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Posts Tagged ‘Flash’

This article will walk you through the process of downloading, installing and configuring all the software required to start broadcasting to a Flash Push Live Stream with Mydeo using the Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE). In a previous article, we looked at the same process but using the Wirecast encoder instead. Please click here to be directed to that article instead.

It’s good practice to have a read through the whole article before attempting to configure your encoder.

FMLE is Adobe’s free to use Flash encoder. Currently, it’s the easiest and by far the cheapest way to get started in Flash live streaming. The encoder is a fantastic solution considering it’s a free to use application – however, it does lack some of the more professional features that comes pre-installed with encoders like Wirecast so if you’re looking to produce industry leading live streams, it might be a good idea to look into a more professional option. Nevertheless, FMLE is an amazing tool and is more than adequate for lower budget productions.

If you don’t have a trial account already, open a 15-day free trial account now by heading to http://www.mydeo.com. Once you’ve opened your account, you can trial our “on-demand” CDN services immediately, but for a live trial you’ll need to request one by giving us a call or dropping us an email from your registered account email address.

If you have your credentials email, containing all your Flash streaming details, then you’re all set to proceed to Step #1:

1. Download and install the software

Once you’ve received your Flash Live service login details from Mydeo, you’ll want to make sure you’ve downloaded the following:

  • Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (PC and Mac versions are available) – it’s completely free to use!
  • Limelight Access Adapter – As you may already know, Mydeo runs on the backbone of the Limelight Networks CDN. To connected to their network using the details in your credentials email, you will need to install the Access Adaptor – this allows you to authenticate with the network and stream. If you’re using a PC, there’s a good chance you’ll be using FMLE version 3.2, however, you could be using an older version so please click on one of the following links that corresponds to your version of FMLE: (FMLE 3.0) (FMLE 3.1) (FMLE 3.2).
  • If you’re using a MAC, you can download the Access Adapter here – All Access Adaptors are free.

Please make sure to install FMLE before attempting to install the Access Adaptor – do not launch FMLE before you’ve installed the adaptor.

2. Configuring FMLE

Once everything has been installed, go ahead and fire up your copy of FMLE.

Referring to the screen shot below, you can configure your copy of FMLE with the correct settings for your account (the coloured boxes on our diagram represents the sections you need to change in order to set up your encoder properly).

Your Flash credentials email will contain two very important URLs that you now need: the Primary FMS URL and the Backup FMS URL – the third URL in your credentials email is the published URL but this can be set aside for now.Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Key:

  • The green box is where you need to enter your Primary FMS URL – this is essential for the stream to publish.
  • The red box is for the Backup URL – the Backup isn’t actually essential for the stream to work but does add a level of fall back. The Primary and Backup URLs point to different servers on the CDN so if you were to lose connection to the Primary server, the stream would continue streaming to the Backup. Playback would be seamless and the audience would never know anything went wrong. You can also use the Primary and Backup URLs to utilise two separate internet connections – for more information on that, please click here.
  • The blue box is where you give your stream a name – the stream name is a crucial part to the configuration so be sure to take note of whatever it is you set this to. You’re free to chose any stream name but it’s best to keep it as simple as possible and you can’t use spaces. If your stream name consists of more than one word, I suggest using a ‘_’ to separate the words like so: my_stream or use camel case: myStream.
  • Now select the bit-rates and camera setting you wish to use for your stream. A standard configuration is 500kbps for video, 128kbps for audio and a resolution of 640×480.

3. Start publishing

You should now be ready to start publishing your stream. To begin, click the green START bottom of the FMLE window:

FMLEStart

 

 

If you installed the Access Adaptor correctly, the Connect to Limelight FMS box should pop up where you’ll need to enter your username and password found in your credentials email:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click OK and the encoder should kick into action!

To view the stream, you will need to utilise the Published URL found in your credentials email. Each stream will have a different URL and this is determined by the stream name you entered into the encoder earlier. Assume for now that you used: ‘myStream’ as your stream name. Take the Published URL from your credentials email and add the stream name to the end – preceding a forward slash ‘/’. Here is an example: rtmp://mydeoxyz.fc.llnwd.net/mydeoxyz/myStream.

Assuming everything has been configured correctly, you should be able to playback from your Published URL. If you need to create player embed code, please click here.

And that’s it!

