I’ve been experimenting for a while with different ways to stream live to the Internet from webcams, IP cameras and capture cards for the Coop Cam project, here is a basic guide on how to setup a simple live stream using a basic webcam.
What is required?
You will need a couple of things, including:
- A computer with a webcam
- An Internet connection with decent upload speed
- Router access to port forward
To create the stream we will use a free piece of opensource software called Yawcam, you can download it directly from here or learn more about the software here.
Installation is pretty simple, download and launch the installer then follow the on screen instructions.
After the installation has finished open your newly installed software, you will see a screen like below:
The first thing we need to do is set the stream type, to do this go to Settings > Edit Settings…
Under Output select Stream and change the Stream type to MJPEG and hit OK
Next we need to select your webcam, head to Settings > Device > Change to and select your webcam from the list
Finally, back on the main screen hit enable on the Stream option – we are ready to go!
Previewing your stream
Here is the exciting part, previewing your live stream! On the same computer open up your browser and head to http://127.0.0.1:8081/video.mjpg
If everything is configured correctly you should see your webcam displayed live.
Here is my example of Spirit our pet quail:
The next thing you need to do is configure port forwarding in your router to allow people to connect in and view your stream. I can’t really go into specific detail as there are many different types of router with different configuration options but basically what you want to do is forward port 8081 to your computer so anyone that connects to your-public-ip:8081/video.mjpg can see your stream.
You will also want to make sure that your computer has a static IP address or DHCP reservation to make sure the local IP address doesn’t change.
If you need help with that part let me know and I’ll give you a hand.
Will my Internet connection be able to cope?
This depends entirely on your upload speed, by default Yawcam only allows 10 concurrent connections.
For added security and to take the strain off your Internet connection I can relay your stream via Coop Cam’s powerful relay servers. They are able to take the single stream from your camera and amplify it allowing hundreds of users to connect at once.
The upside to this is that you will only have one connection being uploaded to the relay server, the server then handles everything else and even hides your public IP address – If you would like to know more please get in touch.
- If you want Yawcam to start streaming automatically when you login to your computer then head to Settings > Edit Settings… > Startup and tick Start Stream output
- You can check that port forwarding has been setup correctly by using the NerdTools Port Scanner, if it isn’t working double check your firewall settings
- If your Internet connection has a dynamic IP address you’ll want to look into a Dynamic DNS service