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Helix DNA mini-guide

I wrote this because I was confused with the documentation that comes with the software. It's just my own notes, all questions should go to some E-mail address @helixdna.org.

What is it and where can I get it?

HelixDNA is a freely available solution for streaming audio and video with Linux. Download the software from http://helixdna.org, where you have to register and agree with the RPSL and binary EULA license.

Download server, producer and client. As a client, you could also use RealPlayer. Read the documentation.


For installing the server, run the installation program, v90_linux-2.2-libc6-i586-server_servinst_nodist.bin. This lets you configure ports and the path to the server software, It may look something like this:

RTSP Port:              554	# from /etc/services
HTTP Port:              8000	# I have a webserver running on this machine
PNA Port:               7070
Admin Port:             7071
Destination:            /var/www/helix/server

Run /var/www/helix/server/Bin/hlxserverplus & and check that it runs.

After initial setup, reconfiguring can be done using the webinterface, if needed, at http://your_server:AdminPort/admin/index.html.

Place files to stream in /var/www/helix/server/Content or a subdir (I tested with realaudio files and plain avi). Eventually write HTML content to refer to audio/video source (see helix docs).



Install client helixplay (download binaries, unpack, chmod, eventually move to an appropriate location.

Run helixplay rtsp://your_server/file


Tested with Windows XP: Use MSIE and go to rtsp://your_server/file, works if real media player is installed.

Other stuff

Capturing TV

First check which devices and ports you need to capture:

your_prompt> producer -pd

Device 00: BT848(Hauppauge (bt848)) /dev/video0
    Port 00: Television		# This is what we want
    Port 01: Composite1
    Port 02: S-Video
    Port 03: Composite3

Device 01: Philips 740 webcam /dev/video1
    Port 00: Webcam


Device 00: CMedia PCI /dev/dsp0
    Port 00: synth
    Port 01: pcm
    Port 02: line		# And this one
    Port 03: mic
    Port 04: cd
    Port 05: line1

Device 01: USB Mixer /dev/dsp1
    Port 00: mic

Then activate audio:

your_prompt> v4lctl volume mute off

Then use the producer tool to capture video/TV:

producer -vc 0 -vp 0 -vf PAL -ac 0 -ap 2 -o capturfile.rm

Other remarks

Plain uncompressed avi files can be converted but take a lot of diskspace.

Recording sound with webcam works, no image though, probably because of missing video format.

Last updated May 2003

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