Opencast - Video broadcasting, livestreaming and video distribution setup at Noisebridge

Opencast is designed for education institutions to add open source, automated video broadcasting and distribution, so it looks like an interesting fit for Noisebridge. I’ve entered us into their drawing for a free 1 year hosted instance. We’ll find out in February. Looks very interesting!


Amazing News!!! We have been offered an Opencast broadcasting setup with 1 year of support!!
Details below.

Please share any thoughts or suggestions and I will relay them to the company.

Opencast capture devices can be connected to via their PyCA wrapper, which is built on ffmpeg and compatible with most any camera or capture device available such as a Pi w/ Camera Module, etc. Should also be compatible with NGALAC streaming. Capture device being offered from Ncast is a rack mounted, 720p or 1080p unit that could be securely installed in an out-of-the-way part of the space. Setting up the physical cameras or capture cards on the network would be our responsibility, along with any server we might want running the automated Opencast software to automatically record/edit/distribute broadcasts to social media or the wiki or youtube, etc. If it would be easier, Opencast can offer us a server for one calendar year and I believe the specs are 4-cores, 16gb ram, 480gb hard drive for ~150 hours of footage. They are also down to help us setup our own server if we prefer.

NCast as an Californian company would like to donate an used demo
recorder to your institution.

From the Opencast project side we would also like to support you to get
an Opencast system up and running. if you have a linux server/VM
somewhere we could install Opencast there. Otherwise we would look if we
still some budget for a commercially hosted server for a year.


We need cameras! What do we have available to connect with Opencast? @rando has a webvam iirc. Perhaps we have other options as well? Suggestions?

@hicksu NGALAC streaming can also added to Opencast using a python script that would run off the NUC connected to yhe capture device. Opencast hardware installation is likely happening this week with @ruthgrace and myself.


Following up on this. I bought a camera! It was reimbursed by broadcast and equipment fund. Info on how to record events with it documented here:


Live streaming is working now! The last thing to get working is the presenter laptop. I had tried converting the presenter laptop to DVI so that it could be plugged in at the same time as the camera HDMI, however it looks like DVI and HDMI cannot be used at the same time. I’m asking Hank for advice.

Juan kindly helped Robin and I unmount the NCast device from the wall so that we could fit the HDMI/DVI adaptor into the port. We’ve left it unmounted for now. Perhaps we could mount it vertically instead of horizontally so that all ports are accessible in the future.

I’m going to be away for a bit (hospitalized for monitoring for a few weeks and then recovering from a C section). Hope that this is working enough that other people can use it in the meanwhile.

I’ve kept the documentation up to date here:

Tag me if you have any questions and I’ll get an email about it and try to respond.