1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Possible to cast live video and audio to TV?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by OsakaWebbie, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I'm wondering if I can use an old phone as an IP camera to cast what its camera sees and hears to a TV in the next room. The TV is an LG Smart TV with WebOS and Miracast (or I can add a casting dongle if necessary). But what I can't figure out is how to convince the phone to send not just the camera's view but also audio from the mic. No recording is necessary - all I need is to cast the image and sound. Is there an app that will do that?
     


    Milo Willamson likes this.
  2. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    Possibly there is an app for that.



    Google T.v., play services, everything underneath the roof, variations on how would you like to stream it.
     
  3. GameTheory

    GameTheory Android Expert

    I did something like this once. I used a phone as a security camera and viewed it from my other phone anywhere in my home. I don't recall there being any audio, but I also wasn't interested in any audio.

    Here's the excellent app I used for this...
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ivuu
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  4. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the thought. Installed Alfred and tried it, but it won't even get past the setup screen until I log into their cloud service - if I needed to do what it's designed to do (use two phones, one of them remote) that would be fine, but my use case is very different. One detail I didn't mention is that in the location where this will be, there is a router to create a WiFi LAN environment, but no internet. Plus, I suspect Alfred doesn't include any casting, since its purpose is to send the data to another phone through the cloud. No doubt if one completed the Alfred setup by designating a second phone as the view, that second phone could be cast with native capability (because the audio would then be from "content", not the mic). But even if I had internet there, I'm trying to do this with one phone, not two.
     
  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    If you already have a home LAN set up, WiFi connectivity will provide better range and bandwidth stability than Miracast connectivity. But whether your router is or isn't connected to the Internet is irrelevant in this situation. If you're casting through your home network between two devices that's all being done by your router and within your isolated network, online access to the Internet isn't necessary for any of that.

    As for casting to that LG TV, what it the model of that retired phone you want to be using and which version of Android is it running?
    A lot of phones have included some kind of casting support, dig through the Settings menu to check. An example being, in one of my Nougat phones there's a 'Casting' option in the Settings >> Display menu. But if you don't see anything like that in yours, there are plenty of casting apps in the Play Store:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lge.app1
    https://play.google.com/store/search?q=lg tv casting
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  6. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I don't have a retired phone in hand for this yet, so I can't tell you what model it would be. I was going to ask around among the church members (this is for a small church) or possibly buy a cheap used phone. But first I need to know that it's possible with ANY phone. My own phone (also Nougat) will happily cast content or mirror the display, but it does not do anything with the mic - the only audio I can cast is related to content (i.e. data, either saved as files in the phone or streamed from somewhere else), not live.
     
  7. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    OK, since this is more of a brainstorming issue. Reading through you original posting in retrospect
    -- I'd avoid using Miracast in this situation. The coverage range will probably be an issue -- it's one thing to use Miracast to cast across a room, another thing to cast from one room to another. Since you already have LAN set up with WiFi, better to just rely on that.
    -- Instead of re-purposing an older smartphone, what about just buying a webcam? Something that is by design made for this task, a remote camera that can broadcast video/audio, might work out better. Even something like this cheap webcam:
    https://www.amazon.com/Stream-Compu...1548432090&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=webcam&psc=1
    Granted, it would work out better having the camera feed going into a computer and then linking the computer to that LG smart TV.
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  8. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Extreme Android User

    Have you looked into any baby monitor apps on the play store as that seems like something they'd do.
     
  9. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    @svim Brainstorming - yes! You picked right up on that. In this Superuser forum question that I wrote before I had the smartphone-as-camera idea, I explained the big picture and tried to ask for brainstorming help, but the respondents ended up with a narrow focus (on the networking hardware, which was not even my main concern). Here, I wrote a short question narrowly focused on Android (after all, it is an Android forum), but you recognized the brainstorming aspect anyway. :)

    As for your webcam suggestion: I'm trying to avoid introducing a computer into the mix - it's large (out-of-the-way locations are limited in the small room), complex to boot and do what needs doing each time it is used, and more expensive. I'm really hoping for a single device with a camera and mic that can get the stream all the way to the TV without another device in the chain that has to be individually handled, especially a computer. (I might end up needing a second phone in the chain, but that's only the fall-back plan.)

