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Streaming Hi-Quality Video To Android With Tversity and nswPlayer

Discussion in 'Android Audio and Video' started by tallnerd1985, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    Update
    See Page 5 but I have discontinued use of this method and moved on to using Plex because its easier to setup and use and has a lot of great features for it.

    Hello everyone,

    I have pieced together a tutorial to get hi-quality Video Streaming to your Android phone over Wi-Fi or 3G. For those of you using Orb Mycast for years, like I have, have noticed that the quality is unbearable and down right atrocious until I rediscovered Tversity again.

    Here are some items you will need:

    1: Tversity installed on PC where media is stored

    2: nswPlayer installed on Android phone from market
    Its the only player for Android that picks up on .mp4 files without having to download the file all the way

    3: Handbrake encoder from handbrake.org for converting your movies to a lower resolution and optimizing for progessive playback

    Optional: Setup your PC for Static IP and Port Fowarding if you want to stream via 3G if away from home. Go to PortForward.com - Port Forwarding Guides Listed by Manufacturer and Model for detailed tutorials on how to set this up.

    Encoding Movies for Progressive Streaming Playback

    Before you begin encoding your video for playback, here are some things to look at to keep the video quality hi while making the smallest video size available. You want to look at the resolution/bitrate of the movie you are encoding and if you are like me and get your movies off of uTorrent or such, you want to keep the same quality. You want to keep the bitrate match to the resolution size by converting it such so that if you have a movie file that runs at 729kbps at a resolution width of 672, when you downsize the file to a resolution width of 320 then the bitrate should be 346kbps to match.

    In Handbrake, go ahead and select iPhone legacy as the profile for encoding.

    Next, check off the Web Optimized button so that the file can played progressively, if not, you will get an error message saying "illegal file".

    After loading your source and destination, make sure the destination file is saved as yourmoviefile.mp4 instead of yourmoviefile.m4v because you will also get a "illegal file" error.

    Under Picture, change anamorphic encoding to none and make sure "Keep Aspect Ratio" is check marked. Next, changed the width down to 320 and the height will automatically change with it.

    Under Video, change to Avg Bitrate to match your width resolution like I explained above and then you are ready to encode when hit the start button.
    Bear in mind that this might take a little while depending on your PC's Hardware specs. If you have any issues using Handbrake, visit their forums for any fixes that you need.

    Setting Up Tversity For Streaming

    I will not go into detail about setting Tversity on your PC such as configuring the libraries and such but I will go over settings that need to be in place for this to work.

    Under Settings in the Transcoder section, make sure under "When To Transcode" make sure its set to never. The reason behind this is I havent figured a way for Android to pickup on the stream without waiting for it to fully transcode.

    Next under General Settings, under Home Network, make sure you plug in your PC's IP address so that way your phone has access to your video files.

    For this part, you would have had to setup your PC for a static IP instead of being a random IP that is given when your PC gets turned on each time. If you got to PortForward.com - Port Forwarding Guides Listed by Manufacturer and Model for detail tutorials on setting up a static IP.

    Optional:Under General Settings in the Home Network Section, there is an option for "the media server should accept requests......" which will let you access your media over 3G on your phone. To set this up, after you check mark that you want access, go ahead and setup a username and password to let you login from outside your network.
    As before, you need your PC setup as a static IP but also you have setup your home router to Port Forward requests from Port 41952 to your PC's Static IP. Go to PortForward.com - Port Forwarding Guides Listed by Manufacturer and Model for instructions on how to setup port forwarding.

    Install A Android Media Player That Will Pickup On Progressive MP4

    So far the only media player that works for this so far is the "nswPlayer" that you can download for free off the market.
    If anybody has found a better player that works for this solution, please let me know so I can test it out.

    Last But Not Least, Lets Stream A Video To Our Phone!!

    For Home Wi-Fi Streaming Only

    Open your web browser in your Android Phone, input your PC's Static IP such as "192.168.1.XXX:41952/lib"(Replaced the XXX's with Your IP address that you previously setup), from here, you will be navigated to Tversity's mobile WAP GUI. Navigate from here where you setup your video files in your library to appear. After that, select your video file and if all is setup correctly, then either you will get a popup saying with default player would you like to use or it will go straight to nswPlayer and start playing the movie.

