HTTP streaming. partial success! (1 Viewer)

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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Well, since the olympics are over, and there was no risk of messing up viewing Olympic feeds, I decided to put in the new firmware just released.

First thing I tried was to see if I could stream via HTTP now, but it seemed to be doing the same thing as before, EXCEPT that the window where you type in the URL now has extra characters, allowing you to specify a port number from the remote.
Anyway tried setting up a stream from my desktop, running TSREADER, started TSREADER streaming over port 1234. NOTHING. :mad:
I tried all sorts of different settings, but NOTHING seemed to work. Then, I decided to watch the network with a packet sniffer to see what was happening, if anything.
Well, when I started TSREADER streaming, I didn't see anything happen, but then, I moved the Azbox OFF of the IP USER channel, then back onto it, and I could see the Azbox tell the computer that it was there, and listening on port 123 . Yes, 123, NOT 1234, which is what I set it up on.

So, out of curiosity, I told TSREADER to stream on port 123 instead of the usual 1234. BINGO. IT WORKED!!!!:D

So I don't know if the Azbox was just ignoring the last digit of my port setting, or if it completely ignored the setting, and somehow port 123 is a default port number?

I think I'm going to try putting in a 5 digit port number, like 12345, and see if it communicates on 1234.
After I get the hang of this, I'm going to see how fast of video I can send to the thing.

Anyway, not sure if this is working now because of the new firmware, or if it would have always worked if I had used port 123 instead of 1234.

But this is good news to me anyway, because HTTP streaming was one of the main things I wanted to do with the Azbox.
 
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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Well, it seems that there are problems.
I told Azbox to look for stream on port 12345, and it received TSREADERs stream from port 1234, so it does seem like the Azbox is ignoring the last digit of the port number.

However, while it streamed flawlessly on SD content, I tried some medium to low bitrate HD, ie the STO HD, which I think was around 13 mbps, and it played, but it had occasional stutters. I thought that it might be poor signal, so I switched to PBS HD, which was higher quality, error free, but also a bit higher bitrate. It didn't play very well at all, video was stuttering quite a bit, and the audio was missing 90% of the time, just coming on for a couple seconds every 5 or 10 seconds.
Comparing this to the UDP streaming, the UDP streaming worked much better, up into the mid 20s mbps range. Running the same stream into my PopCornHour, it played flawlessly.
So the streaming doesn't seem to work well at all, except at very low bitrate. :confused:


But at least it is seeing the stream. I may try watching the communication with the packet sniffer again, to see if I can see what's going on. But it sure seems like something is wrong with the HTTP streaming thing, because on my Roku, HTTP works significantly better than UDP, and with about 3 times the bitrates that are failing on the Azbox.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I have made some progress with streaming.

First of all, I downloaded and installed a new version of VLC media player (version 1.0.5-win32).

I clicked on MENU for the AZBox and selected STREAMING. When the menu box opened, I entered the IP address of my PC. I left the port selection set as 9000. For the duration, I selected "0" or "NOT DEFINED". Then I selected START and clicked OK. The red LED for RECORD came on.

Next, I opened the VLC media player and clicked on MEDIA, then OPEN NETWORK STREAM. For PROTOCOL, I selected UDP. Then, for the address, I entered the IP address of my PC once again, and set the port to 9000.

Bang! The audio and video were right there!

I initially tried this with the PBS CREATE channel. Then I switched to the HD PBS feed channel and found that it does not work. It attempts to stream, but the video is broken and the audio is virtually absent. So, it didn't like the HD format. I will have to do some more investigation. I think that there should be a setting in the VLC Media player to accomodate this. More playing to be done.

I need to determine how to stream from the PC to the AZBox. That would be sweet.

RADAR
 
Last edited:

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
I have made some progress with streaming.

First of all, I downloaded and installed a new version of VLC media player (version 1.0.5-win32).

