoft offer a free or even pay program to encode Windows Media on Mac OS X? If your answer is yes, mind providing a link? (Yes, I'm aware that they released an SDK a million years ago, but come on, sit down and program an encoder? I'm a Mac Guy - Sheesh!) The only option that I've been able to find is by using Discreet's Media Cleaner version 6.0 for OS X. It's an expensive program, and it's kind of clunky, and it takes forever to convert from the format that I edit in on my Mac to a Windows Media file. I've never been particularly happy with the output, it never quite seems as good as the quicktime or at the output that gets cranked out pretty fast on a P.C. Even so, you have to settle for an older version of windows media...

However, the masses have windows media player installed on their computer by default, and so I've got to keep cranking out the files. But in answer to the original question for this slashdot post, you'd be insane to want to do windows media format in a mac environment when quicktime is quick and easy and works so much better.

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (0, Flamebait)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100262)

Are YOU the poster? It's quite obvious since there IS no wme for OSX that a winboxen would be nescessary to do this. While the poster mentioned mac clients, I don't think the entire school would be 100% apple. As for client software you're right - everyone and their mother has the WMV codecs installed.

Just suggesting a FREE (at least as in beer) option - there's no reason to let your zealotry blind you. I used macs until I was 18 and since then have worked with just about everything else under the sun. If there is only one truth - it's that there is no one platform worth flaming over :).

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (1)

severed (82501) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100409)

So, buying a second computer to encode the work done on a first computer is a FREE (at least in beer) option? Please.. I'm glad I don't have you working in my tech department, you'd bankrupt me with all your FREE ideas.

I like how you mutter something about zealotry blinding me. I've been encoding windows media format files on my OS X box for over a year now. It's a pain in the ass. It's less than a pain in the ass than dealing with editing on a Mac, then encoding on a Windows box, and then distributing to a bunch of macs.

But you're right, Mr "I used macs until I was 18," which means if you're any older than 21 or 22 it would seem that you have zero experience with OS X... but then again posting a message where you say "I might be opening myself to criticism" to propose a windows solution on a Mac board, and then immediately getting huffy when someone responds, screams troll to me.

My post was meant to get responses from other people who might be encoding windows media format on their OS X boxes, in the hope that maybe they've found some solutions to a few problems that I've been having. Not to attract a troll whose only contribution is "buy another computer."

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (2, Informative)

jonjohnson (568941) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100453)

I am the OP, and there isn't a single PC in the school. They're having trouble finding one to control an LED-based sign they bought. However, they have hope because the people who made the sign are working on a Mac OS X based controller.

However, I do appreciate the information on WMP.

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (0, Offtopic)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100875)

However, I do appreciate the information on WMP.

Thanks :) If the guy below had read my post maybe he wouldn't have had to troll himself. Good luck to you!

Re:Windows Media Encoder 7/9 (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10106195)

I know I'm opening myself up to criticism here ...
Okay, I'll criticize you.

I also tend to lean towards wondering why anyone would bother using WMC in a project where the targets are all Mac OS X, and (it sounds like there are good odds that) the boxes used for producing, editing, and broadcasting will also be Mac OS X.

I mean, my impression is that unless a tech guy (used to MSWindows style apps) is going to be running the show, it'd be better to avoid the platform jumping issues.

Even if the guy in charge is a tech guy, what could be the advantage of adding the platform jump? Anything you need for the project that runs on MSWindows is there for the Mac.

No question (5, Informative)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100561)

Definately Darwin (QuickTime) Streaming server. Not only can you use it to take video directly, but you can set up other stations to broadcast a single stream to many clients. Sort of like a mainframe with middleware then clients, this solution is great if you have an older network or have bandwidth concerns.

DSS/QTSS is extremely easy to use- it is controled via a web browser. Apple even included functionality to drag and drop between different parts of the streaming server website, something i've never seen anyone do.

go to: reami ng/

to download the free version (it has the same functionality as the normal version). While you're at it, you should get a license of QuickTime Pro so you can hint and screw around with the bandwidth of static video files.

Re:No question (html link) (2, Informative)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 10 years ago | (#10100586)

Sorry, I didn't know slashdot put a limit on how long an individual string could be! Here's the link: Streaming Server [] .

Information about downloading is found by scrolling down the page. Have fun :)

Run coax? (0, Offtopic)

Arcady13 (656165) | more than 10 years ago | (#10101031)

Really, how hard would it be to string some coax to each room and plug in a TV?

Re:Run coax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10101084)

The installation would be more trouble/expensive than learning how to stream on an existing wireless network! Also, the experience of doing it the first time will be invaluable.
Quick question... does the .mac server stream?

Always Love The Quicktime (2, Informative)

The Lost Supertone (754279) | more than 10 years ago | (#10103206)

Dang, and here I thought the first post would be about quicktime streaming server. Oh and remember people, QTSS is OPEN SOURCE. That's right, Apple has a fair number of OSS products, fortunately most of them tie back into the OS so it's great for them. But enjoy working with Quicktime, I'm glad Apple keeps the tech advancing. The player could use an overhaul but the underlying tech is amazing.

Sorenson broadcast (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 10 years ago | (#10110925)

I did this once with some Sorenson software. I think they called the base the reflector or something like that. This was pre-X, maybe OS9 days or earlier. It worked well though. I want to do this very thing too. Not all of my college football team games are broadcast in my folks' rural area. They are however broadcast in the town I live in. Both of us have DSL so I'm thinking about streaming it to them from here.

QTSS and QuickTime Broadcaster (1)

FredFnord (635797) | more than 10 years ago | (#10112881)

I love all the people here who are saying 'Use QuickTime Streaming Server (or Darwin Streaming Server)!' Most or all of whom have never done what the person is asking about, I suspect.

It sure sounds to me like they want a live-compression-and-broadcasting tool. QTSS only broadcasts hinted movies (movies that have been prepared for broadcast by QuickTime Pro or one of the other tools designed to do that). It can't take in a video source and broadcast video out the back end.

For that you need QuickTime Broadcaster ( er/ [] ) and QTSS together. Once you have them, though, things just work, fairly seamlessly. And you can (and by default do) transmit good-quality standard MPEG-4, which can be read by any MPEG-4 player. Or you can choose any other codec, and the stream can still be read by any player that supports RTP/RTSP. (Which are, of course, open standards.)

And it's all free. And it's really easy to set up.

Check it out. It's sweet.


Don't even need QTSS (1)

FredFnord (635797) | more than 10 years ago | (#10112915)

I lie, it looks like you don't even need QTSS for that size audience. QTB can probably do it, unless you're looking for a really high-res stream. I've never tried it that way, though, for more than one client at a time, though.

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