What kind of hardware do I need to set up a live video feed like this?

http://adamsblock.com/ (from http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=496266)

I am very surprised by the quality and framerate of this video feed. The last time I looked into live-streaming webcams, they sucked. This appears just as good as a closed-circuit TV system. What do I need to buy to set up a video feed like this from my window?

I think the limiting factor is going to be upload bandwidth rather than the quality of your video camera. A standard VGA (640x480) camera will look decent enough if you have 512 kbps of upload bandwidth (although 1 mbps might be better, and 384 kbps might still be okay).

The more upstream bandwidth you have, the more frames per second you can broadcast (assuming your CPU can handle the encoding/compression).

Upstream bandwidth is not a problem. Let’s say I am doing this on a LAN. I am more interested in the hardware and software I need to capture, encode and transmit live video across a network.

Why not contact justin.tv and ask them?

Webcam quality has improved, a lot. It’s simple to set up a streaming camera, and broadcast high-quality video. The limiting factor is bandwidth, although a better camera is important. Compare feed A (we’re closed today, so kind of boring right now), and feed B.

Feed A is a $20 webcam on an old P3 laptop. Feed B is a $1,500 web-serving PTZ webcam. Both are on DSL, at the same speed. You should be able to set up a system much closer to feed B for under $500, including PC, but you can certainly get decent quality for less.

I’ve been very happy with Ustream.tv. They host the feed, and the videos, and so far it’s totally free. My next step is better resolution on the feed A camera, and a better PC to host.

It’s mostly a matter of bandwidth, but the hardware does matter.

My company sells an assload of cameras from http://www.axis.com. If you want do squeeze out more quality from lower bandwidth, use MPEG4 - which sometimes involves some major league firewall headaches.

If you’re really short on bandwidth, check out their newest H.264 cameras.

There are other brands, of course, but Axis is pretty much the standard.


I am curious, however, what software Adam is using to put his cams what appears to be straight to flash.

Anyone have any ideas?