Connect an RTMP Encoder to Wowza Streaming Engine

March 30, 2020 by


The Wowza Streaming Engine™ is a flexible media server software that allows you to use your own encoder to integrate live video streaming into your app or service. Using a free encoder software that supports the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), you can add live streaming into any workflow.

In this video, we’ll show you how to use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio, a free and open-source streaming and recording solution, as the source for an RTMP-based live video stream to Wowza Streaming Engine.

To learn more about live video streaming with your RTMP encoder and Wowza Streaming Engine, see our technical documentation.


Full Video Transcript:

Justin Miller:


RTMP is still the defacto protocol for live streaming from an encoder, but if you want to repackage that RTMP stream into other options to reach a wider audience, you’ll need Wowza Streaming Engine. To demonstrate how to connect an RTMP encoder to a media server for repackaging, we’ll use OBS Studio as our encoder software. It’s a free tool any broadcaster can download. Wowza Streaming Engine will be our media software, automatically repackaging incoming streams into a number of protocols and we’ll be using VLC Media Player for playback. It’ll playback RTMP, RTSP, HLS and MPEG-DASH.

Starting in Wowza Streaming Engine, we’ll need to first go under Server to access Source Authentication. Here we’ll add a new source username and password to help secure source connections to the server. Since all the software we’re running is on the same system, we could also choose to disable the security rather than adding the source authentication. I’ll show where this is located in a minute.

Now, to get a live stream going, we’ll need to go to Applications and add a new application. We’ll do this under Live Single Server or Origin, name it something memorable and then Add it in. We’ll see here the different protocols the stream will be repackaged into for playback. You can limit these as necessary. In the left menu is all the options available for this application. It’s under Source Security that we can edit the settings, should we not want authentication required. For now we’ll leave this alone.

Over in Sources (Live), we can find the application connection settings we need to connect to OBS Studio. There are other quick selects for many of the popular encoders and cameras, but we just really need to know the host server, host port, and application. Now usually this information is formatted like so, with an additional stream name of your choice, as well as stream source authentication information, which we can add later, but there are some cases where we’ll need to add the source authentication information directly into the URL, depending on our encoder or encoder software. Again, we can always turn authentication off.

All right, now that the media server’s ready, let’s open up OBS Studio. If you’ve never used OBS before, you’ll need to add a source, such as a video capture device. We’ll create this and have it use the webcam. Most likely, that means we’re going to be broadcasting at 720p. Now we can go over into Settings to set up our connection. Under Stream, we’ll select from the Service dropdown menu Custom. Now we’ll enter the URL and stream key. The stream key being the name we want for the stream. And we’ll check to use authentication and then enter the source authentication username and password we created earlier. And that should be all we need to do when it comes to setting up OBS.

Start streaming. If everything’s running correctly, you’ll see indications that we’re streaming live below. Heading over to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, we can go under Incoming Streams and see that this stream is active. Select the stream and then using the Test Player, you can see the streams running through different streaming protocols. Some of the protocols won’t be available unless you’ve installed the correct plugins for your browser. Another way to test some of these streams using different protocols is to copy the URL from the test player, open VLC Media Player and using the Open Network option, paste in the URL and then see it running. For some options that aren’t listed, we may want to pull the URL from the Mobile tab. For example, using RTMP we can just change the start of RTSP to be RTMP.

Okay, one last thing you may want to think about: There are some great players out there that you can use to embed a live stream on a website. However, in order to get them working, you’ll need to have a static IP address on your server that they can reach. Otherwise, when testing, they’re most likely going to error out. That’s it for me. Thanks for watching everyone, and happy streaming.


About Traci Ruether

As a Colorado-based B2B tech writer, Traci Ruether serves as Wowza's content marketing manager. Her background is in streaming and content delivery. Aside from writing, Traci enjoys cooking, reading, gardening, and spending quality time with her kith and kin. Follow… View more