Click here to Skip to main content
13,199,685 members (52,629 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version

Stats

155.9K views
30.6K downloads
78 bookmarked
Posted 18 Mar 2015

Stream Player control

, 17 Oct 2017
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
In this article you will find an implementation of a stream player control.

Introduction

This article is a sort of continuation of my previous article, which shows an implementation of a web camera control. Recently I created another control and would like to share my experience with community. It is a FFmpeg-based stream player control, which can do the following:

  1. Play a RTSP/RTMP video stream or local video file
  2. Retrieve the current frame being displayed by the control

The control has no additional dependencies and a minimalistic interface.

Requirements

  1. The WinForms version of the control is implemented using .NET Framework 2.0
  2. The WPF version of the control is implemented using .NET Framework 4 Client Profile

The control supports both x86 and x64 platform targets.

Background

Streaming audio, video and data over the Internet is a very usual thing these days. However, when I tried to find a .NET control to play a video stream sent over the network, I found almost nothing. This project tries to fill up that gap.

Implementation details

If you are not interested in implementation details, then you can skip this section.

The implementation is divided into three layers.

  1. The bottom layer is implemented as a native DLL module, which forwards our calls to the FFmpeg framework.
  2. For distribution convenience, the native DLL module is embedded into the control’s assembly as a resource. On the runtime stage, the DLL module will be extracted to a temporary file on disk and used via late binding technique. Once the control is disposed, the temporary file will be deleted. In other words, the control is distributed as a single file. All those operations are implemented by the middle layer.
  3. The top layer implements the control class itself.

The following diagram shows a logical structure of the implementation.

Only the top layer is supposed to be used by clients.

The Bottom Layer

The bottom layer uses the facade pattern to provide a simplified interface to the FFmpeg framework. The facade consists of three classes: the StreamPlayer class, which implements a stream playback functionality

/// <summary>
/// The StreamPlayer class implements a stream playback functionality.
/// </summary>
class StreamPlayer : private boost::noncopyable
{
public:

    /// <summary>
    /// Initializes a new instance of the StreamPlayer class.
    /// </summary>
    StreamPlayer();

    /// <summary>
    /// Initializes the player.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="playerParams">The StreamPlayerParams object that contains the information that is used to initialize the player.</param>
    void Initialize(StreamPlayerParams playerParams);

    /// <summary>
    /// Asynchronously plays a stream.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="streamUrl">The url of a stream to play.</param>
    void StartPlay(std::string const& streamUrl);
    
    /// <summary>
    /// Retrieves the current frame being displayed by the player.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="bmpPtr">Address of a pointer to a byte that will receive the DIB.</param>
    void GetCurrentFrame(uint8_t **bmpPtr);

    /// <summary>
    /// Retrieves the unstretched frame size, in pixels.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="widthPtr">A pointer to an int that will receive the width.</param>
    /// <param name="heightPtr">A pointer to an int that will receive the height.</param>
    void GetFrameSize(uint32_t *widthPtr, uint32_t *heightPtr);

    /// <summary>
    /// Uninitializes the player.
    /// </summary>
    void Uninitialize();
};

the Stream class, which converts a video stream into series of frames

/// <summary>
/// A Stream class converts a stream into series of frames. 
/// </summary>
class Stream : private boost::noncopyable
{
public:
    /// <summary>
    /// Initializes a new instance of the Stream class.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="streamUrl">The url of a stream to decode.</param>
    Stream(std::string const& streamUrl);

    /// <summary>
    /// Gets the next frame in the stream.
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns>The next frame in the stream.</returns>
    std::unique_ptr<Frame> GetNextFrame();

    /// <summary>
    /// Gets an interframe delay, in milliseconds.
    /// </summary>
    int32_t InterframeDelayInMilliseconds() const;

    /// <summary>
    /// Releases all resources used by the stream.
    /// </summary>
    ~Stream();
};

and the Frame class, which is a set of frame related utilities.

/// <summary>
/// The Frame class implements a set of frame-related utilities. 
/// </summary>
class Frame : private boost::noncopyable
{
public:
    /// <summary>
    /// Initializes a new instance of the Frame class.
    /// </summary>
    Frame(uint32_t width, uint32_t height, AVPicture &avPicture);

    /// <summary>
    /// Gets the width, in pixels, of the frame.
    /// </summary>
    uint32_t Width() const { return width_; }

    /// <summary>
    /// Gets the height, in pixels, of the frame.
    /// </summary>
    uint32_t Height() const { return height_; }

    /// <summary>
    /// Draws the frame.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="window">A container window that frame should be drawn on.</param>
    void Draw(HWND window);

    /// <summary>
    /// Converts the frame to a bitmap.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="bmpPtr">Address of a pointer to a byte that will receive the DIB.</param>
    void ToBmp(uint8_t **bmpPtr);

    /// <summary>
    /// Releases all resources used by the frame.
    /// </summary>
    ~Frame();
};

These tree classes form a heart of the FFmpeg Facade DLL module.

