Part 1: What you need to get started:

Obviously, the first two things you will need if you want to run a live scanner feed is a scanner and a computer. One of the great things about live scanner streaming is that all the software you need to get started is FREE! Depending on how often you plan on making this feed available to others will determine things like whether you leave the scanner/computer on all the time. For the sake of this tutorial, I will assume that you plan on leaving the scanner and computer on at all times to allow people to listen 24 hours a day.

The ideal scenario would be if you had an older computer that was no longer being used regularly and a spare scanner to connect to it. This way you would have a dedicated feed system. This is the way most of the serious live scanner stream operators have things set up. It doesn't take a cutting-edge computer at all. In fact, many people are running streams from older Pentium 133-233 MHz machines under Windows 98 just fine! My stream runs on a Pentium II 400 MHz with no strain whatsoever. Many streamers are opting towards Linux since it has such a low hardware requirement and features excellent reliability, but this is beyond the scope of this tutorial, so we will just stick with Windows. As far as I know, pretty much any version of Windows from Windows 95 up to Windows XP up will work.

There are a few assumptions I will make that, if I did not, would make this tutorial way too cumbersome and long-winded. The first is that you have a working computer to connect the scanner to - in other words, the system boots up Windows, runs fine, has a working sound card and connection to the Internet (we will touch on the best type of connection later). The next is that you have a working scanner that can reliably pick up a good signal on the frequencies you are interested in monitoring (subjects such as the best scanner or the best antenna or how the antenna should be mounted are WAY beyond the scope of this tutorial). Lastly I will assume that you are fairly comfortable working on your computer - not that you have to be an expert or guru, but you understand how to get around Windows and Windows Explorer to look for files on your hard drive and can edit simple text files in notepad.

Onward to Step 2!


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