    @Shotgun84 Baby monitor app - nice clue. The existence of such apps proves to me that the OS and hardware do permit an app to take the mic's live audio (in addition to the camera's video) and throw it onto WiFi in some fashion. So far I still haven't seen an app that feeds it to something other than another phone running the same app, but this feels like a step closer. Hope springs eternal.

    If I have to give up the dream of a single gadget besides the TV, getting two phones and a baby monitor app (assuming the "parent" phone can cast its audio and video to a TV - that's untested) is a possibility I will keep in mind. But I think
    [IP Camera, on its own mount and no touch needed][Phone w/ app provided by IP Cam maker] ➡ [TV]
    is simpler than
    [Phone w/ baby monitor app: baby mode, started up and then placed in some DIY cradle] ➡ [Phone w/ baby monitor app: parent mode] ➡ [TV]
    Of course if the phones are donated, that's less cost than an IP camera (or two - read on).

    As you can see from the Superuser thread, this kind of thing is needed in two directions at different times of the week. The weekday (preschool) direction involves the afore-mentioned LG TV. The other direction (church) is currently camcorder video and soundboard audio both fed into an AV wireless gadget to get to the other room, then to a Sony TV and four sets of Bluetooth transmitters and headphones - a system that is complex (especially charging and pairing all those Bluetooth transmitters and headphones every week!) but usually works okay except for hum. Once I figure out a clean method for monitoring the preschool, I'll evaluate whether a similar method would also work for the church mom's corner (the main difference on the sending side is the audio coming from the soundboard rather than the camera device's mic).
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  10. lvt

    lvt Android Expert

    A pair of cheap 2.4Ghz remote AV sender / receiver should help. It's purely hardware, no software involved.
     
  11. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    This is a slight deviation in that it doesn't involve casting directly from a phone to that smart TV but maybe live broadcasting to Youtube might fit your needs. This way, use the smartphone to do the live uploading into a Youtube account and view it in real time using the Youtube app on that LG TV. Plus there's an added benefit of having your videos saved online so if people want to view them later or they can't attend for some reason; or if someone wants to download and edit them later (i.e. clean up hum in the audio stream)
    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2474026?hl=en
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  12. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    @lvt That's exactly what we're using now for the church direction (it's what I called the "AV wireless gadget" above). It's only SD resolution, and its analog nature causes some 60Hz hum in the audio and occasional glitching in the video, but yes, it works. In fact, my first thought was to buy another one of those, replace the lost power adapter for my other old, big DV camcorder (my first old, big DV camcorder is used with our current church-direction setup), and have the same analog SD solution in both directions. But it seemed soooo 2010's - I thought that in 2019, a purely digital, HD solution would make more sense, especially now that we have big TVs in both rooms (we have previously been using an old, small TV to match the old, big camcorder :p). I had no idea it would be this hard.

    @svim Apparently you forgot that we have no internet. Sure, most of the people involved personally own a smartphone with a data plan, but none are unlimited. A 90-minute worship service once a week, a 3-hour preschool program twice a week... nope.
     
  13. lvt

    lvt Android Expert

    @OsakaWebbie : there are HD wireless kits that can transmit video in 1080p with 5.1 quality sound.

    Personally I would stay away from any solution involving a smartphone as it's not convenient.
     
  14. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, but they're pretty pricey. We'd be happy with 720p and mono sound, but even then, wireless HDMI (two kits, since we need to go both directions eventually) would set us back more than we'd like to spend.

    Considering that this is a forum for smartphones, that gave me a good chuckle. Thanks for being objective and thinking big picture.

    Earlier, I was looking through reviews of baby monitor apps, and it seems that most of them expect internet for one reason or another. A surprising number of them have a subscription model - those would be complete non-starters, because on a phone with no SIM card on a WiFi network with no broadband, the app can't check to see if the subscription is current. Others have a primary function of notifying the parent by phone or SMS if the baby cries - nope. So yeah, the more I look at apps, the more difficult that seemingly simple idea is getting.

    As this conversation continues to stray from the droidverse...
    My pastor had an idea that has some merit. Each room has a small exhaust fan on the outside wall, and we never use the fans. They are about 4 meters apart and not too far from where the TV/camera locations are (very close in the preschool case, farther in the church case because the camera is in a different corner of the room). It's third floor, but running a couple cable(s) between them would not be hard, due to a handy window right between them. We can't fasten conduit to the wall, but it looks like we could "drape" flexible PVC pipe over two brackets holding an existing duct, and hook the ends under the fan port hoods with PVC elbow joints, hopefully keeping the weather and sunlight (south-facing wall!) sufficiently off the cables.
    exhaust-ports.jpg [​IMG]
     
    #14 OsakaWebbie, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  15. lvt

    lvt Android Expert

    I don't know what type of cable you might be using, but we have a standard RJ45 ethernet cable that goes from a building to the other one across the small street. The cable served the buildings for almost two years until the other building has its own adsl connection. When I pulled the cable down, it was in very good condition, kind of harder to roll but perfectly functional.
     
