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Remote TV

A software to stream and control TV from a remote computer  (Freeware)

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What problem does RemoteTV solve? Why do I need it?

RemoteTV uses VideoLAN to address the following scenario:

  • You have a computer with a TV tuner card installed in it.
  • The computer is part of a network.
  • You want to leverage the TV tuner card on this computer to view TV on some other computer in the network. E.g. your laptop.

Thus, you can use RemoteTV to stream TV to your laptop through wi-fi.

How does it work? 

RemoteTV software has a server component and a client component.  The server component is installed on the server machine (the computer that has the TV tuner card) whereas the client component is installed on all machines that want to use the server's TV tuner card. The client machines send messages to the server machine for starting TV, changing channel etc. The server machine is responsible for fulfilling these requests. The software uses VideoLAN for actual streaming.

How do I install it?

Follow these steps to set up RemoteTV.

  • Download and install VideoLAN on the server and client machines (download link).
  • Download and install Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Framework v2.0 on the server and client machines (download link).
  • Download and install RemoteTVServerInstall.exe on the server machine (download link). This will install the server software.
  • Download and install RemoteTVClientInstall.exe on client machines (download link). This will install the client software.

How do I run RemoteTV Server?

The server installation program adds a shortcut to the start menu. You can start the server through this shortcut. The application minimizes to the system tray. 

You can add the RemoteTV Server shortcut to Startup folder in start menu if you want the server to start automatically on each reboot.

How do I configure RemoteTV Server?

The server software displays the configuration dialog on its first run. You can view the same dialog by clicking on the Configuration item in the Open menu. The following figure shows the various settings in the configuration dialog.

A description of the various fields is as follows:

Port: The port at which this server would run (leave it to default value if you are unsure about this value)

Timeout: The interval after which the server will disconnect a client if it doesn't receive a heartbeat from the client.

Allow mutiple clients to control RemoteTV Server: By default, only the client that started the TV is allowed to issue further commands to the server. Choose this option if you want clients other than the one that started the TV streaming, to also have control over the server. The option can be useful if the server is set up for multicasting. Leave it unchecked if you are not sure about it.

Video Device: The video capture device. The selected device will act as the video source.

Audio Device: The selected device will act as the audio source.

Executable: Set the VideoLAN executable location (vlc.exe) in this field.

Arguments: The arguments to the VideoLAN executable. You would have to change it if you want to set it up for multicasting. Refer to VideoLAN website for more information on the command line parameters. Please do not change it if you are not sure about it.

How do I run RemoteTV Client?

The client installer program adds a shortcut to the start menu. Start the client program through this shortcut.

How do I configure RemoteTV Client?

 The client program displays the configuration dialog on first run. You can retrieve this dialog later on through the Open->Configuration menu. An explanation of the various controls in the configuration dialog is as follows:

Server: The IP address or the name of the machine on which the RemoteTV Server program is running.

Port: The port at which the server is running. This should be the same as the port set in the server configuration dialog.

Heart Beat Rate: The interval at which the client application sends heart beat to the server.

Executable: Set the VideoLAN executable (vlc.exe) in this field.

Arguments: Arguments to VideoLAN. Please do not change if you are not sure about it.

What are the various controls in RemoteTV Client?

 A snapshot of RemoteTV Client is shown below.

Description of various controls is as follows:

On: Click to switch on TV. The TV is not started if some other client is connected to the server. Use the Force option to disconnect the client that is connected to the server.

Off: Switch off TV.

Up: Move channel up by one.

Down: Move channel down by one.

Channel: Directly enter the channel you want to visit and press ">" button to change the channel.

Add/Edit Channel Label: Set the label for the channel being currently displayed. Press ">" button after entering the text to set the label. The label will be added to the "Select Favourite" list.

Select Favourite: Use the select favourite list to directly jump to a channel. Press the ">" button after selecting the desired channel to change the channel. The dropdown is populated using all channels for which channel labels have been set using the add/edit channel label control.

Exit: Stop TV and exit the application. 
 

 What are some of the known issues?

  • No video or audio on client machine: Switch off/on the TV a couple of times. If this does not help then it may be due to firewall settings. If you have a firewall installed on the server machine, make sure that both vlc.exe and RemoteTVServer.exe are allowed to send and receive messages. If you have firewall installed on the client machine, then ensure that the server is allowed to send UDP streams to the client machine.
  • The video freezes after some time. I can hear the audio though: This is due to a bug in VideoLAN. Switch off/on the TV.
  • RemoteTV Client is not able to connect to the server: Check that the server IP address and port is configured correctly in client configuration.

Source Code

RemoteTV.src.zip

I build it using Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition.

 Please send feedback to anuragworld at gmail dot com

 

Last Edited - Anurag Sinha 14th May 06