I clicked on MENU for the AZBox and selected STREAMING. When the menu box opened, I entered the IP address of my PC. I left the port selection set as 9000. For the duration, I selected "0" or "NOT DEFINED". Then I selected START and clicked OK. The red LED for RECORD came on.

Next, I opened the VLC media player and clicked on MEDIA, then OPEN NETWORK STREAM. For PROTOCOL, I selected UDP. Then, for the address, I entered the IP address of my PC once again, and set the port to 9000.

Bang! The audio and video were right there!

I initially tried this with the PBS CREATE channel. Then I switched to the HD PBS feed channel and found that it does not work. It attempts to stream, but the video is broken and the audio is virtually absent. So, it didn't like the HD format. I will have to do some more investigation. I think that there should be a setting in the VLC Media player to accomodate this. More playing to be done.

I need to determine how to stream from the PC to the AZBox. That would be sweet.

RADAR

This thread was about streaming from the PC TO the Azbox. I've never tried streaming FROM the Azbox as you've done, mainly because I have other ways of doing it, plus I assumed that there would be a problem with high bitrate as you observed.

I have been trying to stream TO the Azbox, mainly because I have other PC based receivers that can lock certain transponders, but I cannot play them on my somewhat slow PC, and my other players (ROKU HD-1000 and PopCornHour) won't play MPEG4 (ROKU) or HD 4.2.2 (ROKU and PCH). It would be great for me to be able to stream high bitrate video to the Azbox, since it handles all video formats.
I have been able to stream to the Azbox in UDP mode, and it actually handles relatively fast rates, but not the real fast rates. I streamed some MPEG4 stuff that was in the mid 20 mbps range if I remember right, and it ALMOST worked. Ie it streamed but it was breaking up. Slower stuff streamed OK via UDP. I used VLC to do the streaming, but I think I was using version 1.03 or perhaps an older 0.9 version (can't remember which, since I alternate between them).
What I REALLY want to do, however is to stream from TSREADER, however TSREADER streams in HTTP mode, not UDP. With my ROKU, HTTP streaming is faster than UDP streaming. However when I FINALLY got HTTP streaming to work, as described above, I found that I couldn't get it to work above about 12 mbps, which is virtually useless, except for SD, or REALLY low bitrate HD (BTW, I ran into some incredibly low bitrate HD a few days ago. I can't mention the source, but the bitrate was actually LESS THAN 1 mbps!, and it was full blown HD! Pretty poor quality obviously, but I'm amazed that you can do HD at that low a bitrate.) But back to the streaming....
To stream TO the Azbox, you set it up in the setup menu, where you go down to TV Channel, then over to IP Channel. Once in that menu, you can set it up either for HTTP or UDP. The settings for UDP are pretty straightforward, just point it toward the computer you're streaming from, and the proper port number. I THINK that I used 256 for buffer size. Once you save it, that channel appears over where you view satellite channels, as it comes up as being in a satellite called IP or something like that. You can set up multiple UDP channels, however since they all seem to come up with the same name, I get confused relative to which is which. Not sure if you can change the name, I never tried.
For HTTP streaming, there seem to be 2 options, "NORMAL" and "Kartina.TV". I'm not sure if the Kartina thing came from when I tried tuning that over the internet a few months ago, or if it's really a default value in the Azbox. I THINK that it's actually in the Azbox, since I thought that I had wiped the memory clear since I did that Kartina thing, but maybe not. But regardless, I don't think the Kartina thing works for ANYTHING now, since I've read that Kartina changed their password, and that setup doesn't seem to work for generic HTTP streaming.
I used what they refer to as the "NORMAL" mode. I keyed in the IP# with a ":" and the port number with one extra digit. Ie I used 12345 to access port 1234. Again, I used 256 for the buffer size. Again, after saving, it comes up as a channel called USER in the IP satellite. However I cannot seem to get more than one USER channel, and again, I'm not sure if you can change the name or not. I'd like to have more than one USER channel, because I have 3 different computers that I can stream video from, and it's very cumbersome to have to set up the IP#s each time you want to switch sources.
But again... the HTTP streaming seemed to have an upper limit of around 12 mbps, PLUS the streaming doesn't just start up on the Azbox when you start streaming. You have to start streaming and THEN switch the Azbox to the USER channel. That means that if you stop a stream, and start up another one, you have to switch to some other channel then back to USER to get it started again, which is inconvenient. But it DOES work, at least for SD and low bitrate HD.
I previously posted {somewhere} about another way of streaming in HTTP mode. What I did is start up TSREADER streaming in HTTP mode, but ran VLC on that same computer, and set it up to convert the HTTP into UDP and stream that to the Azbox IP#. This worked, however it's very cumbersome (unless a command line can be made to set it up quickly), plus it's rather processor intensive, so I think it would take a faster computer than I'm using to do high bitrate HD IF the Azbox ever becomes capable of doing high bitrate HD.

