Streaming video

Posted: October 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Sometimes watching a live stream in a web-browser is an awful experience, with extra advertising and flash plugins, hogging RAM and slowing everything down.

There are alternatives for playing just the video content for many sites (including Youtube)

⭐ Both "Media Player Classic – Home Cinema" and "Media Player Classic – Black Edition" recognise Youtube links, and can even play Youtube playlists :yes:
MPC-HC http://mpc-hc.org
MPC-BE http://mpcbe.sourceforge.net

For live streams things get a little messy, but I intend to make it simpler :doh:
The CLI program Livestreamer Can stream data from many sites including;
* Dailymotion
* Livestream
* Twitch/Justin.tv
* YouTube Live
* UStream

For the full list, visit this link
http://livestreamer.tanuki.se/en/latest/plugin_matrix.html#plugin-matrix

Livestreamer fetches the data, and hands it to a player capable of streaming from "STDIN"
VLC is the main choice, and the config is preconfigured with VLC options.

However Windows XP users still have the same problem of most software only using DX10 functionality for hardware GPU decoding. VLC is too slow for XP, unless you are watching a low quality stream.
The Media Player Classic series can all decode using DX9 functions, so you will need to add a new line to the Livestreamer config when it opens.

1) Download and install at least version 1.7 of "MPC-Home Cinema" (Black Edition currently does not support Livestreamer) http://mpc-hc.org
2) Download and install the latest "Livestreamer" http://livestreamer.tanuki.se
At the end of the install, it will ask you if you want to edit the config. Say yes (it is a pain to find).
Notepad should open with the current config. Add the location of MPC-HC so your config looks like mine, or adjust for the location you chose.
eg. player="C:Program FilesMedia Player Classic – Home Cinemampc-hc.exe"
The first section looks like this;

# Path to a video player that can read from standard input (e.g VLC, mplayer)

# Important: You must use a quoted path if there are spaces in the path. This only
# applies to the player and not the rtmpdump path since the player command is passed
# through the "shell" to allow parameters to be passed to the player.

player="C:Program FilesMedia Player Classic - Home Cinemampc-hc.exe"
#player="C:Program FilesMPlayerMPUI.exe"
#player="C:Program Files (x86)VideoLANVLCvlc.exe"
#player="C:Program FilesVideoLANVLCvlc.exe"

# Using --file-caching is recommended, but is only supported in VLC 2.0+
#player="C:Program Files (x86)VideoLANVLCvlc.exe" --file-caching=5000
#player="C:Program FilesVideoLANVLCvlc.exe" --file-caching=5000

Adding or removing a # switches a line off or on.

3) Playing the streams and saving favourites is best done by making batch files for each channel, and saving them somewhere convenient.
For my example, I will make a batch file to watch Sp00ney at Twitch.tv

First we need to know what streams are available, so we use Livestreamer to find them.
It runs from the "Command Line Interface" (DOS/CLI), so first you have to open a DOS-box by typing "CMD" in the "Run" box on the start menu.
In the DOS window that now opens, typing "livestreamer http://twitch.tv/sp00ney" (without the quotes) will report the current streams available.
Add your choice of stream to the address and try again.
eg. "livestreamer http://twitch.tv/sp00ney mobile_chunked"
If everything works fine, you should now be watching the live stream :headbang:

To make it quick and easy to watch a channel with my settings, I now save that line in a plain txt file as "sp00ney.bat"
This can now be simply double-clicked to open the channel.

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