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Webcam Hosting FAQ

What Is The Purpose Of Your Webcam Hosting Service?

Our hosting service is designed to let you easily stream smooth live video and audio sources e.g. Webcams and Microphones over the Internet at high quality or even HD and re-broadcast the feed to multiple simultaneous viewers in your own web pages. 

By using the service there is a minimum load placed on your own Internet connection and its extremely easy to set up as all the hard work is done by the Camsecure Media Servers for you. So no matter how many simultaneous users you have connected (subject to your chosen plan) they will all receive a smooth live feed with no affect on your own Internet connection. See the webcam hosting features for the various plans here.

Sounds Good - How Does It Work?

Our live streaming service works by taking a feed directly from your IP camera, or from a PC webcam via our software or other software encoder and then feeding it to one of our cloud hosting media servers. The servers are connected to super fast high bandwidth Internet Connections with high capacity links and these re-broadcast the feed to your viewers. The feed is buffered from your camera so even if you have a slow connection and the speed keeps going up and down, your viewers will see a nice smooth picture and no matter how many people are connected and it wont affect your own connection. The video is even converted for mobile use so your web site viewers on smart phones and tablets can still enjoy your camera.

For a full description of how our video streaming service works click here.

Can I Stream IP Cameras and USB Cameras with your service and what about microphones?

You can stream any IP camera that has RTSP streaming capability and H264 compression, and you can stream any USB camera that is connected to a Windows PC or a MAC computer and even a Linux PC using a suitable encoder. You can also stream selected capture cards in Windows and most USB capture devices. Therefore you can stream pretty much any video source you may have, and for Audio streaming you can use the Mic and Line In - inputs on your PC or MAC plus the built in microphone or microphone input jacks on your USB or IP device too. Now thats flexibility for you.

You can find our own selection of live stream compatible IP cameras here - and USB cameras here.

Can I Stream from my mobile phone?

Yes. You can stream to our service using an iPhone or iPad and you can stream using your Android phone or Android tablet. This is really cool as you can have a totally portable stream and engage your audience from anywhere you have a wifi or 3G/4G connection.

So you can schedule reports or broadcasts from live shows, deliver webcasts from local events, anything you choose can be broadcast via our powerfrul media servers to your own web page.

Here is a full description of how our mobile phone streaming service works.

Can I Stream from my Macintosh computer?

Yes. You can stream from your MAC using the free Flash Meldia Live Encoder from Adobe and you can also use other MAC applications too like Telestream Wirecast for MAC or VLC.

This software will allow you to stream from your MAC capture device or webcam exactly the same as if you were using a PC.

Here are sample screenshots of various encoders including FMLE and Wirecast for MAC, Just substitute the appropriate settings for your own account details which will be emailed to you when you sign up for a streaming plan.

Is there any IP based Hardware like cameras or webservers that are just plug and play with your system?

Yes. We have a Composite Video Media Encoder and an IP Camera which are plug and play with our system. This is the easiest way to get an IP camera on line instantly to our services. You simply connect the camera to your router, or with the Media Encoder connect the encoder to your router and your chosen camera to the encoder, and power them up. Then after a few seconds your camera is streaming to our servers ready to be put into your own web pages.

They come pre-programmed with your account details, No router programming, no PC needed, simple as that. With the media encoder you can choose what ever video source you want and just plug straight in to the encoder to stream - instantly.

I want to live stream an IP camera using RTSP......Whats That?

The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communications systems to control streaming to media servers. Our great streaming service can connect to hardware such as IP cameras which have this protocol in their operating system and communicate with them directly for a fast smooth streaming feed.

It may sound complicated but all it means for you is that provided your IP camera has RTSP and you have ticked the box in your cameras setup to enable it then we can connect and stream you camera through our servers.

I want to stream a basic IP camera that does not have RTSP, can I still use your hosting service?

Yes - but its not recommended. If you have an IP camera that does not have RTSP streaming then you can still use our hosting service. The feed wont be real time as our media servers will be pulling static images from your camera and displaying them one after another as fast as possible. But the display will be pretty quick and as with our normal streaming the media servers will handle all the load so you can have lots and lots of people all viewing your camera at the same time without overloading your connection.

For this to work you would just need to give us your camera make and model and we will let you know if it can be used this way (most can).

Do I Need A Super Fast Upload From My Internet Connection?

NO. BUT we can only re-broadcast what we receive. So if you have a slow internet connection then you will still be able to get a live stream to us, but it wont be possible to get a real time 1080P HD stream to us to re-broadcast if your connection is very slow. We have customers with slow connections still broadcasting at 15 FPS with a 640 x 480 display which is pretty good.

