Video Streaming Howto

by asbesto & geenna, Poetry Hacklab, 15/06/2010

Using ffmpeg & ffserver

We want to use a web camera to stream video to web page using ffserver. ffserver is part of the ffmpeg package.

apt-get -y install ffmpeg

ffserver creates a network socket that is available from client machines to view the video. Once started, you attach an ffmpeg process to the server to do the encoding. Configuration of ffserver is done via the /etc/ffserver.conf file.

We installed ffserver on a machine at ip address Typical ffserver.conf file:

Port 8090 
# bind to all IPs aliased or not 
# max number of simultaneous clients 
MaxClients 1000 
# max bandwidth per-client (kb/s) 
MaxBandwidth 10000 
# Suppress that if you want to launch ffserver as a daemon. 

<Feed feed1.ffm> 
File /tmp/feed1.ffm 
FileMaxSize 800M 

<Stream status.html>
 Format status

<Stream test.swf>
Feed feed1.ffm

Format swf
VideoCodec flv

# Audio bit rate at 16 instead of 44 reduces bandwidth a lot! ;)
AudioBitRate 16
# idem for sample rate
AudioSampleRate 22050

# Bitrate for the video stream: QUADRATAZZI
VideoBitRate 90

# Ratecontrol buffer size, non esagerare, meno e' meglio (?!?)
VideoBufferSize 1000

# Number of frames per second: SCATTICAZZI
VideoFrameRate 3

#VideoQMin 1
#VideoQMax 5

VideoSize 352x288
PreRoll 15

#Noaudio this if you want video only


Using the above settings, quality is sufficient, framerate is 3 per second, sufficient for basic usage, and the used bandwidth is around 10Kb/s !!! :)

So, just launch the server:

ffserver &

Attach the ffmpeg process to do the encoding. This is done via a loopback socket.

# this is without audio
ffmpeg -r 3 -s 352x288 -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video0
ffmpeg -f oss -i /dev/dsp -r 3 -s 352x288 -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video0

Parameters are

I don't understand:

Now you should be able to browse to the server address (or localhost if it's the same machine) and see some live video and the status page.

The name of the file (test.swf) was defined in the <Stream> section above.

A way to stream from a 1394 camera is this (thanks to Geenna):

dvgrab -format dv1 - | ffmpeg -f dv -i -

A simple source for a basic webpage with embedded video is here:

<embed src= height=128 width=160> </embed>

Video Streaming using FreeJ

Please read FreejStreaming for this. Only OGG/Theora!

VideoStreamingHowto (last edited 2010-06-18 09:19:27 by asbesto)