Global Independent Stream Support
A network of interconnected servers that provide FLOSS-based ogg video and audio streaming capabilities for like-minded groups to use, visit giss.tv
GISS is an empathic network of humans, machines, flows and free code.
GISS works with social networks, free software developers and
multi-thread human-based sytems of content builders to support the construction
of the free-global-layer of online communication.
The GISS network
The actual servers are the ones from a wide variety of iniciatives: http://labbs.net/ labbs / http://psand.com psand / http://artefacte.org/ artefacte / http://riereta.net/ riereta / http://r23.cc/ r23 / http://v2v.cc/ v2v, http://www.bek.no bek / http://hackitectura.net/ hackitectura / http://mur.at mur - among others. Here you can see the it in action (is realtime) map
Together the network has about 200mbps of bandwidth for streaming.
So far the network has been used from multiple places of the planet including countries in latinamerica like colombia, ecuador, peru and bolivia.
Getting a mountpoint
Using the G.I.S.S. network to stream video
Go to http://giss.tv and create your mountpoint. Keep in mind that the content to be streamed should resonate with the following keywords: non-commercial, opensource, independent_media, collaboration, experimental, free_sofware, social_networks. (add yours)
Use IRC ( irc.r23.cc #giss ) to communicate with people in the network.
Any that runs under linux, for that you can see what the dmesg command throws in your console after connecting it to the usb potrt, then go and look here if its supported: http://www.qbik.ch/usb/devices/showdevcat.php?id=9
If you're doing something a bit more fancy or are doing high quality documentation as well as streaming video, you might want to use a DV cam and firewire. This works nicely with http://v2v.cc/~j/ffmpeg2theora/oggfwd/ oggfwd but it's quite a tricky setup if you're not used to using the command line. A more detailed version for the same setting is here: http://r23.cc/community/?q=node/484
One can use Theorur an avoid using the command line. http://theorur.tvlivre.org/ theorur
Streaming to GISS
Sending the Stream to the Server
There are a plethora of streaming clients..from the purist http://puredata.info/ puredata+pidip to the easy and accessible http://freej.dyne.org/ freej or the above mentioned theorur from estudiolivre brasil. Many others in-between such as http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ vlc, http://v2v.cc/~j/ffmpeg2theora/oggfwd/ oggfwd, flumotion, etc.
ffmpeg2theora 0.17 with dv-grab & oggfwd in linux is currently the most solid streaming solution and the one recommended by GISS. A version for OSX is under development.
For Windows try this : http://dir.visonair.tv/streamer.php
A decent internet connection
Stable streams are possible even on very slow connections (128k or slower). If you have a 256k connection with at least 100kbps real upload speed that will be more than enough. We tend to use a 240x180 15fps settings. Remember, you are streaming to one of the servers that will take care of spreading the load for you. You just need to get to the GISS server, theres no need for an ultra fat connection since the server will take care of balancing bandwidth and sharing your content. Of course the more bandwidth you have the better since that will allow better resolutions. The max. 320x240 but that won't allow people behind slow connections to see your stream in a smooth way.
Serving the Stream
REMEMBER: you don't need a server for streaming video just a mountpoint in the GISS network, in case you have a server:
These days (november 2006) all its basically based on this patched icecast: http://www.mediacast1.com/~karl/ thats is installed in each of the master servers. The patched icecast allows the theora transport video layer in the ogg codec, hence ogg/theora means juicy video bits included!
You can add it to the GISS ring simply touching the icecast config and adding the GISS master server for the relay, for this you will need a password that can be obtained via the irc channel or via the mailing list, see below.
Setting up a Streaming Source
Tuning into the streams
Watching the stream
There are a number of different clients you can use to watch the streams, depending on which platform you're using.
we recommend VLC which has good theora support and is multiplatform.
Others available are:
Or if you don't want to install anything other than the basics, as long as you have java JRE 5.0 Update 3, you can watch the stream using a java applet from the comfort of your own web browser - if you are a streamer and you want to provide this service you will need to check with somebody in the GISS IRC channel.
Communicating with the G.I.S.S. network
One of the best ways to configure the system and test it is to do use irc. We live in irc so come to the channel #giss (server irc.r23.cc) if you need more help or want a pasword to test:
(soon to come)
Joining / supporting the G.I.S.S network
Joining the G.I.S.S. network is simple! You just need to install and configure your icecast2 server, then configure it to relay the stream from other G.I.S.S. machines. It's simple - just sharing extra resources ;)
GISS governs itself with the principle of spontaneity, so i guess theres no master plan apart of building the network on trust and frienship. Wiki rules.
Servers in Latin America are particularly needed and appreciated - due to lack of bandwidth in the region. From the G.I.S.S. http://www1.autistici.org/communa/platanal/flisol_giss_poster.png poster done for the http://www.installfest.info flisol you can see how the south depends on one server from psand in miami..hopefully soon there will be one in NYC.
Here we should keep record of some of the chats from the IRC channel, they will help us to define a FAQ about the G.I.S.S as long as help others to get started.
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