SiteScope User's Guide

Real Time Streaming Protocol Monitor

The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) Monitor can be used to check the availability of certain kinds of time-based media files and real-time media streams (see table below for examples of supported formats).

Note: The RTSP Monitor does not support Real Media file types (for example: *.ra, *.ram files) or Windows Media files (for example: *.asf files). Use the Real Media Server and Real Media Player monitors or the Windows Media Server and Windows Media Player monitors to monitor these types of services.

Each time a RTSP Monitor runs, it attempts to open and read a specified media stream or download and play a specified media file. The monitor records a status and stream or file statistics when the session is completed. If the file or stream is not supported or is unavailable, an error is reported.

Usage Guidelines

This monitor can be used to ensure the availability of a media source or media file, that it can be retrieved, that the file is complete, and that the download rate meets your requirements.

UNIX and Linux Requirements

For SiteScope on UNIX or Linux, the RTSP Monitor requires that an X11 server be available. If SiteScope is unable to contact the X11 server specified by the DISPLAY environment variable then it will not be able to load the JMF player used by this monitor and will issue a "Player Create Error". The DISPLAY environment variable must be set prior to starting SiteScope. For convenience this variable can be set in the SiteScope user's login environment scripts.

The following are three options for meeting the configuration requirement for the RTSP Monitor on UNIX and Linux:

  1. Log into the graphical system console, execute xhost +locahost, and set your DISPLAY variable to the appropriate value before starting SiteScope. You must remain logged into the graphical console to maintian the X11 server active. If you log out of the console session, the X11 server will shutdown and the RTSP Monitor will not be able to contact it.
  2. Run a PC X11 server such as Exceed, and specify the appropriate value for DISPLAY prior to starting SiteScope. The X11 server process (such as Exceed), must be running as long as SiteScope is running. If the RTSP Monitor is unable to contact the X11 server it will generate a "Player Create Error".
  3. Install and run Xvfb, the X Virtual Frame Buffer on your UNIX/Linux system. Xvfb is an X11 server emulator which can be run as a daemon and will meet the X11 server requirements of the RTSP Monitor. Most Linux distributions include Xvfb, and it is also available on Solaris 9. For earlier Solaris versions you will need to download the X11R6 source code from After installing Xvfb, a startup script can be configured to start Xvfb on system boot with a command similar to the following:

    /path_to_xvfb/Xvfb :77 > /dev/null 2>&1 &

    The :77 parameter tells Xvfb to run on display number 77. In this example we would need to set our display variable to hostname:77

    The advantage of Xvfb over the other two options is that it provides a working X11 server without requiring that a user be logged into a system console on either an NT or UNIX system.

The RTSP Monitor makes use of the Java Media Framework (JMF) which provides the capability of monitoring a variety of real time digital media types and protocols. This includes HTTP retrieval of media files and RTSP streaming of many types of files. The table below is an overview of the media formats that have some support in the RTSP Monitor.

Note: Due to the many variations of media recording options not all files of the types listed below are supported by the Java Media Framework and RTSP Monitor. For example, some MP3 and MOV options are not supported. We recommend that you test a variety of files with the RTSP Monitor to determine if the file format you want to monitor can be decoded by the RTSP Monitor

Media Type File Format
Audio Interchange File Format (Apple) *.aiff
Audio Video Interleave (Microsoft) *.avi
Flash (Macromedia) *.swf, *.spl
Global Standard for Mobile Communications GSM
(wireless telephony standard)
HotMedia (IBM) *.mvr
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) *.mid
Motion Picture Experts Group MPEG-1 Video *.mpg
MPEG Layer II Audio *.mp2
MPEG Layer III Audio *.mp3
QuickTime Movie (Apple) *.mov
Sun Audio (Sun Microsystems) *.au
Wave audio file format (Microsoft) *.wav

A more complete list of supported media types can be found at:

Note The SiteScope RTSP Monitor does not support RealMedia formats from RealNetworks. In order to monitor RealMedia servers and media formats, see the Real Media Server Monitor or Real Media Player Monitor.

This monitor should be set to run according to your reasonable acceptable error period. The utilization of monitoring bandwidth and overall monitoring system performance should be considered in setting the run interval for this type of monitor. The default run interval is set to 10 minutes.


Each time the monitor runs it returns a status which includes the current value of the monitor. The possible status values are:

The final status result is either OK, error, or warning based on threshold established for these conditions.

