A new IRL Encoding system

Let’s talk about IRL streaming. It’s a relatively new idea that has seen massive growth among platforms like Twitch and Youtube. The easiest way to go live is to get a phone, download an app, setup your streaming destination, and boom! You can stream to an almost unlimited number of people. But what about reliability? With just a phone, you may move into a dead zone and all of a sudden your connection is lost. You are completely disconnected from your awaiting audience. So you go out and you get yourself a Gunrun backpack (https://www.gunrun.tv/). It has 4 modems and they are all bonded to increase reliability, but how do you add your donation alerts and live chat? The answer is to get some kind of system setup to act as a “middle-man” between you and the platform you stream on. This system can take the raw and unprocessed video feed from your phone/backpack and add graphics, while also being automated and flexible enough to handle the connection instability of backpacks and phones.

Multiple systems exist already, and I am in no way trying to say that they are bad. I simply saw these systems, and I believe that I can make a better one. I have a background in server infrastructure (think datacenters and crazy expensive servers), hardware design (I have designed and even hand-soldered SSDs before), and broadcasting (think video switchers and fancy cameras). I have had the opportunity to help several large Twitch streamers, and when they both decided that they wanted to get Gunrun backpacks, I wanted to see what I could build. A simple script to change an OBS scene when bitrate drops has evolved into what I’m now announcing.

I will be releasing a new service for IRL streaming. This service is not like the others. My highest priority is making the job of the streamer the easiest it can be. This is why I have designed my system to have a wide range of features, like the ability to easily give people access to controlling their server, or the flexibility to bring your own ideas into reality like no transcoding service has done before. I invite you to join my Discord community if you would like to get more updates and information. There you will be able to find updates, request features, read the docs, or discuss your current system with other members.

Check it out HERE

(P.S. I’m also going to be attending PAX South, so if you would like to hang out or even just chat about IRL streaming, send me a message through discord. tt2468#2468)

Dell s4048-ON Switch Teardown

So I recently got the chance to purchase the Dell S4048-ON 10/40Gb ethernet switch for the lab, and due to how crazy powerful this switch is, I just had to take a look at what’s inside. After you take out all 23 of the case screws, you can simply lift up the top cover to reveal 3 boards.

The board on the left is actually the switch itself, the board in the middle is the processor board equipped with 2GB of ram and an 8GB SSD, and the board on the right controls the 3 hot-swap fan modules that this system has. Here is a nice closeup of that processing board. From my understanding, the processor board controls the switch chips on the main board, and does not actually directly interface with the ethernet ports on the front, which I find interesting.

Taking the four screws out and removing the processor board reveals a pretty bare board underneath. You can see the vertical connector that the processor module interfaces with on the left, and the connector that links the fan board to the switch board in the middle.

Looking now at the bottom side of the processor board, you can see that there are pads for a sata data+power connector. I’m not sure if any switches on the dell line actually have a full 2.5″ sata connector/drive on them, but it just shows how crazy we’ve come in terms of seemingly simple devices like ethernet switches.

Here’s that 2GB of ECC DDR3 memory I was talking about. Pretty basic. I bet you it can be upgraded to 4GB or even 8GB, but at this point I don’t see any reason to do so.

And finally here’s the 8GB SSD I was talking about. According to its datasheet it uses an 8GB MLC flash chip and uses their own controller. It also runs at SATA-III speeds, which is expected for a switch like this.

So that’s a tour of the insides of the Dell S4048-ON Switch. It’s a very nice switch with a really powerful CLI, and I hope to be posting more about it in the future.

New blog!

Hey guys, as you can see I’ve created a new blog. I intend to use this to document some of the testing and cool stuff that I work on since I feel it is a waste to not share it with the rest of the internet!

I will probably be posting more frequent, shorter posts here with things like updates to projects and performance testing, and I will post various things that inspire me the most to my Youtube channel. Good content does not run on a schedule, so I can’t promise any sort of regular postings, but I will try my best to stay active.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to keep an eye here for more to come.