This guide shows you how to capture the video feed from just about any MJPEG (Motion JPEG) or H.264 IP camera and pass it to Flash Media Live Encoder or your choice of live encoder software. The solutions outlined in this guide are for Windows platforms only.
You don't need this guide if:
The majority of IP cameras support either or both MJPEG (Motion JPEG) and H.264 video compression. MJPEG IP cameras send a steady stream of JPEG images as motion video while H.264 IP cameras use H.264 video compression offering better compression and video quality. If your IP camera supports both compressions, we recommend using H.264 as it offers better quality and requires less bandwidth.
You should be able to find out which video compression your camera supports by looking at its list of features or tech specs.
Your IP camera source URL is the address used to playback the video or video+audio feed. For JPG/MJPEG cameras the URL will use the http:// protocol while H.264 cameras use the rtsp:// protocol. For example the following are sample source URL's:
Sample JPG source URL: http://<ip_address>/axis-cgi/jpg/image.cgi?resolution=640x480
Sample MJPEG source URL: http://<ip_address>/mjpg/video.mjpg
Sample H264 source URL: rtsp://<ip_address>/media/video1
To find out your camera source URL, please refer to the user guide for it. If your camera supports H.264, you can use the following directory of IP camera manufacturers to discover your cameras RTSP source URL: http://www.soleratec.com/support/rtsp/rtsp_listing
Need to stream your camera from a remote location?You can capture and stream your IP camera remotely over the internet by setting up external remote access. This is done by configuring your router to allow incoming traffic from the internet to your cameras IP address. This is referred to as "port forwarding". Your IP camera guide should include instructions on how to setup remote access. If not, you can refer to this guide for instructions. If setting up multiple cameras for remote access, this guide may help.
We discovered and tested 8 different methods for capturing IP camera feeds and sending them to FMLE or any other DIrectShow compliant live encoder (e.g. Open Broadcaster Software, XSplit, etc). We present our four preferred methods below and if neither of them work for you, you can try the four other solutions listed under 'Other options'..
This free DirectShow IP camera filter allows you to capture your cameras JPEG or MJPEG video directly from FMLE or your choice of live encoder software.
It offers the following features:
This is fairly basic JPEG DIrectShow filter. It does not support MJPEG or H.264 and can only capture still JPEG images.
VMix is a software video mixer and switcher. Amongst the many features it offers, it includes the ability to add an RTSP stream as an input source. This means that you can add IP cameras which support the H.264 compression by adding the RTSP URL as a source in VMix. VMix includes both a video and an audio DirectShow filters which allows both the camera video and audio feed to be sent to FMLE or your choice of live encoder. This is a good solution for IP cameras which capture audio in addition to video.
The free edition of VMix supports a resolutions up to 768x576 pixels. For higher resolution support you will need to purchase the Basic HD edition which costs $59 AUD. See http://www.vmix.com.au/purchase.aspx
ManyCam application can capture one or more IP camera feeds from a JPEG or MJPEG source and pass it to FMLE or your choice of live encoder using its own DirectShow filter. The IP camera option in the freeware version of ManyCam is limited to about a minute only. To remove the time restriction you will need to purchase ManyCam Pro ($49.95 USD).
The following are some alternate options you may want to try:
Alax.Info JPEG/MJPEG IP camera filter: http://alax.info/blog/1216
This is a free DirectShow filter you can try using. Some users reported it worked well for them while others could not get it to work with their camera.
Azcendant IP Camera Filter: http://www.azcendant.com/DownloadIPCameraFilter.html
This is a JPG/MJPEG IP camera filter We could only get the 64 bit edition to work with Open Broadcaster Softwre (64 bit). The 32 bit version of the filter was not detected in either FMLE or OBS (32 bit).
The site says the driver has built in support for many IP cameras. It supports user authentication and https:// connections. Licensed version can support up to 20 cameras. The free edition displays a watermark over the video. It costs $39.95 USD to purchase a single IP camera license and price goes up to $89.95 USD for a 20 IP cameras license.
Use VLC Media Player + e2eSoft VCam (JPEG/MJPEG and H.264 support)
This is a free solution which supports both JPEG/MJPEG and H.264 IP cameras. However the e2eSoft VLC Player VCam plugin stopped working when we upgraded VLC Player to the latest version. As such this solution may not work with the current release of VLC Player unless the e2eSoft developers update their filter. However we're including instructions in case you'd like to give this solution a try and see if you have better luck:
VidBlaster is a live production software much similar to VMix. It can add both MJPEG and H.264 IP cameras as source. The feed is then passed on to FMLE or your choice of live encoder via its DirectShow filter. We found VMix to be not only more cost effective but also significantly less resource intensive.