Stream audio & video from webcam using VLC

Yesterday, I’ve posted about streaming webcam image to www using motion. This solution, although very simple, has many limitations, lack of sound, usage of high bandwidth and low image quality, just to mention a few. In a way, motion stream is just a set of jpeg files.
In order to solve all of these, I have spend quite some time playing with VLC, an open source cross-platform multimedia player, that is able to transcode and stream audio & video.
Streaming can be started from graphical interface, just go to:

Media >> Stream… >> Capture Device, select your devices, Add HTML destination (ie. :8080/webcam.ogg), select Video-Theora + Vorbis (OGG) profile & press Stream.

You stream will be available at: http://localhost:8081/webcam.ogg

But normally, using command line is preferred under Linux:
[bash]
vlc v4l2:// :input-slave=alsa:// :v4l2-standard=1 :v4l2-dev=/dev/video0 :v4l2-width=1280 :v4l2-height=720 :sout="#transcode{vcodec=theo,vb=2000,acodec=vorb,ab=128,channels=2,samplerate=44100}:http{dst=:8081/webcam.ogg}" -I dummy
[/bash]

Initially, I had problem with streaming sound along with video. Adding, `:input-slave=alsa:// :v4l2-standard=1` solved this. You can try another values for `:v4l2-standard` ie. 0, 1 or 2, depending which microphone you want to use.

Above command will stream HD video (1280×720) in .ogg format (natively suported by most browsers) @ ~2Mbps (2000kbps). If you have slower connection, you can change `vb=2000` to `vb=1000` (~1Mbps) and play with lower resolutions. You can check available resolutions of your camera by:
[bash]
lsusb -v | egrep -B10 ‘Width|Height’
[/bash]

This stream, however, is available to everyone. To limit it only to localhost, you can use iptables:
[bash]
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s localhost –dport 8081 -j ACCEPT && sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 8081 -j DROP && vlc v4l2:// :input-slave=alsa:// :v4l2-standard=1 :v4l2-dev=/dev/video0 :v4l2-width=1280 :v4l2-height=720 :sout="#transcode{vcodec=theo,vb=2000,acodec=vorb,ab=128,channels=2,samplerate=44100}:http{dst=:8081/webcam.ogg}" -I dummy
[/bash]

Now, you can create apache2 proxy, similarly to previous post:
[bash]
# install apache2-utils
sudo apt install apache2-utils

# setup new user & passwd
sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/.htpasswd webcam

# configure apache2 – add to your VirtualHost config
# webcam
<Location "/webcam.ogg">
ProxyPass http://localhost:8081/webcam.ogg
ProxyPassReverse http://localhost:8081/webcam.ogg
# htpasswd
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Restricted Content"
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/.htpasswd
Require valid-user
</Location>
[/bash]

Streaming image from webcam through www

Willing to stream image from your webcam through Internet? Nothing easier with Ubuntu!

[bash]
# install
sudo apt-get install motion

# create config file
mkdir ~/.motion && gedit ~/.motion/motion.conf

# define the port and motion settings
webcam_port 8081
webcam_localhost on
# increase maxrate & quality
webcam_maxrate 30
webcam_quality 90
# slow down the stream to 1 frame per second if no motion
webcam_motion on

# run motion
motion
[/bash]

You can find the stream at http://localhost:8081/.

If you wish to stream it publicly, I recommend at least basic HTTP based authentication.
[bash]
# install apache2-utils
sudo apt install apache2-utils

# setup new user & passwd
sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/.htpasswd webcam

# configure apache2 – add to your VirtualHost config
# webcam
<Location "/cam">
# proxy
ProxyPass http://localhost:8081/
ProxyPassReverse http://localhost:8081/
# htpasswd
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Restricted Content"
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/.htpasswd
Require valid-user
</Location>
[/bash]
Now, image from your webcam will be accessible at http://YOURDOMAIN.COM/cam

Finally, you can configure motion to run only when you are away.

Inspired by gist.