How to stream video

Discussion in 'Android Audio and Video' started by ppppowerbook, May 23, 2010.

  1. ppppowerbook
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    ppppowerbook New Member

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    I figured out how to stream video to my Droid, so I thought I'd share my settings with you all here. I don't know a lot about video converting, so I'm just going to tell you guys the settings I use for ffmpeg. I use Sothink iPod Video Converter, but any half way decent program or GUI for ffmpeg should allow you to edit the options.

    Also, please note that you need a direct download link to the video in order to stream it over the web.

    Ok, for all videos, you need to set the video bitrate to 256 kbps, the audio bitrate to 96 kbps, and the audio sample rate to between 22KHz - 32KHz. I assume you all also know the correct audio and video codecs to set to so that your MP4 plays. (AAC audio and H264 video work for me).

    This seems like it's horrible horrible quality, but I've found it very watchable and decent, and those settings are what you need in order to have the video play without any pausing for more downloading.

    Ok so for 4:3 TV shows, the width and height should be 320x240, for 16:9 use 427x240, and for 2.35:1 movies, I use 424x180.

    Now after you've converted your file to MP4 using these settings, there's one more thing you have to do. Use a program called "MP4 Fast Start" by the company Data Go Round, free (just Google it), on your MP4 files. I'm not clear on the details, but it makes it so that when you click on a link to an MP4 and try to play it on your Droid, it actually plays it rather than saying "Sorry this video cannot be played". Even if the video plays on your phone from the SD card, it WILL NOT stream from a link if you don't use that MP4 Fast Start program on the file.

    So now you've got your file, in all its small glory, and you Fast Start'd it. The final step is getting a direct link to it. If you have a RS premium account, you can upload it to there, and then go to the link and sign in, and eventually when you get to the point where you'd download it on a comp, you can just say open with "movies" or Meridian on your phone. It doesn't matter how you do it, you just need a direct link to the MP4 over the web. I use both Dropbox and Sugarsync, not RS. Both of those have android apps, and you just select them and hit open, and then the browser opens and it asks you how you want to play the file.

    When it opens, it will take between 10-60 seconds to load at first, but after that it should play continuously without the need to pause while it loads more. You cannot, I repeat cannot!, skip ahead and select a time other than starting from the beginning. I don't know why. I can skip ahead on Jetflicks movie files when I stream those. Perhaps I need to set it to even lower quality bitrate, I just don't know. Anyway, using the built in movie player, what happens for me at least is that it says loading video for 5-30 seconds, then the time thingy with the play and rewind buttons pops up at the bottom and says 0:00 on both end, then it disappears, "loading video" stays for another 5-30 seconds, and then the video starts playing.

    That's how it works for me. Also, I've found that sometimes I get a "sorry this video can't be played error" on things that I know work when I haven't cleared the browser (and sugarsync/dropbox) cache. So force close everything, clear caches, and try again if you know for sure that the video is the right format and should play.

    I hope this is helpful to every one. I have ditched my previous media device and just store all my music and movies online and use my Droid as my media player now. It's a bit of a hassle, after all it wasn't meant to be a media player, but by god it works!
  2. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    The quality can be quite a bit higher, depending on what kind of web-access you use, and of course on the speed you get out of your wifi/3g connection.

    My Trailer-tread here http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-audio-video/15161-droid-optimized-movie-trailers.html

    has streamable trailers that use 854x480, 1500kbps video 160kbps stereo audio for example.

    There are some other solutions as well that enable you to stream files, Orb is one, and a while ago, I released a freeware MP4 Streaming Server program that streams from your own computer.

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-audio-video/37022-video-streaming.html

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dr...quality-video-android-tversity-nswplayer.html
  3. Diggs
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    Diggs New Member

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  4. raindog
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    raindog New Member

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    I can't figure out how to make TVersity connect to my TV capture card. Does this program only send video from files?
  5. raindog
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    raindog New Member

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    This is getting irritating. Now I've installed Orb but the first thing it wants me to do is create an account to access my media files. I don't want to stream files. I want the program to connect to the video capture card in my PC and stream live video originating from my cable TV box.

    Is there a program which will connect to my TV video capture card and stream live TV to my phone? I don't want to stream files. I don't want a program that asks me to choose a folder that contains video files.
  6. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    Hi raindog,

    Welcome to the frustrating world of video streaming. Before you dive too far into this, Orb is not whole-heartedly supported for Android quite yet, they are still putting full effort into the iPhone instead. If you do wish to pursue the Orb route, you must create a account with them because thats how they create the link between your phone, their servers and lastly your PC with the TV tuner card. After you install and configure their server on your home PC, go ahead and download the Orb Live app off the market and use that to start streaming your TV but to warn you, the quality of video is pretty unwatchable with Orb.

    If you wish to go a better route, pickup a SlingBox instead and use their Android App, its ten folds better than what Orb has to offer.

    Let me know what happens dancedroid
  7. Juicemane
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    Juicemane Bang Bang Theme Developer Premium Member

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    streaming an encoded video that will play on your droid just seems sorta pointless, no?

    Not to troll you or anything, but whats the point? Streaming videos from a PC/Server to a droid with realtime converting to the aspect ratio of the droid would be real "streaming" all your doing now is all the work of converting them, then wasting time/energy by not storing the already small file sizes on the rather large 16gb microSD.

    Convert > Xfer to Phone > Play
    or;
    Try to figure out a way to plugin an app to a program like TVersity or WMP.... now that would be hot...
  8. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    To you, maybe it seems pointless, but to others it does not. Many people don't see the purpose of mobile video at all. Why watch movies on a tiny screen when you can watch it on a big-screen TV.

    For me, the streaming of already converted files is great. My laptop is always busy doing things, and if you stream with conversion directly, it takes up processor power during the streaming, affecting whatever else is running. In addition, how on earth am I going to find a memory card that will fit about 2 TB of video content? Yes, I don't need all of it, but more often than not I want to watch something based on something I noticed somewhere, an episode of The Office, a movie with an actor that I just seen an ad for a new movie off, and so on.
  9. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    Trust me, I would rather use Orb's Mycast services to transcode my existing movie collection on the fly without having to convert my media to a compatible format first but, with Android, there is not much effort from Orb as they putting all their efforts into the iPhone version.

    As for Tversity, there is hope there because a person can make a custom profile for Android devices to transcode the movies on the fly but the developer is not talking to anybody to help get this process rolling. With Windows Media Player's DLNA support, some of the new devices like the X and Galaxy S have a built in DLNA client to stream movies on the local network and they also have DivX and Xvid codecs built in as well.

    For the time being, we kinda have to take what we can get as far as streaming from our PCs with Tversity, Orb, MP4 Server or a online storage service like Picasa, Dropbox or other similar services.
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