    For Streaming Over 3G or Another High-Speed Wi-Fi Connection

    The only difference here that we are going to do is navigate our Android Browser to your home's IP Address which can be found easily if you go to What's My IP Address? Networking Tools & More from your home PC. For example it will look like this, 98.246.64.55:41952/lib to access Tversity away from home.
    WARNING: Streaming from outside your network will take a long time for your movies to buffer to nswPlayer. It has taken well over 2 minutes for the movie to play sometimes over 3G. Thats why we try to get the movie as small as possible to stream faster over 3G.

    All and all, thats about it. This should get you up and running on streaming to Hi-Quality video files to your Android phone wherever you are at. I will update this tutorial with any helpful updates I get from the community on what works better or my own discoveries as time goes on.
  2. dabobbo
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    dabobbo New Member

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    Very nice, thanks for this! I need to try it when I get home, I was doing a forum search for this exact thing. I just got TorrentDroid working to kick off torrents on my home computer from my Droid, the next thing is streaming.

    Might I recommend one thing...you don't need to set a static IP for your machine, you can set up a DNS name at No-IP - Dynamic DNS, Static DNS for Your Dynamic IP for free, then install a small app on your computer that will keep the IP updated. You still have to have your home router set up for port forwarding and such, but at least you can have a name and not have to remember an IP.
  3. mikenilson
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    mikenilson New Member

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    Will this work on a Mac?
  4. dabobbo
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    dabobbo New Member

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    No, TVersity is Windoze-only.
  5. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    I have that already setup for my own network but I didn't want to go too far into detail with this. I figured that if someone made it this far into to the tutorial that they would likely in the future setup something like this.

    Hopefully a lot more people start doing this so that the creators from Tversity will implement a native interface for Android on Tversity like they do with the iPhone.

    One thing I am working on is trying to get progressive transcoding going so that we dont have to convert the movies every time.

    One thing that would be cool to eliminate the whole IP thing is if Tversity were setup a username and password login system like Orb has then this would be the best Media Server client ever!!
  6. phatnutz
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    phatnutz New Member

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    Just found this via google, very excited to test it out. I'm an iPhone to Droid convert, and I was using airvideo (i think that's what it was called) to do this very simply and nicely with the iPhone. I'll probably get started on this tonight or some time this week and post some feedback on my experience. I'm also very interested in serving my library from Linux, which is my server machine at home. I can use a windows workstation to test this out though. thanks!
  7. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    The Droid can play properly formatted MP4 files directly from the web browser. If you visit this thread on your Droid, and access the MP4 links directly on it, it will play the files while downloading, even if you just have the default "Gallery" on your Droid for video playback.

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

    If you are using a web server on your linux-box already, you just have to either enable folder-browsing for folders that contain your video files, or use some script to have it generate the web page with links for you. This would work on a MAC as well in the same way.

    A few weeks ago, I released the free MP4 Streaming Server app (Windows-only) as an addon for DVD Catalyst 3. The app basically runs a web server on your computer (without the need of configuring it) and provides an easy way of organizing your videos in playlists. For a demo, you can visit this link on your Droid:

    MP4 Streaming Server

    For additional information, you can read up a bit here.

    What is MP4 Streaming Server? | Tools4Movies, the official home of DVD Catalyst

    The most important thing in regards of streaming video is the upload speed of your internet connection. If you just intend to use it at home, you can stream videos of the best quality your Droid can handle (854x480, 1500Kbps video, 160Kbps audio) but if you want to use it over the internet, your upload speed (lower than your download speed) as well as the 3G download speed comes into play. If you have a 3mbit connection, that usually results in an upload speed of 384kb/s or 512kb/s. If your videos exceed this in quality, your video playback will stutter.

    Before you start re-converting your movies, I'd recommend running a speed test on your computer to get the upload speed, as well as a test on your Droid on 3G to get your max download speed, and use the lower of these as the TOTAL (audio + video) quality for your conversions.

    If you end up with 500kb/s, and want 128kb/s audio, you can only use 500-128 =372kb/s for your video. (go a little lower like 360kb/s to leave some room for speed variations). If you go too high, 1500kb/s on a 512kb/s upload speed, you wait for 2/3rds of the movie for buffering.

