SopServer Manual

Version 3.0.3
Sep 9, 2008

1. Introduction

A well-known main feature of SopCast system is anyone can broadcast his (her) own channel with it. SopServer is developed for this intention.

SopServer is also called SO (Stream Originator). Once one starts a channel with SopServer, he creates an original stream seed that starts to construct the whole p2p distribution network.

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2. Releases

SopServer is released for both Windows and Linux platforms, but only Windows version are released publicly and can be used free.

For users' convenience, the Windows version of SopServer is integrated into SopCast Client (SopPlayer), and presented as "MyServer".

This manual is mainly for Windows version "MyServer".

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3. How Does It Work

The SopServer is just a seed of a channel. It feeds a couple of viewers, these first level viewers share their data and feed other viewers. All the viewers construct a mesh network, each viewer has a couple of neighbors who established a direct connection with it and shares data with its neighbors.

so function

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4. MyServer

When you sign in to SopPlayer successfully, you can find "MyServer" tab. Clicking it will show the interface as below:

home frame

4.1 Channel Source

Before broadcasting a channel, you must prepare content for the channel. Content could be live stream or media files.

Users can have 3 ways to make a stream source: live stream, media directory or single file.

Live Stream

Feed the channel with a live stream source generated by media server or media encoder. mms:// and http:// transfer protocol are supported. The stream can be like this, mms://192.168.1.10/mystream, assume, media servers is using the IP address 192.168.1.10.

Media File

Feed the channel with media file on local disk.

Now MyServer supports 4 file types, *.asf/*.wmv, *.rm/*.rmvb, mp3, *.spl

[Notes] For better watching experience, *.asf or *.wmv is recommended.

Check "Loop" checkbox if you want to broadcast media files in a loop way.

Media Directory

If you select a directory including media files, SopServer will search all supported media files in the dir or sub_dir, and generate sop_playlist.spl file automatically. SopServer use the spl file to broadcast all these media files. You can modify it to meet your requirement.

*.spl file format

"program name nnn" "the/path/of/media/file/filename"

For example:

"movie clip 1" "c:\medie\1.asf" 
"movie clip 2" "d:\movie\2.wmv" 
"my mp3" "d:\music\3.mp3"

4.2 Channel Parameters

If you have not SopCast channel, please log in http://www.sopcast.com to register one. It's totally free.

Channel ID

Fill with the channel ID you got from www.sopcast.com (Required).

Program Name

Fill with the name or title of your channel content (optional), if provided one, the name will overwrite the channel name you gave in registration.

4.3 Server Parameters

Server addr.

Choose one broker server to register the channel on it. The broker server maintain channels status, exchange information with peers and other service of SopCast.

Account Name

The username you signed up on http://www.sopcast.com with which you applied the channel.

Password

Password of the account.

Service Port

The service port of MyServer, The server uses it to communicate with other peers and provide stream data download. You can use the default. If conflict with the other service, you need to change to a free port. You MUST PERMIT others to connect this port (TCP and UDP) on your firewall.

4.4 Server Status

Start button

Click "Start" button to start to broadcast the channel. The status and corresponding information of the channel will be displayed in "server status info" area, information include buffering level, stats of upload, connections with other peers, total viewers, QC and QS.

Click "Stop" button to stop a channel when it's broadcasting.

Monitor button

Clicking "Monitor" button will open the stream in external player. You can monitor whether it works.

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5. Tune SopServer

In order to make SopServer working correctly and efficiently, you need to know these approaches to monitor and tune your SopServer.

5.1 Bandwidth Requirement

Many people think that the p2p server does not consume bandwidth, just one stream output is enough.

In fact, in order to keep the p2p distribution network stable, SopServer must keep about 5 connections with first level peers, SopServer continuously filters peers in SopCast mesh network, and picks up the peers who have abundant outbound bandwidth resource as the first level peers.

Therefore, SopServer usually may consume about 5 times of the bitrate of the stream, it's outbound (or upload) traffic.

For example:

Bitrate of stream source = 400 kbps
Bandwidth requirement = 400 kbps * 5 = 2 Mbps

So if the upload bandwidth of your home network is 2M, the bitrate of the channel you can broadcasted should be less than 400Kpbs.

5.2 QS & QC

Two parameters could be used to monitor the quality of a channel. One is the quality of source (QS) and another is the quality of client network (QC).

QS stands for the quality of the channel source. Low QS value means the SopServer does not receive enough channel content, and it will result in the poor quality of all viewers. If you feed the channel with an external media server's stream, and SopServer presents the poor QS, you should check the connection between SopServer and the media server to see whether the connection can transfer the stream data efficiently and integrally.

QC stands for the average buffer level of all viewers. The high QC value means the p2p network is working greatly and every watcher can receive most of the channel content in its buffer. If a channel has a low QC, you can check
1) whether the SopServer have enough bandwidth to support the p2p distribution.
2) whether most peers in p2p network have not good internet access to share the stream data.

On SopServer, when a channel is broadcasting, you can monitor QS in "server status info" area. You can click the blue "quality bar" on WebPlayer or SopPlayer to see the quality of a channel, QC.

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