[wellylug] Streaming Video

David Antliff dave.antliff at paradise.net.nz
Mon Feb 21 12:05:06 NZDT 2005

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005, Pete Black wrote:
> I have my Linux-runnin' XBox ripping a DVD to a file with mencoder over 
> the LAN, and MPlayer on my main machine will happily play the partial 
> file. (or vice versa if I am ripping on my main machine and playing on 
> my XBox).

Hi Pete, thanks for your reply.

What I tried to do last year was the following:

  - box A has a TV tuner card. mencoder is quite capable of realtime 
encoding on this machine. I directed the mencoder output to /proc/self/1 
(stdout) and then piped this into netcat which was connected to another 
machine (because at the time, perhaps still, mencoder will only output to 
a file).

  - on box B, I wanted to watch this (with a few seconds latency of course) 
so I had a netcat server receiving the stream from box A and redirecting 
the output into a file. So, over time, the proper output gradually built 
up on box B. No problem there.

The trouble was that mplayer would only read up to the length of the file 
at the time it was initially opened. This made it impossible to follow a 
growing file. I even performed experiments where I checked EOF condition 
on my own 'growing' files and it seemed to be a feature of the filesystem. 
At that point I wrote the idea off as a limitation of the operating system 
and looked at VLC instead. This worked well for the video but I never got 
the audio working. I suspected it was related to the funny way the TV card 
sent audio to the line-in on the soundcard via an external cable.

So, I gave up on this idea entirely, bought a really loud stereo and 
installed an elaborate set of mirrors throughout my house in order to 
watch Shortland Street while surfing slashdot. Some or all of this and the 
last sentence may be false.

Anyway, if mplayer is now resetting the EOF on a file somehow, then this 
might actually work.


P.S. I too compile mplayer from source (Gentoo) - I have 
'media-video/mplayer ~x86' in my /etc/portage/package.keywords file).

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