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How to use VLC Media player to stream multicast video

March 22nd, 2016

When testing networks and routing, it is sometimes useful to be able to send a number of multicast streams across the network. VLC media player can do this, but getting it working is not as trivial as I expected. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the Media menu, choose “Stream”
  2. In the Open Media dialog file tab, click “add” and choose the file you want to stream  and click “Open”
  3. At the bottom, click the “Stream” button
  4. This opens the “Stream Output” dialog showing the source file you have chosen. Click Next to set destination.
  5. In “Destinations”, choose “RTP /MPEG Transport Stream” and click the “Add” button
  6. In the “Address” box, enter the required multicast address (eg 239.255.0.1) and set the port (or leave default at 5004)
  7. In transcoding options, choose the appropriate settings for your video and PC’s codecs. I chose “Video H.264 + MP3 (MP4)”. I had to set the options by clicking the options (screwdriver and spanner) button immediately to the right of the dropdown. In encapsulation, I chose MPEG-TS. In video codec, I set the bitrate to 4000kb/s
  8. Once the options are set, click “Save”. Then click Next for “Option Setup” and select “Stream all elementary streams” then click stream.

To view the stream, open another instance of VLC media player (try it on the same PC before trying it over the network)

  1. Choose Media/Open Network Stream
  2. In address, enter rtp://@239.255.0.1:5004 – choose the correct address and port you entered when setting up the stream. Don’t forget to enter the “@” symbol after “rtp://” and before the multicast ip address!
  3. Click “Play”

If you want to stream multiple videos, remember to choose an different multicast address and/or port

Categories: Networking

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