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Author Topic: how to stream live video on a budget  (Read 1114 times)

ThomasA(lbenberger)

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how to stream live video on a budget
« on: May 26, 2019, 03:14:36 pm »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

please advise me on how to encode and stream a video signal via existing cat5 (not cat5e or higher) infrastructure over an existing network infrastructure!

The background is: This is a low budget application in a multi-purpose venue, doing conferences and events. They have an existing network infrastructure built in the early nineteen-ninetys, done with unshielded cat5 cabling. Sometimes a customer requests the video-signal from the main room to be broadcast to a breakout room. Network cabling is present and the distances are fairly small, say, 30 metres from the floorboxes with cat5 connections directly to a cat-patchbay and from there another 50m to the breakout rooms floorboxes. no switches are in place.

What they have as input sources are either a camcorder with hdmi output (1080i/50) or the signal from the video mixer which is usually 1080p/50 hdsdi connection on a bnc patchbay.

The output is going to a 1080p/50 capable projector on to a 16:9 screen, width approximately 4.5 metres.

What I would prefer to do would be a point-to-point fibre connection to avoid any hassle with different ground potentials, converting the camcorders hdmi to sdi, sending it to the patchbay, and add an sdi+audio converter here, and an hdmi+audio decoder at the breakout room. How to set this up is clear to me.

However, this being a low-budget project, the 4-figure pricetag (excluding labour cost for the installation) brought up an alternative idea from the venues management, which I find intriguing: They asked me to research the possibility of streaming the content over their existing cat-infrastructure. The additional benefits are to be determined later, but accessing the stream from multiple locations within the building - also at the same time - would be one of them. Broadcasting to the public internet and recording would be others.

So here is my question finally: What do I need to reliably stream content at a quality that is acceptable for the projection size mentioned? Is there a simple way to encode the hdmi, embed an analogue audio input, and access this via - say - vlc player from another room within the same local network infrastructure? I would prefer to have a small box at the camcorders location that does all this, as opposed to a computer setup for the encoding side.

moving this box to the hdsdi patchbay and adding an sdi+audio to hdmi converter is possible for the occasions, where the signal from for example the video mixer is needed.

Thanks for reading my long post. I hope, I laid everything out as clearly as possible for you to see, where we want to go with this. Disclaimer: IĎve been an audio guy all my life, but I have a fair understanding of the video side of this. Where IĎm lacking is the encoding/decoding side, the acceptable compression methods (h.264?) and the network/streaming part of it. For example: If I was to stream to the general public, say 200 clients at the same time, do I need a dedicated server for that? A subscription at a video platform?

Thanks so much for your time and help, it is much appreciated!

Best regards, Thomas

edit: topic title modified
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 04:36:11 pm by ThomasA(lbenberger) »
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Luke Geis

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 06:38:45 pm »

I would just get a small mixer that collects all the video and audio and then mixes it down into your program media. You can then use am SDI/HDMI to USB adaptor that can get that mix into your computer which you can then use any desired program to stream, record or otherwise.

If you know you can get all the desired video and audio into one place, then it's just a matter of mixing it. Roland makes a relatively inexpensive video mixer that handles audio inputs as well. Several companies make Balun converters ( HDMI/SDI over cat5 ) that can transport the different formats via a network to the desired location as a point to point solution. The quick answer is that there is no cheap and easy way to do this though. You will need a video mixer one way or another. 
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Erik Jerde

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 10:04:39 pm »

Cat5 is going to be your main limitation here.  HDBaseT would be my usual recommendation but Iím not sure itíll work on cat5.  It lists cat5e as the minimum cable.  If you buy from a place with a good return policy it would be worth a try though.  You may need two sets to go 80m.  Hard to say till you try.  Thatíll get you a hdmi connection between the two locations.

Beyond that there is dsl variant technologies that essentially compress and then transmit across most any two wires.  Itíll work on old cat3, coax, speaker wire etc.  Iíve never used them just seen them advertised.

Any system which uses compression or other types of re-encoding is probably going to introduce a non-trivial delay.  This is only a problem if the broadcast location is close enough to the live location that you can see or hear both at the same time.

Streaming to a larger audience over the internet is a different and much more complicated situation.
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ThomasA(lbenberger)

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 05:05:17 am »

I would just get a small mixer that collects all the video and audio and then mixes it down into your program media. You can then use am SDI/HDMI to USB adaptor that can get that mix into your computer which you can then use any desired program to stream, record or otherwise.

If you know you can get all the desired video and audio into one place, then it's just a matter of mixing it. Roland makes a relatively inexpensive video mixer that handles audio inputs as well. Several companies make Balun converters ( HDMI/SDI over cat5 ) that can transport the different formats via a network to the desired location as a point to point solution. The quick answer is that there is no cheap and easy way to do this though. You will need a video mixer one way or another.

Thanks Luke. Thanks Erik.

I'm afraid, I didn't make myself clear, I apologize.

HDBaseT is not an option, neither is a different network cabling solution. The cat5 (unshielded) with a patchbay in-line is a given. Hence, the search for streaming with the useage of a compression protocol, to get the datarate down. Since this is a send to breakout rooms, a delay of up to 10 seconds is acceptable, as long as audio and video are delayed by this same amount.

Erik:

Can you give me a pointer to this 'dsl variant technology', since I'm not sure what to feed my internet search engine with?

