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How to Play an SDP Stream on VLC

An SDP stream, or Session Description Protocol, is a text-based format describing a multimedia session or conference. Information in SDP streams include each parties' contact information, broadcast times and the various multimedia file types exchanged between parties. Playing an SDP file in VLC Media Player may require the source computer's IP Address and the name of the incoming stream in order to establish a connection. You should contact your source party to determine how the stream is being sent over the Internet (e.g. FTP, HTTP, MMS, UPD or RTSP servers) so VLC knows how to access and decode the source.

Contact your source party for their IP address, the SDP file name and the type of server being used to send the desired SDP stream (e.g. FTP, HTTP, UDP, RTSP, etc.).

Open VLC Media Player. Click the "Media" tab at the top of the screen and select "Advanced Open File." Press the "Network" tab.

Choose one of the connection methods listed (UDP/RTP, UDP/RTP Multicast, HTTP/FTP/MMS or RTSP) in VLC's Open Source window. If receiving a stream from an Internet HTTP or RTSP protocol, select the "HTTP/FTP/MMS" or "RTSP" box.

Enter the source party's IP address in the URL field for UDP/RTP Multicast streams and select "1234" as your Port. If receiving an HTTP/FTP/MMS or RTSP stream, enter the stream's URL in the URL field along with the IP address, the stream name and an ".sdp" file extension (e.g. xxx.xxx.xx/stream.sdp with the "x" replaced with IP numbers).

Check the Open field at the top of the screen to make sure the stream information is entered correctly. You should have a full Web address if using a HTTP/FTP/MMS or RTSP protocol, containing the protocol followed by the URL provided above. For example, an HTTP protocol would read http://xxx.xxx.xx/stream.sdp. A UDP protocol, however, should read udp://@xxx.xxx.xx. Click "OK" to open your stream.

Things You'll Need

  • Source IP Address
  • Name of SDP Stream
  • Type of Incoming Server
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About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.