The Back Story
Sometimes I do things just to see if I can figure it out. Having spent most of my life setting and achieving purposeful goals, I find it refreshing to just do something without a true endgame in mind. This is not to say these things are not useful or helpful, but they are safe bets because there is no real or defined expectation.
I would like to share my latest endeavor with the Strats community. Mainly, because you guys are cool and we have a lot in common. Also, because you guys and gals are very bright and I could benefit from your feedback and ideas.
So after a lot of discussions about a podcast and my own curiosities about ways to improve my Twitch stream, I decided to build a Live Streaming Server. In my mind, if I had something like this, the options would be limitless. I could:
- Have members stream to my server and make a pretty cool Pod/Web/Vid Cast. (Without the limitations of Skype or Google Hangouts)
- Have other players in a multiplayer game, stream their game play to my server. I could then steam each of our game sessions in one feed with changing scenes. This would give the viewer perspective from each player. (Think about watching a raid or heist like this)
- I could simulcast my stream to multiple services.
There were a few barriers that I had to overcome:
- I had to use the hardware I had on hand.
- I could not spend any money at all. ( I just retired and we are a month before Christmas.)
- Most importantly, I have
littleno experience with this kind of thing.
This is my journey…
I did not have the ways and means to rent server space from some place like Amazon or Digital Ocean. To be honest, even if I did, I would probably been more lost as to where to start then I was at this point.
I Had a choice between my older Dell Laptop (missing a few keys and had not seen the internet in a few months) or my personal PC I built to play The Elder Scrolls Online earlier this year. I had built a much faster gaming PC this summer to replace the PC and it was is desperate need of employment. The laptop went back to the shelf and the “server” was born. In title anyhow…
Here is what I was working with:
Motherboard | MSI 760GM-E51 (FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Video Card | EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card
Power Supply | Antec Basiq 350W ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive | Lite-On ihes112-04 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
Great, I have a system and it even has Windows 8.1 loaded up on it. Moving right along… Wait! Servers don’t run on Windows 8.1 do they?
I’m sure they can and do just fine, however, I really thought I needed this server to run on a Linux OS. Why? Because that is what my research assistant (Google) was telling me.
Ok, Linux it is. I started a very exhaustive search of what version I needed to run and decided upon Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS. Mainly because it fit within my budget, it was free.
So I had my server built, lets start streaming! Not so fast, basically, I had not gained any ground towards my goal of a Live Streaming Server, yet. At the end of the day I had a PC with a Linux based OS. I needed to turn it into a server. Back to Google.
With so many choices I was glad that my very low price point helped guide my decision. I ended up selecting NGINX (pronounced engine x). Aside from it being free, I found a guide on the OBSProject Forums offering a step-by-step solution to my issue.
Keep in mind, I’m using OBS for my streaming already, this is a home-run. All I have to do is follow this guide and I’m home free, Right? Wrong, I’m not smart enough with the Ubuntu OS to follow the guild. At this point, I’m not sure I’m even pronouncing Ubuntu correctly. After three complete formats and re-installs with no success I referred back to my research assistant.
I found a few other guides and had similar outcomes. Everyone assumed that I knew more about the file structure and basic installations then I did. By this point I could tell I needed to install three things:
Let me start with the OBS Plugin. Aside from the link not working in the first guide, I was able to install this with no issues. I installed it on my gaming PC with my standard streaming setup. I was making progress, but I still did not have the server I was trying to build. Then I came across this guide. I’m sure that Vultr was trying to get me to lease their servers with it, but this was solid gold. It was written for me, the lowest common denominator. After a few copy and pastes I had a Live Streaming Web Server.
So I did it, I had my server and started my happy dance. I was able to stream to it and retrieve the stream with my gaming PC. However, I soon realized that I was confined to the limits of my own home network. I had come so far but still had miles to go. In my next post on this subject I will discuss how I was able to “go Live” and talk about some of my initial testing.
Feel free to comment, criticize, or applaud. Ask questions and if your so inclined join in the testing process. The only thing I ask is, don’t get to caught up in the “why?”. If you have to ask, please read the first paragraph of the post again.