The Anna Show

June 5, 2006 | Comments Off

The grandparents want a way to “visit” with Anna. I was originally going to do it with a cheap webcam, but Leigha got me a nice digital camcorder for Christmas. So I figured, why not give them good quality video?

I consulted with my streaming video guru, Eric, and he suggested Windows Media Encoder. This caused about as much hesitation as you probably think. It turns out WME is free, and it’s freaking awesome. I also tried to toe the company line on this one. I wanted to use NSV to stream the video and I wanted the viewers to use WinAMP. I figured that’d be a nice, free, open-source way to get this accomplished. The problem is that not a whole many people are doing this, especially not using a windows desktop (there seemed to be *SOME* documentation for doing this on Linux). So after a few failed attempts with NSVCap/Icecast/Winamp, I decided to go with path of least resistance.

The only downside to the WME solution is that I’m limited to five connections/viewers. This is probably reasonably close to the amount of bandwidth I can push anyway. So anything above 5 viewers and I’ll need to find some Windows Media Server out there that’s willing to let me stream 30-60 minutes of live video to handful of people once a week.

If you haven’t played with WME, give it a shot. The UI is fairly good, but broadcasting is a fairly complex operation, so it’s pretty close to as good as it could be. If you play with it for a while, you’ll definately feel like you’re a hotshot live TV producer.

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