Web Cams: How to Live Stream on a Website

The Internet has become a lot more personal thanks to web cams. While these are normally used to see people when you're talking to them online, it's not the only option. Actually, they can also be used to create your very own videos to stream online. Streaming videos on a website is very easy by installing some simple pieces of software on your computer. With this software installed, your computer will capture the video from the web cam and instantly display it on the Internet.

This can be  a great way to host live tutorials and it can also be used for security purposes. Many of the pieces of software make it possible to record the video at the same time as streaming it to the site.

Step 1: Choosing a Format

The first thing that you need to do is consider the streaming format that you want to use for your web cam video. The common formats include Real Media, Windows Media Player and Flash. The format that you want to use will normally depend on the length of the video and where you intend to upload it. If you want a universal platform, which can be opened by PC and Mac users, then you will need to use either Real Media or Flash. If you only want to target Windows users, then Windows Media player might be better. The format that you choose will affect the process of streaming videos, however, the directions will be very similar.

Step 2: Downloading Live Encoder

Now you need to download the live encoder for the format that you want to use. There are live streaming encoders which can be downloaded for free from the web sites of the provider. The live encoder for flash, for example, can be downloaded from the Adobe Flash website.

Step 3: Set up Steaming Hosts

Search for a streaming host and register for a new account. You will find that some of these streaming hosts will specialize in certain formats and platforms. They might also offer technical support, which will make troubleshooting any problems much simpler.

Step 4: Configuration

When you register for an account, you will receive information to configure your account. This will help you to set up the host which will be connected to the encoder software.

Step 5: Embedding HTML

The streaming host will generate a segment of HTML code which should be copied and pasted into your web sites HTML, where you want the streaming video window to be displayed.

Step 6: Using Flash

If you want to use flash, which is the most common option, then you will need to download Flash Media Live Encoder. Once this is installed, select the web cam by changing the device drop down box.

Check the "Stream to Flash Media Server" then enter the URL of the server in the "FMS URL" text box. Click the button to connect to the server. When prompted, enter the user name and password.

Now click the start button, and when you visit the web site, it should automatically display the video from the web cam.