Bob's Adventures in Wireless and Video Headline Animator

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Video Streaming From Dynamic Networks

We have built a new router that is designed for emergency first responders. The router creates a mesh between other routers, and then backhauls via cellular, public safety, 802.11 or 802.16.

We have added in a number of features to maintain default gateways, manage connections, determine link quality, etc. The router is designed to require no user interaction and be fully self configuring.

We use dynamic dns to allow for remote inbound connections.

Everything works great for outbound connections from devices connected to the mesh. It is completely dynamic and works very reliably, when data connections are initiated from the local side of the network.

Our client wants to connect IP cameras for live video streaming. This is where things get interesting. We expected that we could simply set up an IP camera to use announced unicast to push video to a server. But after extensive searching we have concluded that there is no IP camera on the market that can do this. I know it is hard to believe, but it appears to be true. Every single manufacturer expects you to have a server local to the camera and pull the video to the server.

So we have to put a server local to the cameras on the mesh and then connect from the local server back to another server for broadcast. Bringing a server on scene is good in one respect that it puts a more reliable recording method closer to the video source. But not all customers want to carry around a server. Some just want to get situational awareness through video streaming back and only have minimal equipment on scene.

So we are now investigating making our own camera that is specifically designed for this type of application. When we are done we will have a great, lightweight, easy to use camera that can push video to a remote server via HauteSpot wireless routers.

Any suggestions or other ideas?

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