Our webcam hosting also uses a system called buffering which helps to smooth out the feed from connections where the upload speed may be a bit erratic. This is explained more in the next section.

But if you want to be able to stream fast video in HD then you will need a reasonable broadband connection. Remember all the load from having multiple viewers watching the camera is handled by the system, BUT the system cant re-broadcast what it does not receive in the first place.

Is the broadcast "as it happens" or is it delayed?

The re-broadcast will typically be 15 to 20 seconds behind the original transmission. This is because firstly the feed has to come from your camera, then it gets into the media servers, then the video is converted into formats that will show on computers phones and tablets, then the feed is buffered before finally being re-broadcast.

Buffering is where we take the feed and hold it for a few seconds and add more to it. If there is a slight pause in the transmission from your camera due to low speed, poor quality connection etc. then the video which is resumed is added to the video already in the buffer before being re-transmitted. This helps smooth out a jittery feed a little but can only be effective up to a point, and if transmission to us is too erratic then there will still be jumps in the display.

Do I Need A Static IP Address?

NO. When you are streaming from a PC all the connection and data routing is handled by the small piece of software you install on your PC. This program can run as a service, which means that it is always running as long as the computer is switched on and runs in the background. This makes the system very reliable and it cant be shut off by mistake. You can still use the computer for other things as normal.

If your streaming from an RTSP enabled IP camera direct to our system then we will arrange a remote login with you and program your router with a FREE Dynamic Name Lookup to go with your streaming account. This will do the same job as a static IP address so you dont have to make any special arrangements or pay extra to your ISP if you dont already have one.

Do I Need To purchase Software Then?

NO. If your using an IP camera, no software is neccessary and if its a USB webcam on a PC we provide you the software application FREE.

If you are using a MAC you can use the free FMLE software from Adobe to connect to the service and for both PC and MAC you can also use Telestream Wirecast or any other suitable program if you prefer to use something your already familiar with. If your not sure about a programs suitability just contact us and we will look into it for you.

I already use your Viewstream software, can I use this to stream to your service?

Yes - if you want to, but Viewstream was designed to allow easy streaming to Windows Media Players directly and with a fixed resolution. Basically a quick and very easy way to get you a local or remote stream up and running.

The besthod would be to use the FREE software you get with your PC streaming plan or use a third party encoder like Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder to publish the stream to our service and then you wont have to do any router programming and you wont need a static IP address etc.Plus you can benefit from your viewers being able to see your camera on mobiles and PC's and the MAC too without having to install windows media components.

But if you are already happy using Viewstream and just want the benefits of streaming to even more simultaneous viewers and still use this great little program then just give us your IP address and the port you are using Viewstream on and our servers will connect to it and stream your live video to all your viewers according to your plan. Remember though that Viestream is video only and standard resolution.

For High Resolution with Audio too and the ability to play the feed on any device use the FREE software supplied or a 3rd party H264 encoder..

Can I use other 3rd party software and encoders with your service such as Flash Live Media Encoder or VLC?

Yes. There are many other encoders and programs that you can use to stream your video audio feeds through our service.

If you want to use Flash Live Media Encoder (FLME) or Telestream Wirecast then sample configuration screens are shown here along with a list of software applications and encoders we have used. if you want to try a new one just let us know and we wil try to accomodate you.

Can I use Flash Live Media Encoder and stream in Multi Bit Rate so its compatible with mobile devices and slow connections?

Yes. You can use your Flash Live Media Encoder to stream to our services using Multi Bit Rate and then use an adaptive bit rate player in your web pages. you can read up on how to set you FLME for multi bit rate here.

Do I Need To Program My Router?

NO. Not if your using a USB camera and a PC or laptop, or if your using an IP camera running through our software on a local machine first or if you are using one of our Hardware Media Encoders then our system takes care of all the routing and connection process.

If you want to use an RTSP camera directly with your router then we will arrange a remote login session with you and program your router for you.

Of course if you would like to do it yourself for the experience then we can guide you on what to do.

So What Happens If I Change My ISP or Move House?

If your using our software on your PC or if you are using one of our Hardware Media Encoders then the system will automatically reconnect. Remember its all handled by the software and the system. As soon as you computer reconnects to the Internet from its new location or via its new ISP and modem / router, the system detects it within seconds and the new connection is established. Once again your ready to go.

If you are using an IP camera then you just need to let us know and we will arrange a remote login again and program it for you. There is no charge.

So Could I have A Mobile Connection Then?