The Middle Layer 

The middle layer is implemented by the StreamPlayerProxy class, which serves as a proxy to the FFmpeg Facade DLL module.

First, what we should do is extract the FFmpeg Facade DLL module from the resources and save it to a temporary file.

_dllFile = Path.GetTempFileName();
using (FileStream stream = new FileStream(_dllFile, FileMode.Create, FileAccess.Write))
{
    using (BinaryWriter writer = new BinaryWriter(stream))
    {
        writer.Write(Resources.StreamPlayer);
    }
}

Then we load our DLL module into the address space of the calling process.

_hDll = LoadLibrary(_dllFile);
if (_hDll == IntPtr.Zero)
{
    throw new Win32Exception(Marshal.GetLastWin32Error());
}

And bind the DLL module functions to the class instance methods.

private delegate Int32 StopDelegate();
private StopDelegate _stop;

// ...

IntPtr procPtr = GetProcAddress(_hDll, "Stop");
_stop =
    (StopDelegate)Marshal.GetDelegateForFunctionPointer(procPtr, 
     typeof(StopDelegate));

When the control is being disposed, we unload the DLL module and delete it.

private void Dispose()
{    
    if (_hDll != IntPtr.Zero)
    {
        FreeLibrary(_hDll);
        _hDll = IntPtr.Zero;
    }

    if (File.Exists(_dllFile))
    {
        File.Delete(_dllFile);
    }    
}

The Top Layer

The top layer is implemented by the StreamPlayerControl class with the following interface.

/// <summary>
/// Asynchronously plays a stream.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="uri">The url of a stream to play.</param>
/// <exception cref="ArgumentException">An invalid string is passed as an argument.</exception>
/// <exception cref="Win32Exception">Failed to load the FFmpeg facade dll.</exception>
/// <exception cref="StreamPlayerException">Failed to play the stream.</exception>
public void StartPlay(Uri uri)

/// <summary>
/// Retrieves the image being played.
/// </summary>
/// <returns>The current image.</returns>
/// <exception cref="InvalidOperationException">The control is not playing a video stream.</exception>
/// <exception cref="StreamPlayerException">Failed to get the current image.</exception>
public Bitmap GetCurrentFrame();

/// <summary>
/// Stops a stream.
/// </summary>
/// <exception cref="InvalidOperationException">The control is not playing a stream.</exception>
/// <exception cref="StreamPlayerException">Failed to stop a stream.</exception>
public void Stop();

/// <summary>
/// Gets a value indicating whether the control is playing a video stream.
/// </summary>
public Boolean IsPlaying { get; }

/// <summary>
/// Gets the unstretched frame size, in pixels.
/// </summary>
public Size VideoSize  { get; }

/// <summary>
/// Occurs when the first frame is read from a stream.
/// </summary>
public event EventHandler StreamStarted;

/// <summary>
/// Occurs when there are no more frames to read from a stream.
/// </summary>
public event EventHandler StreamStopped;

/// <summary>
/// Occurs when the player fails to play a stream.
/// </summary>
public event EventHandler StreamFailed;

Usage

Open the Package Manager Console and add a nuget package to your project:

Install-Package WebEye.Controls.WinForms.StreamPlayerControl

First, we need to add the control to the Visual Studio Designer Toolbox, using a right-click and then the "Choose Items..." menu item. Then we place the control on a form at the desired location and with the desired size. The default name of the control instance variable will be streamPlayerControl1.

The following code asynchronously plays a stream using the supplied address.

streamPlayerControl1.StartPlay(new Uri("rtsp://184.72.239.149/vod/mp4:BigBuckBunny_115k.mov"));

To get a frame being played just call the GetCurrentFrame() method. The resolution and quality of the frame depend on the stream quality.

using (Bitmap image = streamPlayerControl1.GetCurrentFrame())
{
    // image processing...
}

To stop the stream the Stop() method is used.

streamPlayerControl1.Stop();

You can always check the playing state using the following code.

if (streamPlayerControl1.IsPlaying)
{
    streamPlayerControl1.Stop();
}

Also, the StreamStarted, StreamStopped and StreamFailed events can be used to monitor the playback state.

To report errors, exceptions are used, so do not forget to wrap your code in a try/catch block. That is all about using it. To see a complete example please check the demo application sources.

WPF version

The FFmpeg facade expects a WinAPI window handle (HWND) in order to use it as a render target. The issue is that in the WPF world windows do not have handles anymore. The VideoWindow class workarounds this issue.

<UserControl x:Class="WebEye.StreamPlayerControl"

             xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"

             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"

             xmlns:mc="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006" 

             xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008" 

             mc:Ignorable="d" 

             d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="300"

             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WebEye">
    <local:VideoWindow x:Name="_videoWindow"

                       HorizontalAlignment="Stretch" VerticalAlignment="Stretch"/>
</UserControl>

To add a WPF version of the control to your project use the following nuget command:

Install-Package WebEye.Controls.Wpf.StreamPlayerControl

GitHub

The project has a GitHub repository available on the following page.

https://github.com/jacobbo/WebEye/tree/master/StreamPlayerControl

Any questions, remarks, and comments are welcome.

