streaming video : Java Glossary

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streaming video
Let’s say you wanted to broadcast images to the planet. How might you go about it. Here are some techniques starting with simple and slow working up to expensive and fast.
  1. upload images

    Frequently upload changed images embedded in a web page. Every time you users view the page, they will see the latest image.
  2. webcam

    Attach a webcam to your server. It takes a snapshot ever few seconds or every few minutes and replaced the jpg image it has been serving. Every time users view the page, they see the latest image. Users might employ software such as NetworkCam to probe the server every few seconds to download a fresh image. The server does not inform the user when a new image is ready. Users must poll for it. This scheme is intended for images that change every 5 seconds to 5 minutes.
  3. Download

    You use software to prepare a compressed MP4 or proprietary file containing your entire event. You upload this to an ordinary server. People can download it and play it on the corresponding player. Often they cannot see anything until they have completely downloaded the giant file. You can use BitTorrent protocol if you expect many viewers and you don’t have a powerful server. Users can pause the video, and replay it as many times as they like. This technique will not work for live events or when you want real-time information such as continuous video surveillance.
  4. JavaFX

    If your clients are viewing the feed on cellphones, you want to look into JavaFX.
  5. RealPlayer

    If you wanted to broadcast a live event to a large audience, you might talk the RealPlayer people. They might advise installing their proprietary server software, to compress and efficiently broadcast the live video feed. Or they might advice hosting the feed on their server farm. Everyone watching watches in sync. They can’t pause the feed or fast forward. To find other companies that provide this service: Google search live video hosting. The most heavy-duty commercial broadcasters tend to use Octoshape. It is a proprietary protocol in which end-users not only receive data, but also act as sending servers towards other nodes as well; this is similar to how P2P networks operate. This allows the system to handle millions of viewers.
  6. JMF (Java Media Framework)

    A custom application based around the JMF library of streaming protocols. The advantage here is platform specific optimisations to process decompress the images, giving a fast frame rate.
  7. Full Custom

    I wrote a security camera system for a client that allowed multiple users to monitor hundreds of security cameras. The user could schedule a display of several cameras at once that switched cameras automatically. Further, the user could pause, rewind, fast forward, single frame etc, like a digital VCR (Videocassette Recorder) any of the camera feeds which were permanently recorded in the serve database. It used a custom high-speed robust protocol that automatically restarted if the connection were lost. It was interactive with messages going back and forth between server and clients on dedicated sockets using multiple threads. These are the sorts of features you might put into a custom system. You can get intelligent cameras that communicate digitally with TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) that can detect motion, and that can pre-compress the stream. This offloads much of the computational work from your server.

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