If you would like to hear more about our Flash live services or require any assistance in getting your Mydeo stream up and running, call us on: +44 208 540 2300 or email: help@mydeo.com and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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In this blog, we will walk you through the process of setting up a Flash live stream on the Mydeo/Limelight platform using Telestream’s software-based encoder, Wirecast. Wirecast is a live encoding solution that offers a professional alternative to Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE). Although the standard package costs nearly $500, Wirecast offers a whole host of professional features above and beyond that of FMLE. You can find out more information about Wirecast and even obtain a free watermarked trial version from their website: http://www.telestream.net/wirecast/overview.htm.

To follow along with this tutorial, you will be required to have a Mydeo account. If you don’t already have a Mydeo account, you can sign up for one by heading to the Mydeo website: www.mydeo.com. Once you have opened an account, you’ll need to make a request for live streaming services by calling or dropping us an email with your requirements – contact details can be found at the bottom of this article. We will then send you a Flash live credentials email containing all the details you need to get going.

So, first things first, boot up your version of Wirecast and select ‘Broadcast’ > ‘Broadcast Settings’ from the tool bar at the top of the window – you should be presented with this screen:

broadcastSettingsWC

Wirecast already has a plugin installed for connecting to the Limelight Network so to utilise this, you need to select ‘Limelight’ from the ‘Destination’ drop down list. If Limelight isn’t showing in the list, you’ll need to select the ‘More’ button and make sure Limelight is checked in the ‘Edit Visible Destinations’ window. Once Limelight has been selected in the Destination bar, you will then need to insert your Primary FMS URL into the ‘Address’ box. For now you won’t need to utilise the Backup URL so set that aside. Next you will need to give your stream a name and you can do this by entering a name into the box labelled ‘Stream’. For Flash live, the stream name can be set to anything you like but remember that you can’t use spaces. If your stream name is comprised of more than one word, we suggest using a ‘_’ to separate them, like so: my_flash_stream. Alternatively you can use camelcase like so: myFlashStream.

Next step is to set your Username and Password into Wirecast. You can do this by selecting the ‘Set Credentials’ button found in the bottom right corner of the window. When prompted, set your Username and Password to match the ones found in your credentials email.

Now all that’s left is to select the settings you wish to use for your stream. For now you can just select one of the Flash presets from ‘Encoder Preset’ drop down list but feel free to edit the presets or even create your own profile to suit your requirements. If you have a slow internet connection, you might want to select a low bit-rate such as 400kbps.

Once you have chosen your settings, click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the ‘Broadcast Settings’ window.

You should now be back on the main encoding page. Here you can select the type of media you wish to stream whether it be a pre-recorded video, an image or even your own desktop screen. Wirecast has many different media options and even allows you to set transitions between different clips.  You can add media by selecting from the white icons just below the ‘Cut’ button, when you select a piece of media, it will be added to the clip bar below for you to select and switch to whilst streaming.

Now you should be ready to broadcast your live stream. Click the large satellite dish labelled ‘Broadcast’ and broadcast waves on the dish image should turn solid. If they flicker, it means there is probably a connection problem and you’ll need to review your settings. If you’re receiving error messages and can’t work out why, feel free to contact us using the details at the bottom.

Now that your stream is up and running, you will need to take the Public RTMP URL from your credentials email and add the stream name you entered into your Wirecast settings. Here is an example of what your end URL should look like: rtmp://mydeoabc.fc.llnwd.net/mydeoabc/my_flash_stream.

You should be able to play back from that URL – if you require player code, there is a tutorial on how to generate it here: http://blog.mydeo.com/2013/01/25/flash-video-player-generator/

And that’s it!

If you would like to hear more about our Flash live services or require any assistance in getting your Mydeo stream up and running, call us on: +44 208 540 2300 or email: help@mydeo.com and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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James Marsh is currently doing his 2 weeks work experience at Mydeo. As a project, we got him to set up a live feed using Mydeo’s live streaming solutions which run on the backbone of Limelight Networks’ global Content Delivery Network (CDN).

The live feed was created by utilising Limelight’s Flash Media infrastructure. We connected to the network using Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE) which is free to use for anyone who wants to create high quality Flash live feeds. Connecting to the CDN is very straight forward but if you would like to see a how to guide, we have a previous blog post that shows you steps: http://blog.mydeo.com/2010/12/16/start-flash-live/.

Once we had the live feed up and running, we needed to create a player to embed on our ‘Watch James’ webpage. The player we’re using is the OSMF player which is an open source, free to use Flash player that can be easily generated here: http://www.osmf.org/configurator/fmp/#. The OSMF player offers all the functionality needed to play high quality flash streams, live or on-demand. You can learn more about the player and how to get set up by navigating to our previous blog post: http://blog.mydeo.com/2013/01/25/flash-video-player-generator/

Finally, the webpage itself is being delivered by Mydeo’s HTTP servers hosted on the Limelight CDN. We achieved this by creating a HTML page containing the Flash player, a hit counter and twitter widget. The HTML page was then uploaded to the Limelight servers using the Filezilla FTP client which is also free to use. All this is being delivered over the Limelight CDN and is available to use by all our customers. Our plans start at £50 per month and for that, you can utilise everything you’ve read here to create your own, high quality flash feed.