Licensing

  1. The FFmpeg facade sources, the same as the FFmpeg framework, are licensed under The LGPL license
  2. The .NET controls' sources and demos' sources are licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL).

You can use the control in your commercial product, the only thing is that you should mention that your product uses the FFmpeg library, here are the details.

History

  • March 19th, 2015 - The initial version.
  • August 22nd, 2015 - Added the x64 platform support.
  • October 25th, 2015 - Added asyncronous stream start and stream status events.
  • November 8th, 2015 - Added support for local files playback.
  • November 30th, 2015 - Added stream connection timeout.
  • October 17th, 2017 - Use new FFmpeg decoding API.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Share

About the Author

Alexander Iacobciuc
Software Developer
Russian Federation Russian Federation
Niko Bellic (Serbian: Niko Belić) is the main protagonist and playable character in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. He is a 30 year old former soldier who moved to Liberty City to escape his troubled past and pursue the American Dream.

You may also be interested in...

Pro

Comments and Discussions

 
Questioncontrol reset available? Pin
Norm Normal21hrs 13mins ago
memberNorm Normal21hrs 13mins ago 
AnswerRe: control reset available? Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc11hrs 59mins ago
memberAlexander Iacobciuc11hrs 59mins ago 
GeneralRe: control reset available? Pin
Norm Normal6hrs 41mins ago
memberNorm Normal6hrs 41mins ago 
GeneralRe: control reset available? Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc6hrs 14mins ago
memberAlexander Iacobciuc6hrs 14mins ago 
GeneralRe: control reset available? Pin
Norm Normal2hrs 55mins ago
memberNorm Normal2hrs 55mins ago 
GeneralRe: control reset available? Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc1 hr 25mins ago
memberAlexander Iacobciuc1 hr 25mins ago 
GeneralRe: control reset available? Pin
Norm Normal9mins ago
memberNorm Normal9mins ago 
QuestionGetCurrentFrame Size Pin
Member 1145592020-Oct-17 23:42
memberMember 1145592020-Oct-17 23:42 
AnswerRe: GetCurrentFrame Size Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc21-Oct-17 0:54
memberAlexander Iacobciuc21-Oct-17 0:54 
GeneralGetCurrentFrame Size Pin
Member 1145592021-Oct-17 5:16
memberMember 1145592021-Oct-17 5:16 
GeneralRe: GetCurrentFrame Size Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc21-Oct-17 6:26
memberAlexander Iacobciuc21-Oct-17 6:26 
GeneralRe: GetCurrentFrame Size Pin
Member 1145592019hrs 2mins ago
memberMember 1145592019hrs 2mins ago 
QuestionHow to use the HandlePlayerEvent() in vb.net Pin
Norm Normal19-Oct-17 10:54
memberNorm Normal19-Oct-17 10:54 
AnswerRe: How to use the HandlePlayerEvent() in vb.net Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc19-Oct-17 11:05
memberAlexander Iacobciuc19-Oct-17 11:05 
GeneralRe: How to use the HandlePlayerEvent() in vb.net Pin
Norm Normal20-Oct-17 8:52
memberNorm Normal20-Oct-17 8:52 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Norm Normal18-Oct-17 5:45
memberNorm Normal18-Oct-17 5:45 
QuestionConvert to vb.net? Pin
Norm Normal17-Oct-17 11:32
memberNorm Normal17-Oct-17 11:32 
AnswerRe: Convert to vb.net? Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc17-Oct-17 12:44
memberAlexander Iacobciuc17-Oct-17 12:44 
GeneralRe: Convert to vb.net? Pin
Norm Normal17-Oct-17 13:46
memberNorm Normal17-Oct-17 13:46 
GeneralRe: Convert to vb.net? Pin
Norm Normal18-Oct-17 2:44
memberNorm Normal18-Oct-17 2:44 
QuestionWhat happened to the downloads? Pin
Member 1343713517-Oct-17 8:53
memberMember 1343713517-Oct-17 8:53 
AnswerRe: What happened to the downloads? Pin
Alexander Iacobciuc17-Oct-17 9:10
memberAlexander Iacobciuc17-Oct-17 9:10 
PraiseThanks Pin
Waqas Ahmed1-Oct-17 20:10
memberWaqas Ahmed1-Oct-17 20:10 
PraiseStream Player control Pin
pain38921-Sep-17 18:16
memberpain38921-Sep-17 18:16 
great Poke tongue | ;-P
QuestionStreamPlayerControl - Toggle display Pin
E30Tomas30-Jul-17 21:46
memberE30Tomas30-Jul-17 21:46 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web04 | 2.8.171020.1 | Last Updated 17 Oct 2017
Article Copyright 2015 by Alexander Iacobciuc
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2017
Layout: fixed | fluid