Live Streaming Video on my Treo!!!
A few weeks ago I was invited for a drink and found myself facing a Windows Mobile ‘opponent’ who did everything in his powers to convince me that his phone (I can’t call it a smartphone) was better than my Treo.
To the amusement of all present, 30 minutes of ping-pong demos ensued with the two of us going “Yes, but can your [device] do this and this and that?”. I was extremely annoyed when towards the end he smugly showed me a streaming webcam image of his baby’s cot at home for which I had absolutely nothing comparable on my Treo.
Today though this would be a completely different story because I finally found an extremely good and easy to use streaming webcam video solution (no audio) for my Treo thanks to an appllication called FireProducer.
The FireProducer package consists of the Video Server (FireProducer Desktop) installed on your PC to stream the video and the FireViewer installed on your Treo to view it. The only other thing that you’ll need is obviously a webcam from which to grab the live video.
Opening FireProducer on your PC, you’ll be presented with a few buttons and configuration options. The first is “Select Video Source” where you’ll have the option to choose either ‘File’ to stream an .avi video file (no audio) or ‘Camera’ to use your webcam. The second is “Set Output Quality” which allows you to choose both the video Quality (I left it at 100%) and Size (I put it at level 4 which provides me with a full widescreen image output – see screenshot above).
Next you’ll need to determine what the IP address of your PC is which is done by going to Start then Run then type ‘cmd’ (no quotes) then type ‘ipconfig’ and you will receive your IP information. As Firepad notes though: “If you are using a dial up connection, your ISP may give you a new IP address each time you dial up. So you will have to check each time. To obtain a fixed IP address, please contact your ISP.” I am assuming that you’ll have a broadband connection and a fixed IP address. Additionally, if FireProducer is installed behind a firewall and the handheld devices have to go through the firewall in order to connect to FireProducer, then the firewall must be configured to allow TCP/UDP communication on Port 4712 (also called ‘Port Forwarding’).
Once you have your IP address, click Start Server in FireProducer and launch FireViewer on your Treo. Then select the Options menu then ‘Open Location’ and write “ftsp://000.000.0.0” in the space provided replacing the zeroes with your IP number. Next, click the Open button and within 5 or 10 seconds you should see the live streaming images from your PC’s webcam directly on your Treo.
The live streaming video on my Treo (screenshot above) was coming in at an average 10 frames per second when connecting via reverse BT DUN (it should be about the same over WiFi with the new enfora Adapter) and at 1 to 2 frames per second using the wireless data connection. Although there was some pixelation the overall quality is nonetheless excellent and I was truly thrilled to get this up and running so quickly.
The standard FireProducer only allows one FireViewer client to connect to the live video stream at any given time but the company’s Enterprise Edition (priced at $10,000) supports unlimited simultaneous client connections.
Whether you want to check on the baby at home while you’re at a nearby restaurant, see what’s happening at the office or home from a remote location or while on holiday then there’s no doubt that you’ll absolutely love FireProducer.
Currently Firepad does not offer a trial version of the FireProducer Video Server but you can nonetheless download and install a trial version of the FireViewer to view a live video stream from their offices. All you need to do is select “Open Location” from the FireViewer menu and type ftsp://184.108.40.206 to view it.
Please note that unfortunately FireProducer is not yet available in the Treonauts Software Store. However, it should become available either tomorrow or early next week as a FireProducer Desktop + FireViewer bundle and I will update this post as soon as it has been implemented.
Treonauts love personal streaming media…