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I have an old box that I'd like to use as a private sever to stream movies off of. My upload speed is about 0.5/Mb/s, so I need something that compresses well. I'd like to be able to access these movies from anywhere, through the web, through some interface (maybe the divx web player? flash player? some other protocol?) Can anyone recommend anything good? (Using Windows XP)


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You could use VLC to stream movies. From the website:

It can also convert media files, transcode and act as a streaming server over unicast or multicast and IPv4 or IPv6. It doesn't need any external codec, program or codec pack to work.

Also, regarding streaming speed, you can read more here:

The network on which you setup the VideoLAN solution can be as small as one ethernet 10/100Mb switch or hub, and as big as the whole Internet. The VideoLAN streaming solution has full IPv6 support. Examples of needed bandwidth are:

  • 0.5 to 4 Mbit/s for a MPEG-4 stream,
  • 3 to 4 Mbit/s for an MPEG-2 stream read from a satellite card, a digital television card or a MPEG-2 encoding card,
  • 6 to 9 Mbit/s for a DVD.
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I am not sure on the quality you will get from a half meg upload, but it would be enough for a private / couple of people. (you may want to look at a cheap service that can offer a relay if you want a few people to watch in good quality).

I have had good experience with the streaming feature of VLC.

Not as the main answer as I am not 100% sure if you can do it without a Windows Media Server, but you may also want to take a look at Windows Media Encoder

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