Luke:

The video input usually is just a single hdmi from a camcorder. For some events this is not the case, here it will be a single hdsdi output from the video mixer. Analogue audio is to be mixed separately and injected into this hdmi- or hdsdi-stream only for the purpose of streaming/video recording.

As I said before: An all-in-one box would be my preference. However, as an alternative I might consider a computer setup for the encoding part. Which USB Adapter do you have experience with? Which software do you have experience with? What are the differences between streaming within the local cat-infrastructure (point-to-point or with a switch in-line to multiple locations) versus streaming to the internet?

Thanks again! Thomas

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Jordan Wolf

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2019, 10:10:52 am »

Have you looked at the AJA U-Tap? It requires a computer and program to interface, but is flexible (and available with HDMI and SDI).

The Matrox Monarch HD is pretty self-contained, but Iím not sure how well it holds up over time.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2019, 10:21:50 am »

Thanks Luke. Thanks Erik.

I'm afraid, I didn't make myself clear, I apologize.

HDBaseT is not an option, neither is a different network cabling solution. The cat5 (unshielded) with a patchbay in-line is a given. Hence, the search for streaming with the useage of a compression protocol, to get the datarate down. Since this is a send to breakout rooms, a delay of up to 10 seconds is acceptable, as long as audio and video are delayed by this same amount.

Erik:

Can you give me a pointer to this 'dsl variant technology', since I'm not sure what to feed my internet search engine with?

Luke:

The video input usually is just a single hdmi from a camcorder. For some events this is not the case, here it will be a single hdsdi output from the video mixer. Analogue audio is to be mixed separately and injected into this hdmi- or hdsdi-stream only for the purpose of streaming/video recording.

As I said before: An all-in-one box would be my preference. However, as an alternative I might consider a computer setup for the encoding part. Which USB Adapter do you have experience with? Which software do you have experience with? What are the differences between streaming within the local cat-infrastructure (point-to-point or with a switch in-line to multiple locations) versus streaming to the internet?

Thanks again! Thomas

So you are looking for an end to end streaming solution that can exist on top of an existing data network?  Correct?  Just want to make sure I understand...  do you have any latency requirements?

There are a bunch of variants of stuff like this out there: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1037095-REG/ocean_matrix_omx_hdmi_2_ip_hdmi_over_ip_extender.html

My understanding, from several people I know who have implemented them is they are quiet reliable, but the latency can vary from spec quite a bit. 


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ThomasA(lbenberger)

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 11:47:49 am »

So you are looking for an end to end streaming solution that can exist on top of an existing data network?  Correct?  Just want to make sure I understand...  do you have any latency requirements?

There are a bunch of variants of stuff like this out there: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1037095-REG/ocean_matrix_omx_hdmi_2_ip_hdmi_over_ip_extender.html

My understanding, from several people I know who have implemented them is they are quiet reliable, but the latency can vary from spec quite a bit. 


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Hi Cailen,

This Ocean Matrix System looks interesting. However, from reading the specs, this system would require Cat5e/Cat6 cabling to transmit full-hd content, so unfortunately, it is no contender. As I said before, I'm afraid, I will be looking at compressed video formats to keep the bandwith low.

But thanks for the suggestion.
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Luke Geis

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 11:58:33 am »

10 seconds of latency probably won't be a problem with a local network. Whether a Balun converter will run through a Switcher, I have no idea ( never tried that ), as they are typically a point to point device. Black Magic Designs, Decimator, and several other companies make an SDI/HDMI to USB converter.

The All in one box solutions will be WAY out of your price point. The TriCaster Mini is a $10,000 solution!!!!! Albeit the best solution available possibly, there are not too many others like it that cost much less, let alone a cost that keeps things in a 4 figure price point.

My suggestion if you already have the Cat cables in the wall and going to a single point, you could disconnect them from the switch, run then Baluns as needed, use a small video mixer to get the video and audio sync'd up and sent to a computer, or other video over network adaptor that deals with your streaming. I do not think you can do your streaming and video signal delineation over the same network run. You will need to have two separate instances to do it. One dedicated to moving the signal around your network and another setup to run the stream.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 11:59:17 am »

Hi Cailen,

This Ocean Matrix System looks interesting. However, from reading the specs, this system would require Cat5e/Cat6 cabling to transmit full-hd content, so unfortunately, it is no contender. As I said before, I'm afraid, I will be looking at compressed video formats to keep the bandwith low.

But thanks for the suggestion.

With IP based solutions - the cabling is less important than the network infrastructure.  These units all compress the video - even on cat 5e itís a gigabit only solution....

There is (and Iíll look for it) and hdmi over IP solution that only requires 18 mbps of bandwidth for a 1080p stream.  Thatís easily accomplished on a 100 mb network. 


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Cailen Waddell

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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 12:07:47 pm »

With IP based solutions - the cabling is less important than the network infrastructure.  These units all compress the video - even on cat 5e itís a gigabit only solution....

There is (and Iíll look for it) and hdmi over IP solution that only requires 18 mbps of bandwidth for a 1080p stream.  Thatís easily accomplished on a 100 mb network. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


For example (not the one I was looking for but this has lots Of options) https://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/video_over_ip/maevex/

This even allows you to set a transmit bitrate...


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Re: how to stream live video on a budget
¬ę Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 12:07:47 pm ¬Ľ


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