PreshBlog

SimpleStreamer – Flash video streamer for Wii or PC

by on Jul.23, 2007, under Perl, Programming

I recently got a Wii as a new toy, and wanted something good to stream videos to it.

I had a look round at some of the various “Media Center” options out there, but didn’t find anything I liked, so I’m writing my own.

So far I have a working system in Perl which allows you to browse the pre-set video dir(s) and presents a list of files + folders, when you select one it then uses a Flash streaming player, and either presents the file directly if it was a .flv video, otherwise it uses ffmpeg to transcode it to FLV on the fly and stream it to the Flash player.

Some rough edges to work out first, but if there’s any interest I’ll probably release it under an Open-Source licence.

It uses HTML::Template so it’ll be easily “re-skinnable” to look however you like. I plan to include an option for “skins” to have seperate “normal” and “Wii” versions, so when loaded on a Wii it can use a simpler, clearer, larger interface.

If you’re interested in giving it a go, let me know in the comments.

I’ve been playing with Jeroen Wijering‘s neat JW FLV Player, but I’m having issues playing long videos on the Wii. I’m sure that can be sorted out, or I can swap out Jeroen’s player for one that does something funky to avoid using too much memory.

It’s a shame the Nintendo Wii only comes with Flash 7 in the Opera browser supplied with the “Internet Channel”. It’d be nice if there was a way to update it. Now there’s something to have a crack at… if I could find a method to upgrade the Flash player on the Wii, that would be very special indeed :)


9 Comments for this entry

  • Steve

    You’re my new hero.

    I have a Nintendo Wii for a while and since I don’t care for high def consoles (I have my PC for high def gaming anyways), I was thinking if I would be able to make it to a Media Center, in fact the console is quite strong enough to output 480p even 720p (if it was possible) with a relative ease, no need to give 600 bucks for something doing exactly the same (PS3). However I was disappointed to see that no web app or otherwise was able to transcode a 480p video in realtime. I mean the closer I could get with 24FPS streaming was PimpStreamer at 80×50 quality (horrendous) and it is something to wonder since google video or youtube transmit on way better resolutions without a hitch on Wii (the other solutions, Orb and stuff could not achieve more than 20FPS no matter what).

    I’ll observe your work closely from now on, and I’ll pray to god to make some wiz with Peryl, so that -at last- Wii to become a serious streamer of LAN’s contents.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more news from your project. I wish you all the lack (and the patience) of the world.

    Steve.

    PS: Is there any beta of the software available? If so I could happily become a beta tester.

  • bigpresh

    @Steve : thanks for the kind words.

    I need to sort out a Flash video player that can play long videos on the Wii. The problem I have at the moment is that it will play about 10-15 minutes of the video then stop. I think what it’s doing is attempting to download the whole video stream and keep it in memory, which obviously isn’t going to work – it needs to discard what it’s already played when there’s no room for new data.

    I think part of the problem is that the Wii only has Flash 7 on it (due to some licencing issues with Adobe), so a lot of the newer cleverer players don’t work.

    I’ll try to get a beta version out soon – it’ll have rough edges, but it should work well enough to try out (it’s working for me now, which is nice).

  • Eric

    I’ve been testing several “Media servers” that claim to support the Wii. The biggest problem seems to be the memory size (64 mb maximum usage?).

    According to several people the answer should be found in using RTSP (like RED5). This protocol should not fill up the memory…

    But i’m looking forward to see some tests of your product ;) keep me informed!

  • WW

    Hey! Just wanted to leave a few words of encouragement. I’ve been pretty disappointed with the options out there right now so I’m glad to see someone stepping up to try to get the job done right. I wish you the best of success. Cheers! Let me know if you need a tester.

  • bigpresh

    Just to say I’ve not completely forgotten about this project, but have been busy with other stuff. I’m still hitting the problem of playback stopping after approx 10 – 15 mins, which I believe is when it runs out of memory, due to the Flash player I’m using not really streaming data (not discarding older data once it’s used it).

    As Eric suggested the answer may lie with RTSP as used by RED5 – I’ve downloaded a copy of RED5 and need to spend some time working out what Flash player it uses and how to call it. I’m hoping that their Flash player will run on Flash 7 – it’s a shame that the Wii has to have such an old version. I don’t know what their licence conditions for using their player would be either; I can’t see a problem with using it myself, but I doubt I’d be allowed to distribute it.

  • rob

    I am also interested in this, keep up the good work.

  • youtube video

    good work
    thanks for article

  • buy wii

    Please notify me once it will be released!!

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