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QuickTime Live Video Streaming Tutorial

Overview

QuickTime streaming is a cross-platform technology optimally utilizing a streaming server and a broadcasting workstation. The client software utilized is QuickTime Broadcaster [1] and is only available on Apple’s Mac OS X. The server can use either QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS), a technology integrated into OS X Server or Darwin Streaming Server (DSS) [2], an open source, functionally equivalent version of this technology published by Apple and available on Windows, Linux, or OS X workstations or server.

If you don't have QuickTime Broadcaster on your streaming computer, please download it for free and install it. It is Mac-based only. If you don't have DSS, please download it for free and install it either to a PC or to a Mac. The Mac version is much easier to install. The server computer and the streaming computer don't have to be the same one though they can. Usually, they are two separate computers.

Before you start streaming, make sure Darwin Streaming Server is added to the Firewall exception if you are using PC. To do so, go Start menu > Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Click the Exceptions tab > Check if QuickTime Broadcaster is in the list. If not, Click Add Program, find it, and add it. Click OK.

Please follow the following steps to achieve an optimized streaming.

Setting up Darwin Streaming Server

As it is said earlier, QuickTime streaming can be done either through the QuickTime Streaming Server or through the Darwin Streaming Server. In this tutorial, we will use the Darwin Streaming Server.

  1. For Windows – Download and install Active Perl 5.6 or greater (5.8.8 current release). For Mac OS X, Perl is already installed by default.
  2. Follow the DSS installation guidelines to install it and write down the username and password you have selected.
  3. The DSS runs as a web service and will be configured as such.
    1. On the PC, to Start the server you will need to go into the DOS environment (Start: Run: cmd) (On the Mac, this will run as soon as you have installed it).
      1. c:> cd :\"Program Files"\"Darwin Streaming Server"
    2. Start the Streaming Server
      1. c:>Program Files\Darwin Streaming Server\> DarwinStreamingServer.exe -d
    3. To view the Streaming Server Administrator
      1. Open another DOS Window (Start: Run: cmd)
      2. c:> cd :\"Program Files"\"Darwin Streaming Server"
      3. perl streamingadminserver.pl
    4. To access the Streaming Server Admin, from the server open a browser window:
      1. Key in http://localhost:1220.
      2. Localhost can be replaced with the name of the server.
      3. Type the username and password you used earlier when setting up the server.
    5. Note the web-address as displayed on the site – it will be important to use in the Broadcaster’s ‘Networking’ tab to transmit the data to this server.
    6. For anyone to stream off QuickTime Broadcaster on another computer, the server admin needs to set up another set of username and password. So, click General Settings on the left. > Click Change Movie Broadcast Password > Check Allow unrestricted broadcasting. > Give a new set of username and password. Let's use donkey as username and turtle as password. Whoever streams off QuickTime Broadcaster needs to know them. Click Change Password.

Connecting Devices

  1. You can use a webcam on your computer to do live streaming including the built-in iSight on most portable Macs. If you decide to use an external digital video camera, you need to connect the camera via a Firewire cable. Turn on the camera and switch it to the Camera mode.
  2. Launch QuickTime Broadcaster. Since the camera is hooked up, the video image will show up automatically in the Preview window. If you hear very high-pitch noise, click the Audio button on top, and uncheck Play-through speaker. Make sure Enable Audio Stream is checked. For Preset, choose the reasonable DS:/Cable - Music if your streaming is more than just talk. Change the audio source to DV Audio -First 2 channels if you wish to use the camera microphone. Use the rest of the default values.
  3. Click the Video button on top. Make sure Enable Video Stream is checked. For Preset, choose DSL/Cable. Choose the desired camera for Source. You can specify how big the frame size for the streaming video to be. The default size 320x240px is reasonable. Use the rest of the default values.
  4. If you need to record the live streaming to a hard drive, check Record to disk below the Preview window on the left.

Setting up Streaming

  1. Click the Network button on top. For Transmission, choose Automatic Unicast (Announce) since most public ISPs do not provide the multicast capability.
  2. For Host Name, key in the IP address of the streaming computer. To find the IP address of the streaming computer, go Apple icon in the upper left corner > System Preferences > Network > Built-in Ethernet > You should see the IP address now.
  3. For File, the default is mystream. You can change it to anything. For now, let's keep mystream.
  4. For Username and Password, you need to get them from your admin when s/he set up the Darwin Streaming Server. We set them up as donkey and turtle, remember? So, type donkey for username and turtle for password.
  5. Set Buffer Delay to a reasonable time, say, 3 seconds.
  6. Fill out all the metadata info under Annotations.
  7. Check Record to disk under the Preview window on the left if you wish to record the live streaming.
  8. Press the Broadcast button under the Preview window on the left. Your streaming is now live.
  9. If you have chosen to record the live streaming session, files are being populated now in the designated folder.

Viewing Stream

To view the stream, a user must have QuickTime [3] Player already installed on a computer. The user can use the web address of the server with the QuickTime Player, in this format: rtsp://myserver.edu/mystream.sdp. RTSP is the transmission protocol, mystream.sdp is the stream your broadcaster is uploading.

 

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