Today we came across a unique challenge. We’re proposing a digital signage solution to a school in Abu Dhabi, and the client came up with a funny demand. I don’t know why, but they wanted to show a live CCTV feed, whenever required, on the screens which are put up in the school. And it won’t be in a full-screen mode, but just part a of the display that shows the feed.
Now you maybe using some kind of software for your digital signage that can read websites or streaming content (if not, get one :)). So what are the steps to make sure that you can even show live CCTV feed on your digital signage displays?
Firstly, the software which you are using for digital signage must be capable of rendering streaming content so it can be either RSTP UDP or MMS, being the formats used for streaming media. You want to do is first and find out what type of IP camera technology are you using, and then just Google the exact RSTP URL equivalent of the IP camera feed which needs to be shown.
As per Wikipedia, “The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communications systems to control streaming media servers. The protocol is used for establishing and controlling media sessions between end points. Clients of media servers issue VCR-like commands, such as play and pause, to facilitate real-time control of playback of media files from the server.
The transmission of streaming data itself is not a task of the RTSP protocol. Most RTSP servers use the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) in conjunction with Real-time Control Protocol (RTCP) for media stream delivery, however some vendors implement proprietary transport protocols. The RTSP server from RealNetworks, for example, also featuresRealNetworks‘ proprietary Real Data Transport (RDT).”
In my case I found this immediate solution which showed me the equivalent RSTP URL. Open the RSTP URL in any media player like VLC and check if it works fine. I’m using the Nexcom PowerDigis console, so in that, we can select the type of content to be added on the layout which consists of multiple zones (image, video, RSS tickers, streaming content etc.). I put the exact RSTP feed, but had to make sure that its an anonymous, especially because like on HTTP, you can actually put http://username: [email protected], but in your RSTP URL, I’m not sure whether you can do that. But since your digital signage player interface will also be secure enough, I don’t see much of a problem in giving an anonymous feed, the output of your CCTV.
That’s all about it. Now you can have one of the zones on your digital signage display showing the live feed, and it can be from IPTV, CCTV or even a broadcast camera.