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Bringing live video to Second Life

Livestreaminsl.jpg

The option for showing movies or videostreams in Second Life is very useful for educators holding workshops or presentations. They can be viewed by their audience via webcam or they can demonstrate applications on their desktops.

Every landowner can define one URL of a Quicktime-Movie or a Quicktime-Livestream on their parcel. When doing so, one also has to define the media texture on which the movie is displayed. Visitors can watch that movie or stream on every object with the defined media texture, when they have Quicktime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/)installed and activate their videoplayer.

There are detailed instructions on how to define a Media URL and media texture on your Second Life land in the Second Life Knowledge Base: https://secondlife.com/community/support.php?questionID=4434 (You have to log in with your SL-Account)

There are three possibilities for streaming live video:

  1. NEW: You are using an internet video broadcasting service like Veodia (no streaming server needed!)
  2. You are using a streaming server (Windows Media Server, QuickTime Streaming Server or Darwin Streaming Server)
  3. You are streaming directly from your computer


The advantage of using a streaming server is, that you can have a lot of people listening. If you stream from your own computer, than each listener is a separate data stream. If you are not having a very fat pipe, your number of listeners is very small. Using a streaming server means you need only one stream to the server.

Broadcasting Video Service

Veodia.jpg

I only know about Veodia and tested it the last days. It looks very cool. All you have to do is sign up for a beta account on their website, download a browser plugin, connect your camera and start broadcasting.

The stream is a quicktime h.264 codec, which fits perfectly well for the SL-streaming function. The stream is also stored on the Veodia platform.

You have got 500 minutes/views per month and 500 MB storage for free.

http://www.veodia.com

Quicktime Streaming Server

If you would like to make use of a streaming server you will need the following: 1) a computer to broadcast from and 2) a computer running the server (though this could be the same computer, it is much more common to separate the two and have a broadcasting computer at home and a server computer at your provider.)

The QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/streamingserver/) is part of the software "Mac OS X Server" for Apples Xserve computers. But there is also the Open Source Streaming Server "Darwin Streaming Server" for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows (http://developer.apple.com/opensource/server/streaming/index.html). It has the same features as the Quicktime Streaming Server.

If you are setting up the server in your internet browser, then go to the server-URL and log in as an admin. Make sure the server is running. (Button on top of the window). In the general settings you can define a password for broadcasting applications, which can automatically generate the SDP-File


Dss.jpg

That's it.

Broadcasting to the Quicktime Streaming Server or Darwin Streaming Server

For sending your stream to one of the servers you will need the free "QuickTime Broadcaster" from Apple or "Wirecast" from Vara Software (see below: Direct Streaming).

The "QuickTime Broadcaster" is only available for Mac OS X. (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/broadcaster/)

After installing and starting the application you first have to choose your audio and video source and the compression.

Then go to network: you have three options. Choose Unicast automatically. You need your password and username from the streaming server.

Broadcasteruniauto.jpg

If you start broadcasting the application will create the SDP-File in the Media-directory of the streaming server automatically.

If this doesn't work, you can create the file manually. You just have to export the SDP-File from the QuickTime Broadcaster and upload it with some FTP-software to the Media-directory of the streaming server. Choose Unicast (manually) in the network-menu and start broadcasting.

Broadcasterunimanu.jpg

In both cases your stream has the URL: rtps://serverip/streamname.sdp

You can check it with a QuickTime player. Go to "File" and "Open URL", you should then see your stream in the player window

Quicktimestream.jpg

In Second Life open the Landinfo and go to Media, Video URL is the place where you put in the URL.

Windows Media Server

Don't know anything about it ;-(


Direct streaming

The program "Wirecast" (http://www.varasoftware.com/products/wirecast/) has a little built-in streaming server. you can stream pictures from your webcam as well as your computer desktop (with the little "Desktop Presenter" application). It is very cool and has a lot more features like multiple layers, titles, Chroma Key, multiple broadcast support and Keynote integration.

And it looks like this:

Wirecast.jpg

Alan Livine uploaded a screenshot in Flickr, with some explanations:

800px-Alan livine wirecast.jpg

Source and comments: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/1198085030/


You also have the possibility to send your output to a streaming server or save it to your hard disk, see above.

Price: 475 $ (320 $ for academic institutions)

--Ziggy 22:37, 27. Jul 2007 (CEST)