To watch the live feed, please navigate to this address: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/James/Flashtest.htm. Feel free to leave a comment using the twitter hash tag: #watchjames.

For more information on our CDN services, please contact us by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300 and we’ll be happy to assist.

Let’s make James famous!

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In this article I want to show you how you can quickly create the embed code for a Flash video player. In a previous article, we looked at HTML5 and the <video> tag. We saw that it’s very easy to create a player in HTML5 and the upshot of using it means we get to reach those all important iOS devices. There is a downside however by just using pure HTML5 and this was also mentioned in the previous article. Audiences who are using older systems with out of date browsers might not be able to view your videos if you’re only using HTML5. To prevent this, it’s suggested that you also include a Flash player in your fall back code so that these older systems have something to ‘fall back’ on.

Creating a Flash player from scratch is much harder than creating a HTML5 player so to keep things simple, I want to point you in the direction of the Open Source Media Framework site. They have a neat web application that allows you to create the embed code for your Flash video. You’re able to adjust the height and width along with other standard settings. I can’t begin to tell you how much time this saves and is especially useful when you need to get your videos up on your site quickly. To make use of the generator, click here.

OSMFpic

You should find the generator fairly easy to use, just click the preview button once you’ve entered your URL and settings and the embed code appears under the preview player. This code can be inserted into your HTML5 player from the previous article to enable that all important fall back feature.

One more thing I need to highlight about this application is the fact that it also works with live RTMP publishing URLs. This means that if you need a player for your live Flash event, you can quickly create one here. Remember that Mydeo offers world class live and on-demand video delivery (HTML5 and Flash compatible) at low entry level pricing. For more information about our products and how Mydeo can help you with online video, feel free to contact us by email: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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EDIT: Stream Anywhere has been upgraded, click here for details.

Consuming digital media has changed drastically over the past few years. It seems now everyone carries a Smart Phone in their pocket or an iPad in their bag. Mobile internet means people can access their favourite websites from anywhere and at any time. If you’re unable to cater for these consumers, you could be losing a sizable chunk of your audience and it doesn’t take a genius to tell you what that could mean for your business.

HTML5 and the <video> tag, gives us a relatively easy way to reach these mobile consumers for your on-demand video content – but what about live video? Flash is still supported by older Android devices but as people upgrade their handsets and more people update their software to the latest OS, you’re going to be losing more and more consumers as support for their newer devices is inevitably dropped.

Not to worry though because Mydeo have again teamed up with Limelight Networks to bring you Stream Anywhere. The Stream Anywhere solution utilises HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) which was included as part of the latest Flash Media Server (FMS) update. HLS has swiftly become the standard for live streaming to mobile devices as it was implemented by Apple for their highly successful iOS software.

One of the great features of Stream Anywhere is that the transcoding is all handled on the fly, within the cloud. This means you don’t have to install any software locally and the encoder doesn’t need access to extreme levels of processing power. This makes the whole process of publishing live video to mobiles much more convenient.

Benefits of the Stream Anywhere solution include:

  • Automatically deliver to multiple mobile devices without preencoding content.
  • Reach new audiences (such as iPhone and iPad) without having to make any changes to existing RTMP streams.
  • Leverage the global scale and reach of the Limelight HTTP Edge to deliver to HLS supported devices.
  • A cloud-based service! No need to worry about software or hardware installation and maintenance.

For more information on pricing or on how Mydeo can help you and your business reach mobile devices – Live and On-demand. Get in touch by phone: +44 208 540 2300 or by email: m3@mydeo.com.

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Even with the introduction of HTML5, Flash streaming is still one of the most widely used formats for delivering video over the internet – especially for live events. Here at Mydeo, we still receive many requests for Flash live and on-demand services.  The following article by Limelight Networks explains some of the options available to you when using FMS to deliver your video content:

Flash Media Server 3.5

Customers of Flash streaming services now have more options for broadcast-quality video delivery on the Internet. With support for Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5, Limelight Stream enables dynamic streaming, DVR functionality within a live stream, and enhanced H.264 video and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio. 

