Stream ev­ery­thing

Put it all on­line – your favourite games, your me­dia col­lec­tion, desk­top, or even your life. By Alex Cox

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - CONTENTS -

Put your games, your me­dia and your life on­line and ac­cess them any­where

We’ve re­lied on end-to-end stream­ing for longer than we’ve re­lied on com­put­ers. Where would so­ci­ety be with­out the in­flu­ence of ra­dio or cable TV? Would we be quite the same if Ma­jor Gen­eral Ge­orge O. Squier hadn’t de­vel­oped Muzak’s ear­li­est tech, a 1930s sys­tem of send­ing in­of­fen­sive mu­sic along elec­tri­cal wires di­rectly to el­e­va­tors and stores? Well, prob­a­bly. We might even be slightly more sane. But that’s not the point: Stream­ing has long been hugely im­por­tant, and the In­ter­net has com­pletely democra­tised it.

You’re now free to send what­ever you want wher­ever you want. You can push data, mak­ing it avail­able to any­one who wants it, or pull streams from a pri­vate source. You can work with au­dio, video, live cam­eras, or any other data that suits. You can use stream­ing for en­ter­tain­ment, for profit, or for prac­ti­cal ben­e­fits. And you can do it all, for the most part, for free. All you re­ally need is a qual­ity broad­band con­nec­tion on ei­ther end of the stream­ing path. You might not even need that, if your server hard­ware is ro­bust enough to transcode me­dia on the fly, con­vert­ing it to a lower res­o­lu­tion that re­duces band­width de­mands.

In this fea­ture, we take you through as many dif­fer­ent con­tent stream­ing sit­u­a­tions as pos­si­ble, from games to sounds, and beyond. It’s all very sit­u­a­tional and per­sonal. Ev­ery­thing you might want to stream has slightly dif­fer­ent method­ol­ogy, unique soft­ware, and tech­ni­cal con­sid­er­a­tions to take into ac­count. Many of the tools we talk about can be used for more than one thing, and the spe­cific one you use is, at the end of the day, up to you.

We talk pub­lic and pri­vate stream­ing, and give a few sug­ges­tions as to how to take ad­van­tage of the for­mer to in­crease your on­line pro­file. While it’s go­ing to take a lot of work and a spe­cial kind of charisma to top Twitch’s 200,000-viewer record for a sin­gle streamer – and, in­deed, its all-time stream record of over 1,000,000 for a Counter-Strike: Global

Of­fen­sive tour­na­ment match – there’s noth­ing to stop you from try­ing.

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