  16. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Oops, yes my mistake.
    Still tossing things around in my head though. Using AirDroid, a free app that does file transfers through WiFi (and contrary to what a lot of people insist upon, it does NOT require signing up for any online account nor does it need any Internet access to work), it also has a modified remote desktop feature. Accessing the camera app on a phone remotely works fine for just remote video capture but for some reason the audio stream doesn't get included. (... and this is dependent on if there's a web browser app on that LG smartTV).
    But that video + audio point does seem to add a stumbling block -- trying different remote access apps just keep running into the issue of one or the other.
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  17. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Yes, there is a web browser on the TV.

    It seems like such a simple idea for an app: Turn on the camera and the mic, show the camera feed on the display (so you can see to point it where you want) but don't play the mic on the speakers (to avoid feedback), and pop open the casting menu to choose a device to cast to. Done. Bonus points (not for me but to make it a well-rounded app) might be to include some sort of feedback detection/protection for silly people who try to use it too close to the receiving device. Thanks for continuing to ponder this with me.
     
  18. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    The situation just got worse. Today was the first Sunday after receiving the donated Sony TV intended to replace the ancient, tiny, battered one we had been using for the "church direction" to allow nursing moms to see the worship service. Little did I know that the Sony has no composite video input! So today we had to use the old TV sitting right next to the big beautiful one, and we will have to keep doing that until we find a digital solution to this mess.
     
  19. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Well that is a bummer. Things did appear to be simpler before with analog (i.e. your camcorder to TV set up just worked as is), now that things have moved to digital signals, there are a lot of benefits but also more complexity.
     
  20. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    I've read through this thread and have a few thoughts on the subject. Excuse me if I repeat some of the suggestions others have already made.

    While the original idea has some merit, I'd have some reservations about the end results being acceptable. First using a cheap phone, you will have problems with camera quality and performance. Video/audio encoding will stress any device and to stream it for any length could run you up against a wall in terms of either processing power or bandwidth. And, seeing as this will be an "always on" condition, you will also have power issues, either not being able to keep up or possibly generating a good deal of heat. This could be detrimental to the battery or worse, dangerous.

    I would think it would be possible with most TV's provided you have the appropriate connections. Chromecast or Firestick come to mind since they work through any old HDMI port. But, since you have a smart TV, the a web browser would be the simplest.

    What you will need is a phone with a decent camera and microphone, a smart TV and a wireless access point for the phone to connect to and a router to provide DHCP services (most consumer routers do both) ... and an app for the phone that lets you turn the camera into a monitor. I looked around and this might work IP webcam looks like it handles both video and audio in the stream.

    So here's how you do it. Start with the router. Configure that for a unique network, something that doesn't serve the same subnet as anything else within range. Most routers, out of the box, will either be 192.168.1.0 or 10.0.10.0. On some rare instances you'll see 176.16.1.0. All are perfectly fine for single private subnets. So configure your router to serve ip addresses like 192.168.2.0 and set the WiFi SSID to something you will recognize when you connect the phone to it. PSALM1914 for example (that's a good one for 'communication' ;) )

    Personally I'd connect the TV to the router with a patch cable as opposed to WiFi for both the phone and the TV. You'll get better performance, but you could test it and see if WiFi for both is acceptable. In any case the order goes: Setup router and WiFi (keep it powered ON). Turn on the TV and connect to the router either via cable or WiFi. Turn on phone and connect to WiFi that you just setup. Launch app and it should give you an ip address as a URL to connect to. Finally using the TV's web browser, enter the URL that the phone is showing to connect to the video and audio.

    Personally, I'd suggest using dedicated IP based security camera/baby monitor. Most of these don't require anything more than a WiFi network to work out of the box.

    A couple of things to consider ... The app should not be one that requires the cloud or any type of subscription to work. Most of those types of apps are going to record your feed to a cloud server so you can play back anywhere. If you want to do that, then Live YouTube should be fine. The camera, either on a phone or as a discreet device should have the proper camera angle for your needs. Many phones have a fairly wide field of vision and so will need to be near your subject. A camera with a narrow field of vision can be placed father away, but then the audio will suffer.

