Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Streaming video over HTTP, LIVE!

If you want to stream your desktop to your friend or the world, it quite easy.  Twitch, Youtube and even Facebook now support live video streaming on their site.

But what about streaming live video on your website, without relying on an external source?  This is where the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) can help you.

All you need is an access to your hosting server.  FTP is quite common and can be used for HLS.  I've done a few experiments with ScreenStudio and I got really good results.


  1. Create a folder on your hosting HTTP server to receive the video stream
  2. In ScreenStudio, enter the full URL address to upload the video stream to the selected folder
  3. FTP Url looks like this: ftp://username:password@ftp.yourserver.com/public_html/live...
  4. Create an HTML file that will be used to view the video stream. 
The HTML viewer file must have this code so the video stream will work on almost all computers and mobiles devices:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/hls.js/latest/hls.js"></script>
<video id="video" width=100% height=430 src="stream.m3u8" autoplay>
</video>
<script>
  if(Hls.isSupported()) {
    var video = document.getElementById('video');
    var hls = new Hls();
    hls.loadSource('stream.m3u8');
    hls.attachMedia(video);
    hls.on(Hls.Events.MANIFEST_PARSED,function() {
      video.play();
  });
 }
</script>
The scripting part is used for PC browsers not supporting HLS natively like mobile devices do.

When your stream starts, there will be a slight delay for about 10 seconds. ScreenStudio will update the video files on your FTP site and viewers will be able to watch your live stream.

To download ScreenStudio: http://screenstudio.crombz.com

Here's a video I made when testing HLS with ScreenStudio:


As you can see in the video, I was even able to AirPlay the video stream from my iPad to my AppleTV, letting my Ubuntu PC display it's desktop directly on the AppleTV.  Cool ;) !


Sunday, January 1, 2017

From Pebble Time to the Striiv Fusion Bio 2

As we all know, the Pebble smartwatches are a thing of the past.  I did owned the Pebble classic and the Pebble Time.  After the Fitbit acquisition of the Pebble company, I was a bit worried that my lovely Pebble Time would turn into a nice light paper weight...

In my search for an alternative smartwatch, I did review the whole internet for the next best thing.  The main features I was looking for was battery life time and a good notification system.  I don't really care for health tracking data.  It's nice to know how many steps I did today, but I am more into getting my notifications on my wrist.

This got me to think about on how I was using my smartwatch...  Basically, I look at the time, read my notifications and that's about it.  Even if the Pebble Time can display thousands of watchfaces and supports many apps to play with, the main usage is still looking at the date and time.

So I started to consider those trackers/smartwatches having less features but providing a good battery lifetime, a good readability and displaying notifications from my iPhone.  And the price became an issue as I did spent a few bucks on those fancy watches...

I finally found the Striiv Fusion Bio 2.


As I said earlier, the price became an issue.  I actually bought the Fusion 2 for 50$ (CAD) at Best Buy...  I did get lucky and got the Fusion Bio 2 instead for the same price.  For some strange reason, the package did show the Fusion 2, but the content was actually the Fusion Bio 2 priced at 100$ (CAD).

This is mainly a health tracker but it does have some nice features:  30 days battery lifetime, displays all notifications from my iPhone, heath tracking data is a nice and this is a touch interface so no more buttons.  The Fusion 2 is small and good looking.  It does everything beside heart rate monitoring.  Since I was lucky enough to end up with the Fusion Bio 2, I do have also the heart rate monitor.

Look at the detailed features here: https://www.striiv.com/pages/striiv-fusion-bio-2

Compared to the Pebble Time, it does lack apps and custom facewatch but it does it's job nicely for a fraction of the cost.  For 50$, I still get the time, notifications and alarms.  I have a better battery lifetime (5 days to 30 days...).

It was nice to have all these possibilities with the Pebble Time but in the end, I did not need them that much.  Was it worth it the price?  I don't think so...

So if you're looking for a nice alternative for a good price, check out the Striiv Fusion (Bio) 2 at your nearest retailer...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fitbit buying Pebble: What will happen?

If you've read the news this week, it seems that the Fitbit company will buy Pebble.  From a business point of view, it does make sense.  For the Pebble community, it may be the end...

Currently, the smartwatch market is saturated with all kinds of products from all major brands like Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, Pebble, just to name a few.

Apple is targeting the high-end use with its Apple Watch.  Not a bad product, but the price may actually drive away a lot of people.  Other manufacturers are more into health monitoring like Fitbit and Garmin.  Even Pebble has moved into this health market with the Pebble 2 and the latest firmware available for almost all Pebble smartwatch.

If you are running, swimming or climbing the mount Everest, there is a lot of choices available for a smartwatch.  Let's be honest, I'm not part of that market, like 80% of the population.  I have nothing against training but having a device dedicated at providing me my health stats is not my cup of tea.

That's where the Pebble smartwatch was shining.  A cool smartwatch, with apps and a few extra features.  I don't care about my heart rate, I want to reply back to my tweet with my watch.

The Apple watch and the Google Gears do implements those "Dick Tracy" features but at a higher price.  For around 150$, Pebble can do it (and the battery lasts for a week...).

My main concern is what will happen with my Pebble Time...  If Fitbit shuts down the whole Pebble ecosystem, my Pebble Time watch won't work anymore...  No more updates, no new apps, no new watchface...

Currently, there are not alternative to the Pebble, for the same features, for the same price.

Let's hope that we have a few more years ahead of us before we are forced to use a "HealthWatch" instead of a "SmartWatch".