[mythtv-users] Mythweb Flash Stream - Can I Open It With Some Other Player?

Drew Tomlinson drew at mykitchentable.net
Tue Jul 15 02:34:04 UTC 2008

Nick Rout wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 4:38 AM, Drew Tomlinson <drew at mykitchentable.net> wrote:
>> Alen Edwards wrote:
>>> Drew Tomlinson wrote:
>>>> I'm trying to understand the ASX streaming in the mythweb that ships
>>>> with 0.21.  In the "Recorded Programs" list, clicking the asx icon from
>>>> a Windows client results in Windows Media Player starting and then
>>>> giving an error.  However if I click on the thumbnail and play via the
>>>> flashplayer on the web page, the files plays fine.
>>>> Looking at system processes, I see ffmpeg is running.  So what is the
>>>> ffmpeg command line and when is the resulting encoded file stored?
>>>> According to the VLC site, it can play flv files.  Thus it seems to me
>>>> that I should be able to feed VLC a URL and view the stream with it.  Is
>>>> this possible?
>>>> The main reason I want to use VLC is because I'd like to be able to see
>>>> my 16:9 content in a 16:9 window and I'd like a window size that's
>>>> bigger than the browser window but smaller than full screen.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Drew
>>> While this is being looked into, I get the same behavior but no sound in
>>> flash.  I googled and it looks from that like nobody gets sound and
>>> there is no solution.  However, it looks like Drew is getting sound.  Is
>>> that correct Drew?
>> I get sound in the player embedded in the mythweb page.  I get some sort
>> of "file can't be found" message when copying to URL from the asx file
>> into either Windows Media Player or VLC network stream dialog.
>>> That out of the way, what I found may not be what you are looking for,
>>> but it may be a clue.  This is what I did:
>>> 1) Opened the asx file with an editor
>>> 2) Entered the embedded link into Firefox
>>> 3) Saved the file to my disk
>>> 4) Played the file in WinAmp.
>> What makes the flv file get created?  When I click the play button in
>> the mythweb embedded flash player, I can see a ffmpeg process starts.
>> However clicking the link that sends the asx file does not start a
>> ffmpeg process
> Thats becasue the asx link is designed to stream the file as it is on
> your hard drive without transcoding. Take a look at the url in the asx
> file (right click, save as then look in a text editor or with the cat
> command if you are on linux). The url is the same as the direct
> download link, its put in an asx file so that it is handed off to
> media playing software which will start playing before the whole file
> is downloaded.

OK, now I understand.  Thanks for that explanation.

> On my ubuntu desktop the asx link opens totem which plays the file
> fine. I haven't rebooted to windows to test that.
> I can also get it to play by passing the asx url off to mplayer
> -playlist. mplayer has a great windows (and linux) front end called
> smplayer which also does the right thing when called with smplayer
> -playlist url.asx

Interestingly, I tried using VLC on a different windows client than I 
tried previously.  In this case, the .asx container hands off the 
download just as you describe.  One major difference is that this client 
was direct attached to the same 100 mbps network segment as the 
mythbackend.  Previously when I tried, it was a windows client that was 
attached via a VPN that has a max uplink of about 640 kbps.  Maybe that 
is why I experienced the file errors?

What I want to achieve is to watch a compressed stream from my Myth box 
while at work.  The embedded flash player in mythweb works.  I was just 
hoping to find a way to open the same stream in VLC (or another player) 
that could be resized for 16:9 content and have the window about 2x 
larger than the embedded window.  Seems that if this is possible, I'll 
find my answers with various ffmpeg incantations and it will be a manual 
process for me, since I'm not much of a PHP/Perl coder.  I'll probably 
just settle for the embedded player.  :)

I've also found that VLC will "stream" a file that's being downloaded.  
In other words, if I click the download link in mythweb and save to my 
hard drive, I can then open the file from my hard drive in VLC and begin 
watching before the download has completed.  Also by watching in this 
manner, I can skip forward and back (up to the limits of what's been 
downloaded) and thus skip commercials.

Thanks for the input and sorry I've been away from the thread for the 
past few days.


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