Completing the Add RTSP Monitor Form

Complete the items on the RTSP Monitor form as follows. When the required items are complete, click the Add Monitor button to create the monitor.

Media URL
Enter the URL of the media file (for HTTP download and playback) or the URL of the media stream (for RTSP streaming) to be tested tested.

NOTE It is important to note that the SiteScope RTSP Monitor may not process media reference files or media metadata files that are commonly used with RealNetworks RealPlayer reference files and with some QuickTime movies.

Update every
Enter how frequently the monitor run. The drop-down list to the right of the text box lets you specify time increments of seconds, minutes, hours, or days. You must specify a time increment of at least 15 seconds.

Title (Optional)
Enter a name for this monitor. This name appears in the Name text box on the monitor table when you open the group's detail page. If you don't enter a name, a default name will be created.

Advanced Options

The advanced options give you the ability to customize error and warning thresholds for this monitor as well as other options. If you choose not to set the error and warning thresholds, SiteScope will use pre-set defaults if available. If a default is not available, SiteScope will not be able to utilize the condition.

Check this box to temporarily disable this monitor and any associated alerts. To enable the monitor again, clear the box.

Time Out
This advanced option gives you the ability to customize the RTSP Monitor's time out threshold. The Timeout is the time that should pass before the RTSP Monitor process is timed out. If you choose not to set it, SiteScope uses a pre-set default of 60000 milliseconds. To change the threshold, type the new value in the text entry box. The value must be in units of milliseconds.

Note To ensure that media files are tested to completion, the Timeout value should be set to a value greater than the time that it should take to playback the subject media download. For example, if the media file should normally playback in 90 seconds, the Timeout value should be set for greater than 90 seconds.

Stop Time
This advanced option gives you the ability to stop the media download after some specified amount of time has elapsed. Setting the value of 0 will cause the media stream to download until end of media is detected. Using a value greater than zero will stop the download of continuous broadcast streams (such as radio station multicasts) or very large media downloads.

Verify Error
Check this box if you want SiteScope to automatically run this monitor again if it detects an error. When an error is detected, the monitor will immediately be scheduled to run again once.

Note: In order to change the run frequency of this monitor when an error is detected, use the Update every (on errors) option below.

Note: The status returned by the Verify Error run of the monitor will replace the status of the originally scheduled run that detected an error. This may cause the loss of important performance data if the data from the verify run is different than the initial error status.

Warning: Use of this option across many monitor instances may result in significant monitoring delays in the case that multiple monitors are rescheduled to verify errors at the same time.

Update Every (on error)
This options allows you to set a new monitoring interval for monitors that have registered an error condition. For example, you may want SiteScope to monitor this item every 10 minutes normally, but as often as every 2 minutes if an error has been detected. Note that this increased scheduling will also affect the number of alerts generated by this monitor.

Schedule (Optional)
By default, SiteScope's monitors are enabled every day of the week. You may, however, schedule your monitors to run only on certain days or on a fixed schedule. Choose the Edit schedule link to create or edit a monitor schedule. For information about creating schedules, read these instructions.

Monitor Description (Optional)
Enter additional information to display about this monitor. The Monitor Description can include HTML tags such as the <BR> <HR>, and <B> tags to control display format and style. The description will appear on the Monitor Detail page.

Report Description (Optional)
Enter a description for this monitor that will make it easier to understand what this monitor does. The description will appear on Management Reports and on the info pop-up for a monitor.

Depends On (Optional)
To make the running of this monitor dependent on the status of another monitor or monitor group, use the drop-down list to select the monitor or group on which this monitor is dependent. Select None to remove any dependency.

Depends Condition (Optional)
If you choose to make the running of this monitor dependent on the status of another monitor, choose the status condition that the other monitor or monitor group should have in order for the current monitor to run normally. The current monitor will be run normally as long as the monitor or group on which it depends reports the condition selected in this option.

List Order (Optional)
By default, new monitors are listed last on the Monitor Detail page. You may use this drop-down list to choose a different placement for this monitor.

Error if
This option allows you to customize the conditions under which the RTSP Monitor generates an error status message.

Warning if
This option allows you to customize the conditions under which the RTSP Monitor generates a warning status message.

Good if
This option allows you to customize the conditions under which the RTSP Monitor generates a good status message.

Copyright © 2003 Mercury Interactive Corporation.
All rights reserved.