by January 30, 2004 0 comments



During the cricket season, people often bunk offices to watch cricket battles on TV at home. You can have fewer people taking off if you let them watch live matches on their desktops. In this article, we will talk about how you can stream a TV channel on your network.

Adding video and audio sources on unreal live source

To set up a TV streaming server, you need a TV tuner card, a sound card (an on-board card will also do) and a streaming server that will take inputs from a TV tuner/capture and sound card and then encode the output as streaming video. Some free streaming servers for Windows are VedioLAN, Windows Media Encoder and Unreal Media Server. We used Unreal Media Server, which is easy to set up. You will also find it on our this month’s PCQ Essential CD. This streaming server can run on Win XP/2000/ 2003. 

Unreal Media Server has two components: Live Source Server to capture video and audio from the TV tuner and sound cards, and Unreal Media Server to stream the video channels on the network. For the clients there is a component called Unreal Streaming Media Player. All components are part of the Unreal Media Server package.

Install streaming software
Install the TV tuner and sound cards and their drives on your system. Then copy the streaming software from this month’s CD (streamingserver.zip) to your desktop. After unzipping this file, you will get three other .zip files (ULiveserver.zip, UMediaserver.zip and StreamingMediaPlayer.zip). Unzip each in a separate folder and run the .exe file from each folder to install the software. 

Configure streaming server 

   STEP
ONE          

After installation, you need to configure the Unreal Live Source Server and Unreal Media server.

To configure Unreal Live Source Server, run ULiveServerConfig from Start>Programs>Unreal Streaming. This will open a configuration window, on the left panel of which you will a see a ‘Live Sources’ icon. Right-click on it and select ‘Add new media source’. A ‘Media Source Option’ dialog box will open, where under ‘Live Media Type’ you tick the Video and Audio checkboxes. 

Then come down to Encoding option. Here select the bandwidth that will be used to stream the video on the network. We selected LAN (900 kbps). Then click on Next.

Playing video channel from the client

   STEP
TWO          
Now, you will be shown the available TV tuner/capture card on your machine. Select the TV tuner/capture card from the list, and then select Input as ‘Video Tuner In’ and click on Next. To configure the sound card, select the available sound card on your machine and select its Input as ‘Line In’. 

Remember to connect a loop-back cable from the sound-out socket of the TV tuner to the line-in socket of the sound card. You can even test the sound by clicking on the Test button. When you click on Next, you will get an ID from Live Source Server. You will need to use this ID when you set up Unreal Media Server.

Now, give the provider description of the source media and click on Finish. With this your Live Source Server is ready.

   STEP
THREE          
Run Media Server Configurator from Start>Programs>Unreal Streaming. On the left-hand panel of the Media Configuration window that will open up, you will find a ‘Live Broadcast’ icon under ‘Media Server’. Right-click on it and select ‘New Live Broadcast’. This will bring up a dialog box with three text boxes. In the ‘Live Broadcast Alias’ box give any logical alias name. Then in the ‘Server Live source IP address and ID’ text box give the IP address of the machine and ID number(you would have got the ID in step two), where you have installed Live Source Media. In the ‘Live Broadcast Description’ text box, give the description of your streaming server. With this the configuration part will finish.

   STEP
FOUR          
Run the TV tuner card software to view TV channels on the server.

install and configure clients 
To view the streaming TV channels, on the clients desktops. First, copy the (StreamingMedia Player.zip that you have unzipped in the installation part) on the client’s machine. Then run the executable file to install the streaming player on the client. After installation, run Streaming Media Player from Start>Programs>Unreal Streaming. This will bring a player on your screen. On the screen click on Media>View Remote Live Source, which will pop-up a dialog box. Next to the ‘Media Server IP address or Internet name’ text box, fill in the IP address of the streaming server. Then in ‘Connection protocol’ select TCP radio box, select the ‘Alias’ radio button and give the alias name that you have given in step 3. Or you can select ‘Direct’ radio button, and give the IP address and ID no. of the streaming server. If the IP details or Alias details are correct, then you will get the live TV feed on your Streaming Media Player from the streaming server. 

You can even host the Live TV streaming on your Intranet server as well. You just need to write a n HTML code, so that a client can access the streaming server from Web browser. For your convenience, we have given the HTML code on this month’s CD. Try this out on your intranet server. 

Sanjay Majumder

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