How to Stream Video Over TCP/IP

by Jerry Garner

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a data delivery method with origins that trace back to 1973, prior to the Internet as we know it today. The ethernet connections that our computer networks use today are all based around TCP/IP technology. Emails, file transfers, Internet traffic and multimedia streaming are common functions that take place over TCP/IP connections every day. Video streaming over TCP/IP is probably the most progressive and most popular of these functions.

Consider the source of your video. If your video originates from a computer webcam, then it should already be in a digital format that can be played over the Web. If the video comes from a DVD player, surveillance camera or other piece of hardware, you will need to convert the video to a digital format that can be played on the Web. This is usually done by using a digital converter to connect the device to your Local Area Network. Do an Internet search for "encoding applianceā€ to find a converter that meets your needs.

Decide what codec you would like to use. Codec stands for Compression/Decompression. A file is compressed before being sent over TCP/IP, then decompressed at the other end of the transmission. Each video player uses its own compression technology, meaning you will need to use a different codec for each type of media player you want to use. Windows Media Player, Real Media and Flash Video are the most popular options, and each use a different codec.

Set up your video source from Step 1 to encode the video into the codec you selected in Step 2. If your video source is a webcam, then the software for your webcam recorder will allow you to select what format you would like to record in. If you are using an encoding appliance to connect a piece of hardware to your LAN, it can probably record the stream in both Windows Media Player and Real Media at the same time. However, if you wish to produce Flash Video from the encoder, you will need to use a Flash Video encoder software on your computer to convert these streams to Flash format.

Make your stream available to others. The software for your encoding appliance or webcam recorder should provide you with an embed code that you can copy into a website or other Internet file. This will play the video anytime the file is loaded by someone who visits your website or company intranet, depending on where you placed the file.


  • check Streaming video over TCP/IP is a great way to make a presentation to a large number of people, or to provide a creative outlet to express your views to the general public.

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About the Author

Jerry Garner has been writing semi-professionally for more than 15 years. The body of Garner's work includes informative articles, news and current events and historical essays. He is an avid sports fan and frequently writes about outdoor activities online.