    The more cameras you add, the more you will tax your wifi network and may see some degradation across ALL devices. At some point, given the quality and signal strength of the router's antennae, you are going to hit a bandwidth limit.

    Hope that helps.
     
    MoodyBlues and GameTheory like this.
  21. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the detailed response. "PSALM1914" - I love it!

    I had already tried IP Webcam and not gotten audio, but I tried it again just now and it worked this time. Perhaps I hadn't clicked the right buttons, as both a video format and audio format must be selected each time.

    However, on my test here at home (where I admit that there are a number of devices on the WiFi, but no one was actively doing anything else), even with my computer on wired ethernet, the audio is significantly delayed behind the video (around two seconds), no matter which format of video and audio I select in the settings. Three apps I tested in the normal use case of two phones also had somewhat of the same sync problem. Wednesday I can test in the real location, where there is no WAN at all and no other devices on the LAN (I can even try changing the subnet like you suggested, although it's already dedicated to only this use and uses a subnet of 192.168.0.*, far less common than 192.168.1.*). But although I can put up with occasional choppiness in the video when the buffer gets behind, the video and audio need to stay in sync - talking mouths should reasonably match the sound we hear.

    I already bought a dedicated IP camera, but it has given me various kinds of trouble, too, so I'll almost certainly return it (I already have approval for the return).

    I'm starting to look seriously at the prospect of running cable outside (mentioned before with photo). I've also been advised by others that I should convert the HDMI to SDI and back again - I'm mulling that over. More money because I'd need to buy two camcorders rather than asking my friends for old, unused smartphones, but the signal would be rock-solid.
     
  22. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Just my opinion but I'd recommend you avoid subnetting your network, unless you do have a specific reason to do so. Breaking your existing single network into two might be required if it's a matter where you have non-public info to protect (i.e. records with personal data in the main office) but otherwise, that's just adding unnecessary overhead to basic maintenance, essentially creating two networks to manage instead of one.
    A more hassle-free option, if your router supports it, is to just set up a 'guest network', which by default is its own, isolated, WiFi network. It's benefit being, a typical 'guest network' has only rudimentary file/printer sharing support and none of it is tied to the main network.

    For a better understanding on working with your organization's network, here's a really nice, concise (1 pg) explanation on IP addresses, pay attention especially to the 'Private Addresses' section:
    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/ip-addresses-explained/
    This Wikipedia page on subnetting is more detailed but is a good read if you do need to split your current LAN up:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subnetwork

    Also, I wouldn't worry about how many devices you have connected to your router at any given time. Whether your router has one or thirty active IP addresses given out, it's what each of those devices are doing that might be a factor in actually slowing down network traffic overall. Plus since the Internet isn't a factor in this instance, ALL network traffic packets are going to be tied to pretty specific issues. Then it just becomes something you can guestimate at using basic math -- depending on wired or wireless and how old your router is. (i.e. if it's newer than a decade or so, wired transfers will be in the gigabyte or more range, wireless depending on the 802.11 standards it supports) So if you're transferring a video/audio signal from a phone to a TV and there are twenty other devices connected to that same network, if those other twenty devices are essentially idle (especially since Internet access isn't available in this instance) than those twenty other devices are irrelevant, it's just that communication between those two active devices that need to be taken into account.
    And before this just turns into a pissing match where we're all just stating opinions as facts, I strongly suggest you install something like Wireshark on a computer, do a scan on your LAN and get some actual, hard data on your own network. Instead of relying on supposition, you'll have real numbers based on real-time analysis of your own network. It's free, well supported with long history (1998), and available for multiple platforms.
    https://www.wireshark.org/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireshark
    https://www.howtogeek.com/104278/how-to-use-wireshark-to-capture-filter-and-inspect-packets/

