how to use VLC to stream your desktop live (windows) with audio (or stream a DVD)

Turns out that you can…I think so anyway.

Basically you setup VLC to stream from your desktop+audio.

Sound easy? It does take a few steps to get setup.  I should make it easy and market it 🙂

To stream desktop (skip below for DVD):

VLC by default comes with a “screen input” option, to capture the desktop.  Unfortunately it appears there’s a bug and currently it cannot use that option to capture along with audio (it is video only).

So we will have to use an alternative input, called DirectShow.  With Directshow, you can choose your video and your audio input device separately, and they do work together out of the box.

So first go and download a direct show screen capture input filter:

Next setup your sound card to be able to “capture” wave out.  If it is not there as an option then you may find some helpful notes here:

Now open VLC, choose Media [menu] -> Streaming -> Capture Device tab -> Set video device name as “screen capture” (may need to hit “refresh list” button first), and set audio device name as whatever device is capturing your wave out (probably your default sound card name, maybe something else).

Now to click on “stream” at the bottom.

To stream a DVD:

Go to Media [menu] -> Streaming -> Disc (make sure right drive is listed), hit Stream. (You may want to click “No DVD menus” and/or select a specific title.

Now for both:

Click on “Destinations”, change destination to http, click add, change url to “/go.mpg”

Now you’ll want to stream it using mp3 audio output, so click the wrench to edit the output options -> audio codec tab -> change it to mp3, hit save. (to be specific, you’ll be using the predefined “Video – H.264 + AAC (MP4)” setting, but with its audio changed to “mp3”). Note also that this eats up a fair amount of CPU since it is transcoding to H.264

Now hit “Stream”

It should now say “streaming” on the bottom.

Now to test your stream, let’s watch the stream by viewing it within another VLC instance (as client this time).

open up another instance of VLC, and open up that very stream, like

Media [menu] -> Open Network Stream -> type in http://localhost:8080/go.mpg

If this works, you are half way there.

Now let’s discover our more public IP address:

First find out your IP by running the “ipconfig” program.  Open the “run” box by hitting windows + r key, now type in “cmd /c ipconfig && pause”

Looks for a line like “IP Address ……” (your IP address if the (in vista it will say IPv4 Address).

now open it with a new instance of VLC, like

Media [menu] -> Open Network Stream -> type in (replace with your IP Address).

And you’re live.  At least you could theoretically go to other computers on your local network and they can see that stream of your  “screen share” your desktop and audio now.

If you wanted to watch it live from “anywhere on the internet” you’d probably have to setup appropriate port forwarding, which is a topic for another day.

Comments welcome.

Also note that if you just need “point to point” streaming, you can also use ffmpeg for the streaming, which tends to be faster and more reliable in my experience, though doesn’t have a nice GUI to help you 🙂

61 thoughts on “how to use VLC to stream your desktop live (windows) with audio (or stream a DVD)”

  1. Aloha Roger:
    Many Mahalo’s for your posts. I have been reading them and studying them. I am trying to make a file of a streaming online video for a friend who is interested in the Amish. The video was made in 1975 on 16mm and lasts 54 min. Not able to get a “size” on it from properties. I just have one question as I have come a long way just reading and following your site pages. I know this may sound kind of unintelligent but am I supposed to have the video Streaming at the http:// site while the VLC is also in the “streaming” working mode? or not? Mahalo very much Antoinette I used to be able to “do” this years ago and when I stopped using my computer due to eye problems from it, I forgot. So have to re learn. Can’t even remember which programme I used. It was long before VLC media player however. Love Light and ALoha to you this Thanksgiving Season

  2. VLC streams it *to* the http site, so you start VLC, then you can attach to it with some video player client [like vlc] reading from http. Hope that helps, mahalo!

  3. Thanks for the ScreenCaptureRecorder it is working great! I wanted to ask if there is a way to generate smaller .mp4 files while recording perhaps via a configuration option? or should I try a different file type? I recorded about 6minutes and the file size was 44Mg. I would like to record my desktop for 2-3 hours at a time several times per day which I am guessing would generate 100+ Gigs of files daily. Perhaps there is no other way but I wanted to ask since I only have 200Gig avail on my hard drive.

  4. Pingback: How to: How to capture screen video (with audio) using VLC media player? #answer #computers #dev | StackCopy
  5. Hello, I try to capture with your tutorial and also this one.
    Before this I configure and test that the screen-capture is ok from the script that captures desktop into some files.
    So I configure everything, but when I open another VLC instance, I see the screen only orizontal lines, it seems like its 20 screens squashed on top of each other or something like this .
    I tried all kinds of codecs but it doensn’t work, somehow it gets bad during the coding …

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