Streaming Research

A number of the 121212 festival performances will be in Second Life, and since we don’t want to force audiences to download an application to participate, we hope to be able to stream out from SL to a stream embedded in the UpStage web site.

This page is a gathering place for our research about how to do this. Here is a summary of the results as at 23 October 2012.

December 2012: we’ve decided to go with Livestream, as it gives a good image & audio; however the free version has ads, & a limit of 50 viewers. We’ve also had some echo problems with the sound, but this is probably due to streaming in and out of Second Life from the same channels. We are compiling the settings & solutions for Livestream/Second Life streaming here.

So far we know:

  • 27/9: vicki has heard back from patrick at CityLink, who host the UpStage server: “CityLink runs a constant distribution platform – so in effect the share desktop for streaming out *should* be relatively straight forward and Patrick has offered to include that in the package of sponsorship (thanks Patrick!). what we need to do is ensure we have covered the process for taking the desktop and encoding it in the correct protocols to enable it to be served by the CDP (so people watching can just click on the link). i have contacted Richard Naylor – who now runs R2 whihc is a company that does just that so will let you (both) know how that goes.”
  • Todd is going to test desktop streaming with VLC; information on embedding RTSP in a web page is here: Todd also wrote this:
    This captures your screen to a video file
    This has some instructions for a “desktop’ using the GUI, I suppose this works on any operating system – but it might only work for windows too :
    The ip number and port mentioned would be the ip number (or you could use a domain name in its place I guess ) that belongs to the streaming server. Where it says UDP , I would choose TCP/IP if that is possible and I would use port 80, for my Darwin streaming server at WelTec. Right now I think it is turned off. I’d have to “fire it up” so to speak when I get back….
    Then we change the UpStage to produce an embedded Quicktime video player set up for RTSP ( as in links in previous emails) and VOILA!!
  • Vicki is trialed gotomeeting – requires a download by individuals (nice audio and vid – bandwidth intensive – requires a pro account to use – participants have to be invited t the meeting and are required to download the ‘viewer’ to join
  • Helen & Suzon experimented with and Teamviewer; both of these provide very good visuals, however it is a bit complicated to get audio; also both have limits on the number of people who can watch, & it could be confusing about whether or not people need to download anything – they don’t, but that is presented as an option. Not sure how easy it is to embed in the browser. Other options include ScreenLeap and Freescreensharing but they don’t support audio.
  • another possibility is Spreecast – helen will check out
  • webinar platforms: Helen has looked at – has ads – & onwebinar – doesn’t seem to allow screencasting. What about big blue button? (APO33 have installed on their server & we used it for the DownStage meeting & martin’s presentation; it has quite a lot of features & seemed to function reasonably well, altho some tools were not very intuitive, e.g. having to click a headphone icon in order to get the audio stream (whereas the video stream started automatically).
  • Alan Sondheim has had unsatisfying experiences using Bambuser, & a camera to capture from the computer screen.
    17/8/12 – helen has experimented with Bambuser & it is possible to stream your desktop, using the Flash Live Media Encoder rather than the web-based broadcast which only seems to be possible to use a web cam with. did some tests with Annie watching & below are screenshots that she sent. not sure if the quality is good enough … & unfortunately it’s night-time in SL so the pics are quite dark (note – it is possible to adjust the sky settings in SL to improve this)
  • Liz Solo used to use, but they now charge minimum US$45 per month for streaming. Liz said that using a good data projector & high-def camera to recapture & stream from gave the best quality, in her experience. She also gave a good tip – that you can adjust the sky settings in SL to get a brighter, clearer picture.
  • Ivan Chabanoud also suggested livestream & its encoder (
  • Claudio suggested which appears to be free to use; need to check out whether it can broadcast desktop.
  • Lynne has done it in the past using the “stream my desktop” function in ustream; but we have concerns about the level of advertising on ustream
  • also has ads – 30 second commercial at the beginning, plus a watermark in the top LH corner of the stream all the time. you can pay to get rid of this, but it starts at US$99 per month, per 100 viewers, so would be pretty costly.
  • Inge asked Scott Kildall, who says he understands what we want but doesn’t know himself how to do it; he will ask Patrick Lichty & also ask around at his workplace.
    17/8/12: this from scott’s colleague rob rothfarb: “The methods outlined below of capturing a logged-in SL user’s SL browser window or desktop and streaming via ustream or are the main options i can think of. As far as I know, there is no web-based SL client (yet) otherwise that would allow users to access sims via a browser (but still have to be logged in). Somebody has to drive the viewer obviously that is captured to keep it interesting and manage any overlaid control windows. I don’t have experience w/embedding either ustream or but know it’s possible. Paid users of ustream can access their API and suppress the ads and other clutter. Not sure if gives that option. You could try looking into youtube live broadcasting also. It’s something that’s not in wide use yet. Another option is to use a wowza or flash media server hosted service and embed a Flash-based player into a web page. These don’t typically offer support for HTML5/mobile platform browsers but are very capable and the approach that we use. You can use a FlowPlayer or a JWPlayer media player to do that which are both free.”
  • helen will check out (i’ve tried this previously but never succeeded in working out how to stream)


Screenshots taken by Annie, when Helen was using Bambuser to stream her desktop showing SL (click on the image to get the full-size image):