Video streaming can involve a lot of different standards and diverse environments. TriCaster gives you the necessary tools, but there are still some common problems you may encounter.
TESTING YOUR STREAM
When it comes to using your TriCaster in a live production environment, failure to test beforehand is not merely unwise - it can be professional suicide. Keep in mind that onsite testing under real world circumstances can be very revealing, is most useful when performed well before ‘zero hour.’ Set up and enable a test program stream from your TriCaster. Making sure that someone outside the local environment can see it.
Remember that if you are simply Pull streaming from ‘behind’ a router, the IP number shown in the TriCaster’s Location field will only be valid for other systems behind the router. You will need to derive the true external IP address to pass to your viewers (or service provider.)
For Push streaming, you will also need to enable “port forwarding” on the router, as discussed next.
If you are streaming from behind a router, to preserve a reasonable level of security while allowing outside computers to connect to your system you will need to ‘port forward’ your router. Port forwarding permits a sort of ‘blind hand-off’ between external clients (your viewers) and a local transaction port which you manually specify. (The router will pass requests to view the stream through to the TriCaster, without exposing the internal IP routing.)
To enable port forwarding, you need three pieces of information:
- The login information for the router. Your router’s manual will have this information, which typically involves entering a specific IP number into your web browsers URL field, and perhaps also a password.
- The specific IP local number that the router has assigned to your TriCaster. You can read this right from TriCaster’s Location display. It will comprise the entire string of punctuated numbers before the colon (the colon separates the port number you chose for your stream).
- The port number just mentioned (the part after the colon).
Although the steps vary a bit by brand and model, generally you would proceed as follows:
- Log into the router, so it shows its control panel in your web browser.
- Select the port forwarding page of the router controls. These options may be found in an obscure place, such as the router’s “Applications and Gaming” page (since online gaming often requires port forwarding).
- Enter an Application name, if required (this is for your own recognition purposes, so use anything you like).
- Enter the Start and End port values – you can use the same port number in both fields, but of course it must be the one you set in TriCaster’s Port field.
- If possible, select Both for Protocol (or select UDP).
- Enter the full (punctuated numeric) local IP address shown in the Location field of your TriCaster after you enable the stream.
- Checkmark Enable.
There are countless makes and models of routers – for information on various models, and a great deal of help on port forwarding generally, we can recommend the following site:
You may also run into software firewalls. Generally, these can be configured in similar to permit exceptions to the firewall policy, permitting specific ports or applications to be opened to the world. Information on exceptions in the Microsoft Windows® Firewall can be found in its Help system.
FINDING YOUR EXTERNAL IP NUMBER
Again, the numbers assigned behind your router only work locally. In a Pull scenario, you need to supply the true external IP number (and port) for your TriCaster to viewers outside the LAN (Local Area Network.)
You can find this number in several ways. For example, your router will display it as its “IP Address” in its Status page. Or, you may want to use one of several handy websites that will quickly supply your current IP number (one such is http://www.whatismyip.com). Simply go to the website in your browser and read the IP number from the screen. Append a colon and the port number you are using to this number and you’ve got everything you need for your viewers to connect.