Yes - Absolutely, the system will operate with broadband dongles so you can have a mobile live camera feed and take it on holiday, to your caravan, on a boating trip or even broadcast your local sporting event live from the field using a camera and a laptop or a net top. Dont forget you can also stream directly from your iPhone or Android phone too. Anywhere you can get an open and unrestricted Internet connection you can use our live hosting service.

Could I Use Public WiFi Acces Points Or The WiFi At Work?

Yes. providing you have permission to do so and you have un-restricted Internet Access (no port or service blocking). Many public WiFi hotspots provide full speed and unlimited access, but some have upload and download limits which cut you off after a certain amount of time. But if you can find a good FREE wifi hotspot then you can stream via it using your mobile phone streaming package or your laptop just as if you were at home or work.

What Operating System Do I Need To Run The Streaming Software?

The Free software we supply will run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. You need one of these operating systems in order to run our free streaming software to enable you to stream from a USB webcam, USB video source, fire wire video source or from a capture card.

If you want to stream from a Mac or Linux machine then you need an RTSP streaming program such as VLC which is free or Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder or Wirecast etc. You dont need any software to stream an IP camera directly to our service though as this can be fed directly to your router.

What Media Players Can I Use For My Website?

The best player to use would be our HTML5 player. This player will play your stream from us on Windows Mac and Linux computers and on mobile phones and tablets too directly in the player. We also provide a free Flash only player which is useful if you want to show your feed on computers only or if you are planning on streaming the feed to a Smart TV's which arent HTML5 compatible (yet). If you really wanted to you can also set the stream up for windows media player - but for the very best in cross browser and cross operating system compatibility for your viewers your best bet is to use the HTML5 player. You simply copy and paste a line of code into your own page and your ready to go.

You can also use other commercial or free players too like Flowplayer or JW player to embed the feed in your website if you prefer.

Check out the various player options and demonstrations here.

What if I dont have a website and still want a live stream webcam?

No Problem! You can just use your demo page as your camera page if you like or we can give put you on our camera roll for FREE so you can watch it on our site instead.

Can users see and hear the stream on a MAC or a Linux machine?

Yes, the player will run on MAC and Linux browsers and even mobiles too and users can see and hear your live stream on an Apple Mac or Linux machine.

Can you see and hear the live feed on a mobile phone, tablet or Ipad? 

Yes using our recommended player and install code your player will run on mobile phones and tablets too. Its even "Responsive" so it will re-size automatically in responsive designed websites.

Can I have more than one camera on a single PC?

Yes. If you have more than one USB webcam and their drivers will allow them to be used independantly then you can have multiple cameras on one machine and just add them to your live server. Of course you will need a streaming plan for each device. If your going to be streaming multiple cameras at the same time from the same machine though you will need to make sure your PC and its USB bus can handle the load.

Do I have to use the USB microphone in the webcam or can I use another sound source?

You can use any sound source you have connected to your PC. You could use the microphone input or the line input if you wanted and connect a sound source there. Just choose that audio device while your configuring or updating the source. You can select any sound source you like for any video device you like. Make sure that the sound source is connected to the computer and working though otherwise you wont be able to configure it for use if the software cant detect it.

Can I use the service for an Internet Radio Station?

Yes. We have audio only streaming plans too so you can set up an Internet radio station and broadcast to your own website. You must of course take care not to infringe any copyright laws. We only provide the transport mechanism, what you stream is in your control so you could be prosecuted for breaking the law if you break copyright laws. If we discover any customers breaking copyright or not complying with our service usage policy, their account will be immediately shut down.

Can I Upgrade or Downgrade my hosting plan?

Yes. If you need to upgrade your plan for more simultaneous visitors or to include HLS mobile streaming or recording etc. then just visit our Streaming Add On's page. If you need to downgrade then just cancel the add on, or if you are downgrading from a larger plan to a smaller plan just let us know and alter your subscription amount. We will then alter the streaming plan according to yourneeds. This is useful if you need to upgrade your plan just for a short while to cope with extra demand during a special event etc. Then once the event is over you can simply cancel the upgrade and continue as before.

What happens if I cancel my streaming and hosting plan?

If you cancel your plan then your streaming service will cease within 24 hours. You keep any software if provided then if you wish you can easily re-activate your account again if you need to.

I Have A Slow Connection And Dont Know How To Program My Router, Can I Still Use My IP Camera?

You can use our FREE software on a local machine and then use that to connect directly to your camera. Then the software will connect your IP camera to our media servers as if it were a USB camera. No router programming is necessary when you do it this way and you wil get automatic re-connection with fast streaming nice and simple. This is also a really useful feature if you want to stream multiple IP cameras from one site as it makes the connection really simple and our software compresses the feeds more than the IP camera will alone, greatly reducing the bandwidth needed for them.

