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Watching TEPCO cams with VLC?
#1
Hi Everyone,

I have monitored the TEPCO cams on and off, and was surprised that recently I can't watch them with VLC anymore. They seem to have changed the stream to some new format (flowplayer). Does anyone know how to extract the URL(s) needed to watch the new stream in a player like VLC?
 
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#2
(03-07-2016, 04:50 PM)RodgerRoentgen Wrote: Hi Everyone,

I have monitored the TEPCO cams on and off, and was surprised that recently I can't watch them with VLC anymore. They seem to have changed the stream to some new format (flowplayer). Does anyone know how to extract the URL(s) needed to watch the new stream in a player like VLC?

No direct feeds that I know of, just the flowplayer on tepco's site. If you find other feeds, please let us know.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."
 
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#3
(03-07-2016, 05:20 PM)Horse Wrote:
(03-07-2016, 04:50 PM)RodgerRoentgen Wrote: Hi Everyone,

I have monitored the TEPCO cams on and off, and was surprised that recently I can't watch them with VLC anymore. They seem to have changed the stream to some new format (flowplayer). Does anyone know how to extract the URL(s) needed to watch the new stream in a player like VLC?

No direct feeds that I know of, just the flowplayer on tepco's site.  If you find other feeds, please let us know.

I just had tepco's unit 4 smartphone link work on VLC. I haven't had much luck keeping it working more than a minute or so though.
 
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#4
(03-07-2016, 05:20 PM)Horse Wrote: No direct feeds that I know of, just the flowplayer on tepco's site.  If you find other feeds, please let us know.

Thanks Horse, I do know of some other live feeds in the fukushima prefecture, but nothing pointing directly at dai-ichi.
Here are the other feeds I've spent time watching::
mms://center.ntt-fukushima.com/n-tomioka?MSWMExt=.asf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/504.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/505.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/506.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/507.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/508.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/509.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/510.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/511.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/512.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/513.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/514.swf
http://stm.futabagun.jp/515.swf

(03-07-2016, 09:16 PM)NILSEN62 Wrote: I just had tepco's unit 4 smartphone link work on VLC. I haven't had much luck keeping it working more than a minute or so though.
Hey Nilsen, I did try that link and had the same results only I would only get about 2 seconds of play before it died. This new format seems to send small chunks all the time instead of a consistent stream. I can't tell if this was done to prevent undesired watching/streaming/recording or just to make live streaming more stable. In either case, I don't like the idea that TEPCO has this exclusive feed, forcing you onto their website. I'm guessing this will make it easier for them to monitor/track who/whne is watching.


For everyone, I did some digging into the flowplayer/F4M/m3u8 and it does appear there is a workaround to permit viewing/recording outside of the embedded web player, but requires another piece of software I am unable to install on this machine at the moment. I also can't tell if this process only works for non-live streams. For anyone interested, the instructions are here:
https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-downlo...and-unplug
 
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#5
(03-07-2016, 04:50 PM)RodgerRoentgen Wrote: Hi Everyone,

I have monitored the TEPCO cams on and off, and was surprised that recently I can't watch them with VLC anymore. They seem to have changed the stream to some new format (flowplayer). Does anyone know how to extract the URL(s) needed to watch the new stream in a player like VLC?

Give this a try http://www.clipconverter.cc/
Pia
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com
 
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#6
(03-08-2016, 07:52 AM)piajensen Wrote: Give this a try http://www.clipconverter.cc/

Thanks Pia,

It appears the linked site won't handle this format of video. I'm also guessing it may not be able to handle live streams.


After more playing with various workarounds, I'm still not finding any easy way to get this stream working outside of the tepco site. From what I see, there must be a server side script creating a 'playlist' of 10 second chunks, but the playlist is only 30 seconds long. There is a embedded date/time format to the 10 second chunks, so in theory, a script could be written to generate a playlist on the client side. Seems to be a 32 bit date format. Can anyone confirm when tepco made the switch to this new player? by my calculations it could have either been ~20 days ago, or 200? do either of those time frames seem right?
 
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#7
(03-08-2016, 08:26 PM)RodgerRoentgen Wrote: After more playing with various workarounds, I'm still not finding any easy way to get this stream working outside of the tepco site. From what I see, there must be a server side script creating a 'playlist' of 10 second chunks, but the playlist is only 30 seconds long. There is a embedded date/time format to the 10 second chunks, so in theory, a script could be written to generate a playlist on the client side. Seems to be a 32 bit date format. Can anyone confirm when tepco made the switch to this new player? by my calculations it could have either been ~20 days ago, or 200? do either of those time frames seem right?

Tepco switched to flowplayer sometime end of sept 2015/beginning of oct 2015.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."
 
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#8
there was no earlier times the chance, the flowplayer version as stand-alone down load?
then somehow the stream receive it?
 
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#9
(03-09-2016, 02:18 AM)Horse Wrote:
(03-08-2016, 08:26 PM)RodgerRoentgen Wrote: ...by my calculations it could have either been ~20 days ago, or 200? do either of those time frames seem right?

Tepco switched to flowplayer sometime end of sept 2015/beginning of oct 2015.

200 days would fit that time frame, if not just a little longer which might indicate it was setup a few weeks before actual launch.

A script could be written to generate a playlist that would run for more than 30 seconds. Basically what happens is a server side script is generating a playlist of the ever-updated 10 second blocks. Each block has a unique number representing time since (video player) epoch. If the time-code in the 10 second block filename doesn't match current time (since epoch), than the server just rejects the request. The theory of a script is to acquire or calculate the current time block unique number (seed value) and generate a list of blocks incremented from the seed value. This is what the server does, but only creates 3 entries in the playlist (30 seconds total). This also makes recoding the stream a problem as I don't think VLC will record the consecutive blocks, rather only capture video data per the current block in the playlist.
 
