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Author Topic: Elecard V-Cinema HLS. How it works...  (Read 13591 times)
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« on: November 26, 2012, 05:11:53 am »

Elecard V-Cinema HLS

Information Sources:

1. To get a demo version of Elecard V-Cinema HLS software server, please follow the link.

2. You could download the product demo-version here:

3. Elecard V-Cinema Server User's Manual.

Brief Description

Elecard V-Cinema is a product line of software products that offer live and file content delivery to various end-user devices over different kinds of network protocols. This is a perfect solution for providing such popular services as Video-on-Demand (VoD), Near/Subscription Video on Demand (NVoD/SVoD), TimeShift, Network Personal Video Recorder (NPVR), and adaptive streaming that supports HLS.

V-Cinema product line comprises the following software products:

Video on Demand (VoD) is a server for delivering Video on Demand services based on the latest technological achievements in the field of media content delivery in IP networks.

Scheduled Video on Demand / Near Video on Demand (SvoD/NVoD) is a  is a mutifunctional flexible solution for creating offline TV channel distribution networks based on large collections of multimedia files and offering Virtual Movie Theater services with full support of unlimited time zones broadcasting.

Network Personal Video Recorder (NPVR) is a server for recording multimedia streams, such as satellite IP broadcast and local network webcam streams received from IP networks. The server has massive opportunities for its integration with a wide range of IPTV software, and recorded media files can later be used for providing Video on Demand and TimeShift services.

TimeShift is a cutting-edge full-featured solution providing live media content delivery on a completely new scale for subscribers. Now they can watch TV shows pausing and rewinding whenever they want, skipping commercials and unwanted programs just with a push of a button.

Stream Switcher plus HLS is a perfect solution for building fast and efficient multimedia streaming servers, which receive multicast streams and broadcast them as unicast streams to end-user devices via IP networks. It is also an adaptive streaming server solution for IP networks supporting the HLS protocol.

The diagrams below show how V-Cinema products fit into the general scheme of streaming in IP networks along with other professional Elecard products as well.

V-Cinema software servers are controlled through Sigma iTV Web Configurator, an essential part of the V-Cinema product line that makes it possible to remotely control the servers in a web-browser.

This article is dedicated to Elecard V-Cinema HLS, one of the most advanced Elecard's products . It is assumed that the reader is well acquainted with the company's another key product CodecWorks Encoder. You can find out more about it in this article.  CodecWorks Encoder is a powerful software solution that offers a wide range of input interfaces that bring uncompromised high quality and high speed video encoding.  Elecard CodecWorks Encoder is compatible with adaptive streaming servers and provides multi-stream media data with variable bitrate. V-Cinema HLS (Media Server) offers adaptive live streaming over HLS and flexible integration with third-party solutions.

Following is the diagram of connection between CodecWorks Encoder, V-Cinema HLS and end-user devices.


Supported operating systems: Red Hat EL/CentOS 5, Red Hat EL/CentOS 6, Fedora 15, Fedora/RFRemix, OpenSUSE 11.3, Ubuntu 9.04-10.10, Microsoft Windows.


STEP 1. Installing Elecard V-Cinema HLS

a) in Red Hat EL/CentOS

V-Cinema installer comprises the following components:

Sigma iTV Web Configurator – installation name is “elecard-xworks”, services' names are “xworks” and "xweb". This is the main software that includes Sigma iTV Web Configurator and general libraries for other components. The installation of this software is mandatory and should be done before the installation of all other components.
HLS – installation name is “elecard-hls”. Installation of this component is optional.
VoD - installation name is “elecard-vod”. Installation of this component is optional.
Stream Switcher - installation name is “elecard-switcher”. Installation of this component is optional.
TimeShift - installation name is “elecard-tshift”. Installation of this component is optional.
SvoD/NVoD - installation name is “elecard-nvod”. Installation of this component is optional.
NPVR - installation name is “elecard-npvr”. Installation of this component is optional.

To start working with the V-Cinema HLS adaptive streaming server, all you will have to do is to install the following components: Sigma iTV Web Configurator, HLS.

V-Cinema should be installed from RPM packages in the following order:
“rpm -i elecard-xworks<PRESS TAB>”
“rpm -i elecard-hls<PRESS TAB>”
installation of the necessary components.

You can also install the software with a Linux front-end “yum”
“yum install elecard*”

This way, you will install all the available components.

For more detailed information on this installation step, please see section 4.3 of the User's Manual.

b) in Microsoft Windows

Installation package for Microsoft Windows contains all the necessary components that depend on customer's requirements. After you have installed this package, you will have a new service “xworks” in your system.

All the components will be put into the following folder by default: «\Program Files\Elecard\Elecard V-Cinema\».

To install V-Cinema Server, you should run the installer and follow on-screen instructions. For more detailed information, please see section 4.3 of the User's Manual.

STEP 2. Starting up V-Cinema Server

Xworks service can be started by running the following command: “xworks – start”. It can also be started by running  “xworks.exe -- debug” in the terminal.

Windows users can also start the service by means of Windows main menu "Elecard > Elecard V-Cinema > start xworks". To stop the service "Elecard > Elecard V-Cinema > stop xworks".

STEP 3. Controlling V-Cinema Server

All the servers that are part of the V-Cinema product line, including V-Cinema HLS, can be configured and controlled through Sigma iTV Web Configurator. To access the configurator's web page, please enter the following URL in the address bar:
“http://<server_ip>:8080” (you can also use 'localhost' as address)

By default you can only access the Media Content / List tab. To access other tabs you will have to enter the following authentication credentials – login: admin, password: admin.

STEP 4. Starting up encoding in Elecard CodecWorks Encoder

The previous article that was dedicated to Elecard CodecWorks Encoder server, thoroughly explained how to work with the product. That it why it is assumed that you are already familiar with CodecWorks Encoder.

First of all, the encoding process should be started in accordance with the scheme that was specifically developed for adaptive streaming.

CodecWorks receives an input transport stream (TS) - STS.ts and transcodes it into three different streams with bitrates of 500, 1000 and 1500 kbps. These are then streamed to the following multi-cast addresses accordingly:

STEP 5. Configuring V-Cinema HLS

To configure your V-Cinema server, please open V-Cinema > HLS tab in Sigma iTV Web Configurator. You will see a configuration page, where you will have to specify source streams received from a CodecWorks server.

In order to do that you will have to create a new test HLS channel by clicking V-Cinema > HLS > Channels > Add new channel. In that same window by clicking Add Bandwidth you should indicate values for LQ, MQ and HQ bandwidth, which are 500, 1000 and 1500 accordingly. And finally specify source multi-cast addresses and ports in the Source column and click Save.

STEP 6. Receiving HLS

HLS channels can be accessed by entering an HLS channel address in a client's media player.  The channel address has the following format:
«http:<server address>/<channel name>.m3u8»
а) Receiving HLS on Elecard iTelec STB

To receive HLS on your set-top box, please click Favorites > Add URL in the device's menu and after entering the channel address (.m3u8 playlist) you can start watching the streamed channels.

b) Receiving HLS in VLC media player

You can also receive HLS video in VLC Media Player. Click Media > Open Network Stream > Network, enter the URL and start watching.

c) Receiving HLS on iPhone / iPad / iPod

You can also receive HLS streams on your iPhone, iPad or iPod by entering a playlist URL in your device's browser address bar. If you have a dedicated IP address on your server, you can watch the streamed channels anytime and anywhere. If you have a local Ethernet address, you can watch the channels in your local Wi-Fi network.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 05:38:21 am by IvanR » Logged
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