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Introduction
In August 2007, we released the second version of our stream broadcasting software, now named the Camstreams Media Encoder. It was re-written from the ground up to make it more stable and to introduce some new features. This page will list the main updates since the first version so you can decide if you want to give it a go.

Please note - Do not download the software if you haven't already signed up to be a broadcaster.
You can become a broadcaster by filling out this form.


New Features
Click one of the headings below for more information:



Microsoft Windows Vista Support
The Camstreams Media Encoder will now install in XP, Vista and Windows 7 without issues or the need for any .NET framework to be installed. Unfortunately we have lost Windows 2000 support in the process. If you use Windows 2000, you can continue to use version 1 of our encoder, or download and use the Microsoft version at this link.

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Support for Video Capture Cards
There was a bug in the components supplied to us by Microsoft which meant previously we were unable to detect the presense of a video capture card or USB device of that nature connected to a PC. We're pleased to say that the new version should now recognise such a device, so long as it conforms to the WDM (Windows Driver Model) or Video for Windows. This may mean if you were having to use the Microsoft version of the encoder previously, this is now unnecessary and you may find benefit in using our encoder.

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Support for Network (IP) Cameras which output JPG/MJPG
The Camstreams Media Encoder will now capture from an IP camera which supports static JPG or Motion JPG output. You will have to get hold of the exact URL to the image/image stream to allow our encoder to find it. This has been thoroughly tested with Axis cameras but should work if you wish to take a regularly updating still frame from an URL (e.g. your website) as a JPG and make it into a stream. Other brands of cameras output in a variety of formats and it has been hard to try and support them all.

If you can get your camera to spit out just a JPG (or MJPG) by typing an URL into a browser - and the picture is all you see on the screen, you should be able to configure our new Encoder to use it.

You can access this option in the Options > Devices dialog.

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FTP upload for still images
FTP is a method of transferring files to a server. Usually, if you have a web site, your hosting providers will have supplied you FTP details to place files on the web server so that the public can view them. We have included this facility so that a snapshot of your stream can be uploaded at intervals set by you.

So if you have a website, you can use this as a way of having a 'preview' of your stream. We also include the facility for you to upload multiple stills. For example, if you ask for 5 stills to be uploaded, and you have set the file name to be 'cam.jpg', then you will (over time) end up with cam.jpg, cam2.jpg, cam3.jpg, cam4.jpg and cam5.jpg on your server, with cam.jpg being the most recent, cam2.jpg being the second most recent and so on, on a rolling window. This can be a very useful feature and has been requested many times.

Bear in mind, constantly uploading via the FTP system may deplete your upstream bandwidth a little and could interfere with your stream, so try to keep the upload intervals fairly low.

You can access this option in the Options > FTP dialog.

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Pause/Mute FacilityClick to enlarge
If you need to give yourself a moment's privacy (blowing your nose for example!), click the new 'Pause' button in the encoder which will freeze your stream until you click 'Resume'. If you are broadcasting audio, it will continue to do so at this point unless you click the new 'Mute' button at the top.

In the Setup Wizard, when you first install the Encoder (and accessible again from the Tools menu), you can set the mute option to be always on (Click the option marked "I don't intend to broadcast audio") so you don't have to worry about broadcasting sound by accident.

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Stream Overlays - Display the date/time and logosClick to enlarge
We have introduced a way for you to put extra information within your stream, in the form of a logo and/or a Date/Time stamp. This option is accessible from within the Tools menu and 'Overlays'. One can be set to sit on top of the other, in case they collide. It also allows you, with a bit of thought and the use of a transparent colour, to put borders round your stream (which can include a logo if you add one), and easily display your local time to people.

The picture opposite shows a simple configuration of a logo in the top-right corner of the screen and the Date/Time stamp in the middle, at the bottom. You can alter the Date/Time stamp's Font, colour and size and set it against a background colour if you wish.

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Looping for Archive broadcasts
Quite a popular request we have included in this new version is the ability to loop back to the start of an archived broadcast and broadcast it again, indefinitely. We have included this now which can be set on a per-broadcast basis when you click the 'Archive' button. At the same time as selecting the file, there is a check box marked 'Loop Source'.

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VU Meter for sound input levels
This is a bar underneath your stream which shows the level at which sound is being received and broadcast - so you can now at least see whether any audio is being sent without watching your own stream!

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Some uPnP support to auto-configure routers
If only this were perfect, but it is not. We attempt to use the uPnP Framework (Universal Plug and Play) to automatically configure your router to alleviate the headaches of getting the port forwarding working. This is great in theory but as it was developed, we discovered it's not as easy as it sounds. If the appropriate uPnP ports are open on your PC and your router is happy to be configured via uPnP it may work for you - it seems in most situations it won't, but it was left in, in case of the few it does benefit. It is part of the Setup Wizard and can be accessed all the time from Options > Broadcasting.

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