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#10
Well, I've created a script to make playlists. It does work, but it's not nearly as good as watching the old stream in VLC or also not as good as the flowplayer display. After some time, occasionally the timing gets out of sync with the server and the stream ends playing. If you catch it quick enough you can re-start the stream where it failed in the playlist. Also, at least on my machine, it frequently flashes (closes and re-opens the window) between the 10 second segments too which is annoying, even full screen. Unless there is some software that knows how to play these F4M/M3U8 playlsts/files, this seems to be the best that can be done outside of a browser. Also, recording with VLC doesn't work across 10 second blocks. The only positive to all this is it is easier to take screen captures with VLC.

But it does work, so if anyone is interested, I can set you up with my script and some instructions on how it all works. By the way, it's not a simple one click process. Since the playback is unstable, I'm not going to invest any more time in this script as I believe there is nothing that can be done about the issues I mentioned.

(03-09-2016, 03:09 PM)nuckelchen Wrote: there was no earlier times the chance, the flowplayer version as stand-alone down load?
then somehow the stream receive it?

Hi Nuckelchen,

I'm not quite clear on your question. Flowplayer could probably be setup on another web page and point to the TEPCO stream address(es) but we're still stuck opening a browser to view. Here is the flowplayer site:
http://flash.flowplayer.org/

They say it is opensource, but then are trying to sell software/hosting, so it is unclear if you could download and set up flowplayer on your own.
 
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#11
Hi RogerRoentgen, was interesting, the info about flowplayer delivering 10 sec chunks.  It would be nice if you or someone else finds a way to a more direct feed.  I'd be interested to look at your script; post it here.  I preferred using VLC over the browsers.  Stuck with just a small browser window and unable to record a full screen session annoyed me.  Using keystrokes to start and stop a recording would stop/start the feed and switch me in and out of full screen viewing, and full screen viewing wouldn't compress the files to a manageable size.  My workaround was to set the browser's zoom to 190% and position the video window so it filled the screen.  Settled on the 190% so pics I grabbed could be opened with paint and saved as jpeg without resizing for easy posting within the 500k limit.  I can monitor the feed at almost full screen without having to look at tepco's logo and record the zoomed video window compressed to a manageable file size.  For snapshots, I use the win7 snipping tool.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."
 
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#12
(03-10-2016, 06:37 PM)Horse Wrote: It would be nice if you or someone else finds a way to a more direct feed.

Hi Horse,

I don't believe we'll be able to locate a more direct feed unless tepco or a 3rd party makes a new webcam stream available. It looks like this new stream format is the best we'll have for the foreseeable future.

(03-10-2016, 06:37 PM)Horse Wrote: I'd be interested to look at your script; post it here.  I preferred using VLC over the browsers.  Stuck with just a small browser window and unable to record a full screen session annoyed me.  Using keystrokes to start and stop a recording would stop/start the feed and switch me in and out of full screen viewing, and full screen viewing wouldn't compress the files to a manageable size.  My workaround was to set the browser's zoom to 190% and position the video window so it filled the screen.  Settled on the 190% so pics I grabbed could be opened with paint and saved as jpeg without resizing for easy posting within the 500k limit.  I can monitor the feed at almost full screen without having to look at tepco's logo and record the zoomed video window compressed to a manageable file size.  For snapshots, I use the win7 snipping tool.

Just to be clear, even though you can watch the stream in VLC using the playlist the script generates, recording will not work in VLC since the stream is made up of 10 second chunks.

Instructions for attached jEdit macros:
1. Download jEdt. It's free and available on all OSs, you must have a recent version of Java installed first.
2. save the 3 macros to you computer
3. Start jEdit
4. create a new file in jEdit (should have a new file by default). Save the empty file with an *.m3u file extension. Example: TEPCO_view1_playlist.m3u

5. from the Macros menu in jEdit, choose 'Run Other Macro...' and select one of the macros to run:
playlistGen-View1_a01 for view from Reactor 1
playlistGen-View4_a01 for view from reactor 4
playlistGen-ViewAlt_a01 for alternating view, view 1 and 4 every 10 seconds like the fukushima traffic cams.

The macro will ask you how many minutes you want the playlist to be created for. I don't recommend going for 1 or more hours as it is unstable and will probably drop well before then. Try 20 minutes to start with and test stability...

The macro will run and populate your empty *.m3u file with the 10 second chunk links.
6. Save the file and open immediately with VLC.

As I said, it may get unstable and get out of sync with the 10 second blocks. If you catch it right away, hit stop on the VLC player window, and scroll back through the playlist to locate the last segment showing 10 seconds of playable video (Played 10 second chunks change to 00 seconds after being played).


.zip   jEdit-vlcplaylist-macros.zip (Size: 2.38 KB / Downloads: 54)
 
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#13
RodgerRoentgen - Thanks so much for being one of Cafe Rad Labs informative contributors! Much appreciated.
Pia
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com
 
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#14
(03-11-2016, 02:32 PM)piajensen Wrote: RodgerRoentgen - Thanks so much for being one of Cafe Rad Labs informative contributors! Much appreciated.

Thank you Pia! I can see you've been a big contributor yourself, and likely someone making this forum possible, so the gratitude is returned to you.
 
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#15
< ( __ ) > as they say in Japanese tweets. wish I could do more... more often.
Pia
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com
 
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