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Live Web Streaming

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on Monday, 26 December 2011 in How To

CameraA "How To" guide to Live Web Streaming your light show online.


Here are details of doing a live web stream - as seen on High Country Lights.


For a single camera operation, first you need a camera, capture card, and video/power cable.  For the camera, I use a cheap CCTV color camera without IR illumination and has 540 TV lines or higher.  Remember, more TV lines the better the quality.  Then I place it in an enclosure to protect the camera.  A small outdoor camera enclosure is best but it will have to be mounted to a solid surface.


Next, run the video/power cable to the PC being used for web streaming.  If long runs have to be made, they are chances the quality could be diminished.  If that happens, an inline amp will overcome the signal  degradation.


After everything is installed, next is the capture.  You can use a USB or PCI version.  Both types are acceptable.  The only function needed is the composite input.  That’s where video from the camera will connect to.  Usually, drivers will have to be installed if it’s the first time connecting a capture card.


Once all of the tasks are completed, signup for one of the many sites that allows live web streaming.


Here’s my parts list: Camera | Video/Power Cable | USB Capture Card | UStream | Justin TV | Cam Streams


One other thing not mentioned.  I routed the audio from the output of the sound card to the USB capture card.  Keep in mind, some audio cards have dual outputs which make this easier.  If not, you’ll have to purchase a Stereo Y adapter to split the sound.  This can cause the audio quality not be as good as having one connection.



Greg Slodysko’s multi-camera system allows for multiple views.  Here’s his setup in his words.

Bring all the camera video back to the house where each feed runs into a video framestore, most of these I picked up on ebay.  While it could become costly you can find some decent deals on these.  I have anything from older For A syncs to high end videotech HD/SD syncs (got that one from the station, they were tossing it).  These are used to synchronize the H Phase and SC phase of the cameras in essence eliminating the roll between cameras when switching.  This roll can cause some encoders to "lock up" or even knock the stream offline.  It also is a way to correct any color issues.  Keep in mind all these need a genlock source.  Some framestores will allow you to lock to the camera but all the syncs need to be locked to a common source.  Once again you can pick up a gen-lock black generator on ebay.  I happened to be doing a studio install at a college this year and they were dumping some old equipment so I picked mine up there.  I simply looped the genlock from one frame sync to the other.  Here are some links to the ones I am using, Example A | Example B.


Take all  the outputs of the framestores and feed them into a video switcher.  A simple 10x1 will work as long as it accepts GPI input to change sources (this is needed to have Glossary Link LOR interface with the switcher).  I used a Leitch 16x1, but also have a videotech rs-12A to serve as a master control for the main camera feed.  The output of the switcher then feeds my encoder card on the computer.


The interface with LOR is fairly easy.  I am using a DC card to trip several relays which in turn cause the GPI's on the switcher to trip. Since most GPI's on the switchers are a simple dead short trigger you don't need to actually send voltage to the switcher you only need to use the relays to complete the circuit to change your source.  That is why I can't simply use the DC card itself to trigger the switcher to change sources.  There may be some switchers out there that will allow this I am not sure of all the possibilities here.


Sequencing.  This is done simply as if you are sequencing anything in your display (full on as if it is a strobe)  The thing with this different switchers need differerent contact timings to switch.  Most are short or immediate the Leitch is minimum of 4 tenths of a second so my ON has to be at least that.  This may take some experimentation.


When the show is not online and I don't need the bandwidth on my internet I have the stream switch to a DVD loop that plays canned instrumental music and basically a full screen promo for the show.


Click to view Greg Slodysko's live stream or view High Country Lights.


Disclaimer: all of the scenarios listed above, have not been quality controlled and is considered to be an experimental project.  Please attempt at your own risk.



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