Today I’ve been working at trying to integrate the stream and its corresponding SDP file that Ravensbourne has kindly provided to me, this however hasn’t been as straight forward as i first believed it to be, my lack of knowledge of streaming also slowed this process down dramatically.

So to start with today I started with the obvious:

  • The SDP file in a RTSP stream – Testsed using VLC and Quicktime prior to JW Player, to test it was still streaming.
  • JW Player (Flash and HTML5)
  • Some patience
After reading some online information I installed the official JW Player plugin for WordPress, on the Penrose Market website. The install was fine and the test media I provided worked perfectly fine, the player loaded and it played the local .mp4 test file. The problems started when I tried to integrate the stream with JW Player, which could supposedly read SDP files and play live streams.

The main error I faced with JW Player was that it was struggling to find the RTSP stream, and in particular it was complaining it either could not find or access the SDP file which contained all the stream information. This tiny error took nearly an hour of more research before I found out why it would never work.
This handy blog post by the guy’s who make JW Player explained a lot about IP streaming and what formats and protocols are compatible with which devices and players. This section quoted below is the most useful reference:

Summary: Streaming Support

This table sums up support for the various streaming methods across devices and servers.

DevicesProgressive DownloadRTMP/RTSP StreamingAdaptive HTTP Streaming
Adobe Flash PlayerMP4, FLVRTMPHLS, Zeri, Smooth
HTML5 (Safari & IE9)MP4
HTML5 (Firefox & Chrome)WebM
iOS (iPad/iPhone)MP4HLS
Android DevicesMP4, WebMRTSPHLS (as of 3.0)
CDNs (e.g. CloudFront)MP4, FLV, WebMRTMPHLS
Web Servers (e.g. S3)MP4, FLV, WebMHLS

As you can see the RTSP protocol is only supported by Android Devices, as well as many Software Based Media Players such as Quicktime, VLC and Windows Media Player. I haven’t tested iOS 5 with RTSP yet, it could possibly work, as iOS uses a stripped down version of Quicktime and Safari.

This leaves me with two options:

  1. Embed either Quicktime or other proprietary plugin as well as providing a direct link to the stream as a back up for users that don’t have or cannot download the plugin.
  2. Speak to IT about recreating the stream using a more compatible protocol such as HLS or RTMP.

Anyway thats enough for today, I will continue testing various protocols, as well as other players such as Quicktime, HTML5, Silverlight and any others I find.