Dynamic Streaming

For an optimum viewing experience, the quality of the video file you deliver needs to match your end user’s available bandwidth. The trouble is, their bandwidth may suddenly drop, perhaps because other users in the house or community start consuming more bandwidth on a shared pipe. Your viewer is left watching (or trying to watch) a high-bit-rate video on a connection that’s too slow to handle the stream, resulting in stutters, stops, and a less-than-positive experience.

Dynamic streaming addresses this common scenario by switching seamlessly to a higher- or lower-quality stream based on available bandwidth — without ever disrupting the flow of video or audio. (Of course, this means you need to have encoded and uploaded the same content as multiple independent files at different bit-rates.)

Although Flash Media Server 3.5 provides the ability to switch files, it’s the Flash client that actually requests the change. The user’s Flash player (version 10 required) monitors current bandwidth and CPU load. If the video buffer is filling up too rapidly or the CPU is nearing pre-defined utilization levels, the Flash client can simply ask the server to switch to a different file.

Dynamic streaming is available for live and on-demand Flash content and supports both .flv and H.264 files types.

Live DVR

Give your viewers the freedom to walk away from a live event without worrying about missing out on the action. Flash Media Server 3.5 supports live DVR, enabling end users to return to portions of live streaming events, even if their Internet connection choked and missed a crucial moment. With Live DVR, you can create streaming video solutions that include instant-replay, catch-up, or seek functionality.

Even with all these interactive features, there’s no transfer of your content to the user’s system. As with all streaming services, Flash Media Server 3.5 caches the live DVR at your discretion.

At Mydeo we offer a whole host of Flash delivery solutions including those mentioned above – We also offer instant set up with no installation fees. If you’re interested in Mydeo’s Flash services or any of our other many CDN solutions, please do not hesitate to get in contact – Email: danny@mydeo.com, Phone: +44 208 540 2300.

You can also find us at: www.mydeo.com

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Live streaming: Push vs. Pull

When encoding video or audio, you have two options. You can either ‘push’ the stream or ‘pull’ the stream. Each method has advantages and disadvantages which we will discuss here and help you to choose the method best for your circumstances.

Pushing a stream:

With a push stream, the local machine running the encoder is initiating the connection. This connection has to be made with a streaming server.

The main advantage of pushing a stream is that router port forwarding and firewall exceptions do not have to be made. A static IP address is not required to push a stream which would be necessary with the pull method. Static IP addresses are less common than they used to be and with some ISPs they have to be paid for. On an internet connection with no static IP address available, pushing the stream will be your only option. A push stream is generally less stable than a pull stream and would consume more local bandwidth because it is constantly connected to the streaming server that it is pushing to.

A push stream would normally be used for short one off webcasts rather than 24/7 webcasting because of its inherent bandwidth overheads.

Pulling a stream:

With a pull stream, a streaming server (or a viewer) initiates the connection with the encoding machine. It is possible to webcast without the use of a streaming server using the pull method; however, if more than 2 or 3 people connect to the stream simultaneously it will suffer and not be delivered properly to any of the viewers. When a streaming server is ‘pulling’ from the local encoder it would be possible to have hundreds of thousands of viewers without the stream suffering at all.

One of the big advantages of pulling a stream is that the server will only connect to the encoder when the stream is requested by a viewer. This means that you will be limiting your local bandwidth usage by using this method because you will not have to be constantly connected to the server. This obviously makes it much more suitable for constant 24 hour streaming. It is possible to restrict access to the encoder by IP address – which means you can only allow the streaming server to connect and restrict any unauthorised access. Windows media encoder also records and IP address of connections so you can see who is connected at any time.

One disadvantage of using this method is that in order for the streaming server to connect to the encoder, port forwarding and firewall exceptions will have to be set up. Using the pull method is ideal for streaming from a static location where the configuration of the network stays constant.

Conclusion:

When choosing the method you are going to use, the best thing to do is ask yourself a few questions before you start.

1.       Do I have a static IP address?

2.       Am I going to be broadcasting for longer than a few hours at a time?

3.       Do I have access to the router to set up port forwarding or firewall exceptions?

4.       Will I be broadcasting from more than one network?

If you answered no to the first question then pulling a stream will not be an option for you. If you are going to be broadcasting for more than a few hours pulling the stream would be the obvious choice because you will save on bandwidth use. Without access to the router (or someone who does have access) you will not be able to set up the port forwarding properly and the streaming server will not be able to connect to your encoder with the pull method which mean, you will have to push. When you are broadcasting from more than one network, the settings are likely to be different on each network. Pushing the stream would most definitely be a better option here because it will work regardless of the network security in most instances.

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