How can I stream video?
March 25, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe

DesperateITHelpFilter: So, someone sprung this on me a half hour ago at work, and I have no idea what to do. How do I stream video over the web?

I have a laptop computer with a USB web cam, and a static IP address running Windows XP. Apparently, two guys - one in New Mexico and one in California, need to see what's on the camera, in near real-time. They don't need audio, that will be provided by a separate PolyCom unit, but they need to watch the video feed.

The only (only! Hahaa!) limitations are that the software that does this must be free, and must be bundled with Windows or must not be a pain in the ass to install for the clients.

I tried Skype, but that only seems to support video in one on one settings.

I tried NetMeeting, but that also only seems to support video in one on one settings.

I tried WireCast, but that seems to cost $500 and, in the mean time, include a horrible, horrible watermark.

I think Yahoo Messenger might do this, but the thought of having other people install Yahoo Messenger makes me die inside.

So, now I am left in a pickle, and I have no idea what to do. Googling "free webcast" is not giving me much to go on, and, honestly, the expectation that this is to be done with no money seems kind of improbable, but, you know, since when to academic-types ever make reasonable demands?

Anyone have any ideas? I have all the time in the world, and by that I mean it has to work by tomorrow morning.
posted by kbanas to Technology (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of WebcamXP... and they have a 21day trial version.

All you'd need to do is:
1.) install it,
2.) turn ON the "web server" option (in the config/settings menu)
3.) Open Port 8080 on your router/firewall and point it to your Laptops IP
4.) email your clients and tell them to just point their favorite web-browser to your external IP address.
posted by jmnugent at 1:45 PM on March 25, 2008

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posted by kbanas at 1:46 PM on March 25, 2008

You can do basic streaming over http via apache, with out anything special by wrapping it with the appropriate codec. See this basic web monkey guide.

Commonly its done with flash. You will be able to find a reusable component to this out on the web somewhere.
posted by tallus at 1:46 PM on March 25, 2008

kbanas, if WebcamXP doesn't work, send me a MeFiMail. I think I have a solution for you that meets your requirements (including free).
posted by Nelsormensch at 2:13 PM on March 25, 2008

If you're still angling for things to try, VLC has all the goodness built in. I've only done trivial streaming across a LAN but it's very powerful. It's an easy install for windows and the same program does the streaming and the viewing.
posted by Skorgu at 2:26 PM on March 25, 2008

2nd VLC. It's free, easy, and cross platform.
posted by jjb at 2:29 PM on March 25, 2008

What about Yahoo Live (beta)? The site you set up is technically public, but you can keep the url private. It's free and completely web-based - doesn't involve any downloading.
posted by walla at 2:45 PM on March 25, 2008

It's a bit long in the tooth, but Webcam 2000 will work without any pain at all.

There are lots of more robust and secure (and option laden) programs out there, a number of them are free too - but save that stuff for later.
posted by terpia at 3:40 PM on March 25, 2008

In general, the answer to "how can I stream video?" is "Use VLC".
posted by flabdablet at 8:28 PM on March 25, 2008

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