Question for the Internet

By JoCo April 10, 2007

So there’s this site called that lets you stream live video for free to a URL so that anyone can watch it in their browser – kind of like YouTube but live. I’ve been thinking it would be really fun to start streaming video of all my live shows (there’s also  a way to get the stream to show on a surface in Second Life from what I understand, though I haven’t tested it – JoCo theater anyone?). But for extra coolness, I’d love to let the audience shoot the video, which as we learned from the Beastie Boys is fracking awesome. The problem is, I don’t really want the audience passing my laptop around, especially one that’s connected by a firewire to an expensive camera.

So is there any wireless thingamajig that would work for this? I know there are a bunch of wireless nanny-cam-type video cameras out there, but I get the sense they all stream over wifi to some kind of proprietary software on the computer, which I don’t know is compatible with the ustream interface. I’ve got an iSight, which would be perfect if it there was wireless firewire (erm, is there?).

Anyway, if anybody has some kind of wireless camera situation already and wants to try it out with, I invite you to do so and share your results. Or if there’s something that can be hacked together that’s cool too, as long as it’s small and light and doesn’t cost a million dollars. Whoever finds the solution will get shiny new dollar.


Andrea says

I theoretically know how to make a video stream display on the face of a prim in Second Life. You have to have access to change the parcel's video URL, so either own the land and set the URL for the face of the prim, or arrange to have a concert with a venue owner.

Next time you play a concert in SL, you should play at The Freudian Slip. It is a lovely venue and has floaty inner tubes for the audience, which enable games of bumpertubes. There's a swingset, too.

I'm afraid I have no idea about any of your hardware questions though!


Scott Haley says

"Next time you play a concert in SL?" Has Mr. Coulton done that?


Kerrin says

“Next time you play a concert in SL?” Has Mr. Coulton done that?

Oh yeah, I attended the first one on September 14th 2006, it was awesome. The music was awesome
and the atmosphere created by the chat while Jonathan was performing was great...we even got a chuckle from Jonathan at one point.

For more details, look at the blog archieve for Sep 2006

Luke M says

This streaming video concert idea is great. I wish I knew jack about the tech.

Damon says

At first I thought that this might be doable with a Treo 700p video phone on Sprint's EV-DO network, but the upstream link isn't really big enough yet. Maybe in a year or two.

For now, I think your best bet is to get a couple of wireless webcams and configure them to a laptop backstage that has a fat pipe.

X10 has wireless battery-powered cams that you could easily install just before a show. That way, the cameras stay steady and no one is distracted from the excellent music. Unfortunately, the X10 don't feed a digital signal. You'd need to connect the wireless receiver to a video capture card, so maybe a desktop instead of a laptop.

Well, that is getting to be cumbersome. I guess I don't have any better idea. Good luck!

Ned says

There might be a solution in a slightly different direction.

This camera (

will run at 802.11g with audio and has an option where you can set viewability of the feed to the world at large via a specific port on your router. There are security options for those far more savvy than I.

According to the blurb you can control up to 10 cameras at once with the software included. So my thought is this - if you can't bring the camera to the audience, why not bring the audience to the camera? You could have a computer set up somewhere in the venue (perhaps nearish the sound board) where people could take turns (we're a cooperative bunch, right?) controlling the cameras - pan, tilt, zoom. It's not an ideal solution and the cameras are $250 a pop but that is way less than a mil, right?

The other issue is that the venue would have to have an internet connection that you could essentially monopolize for the evening.

Oh, and while a standard for wireless Firewire was adopted in 2004, the only actual device I can find that use it is a Sony digital camera (not video) that uses it for file transfer.

Fred says

There is now WI FI card that fit into the flash card slot of web enabled video cams, there are several ways to build a small package including web enabled pda's that can be connected to a webcam or cam corder...

JR says

I think this is a great idea. If you decide to do it please consider offering two feeds, one stationary camera of the stage for people that want to watch the show but don't live in the area and one that can be passed around the audience.

jonturner says

Sorry... no brainstorm for your parallel live-video problem, but you could compose a great concert video as follows:
Why not have a stack of, say, twenty miniDV tapes at the door. Invite the audience to bring their cameras and film the concert. Have 'em write their name & email addr on the tape (so they can be in the credits) then drop off the tape in a bucket on the way out in exchange for something that won't cost you too much $$ out-of-pocket (an autographed copy of ThingAWeek, slice of sheet cake, drops of your perspiration in a vial necklace, etc.)

Of course, then you have to go back and edit that stuff into one coherent stream. Worst case they walk out with your blank tape, but at least you're not risking your own pricey video hardware.