Setting Up Live Streaming Cams

Wildlife News

Hi All:  Some comments on the frequently asked questions about setting up live streaming cams. 

First off, our approach is to utilize the abilities and long-sought experiences of WildEarth -- the people who undertook the world's first public live streaming cams and carry all the Hancock Wildlife Foundation streams.  WildEarth (www.WildEarth.TV) also is the premier distributor to the world of live wildlife streams.  This system also gives a ready access to the viewing world relatively free of distribution costs.  As a second caveat the originator of the stream should probably have some advance knowledge that the extent of the world distribution he gets will often be dependent upon the promotion he or his group gets through supplying background data on the species broadcast and on the extra efforts they make on communicating with the social media.

So here are the simple constraints or key needs as we have worked through them:  (There are several alternative ways of getting from cam to public but the following technology has been our choice.)

1.   Electrical Needs:    Having access to electrical power to drive the cams and possible transceivers.  In short having access to household110 power makes life simple.  You can readily run a electrical line 1000 feet.  Alternatively you can have solar power (we do not get enough sun here!) or use a fuel cell -- as we do on the remote Chehalis Tower cams.

2.   Web Access Needs:   Again you need to access a cable company or a telco outlet to the web -- in about 300 feet.  Alternatively you need to wirelessly transmit the signal -- it can readily be sent several kilometers  -- and then download signals into the web.  This can add a $1000.00 cost.

3.    Technical Support:     Here you need someone who understands wiring cams and wireless systems and organizing the signals from the cams encoder (for us that is our local Tech support) to the web distributor (for us that distributor is (www.WildEarth.TV) WildEarth then sends the signals back to our WebMaster to incorporate these into our HWF web site presentation.

4.    Cam Technology:   We have chosen using IP cams that produce a signal that when passed through our encoder (usually in a building near cams) and that enables us to send one signal to:  a) Wildearth and another to   b) a hard drive at the site that records the HD capacity of the cam for use in film production etc., in addition to the more reduced bandwidth sent to WildEarth.  At some sites we can also send another signal directly to our local cable supplier for them to broadcast directly out over cable TV -- for a half hour or so each day.  We use the or cams. 

The HWF simply contracts out to local technicians the wiring of the cams and network. I personally install the cams at the site only when the eagles are away on migration, so as to keep unnecessary disturbance of the eagles at the nest site to a minimum. Today several other options to access the web are up and running but we have kept our distribution to a common distributor system that enables us to keep all our signals under one kind of technical support and one common distribution system.  While we generally have 10 to 15 cams running at one time we also import to our web another 100 plus cams.  For us consistency is important! 

In our past files Richard Pitt, our initial techy who pioneered our system, has more technical details listed here:


David Hancock

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