Watch a live video feed of the earth with your Raspberry Pi! #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi
We posted a couple weeks ago about the awesome new live video feed of the earth from space. Now, Miguel Grinberg has posted on his blog about a new project he made to live stream the feed using a Raspberry Pi. Very cool!
A few weeks ago NASA started streaming live video of Earth from cameras installed aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and some of the views are nothing short of breathtaking. If you haven’t seen this stream yet, then stop reading and go watch it now. Keep in mind that you have a 50% chance of catching the dark part of the planet, so if all you find is an all black image then try again a little later. You can always check isstracker.com to find out over which region the ISS is over and if it is day or night there.
I thought it would be a cool idea to have this stream running on a small screen by my desk. Something I can keep an eye on while I work, so that I can catch the most interesting views without having to have it constantly taking space on my computer’s screen.
In this short article I’m going to show you how to play the ISS live stream on your Raspberry Pi.
Playing Video Streams on the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is well equipped for the task of playing video streams because it can decode the video in the GPU, so the amount of work done in the CPU is minimal. The Pi’s GPU comes with a H.264 video decoder from the factory. This is the format most web based video streams use, including the ISS stream. As a side note, an MPEG-2 decoder is also available, but a license needs to be purchased from the Raspberry Pi Foundation to use it.
The ISS live stream is provided by UStream. The stream is delivered in short segments, presented to the player in a constantly changing playlist, using a format called HLS. But UStream does not openly advertise how to access these playlists, instead they expect clients to embed a UStream web based video player applet based on Flash or HTML5, where all the HLS processing is done.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.