Streaming a WeatherCam

I recently bought a weathercam and would like to stream the camera to my site. It is a private site and would never receive more than 20 hits a day and the users would never be on the site for a combined total of 2 hours…

Would I have any streaming concerns then from my Internet provider or Dreamhost…Does the streaming only take place when someone physically clicks on the link ? If no one is on the site I assume no streaming is taking place ?

wow, two weather cam threads the same day! (the other one doesn’t ask the same questions however.)

It really depends on what camera you purchased. Does it upload a video stream? or does it ftp a series on images repeatedly? Or is it USB device where you will need a dedicated computer and software to accomplish one of those tasks.

Another consideration is your upstream bandwidth from your service provider, both in terms of speed and whether they have any kind of total upstream bandwidth cap. You will need to find this out, typical residential connections have far less bandwidth on the upsteam channel than the downstream side. (The idea is that if you’re going to run a server and need the upstream bandwidth and speed, then you should pay for a different type of connection, as such the upstream side of a typical residential connection often has limitations imposed by the service provider, but that’s not true in all cases anymore.)

You also asked “If no one is on the site I assume no streaming is taking place ?” Depends how you set it up, but yes in most cases you will be steaming FROM your local location to TO the server whether or not anyone is viewing your website.

I have a Panasonic camera BL-160 that streams and loads constant pictures. The camera has a dedicated server/Ip address so I assume I could just put the link on my site, but I would really like to embed the live camera on my site if the bandwidth is not excessive. Per Comcast my limit is 250 GB (see below). Thus, I am trying to figure out what my monthly usage would be if I embed the camera. I assume Bandwidth would be used even if no one visits the site ? Any suggestions on how to embed the camera stream ?

Lastly, I do FTP pictures of the camera at 10 minute intervals, but I currently FTP to my home PC not my DH website. If I decide to FTP to my DH site can someone recommend software to show a time lapse of the pictures ?

Currently, that threshold allows a residential customer to send or receive up to 250 Gigabytes (GB) of data in a calendar month. This includes data in any form (including movies, photos, music, videos, e-mails, computer back-ups, or other types of files) that a customer uses his or her XFINITY Internet to send or receive over the public Internet, including data sent by one XFINITY Internet customer to another.

Thanks LakeRat

I do have a series of .jpgs that upload to dreamhost every few minutes, and a set of 2 very small weatherflash CSV files that are "post"ed to an API, one of which is updated once per second and the other once a minute.

I also have comcast. The problem with comcast is they won’t tell you how much bandwidth you have used monthly, they just tell you that you have a cap, and they only tell you that if you ask. Googling you will learn that customers get peeved when Comcast throttles them because they had no idea they were near any threshold, or that they didn’t in fact have unlimited service. Comcast also seems to selectively enforce as well. I personally have never been throttled, and 250GB is alot of data, but have friends that have been and they seem to think their usage pattern has never really changed, but Comcast just decided to enforce to pull a chain.

I don’t know how to tell you to calculate the monthly bandwidth for a video stream to the server. The jpg are easy tho, take the average size times the number that would be uploaded per day, add say 10% for some overhead, and multiply by 30 days.

Yes you can in fact add port forwarding on your router so that someone could just navigate to the camera via browser. (that option doesn’t involve using dreamhost hosting, you might however want to add and A record to your domains DNS to point back to the camera, something like If something else is listening on port 80 at your IP address tho then you will have to move the camera to another port, and that will have to be specified as part of the URL (i.e. or 8081 are common alternates.

The other method involves setting the camera up to “Push” the video or still images to the server at dreamhost. With this option you will be using you comcast upsteam bandwidth 24/7/365 whether anyone is “viewing” the site or not.

As far as time lapse images it wouldn’t be much javascript to do that, find the last X number of images and display in a time sequence. That’s actually what’s happening over at when you set any radar image into a time lapse sequence, it’s a series of .jpg or .png that all display in succession within the browser.

Also I don’t know if he has that specific need but the guy over at has a set of scripts that are available for download (he accepts donations, if you solve a problem with his stuff and/or make it part of your site don’t forget to remember him :wink: ) He has scripts for the most common weather station needs, since that would be a common need there may be one there for sequencing some weather cam pics.