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At my workplace, we have a live video streaming solution for training lectures. Most participants attend the lecture in-person, but some watch it from their desks or remote offices. These are the systems involved in the solution:

Camera + Presenter PC Screen
           |
           V
 Software Video Switcher
           |
           V
  Streaming Media Server
           |
           V
       Web Server
           |
           V
  Remote Participant's PC

Configurations

  • Camera + Presenter PC Screen: Windows 10
  • Software Video Switcher: Wirecast on Windows 10
  • Streaming Media Server: Ubuntu running NGINX + nginx-rtmp (configured for MPEG-DASH)
  • Web Server: Uses Adobe ColdFusion. The streaming page is HTML5 generated by a CFM.
  • Remote Participant's PC: Windows 10

Because the streaming media server uses MPEG-DASH, the remote participant's view is roughly 30s behind the actual lecturer, so live phone questions don't work well. I'd like the remote participants to be able to type a question into the streaming video web page and send it to the presenter. The presenter can then read the question back for everyone and answer it at his or her convenience.

I'm looking for a library, preferably open-source, which can accept incoming participant questions in an AJAX (can be JSON) request and present them to a lecturer over a web interface.

Requirements / Considerations

  1. The library portion which displays questions to the presenter can run on any platform (PHP, Perl, NodeJS, etc.) since I can install it on the Ubuntu streaming server. However, it needs to by able to accept asynchronous participant question data from the Web Server which only runs Adobe Cold Fusion. I have no problem writing the Cold Fusion code to send appropriate question data.
  2. The presenter interface should render acceptably on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) since the presenter may be mirroring the projector screen on the Presenter PC Screen and we don't want audience questions popping up in front of the presentation--the presenter should be able to visually triage them first.
  3. The library doesn't need to support quizzes or participant authentication.
  4. The presenter should be able to clear out questions from a previous lecture in some way.

It would likely be easy for me to roll my own solution--I'd probably need only a single database table. However, I'd prefer not to re-invent the wheel if possible. It's just been difficult to find libraries that aren't meant for live quizzes and aren't huge LMS packages in their own right.

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