Anyway, the above is the way I've been streaming TO the Azbox. There are bugs in the Azbox, but at least it looks like it's starting to work a bit, whereas with older firmware versions I wasn't able to get it to work at all.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I was able to set up an IP channel (VideoLAN) on the AZBox, but I haven't managed to set up my PC and the VLC to stream anything TO the AZBox.

I thought that since I was able to stream from the AZBox to my PC using UDP, that it wouldn't take too much reversing to go the other direction, but I am not having any luck with this today. I will have to let it gel a bit.

B.J., do you recall what "port" number you used when you set this up on your system? I tried 9000 at first, then a few random port numbers. I didn't try 1234 though (nor 12345 or 01234).

I may also have a firewall concern to overcome as well. I had trouble with this using AVG security when I was just trying to FTP between the PC and the AZBox, so that exception may need to be set up for the VLC program, too.

RADAR
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Neat

Neat topic, I don't have the receiver you guys have but I use a Dreambox and VLC to stream movies from my box to the PC and from the pc back to the DB. VLC 105 has some issues, with the hosts but after playing with that and help from a friend it worked out. I also stream to Http and my kid lives about 20 miles watches tv at his appt from his pc. It ain't perfect but it's better than nothing...The hardest part about streaming is learning all the steps the rest is pretty cut and dry. It's not hard with the DB...VLC also has some advanced options that allows you to change things like bit rate and lag adjustments and adjustments for HD...just have to play with them. Some of them can be changed with Webif..but VLC has several in the advanced section...
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
....
B.J., do you recall what "port" number you used when you set this up on your system? I tried 9000 at first, then a few random port numbers. I didn't try 1234 though (nor 12345 or 01234).

I may also have a firewall concern to overcome as well. I had trouble with this using AVG security when I was just trying to FTP between the PC and the AZBox, so that exception may need to be set up for the VLC program, too.

RADAR
TSREADER and VLC have always seemed to default to 1234, so that's what I've always used on VLC, however as I posted, it didn't seem to work when I set the Azbox on 1234, but when I turned on a packet sniffer (Ethereal), I noticed that the Azbox would come on saying that it was listening on port 123, so I set VLC to 123, and it worked. Later, I put VLC back on 1234, and set the Azbox on 12345, and that worked, which convinced me that the Azbox had a bug whereby it was ignorring the last bit of the port you key in.

I don't know what a firewall would do. I've got the firewall turned off on the computers I'm streaming from.
 
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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Neat topic, I don't have the receiver you guys have but I use a Dreambox and VLC to stream movies from my box to the PC and from the pc back to the DB. VLC 105 has some issues, ......

I'm curious how the VLC 105 works with MPEG4?
About a year ago, VLC didn't work at all with MPEG4, but with each new version, starting with some nightly builds, it seemed to be working a little bit, until the version I'm using, which is 103, ALMOST works, but not quite (might work if I had a faster PC, I'm not sure).
Anyway, I'm curious if the new 105 version shows any improvement in the playing of MPEG4, particularly low bitrate HD mpeg4? That almost plays with 103, but it breaks up quite a bit.
 
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