Can I Record My Cameras Too?

Yes. Recording to our media servers is included with our premium plans and you can add it as an option to our other plans too. Remote recording is really useful especially when using IP cameras as you dont need any specialised expensive equipment on site.

The cameras are recorded to our media servers and stored for a duration depending on how much you want to pay for. These recordings are avaialble for you to view and download at will until the expiry period you have se up when they are automatically deleted on a rolling basis of oldest first. You only pay per camera too so its a very secure, reliable and cost effective way to store your camera feeds.

On my laptop I can get an external webcam/USB video source working on Windows Media but not on Flash player, why is that?

If your laptop has a built in webcam too then you must also configure that into the live server even if your not going to use it. Set the built in webcam up as camera 1 then add any more sources after that. Just connect the source(s) you want to see to our servers in the connection tab and all will be well. Built in webcam drivers try to take priority and can cause some strange things to happen if you try to ignore them, so simply program them in but dont use them (unless you want to of course) and then all will be well.

I am running Windows 7 Home Ultimate and having problems getting Flash streaming to work, Windows Media is ok, Why is that?

We have found that this problem can be related to outdated version of msvcrt.dll on the system. Try to backup the old file and copy msvcrt.dll from a regular Windows 7 home ultimate/standard.

Also if your using a laptop with a built in webcam see the previous Q&A.

Can I run an HD webcam with a larger display area than 320 x 240?

Yes. You can stream at almost any picture size that your USB camera can provide through its drivers to our software, just select the size in the setup procedure. For HD IP cameras set your cameras resolution to the size you want and we will set the media server to connect and broadcast at that picture size. We suggest the lower size to start with just to get you going. Remember though that although the system is buffered and works on even very slow connections, your own Internet connection must have enough bandwidth to supply your feed at your chosen resolution to our servers.

Can I have a timed cut off - so that users wont HOG my camera feed?

Yes. If you want to, you can tell us how many minutes or hours maximum time you want to allow your visitors to be able to see your camera continually before they are automatically logged off and have to log back on again to the camera feed by, refreshing the page in their browser, or, leaving the page and coming back to it again.

This can be useful if your getting users staying on your camera for long periods either on purpose or by accident e.g. leaving the camera showing and going home from work and taking up user spaces. This wont matter of course on unlimited user accounts.

Can I stream my computer screen so multiple viewers can see whats on my PC display?

Yes. With a free download from us you can stream your PC screen, or even just a section of it straight to your Camsecure live streaming account. This is useful for demonstrations or status displays from equipment enabling multiple viewers to see the output to your screen.

Used by Students, Engineers, Medical Staff, Event Organisers - anyone who needs to be able to monitor a PC screen from a remote location on Mobile Phone, Tablet or even another PC screen.

Do you offer discounts for multiple streams?

Yes. We can offer discounts for multiple streams, add features and make packages available to suite your needs.

The feature and price list will give you an idea of our incredibly low cost advert free options, but if you have particular requirements, multiple streams or other needs for streaming your media then just contact us and we will see what we can do for you.

Can I stream my to HTTPS website, that is can I stream live video to an HTTPS page?

Yes. Of course there is no problem with this. If your website is HTTPS then we will set your demo page to HTTPS. Then all you need to do is copy the code from your HTTPS demo page as normal to you own website. Once done your own HTTPS web pages will be showing your live streaming feed.

Can I stream securely using an HTTPS stream?

Yes. This is different to streaming to an HTTPS page. Streaming to an HTTPS page means you are showing your feed in a secure website that is secured with HTTPS.

If you need the stream to stream securely so it will pass through corporate routers via port 443 in secure mode then we can set you up with a secure HTTPS streaming channel. However to stream like this you will need to use our own secure player. This is usually used only for secure streaming of security cameras through corporate networks where private viewing is required.

What is the difference between streaming to an HHTPS web page, and HTTPS streaming?

When a website is HTTPS this means that all data to an from the website is encrypted so hackers cant eavesdrop on the page and gather information from viewers etc. This is very good and when your visitors are vieweing your live stream this way they are very secure.

An HTTPS stream is different and it means that the video feed itself is encrypted and is therefore able to pass through firewalls and corporate networks using the secure port 443.

This is not necessary or desireable for normal use but if a company needs a stream just for their own use and needs it to be able to pass through their own security systems then its ideal. This of course needs a special player to play the encrypted stream.

If you cant find the answer to your question in our FAQ then please contact us and we will be able to help. The FAQ section isupdated as any new queries and answers arise.

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