    DVD Catalyst 3 has some "Streaming" profiles that have their settings optimized based on a maximum upload speed. The screensize is adjusted to fit the internet speed while providing a good quality.

    Lastly, for the people who want to stream their videos, if you want to stream to different devices (the wife's Blackberry) the streaming will work for almost all internet-connected devices that are capable of MP4 playback. Most of the HTC Windows Mobile 6+ devices, the Blackberry Bold/Storm/Curve/Tour models all are capable of playback of the same file format the Droid uses, however, the screensize can cause complications. If you want to stream to multiple device types, try a few different (screen-)sized files to find the one that all of them will play.

    The Droid/Milestone/Nexus will play high quality Blackberry files, but some Blackberries will have a difficult time playing high quality Droid optimized files.

    edit: As of the latest iPhone OS 3 version currently on Apple devices, the iPhone/iPod Touch can no longer play video files from a direct link in Safari. This worked for all previous OS versions for these devices, but with the latest update this capability was removed. This is the main reason why the MP4 Streaming Server app is now available as a free download.
  8. phatnutz
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    phatnutz New Member

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    Nice!

    Great stuff, DVDCATALYST, thanks. Lots of good points for people that may not be well versed in this sort of thing. I've been at this sort of thing for quite a while and your points are things that even veterans of video transcoding and streaming would do well to remember. I was already thinking about how the streaming would work over 3g. I've only got about 100kb/s upstream with my connection. I figured I'd start with the wireless LAN in the house as proof of concept. I'll have to re-encode a few chapters of a DVD to see how that streams. I've already got a good handbrake preset for high quality droid video off the SD card. Once that's going nice, I'll look in to opening my web server up and then streaming over 3g. I've already re-encoded some music videos to fit nicely on my screen for video ring tones using vringo. So I have some good, small video to work on streaming over 3g. When it comes to my actual media library I was thinking I'd have to transcode on the fly somehow. I was thinking along the lines of handbrake or vlc, but hadn't dug much in to how I'd actually make it happen.
  9. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    Thanks :)

    I've been playing with streaming for years. When I got my first PocketPC, I messed with Windows Media Encoder, Snapstream/Beyond TV (might work for Droid now btw) and even have a PSP that connects to a LocationFree box connected to a TiVo.

    For your transcoding on the fly, you might want to look into this

    Stream multimedia files to PSP without encoding- AfterDawn: Guides

    I played with it in the past. It uses ffmpeg to transcode on the fly. If you use linux you can try and build ffserver (server component of ffmpeg) or you can set up Quicktime/Darwin Streaming Server for it.
    The most important thing is that if you use MP4 files directly, they have to have the "Quicktime FastStart" Atom enabled. I don't think Handbrake can do this, but I have another post somewhere on these forums where I explain this in more detail.

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-audio-video/32294-mp4-format-mobile-devices.html
  10. MrRoboto
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    MrRoboto New Member

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    I just tried this but it didnt work... I followed every bit of instruction correctly but it just keeps popping up as "Illegal File" when i click on a movie i want to play.
  11. LuN3yDaV3
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    LuN3yDaV3 New Member

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    I'm gonna try this out as well. Got my Droid where I want it as far as a base OS (thanks to UD 9.8). Anyway I wanted to figure out the streaming bit and tried Orb. I have used Orb a little before for xbox, but on the Droid the video is crap. Wasted an hour of my life on that (great idea but not good for video). Will try this tomorrow...or uh later.
  12. Lady Droid
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    Lady Droid New Member

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    Any updates on this? Anyone get it to work? I'd love to be able to stream my Anime collection from my PC to my Droid.
  13. jake6216
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    jake6216 New Member

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    having problems

    i followed all directions as listed, and having used tversity in the past for streaming on my xbox and windows based pdas it wasnt very difficult but i did run into a problem when trying to stream media on my droid thru tversity using 3g. when i type 24.113.62.115:41952/lib in the address bar it prompts my to enter name and password. and when i do it just pops up again enter name and password and no matter how many times i try it just keeps popping up and wont let me access my library thru 3 g but works fine when i connect thru my home network. i have checked and changed the name and password in tversity many times to no avail.....any ideas of how to make this work or what i could be doing wrong?
  14. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

  15. Lady Droid
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    Lady Droid New Member

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    OMG it's working!! Only over Wi-Fi right now but that's more than I was able to do before! :D NSWPlayer did the trick. Now if I can just figure out how to get 3G to work. The library link won't load. The browser just sits there after I enter the URL, working and working, but never changes.

