Inexpensive video streaming for your Drupalcamps

When we talk about video streaming, many people still think of expensive hardware, dedicated uplink capacity and a complicated server side video encoder. However, nowadays video cameras in mobile phones and online streaming services can solve most of the problems for us if we sacrifice a bit on video quality. Drupalcamp Prague was just over this past weekend, and while I was busy presenting two sessions, demoing Acquia Gardens in a third one and speaking of contributing to Drupal in a fourth one, István Palócz was trying to ensure live streaming of the conference will be online.

Drupalcamp Streaming

In practice, the only hardware he used was a Nokia E51 mobile phone. Although it was attached (glued) to a laptop as seen in the picture, the laptop only served as an immediate camera stand. The phone was indeed plugged in almost the whole time to avoid the battery becoming empty, but the streaming was done solely using the phone hardware. Features used to stream were built-in wifi support in the phone, so the streaming can use the event's wifi service to stream the video and the Ustream broadcasting application available for some Nokia and Android phones. Though there is an iPhone app available, that does not support broadcasting.

With a capable phone, wifi and a ustream account, István was able to stream almost the whole event. Outages included when he actually needed to grab lunch so did not arrive back on time for the session and when he got a call. Still, those watching the stream were happy to see the sessions live and enjoy some of the program. I'm not highlighing this streaming technology for its stunning quality (although video quality definitely depends on the camera in the phone). You can check some of István's recordings to see the quality. It's the simplicity of the solution that is amazing. Just plug in your supported phone to a power outlet and stream over wireless. Way to share with the Drupal community!

Know of any similarly simple streaming solutions?


Márk Tolmács's picture

I'm particularly happy that You and István found our service useful. The mobile team worked a lot to provide continuous streaming experience even in the harshest conditions.

Provided that this story is Drupal related I'm more than happy to read you and many others liked the mobile broadcaster!

dddave's picture

So simple and yet so useful. Good things happen if you don't overthink problems. ;)

A Lee's picture

...actually glued to the laptop!?

Just curious to see if it fitted in its case afterwards, and how you took calls!! :-)

Gábor Hojtsy's picture

Thankfully, as seen on the photo, glue tape was used, so the phone was detachable.

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