    But getting back to the original query you posted, at this point I'm wondering if running an Ethernet cable is going to help in this instance. Yes a physical cable is almost always going to be the optimal choice but reading through your StackExchange write-up, there does appear to be some issues involved. If WiFi isn't going to be adequate though, than it does become an issue.
    And as a side note, opting for some kind of powerline solution, networking through electrical outlets, was problematic in its intro years but has since evolved to become are very viable option. But there are number of things to take into consideration with powerline networking, this article is a really good read with details on what to look out for:
    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-powerline-networking-kit/
    As for your church's WiFi overall, try installing this free (and no ads) WiFiAnalyer (Open Source) app.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vrem.wifianalyzer&hl=en_US+
    There's a 'Channel Graph' option that shows a bar graph showing the WiFi networks it detects (both for 2.4GHz and 5GHz). If you do a scan in the same room as where the router is located (to get a baseline measurement) and then another scan standing right next to each TV you can get some numbers on signal strength. By standing next to the TVs, you'll get an approximate idea on just how strong a WiFi signal is reaching each respective TV. Distance will diminish effective coverage range and you'll also get a better idea on whether you should rely on a 2.4GHz band network or 5Ghz. As an example if you're seeing 45dBm in the same room as the router but say 70dBm next to one of the TVs, that 70dBm is pretty marginal. But you really do need to get some actual numbers to make some accurate decisions off of. There are no set rules that apply to every situation. If your church has a metal, angled roof, that may be more beneficial to a 5GHz network over a 2.4GHz one, with the general rule being to the contrary as 2.4GHz wavelength signals travel further than 5GHz. You could get a better WiFi coverage range by relocating the router, or buying a newer, more capable one. But since budget does appear to be a factor and if it does turn out that WiFi just doesn't work out, looking into wired options might be your best solution.
     
    lunatic59 and MoodyBlues like this.
  23. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Honestly, I think this is more your problem than bandwidth at this point. If the bottleneck is the encoding of the digital video signal, try setting the video to the lowest resolution on the camera app and the audio to a smaller sampling rate. If that helps with the sync, then a phone with a better processor might help. If it doesn't change the audio sync problem, then I think it might be time to talk to a real audiovisual engineer about some budget options that will work for your situation.
     
  24. OsakaWebbie

    OsakaWebbie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    While you guys were writing your replies about WiFi and phone processing power, I had already decided that apps and IP cameras aren't going to cut it. The sync issue is unrelenting, and the apps simply aren't designed with that as a priority (if you're using it for a baby monitor or security cam, who cares if the audio is a couple seconds behind?). And the video is almost never smooth - apps like Skype and YouTube reduce the resolution when the buffer can't keep up, but the apps I was testing just drop frames. If I give up on networking completely, I don't have to fit the camel (HD video) through the eye of the needle (WiFi), because HDMI isn't even compressed. So I spent the day researching equipment details for the idea of using a camcorder with HDMI output, converting that to SDI, and running the coax SDI cable through the fan vents to get to the next room. (I probably am the A/V engineer that lunatic59 suggested I talk to - I'm much stronger in that area than in smartphones or networking.) It uses all equipment in the way it was designed (well, except the fan vents!), instead of trying to be clever with some innovation. It costs more, but there will be no stress each time we use it, making sure the apps are all talking to each other properly, confirming the smartphone is pointing in the right direction after being started and then set back on its perch (hard to tell when the display is on the side you can't see), etc. Camcorder on, TV on, done.

    But I learned a lot from this thread - thanks for all the advice and info. For example, svim's most recent post included mention of the WiFiAnalyzer app - that sounds very handy. [Sidenote: I do know about Wireshark and even have it on my computer (although I'm terrible at the analysis...). But I get the impression that the whole first half of that post was more directed at lunatic59 than me, as I never suggested monkeying with the subnet of a network that isn't used for anything else. I try to keep an open mind and respond positively to any suggestion on forums, but I also never thought that using ethernet instead of WiFi for the endpoints would be any more than an incremental improvement.]

    And I also learned that there is a friendly and helpful community on this forum. I have a lot of trouble with StackOverflow and other Stack Exchange forums - my questions are often flagged as a duplicate of some other question that is not at all the same, or labeled off-topic. Here, even though the discussion strayed far from Android, you guys still hung in there with me. Kudos and thanks!
     
    #24 OsakaWebbie, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
    MoodyBlues, svim and lunatic59 like this.
Loading...
Similar Threads - Possible cast live
  1. montecarlo1987
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    415
  2. Xyberz
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    702
  3. willsp28
    Replies:
    26
    Views:
    1,106
  4. Rgarner
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    589
  5. louis2008
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    375
  6. imsail
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    358
  7. gutthatrat
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    315
  8. TheOuz
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    597
  9. Toks777
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    508
  10. spman
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    472

Share This Page

Loading...