    Thanks to the OP for the instructions!
  16. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    Sorry that I havent posted since I opened the thread, kind of got caught up at work with the Incredible launch and trainings. I will try to answer some of the questions that may have arrived while I was gone.

    When you encoded the movie using Handbrake, you may have not checked off "Web Optimized". The reason why you do this, just like what dvdcatalyst said, MP4 wont stream correctly if the MP4's ATOM marker is at the end of the video file instead of the beginning.

    I used to love Orb for streaming my media to my laptop when I was away from home on business trainings and such but the developers have kind of gotten lazy with development lately. The biggest issue they have at the moment is their transcoding program is set to encode at 14-15fps to mobile phones instead of 30fps or whatever is the standard fps. The only thing I miss about Orb is they web login support client and the api's for making apps for a native library.

    That happens to me every once in awhile when I enter my IP address and such. I am wondering if you havent got it to work once if Verizon is blocking the port or something. Hopefully I will get some feedback from the community if this is happening to a lot of people. I am going to try dvdcatalyst MP4 server because its a lot lighter than Tversity's server software from the looks of it.

    Thanks for filling in while I was gone. I really dig how much time and effort you put into your program. I will update the main page to use your software instead of Handbrake if you already got the encoding profiles loaded up.

    Thats ashame man, dont give up on your MP4 server, we may have different uses for it....like Android. Maybe we can develop our own Orb like server for streaming MP4 files. I was looking thru the web and found that we can probably assemble a ffserver to transcode in MP4 with Quicktime Faststart for when the video is not pre-encoded?
  17. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    ffserver :) I spend a considerable amount of time trying to get that to compile on Windows, but without success. There is a program for the PSP that actually streams with build-in transcoding, but uses a custom PSP video format (PMP) with a client application on (hacked) PSP's. It came out when Sony was still pushing the UMD video format, where the video file playback was limited to 368x208 as a max resolution while UMDs could utilize the full 480x272 resolution of the PSP. With the Windows-server app, it just provided a list of files in a folder, and on the PSP, you used the App to connect to it and play the files while the server trasncoded it on the fly. It worked pretty good then, but when firmware 3 came out, Sony let the 480x272 resolution be used for standard video files, and the app wasn't used as much anymore. There is partial source code available for it, but I never did manage to compile it.

    With the MP4 Server, I initially had a conversion-engine build-in, and accessible through the web-interface. You could start a conversion of a DVD or video file that way, and even initiate a reconversion using a different profile remotely as well, but having both the conversion and the web-code into a single application made things quite complicated to maintain. Due to its complications and bugs, I kept it in the fridge for over a year (check on my website for iPhone Streaming Server references). When someone asked for something like it, I decided to continue work on it, but with the iPhone issue, I basically ended up stripping parts out, and making it free.
  18. tallnerd1985
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    tallnerd1985 New Member

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    @dvdcatalyst

    Maybe instead of doing a transcoding server, maybe do a media management server like you have now but expand it serve music and pictures. I was thinking it would be awesome to have a Android client that interacts with your server software to cache a list of media files that are either hosted locally on the phone or on the server then have the client as well be a media player. I forsee it being able to either stream the media or sync the pre-encoded file, using your software, via Wi-Fi or 3G from the server. Lastly, if possible without infringing on Orbs concept, have a Meta-server that interacts between the phone and the home server software.

    I figure that we break it up into 3 different devisions or so:

    Media Server:That would be you

    Android Client/Media Player/Library:I think I have someone in mind that wants to do this

    Meta-Server for the Client and Server:I havent the slightest clue but I will fund the cost for the server and software

    Let me know what you think
  19. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    PM sent with some brainstorming.
  20. Clawbane
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    Clawbane New Member

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    First of all I want to thank everyone who posted on this thread, you all made setting this up SUPER easy. I have one problem with it though. When I start downloading nswPlayer does not stream it. I have to wait until the entire thing is downloaded before I can play it. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.
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