5 Steps for Getting Started With Wowza Streaming Engine ConfigurationJanuary 10, 2018 Here at Wowza, I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with users. One of the most common statements I hear from people new to Wowza and streaming is, “I think everything is set up right, but something isn’t working.” While our great repository of support articles, forums, videos and tutorials get most folks up and running quickly, I thought it would be helpful to walk you through the five main steps involved in Wowza Streaming Engine configuration. One important note: This post will assume you’re using the free Wowza Player, since it’s the easiest way to get started and test your streaming. While Wowza Streaming Engine supports a broad range of playback formats and advanced players, these steps will favor AppleHLS playback.
#1: Check Your Port ConfigurationWowza Streaming Engine utilizes ports for management, administration and streaming. If these ports are not configured properly, or are shared with other applications/services on your network and firewall, you will be unable to steam. This being the case, proper port configuration is one of the first things to check when setting up your Wowza Streaming Engine instance(s). Most people won’t have to adjust any of the port configurations. However, a few important things to keep in mind are:
- Wowza cannot share these ports with other applications—so if you have configurations that share ports with other applications, they will not function properly.
- Installation with the most common cloud providers (e.g., Microsoft Azure, AWS, Alibaba or Google) generally doesn’t require any special port configuration—especially if you use the Wowza Streaming Engine images pre-configured on those providers, either with a license you obtained through Wowza or through the provider.
How will I know if I have a port configuration problem?Conditions that indicate an issue with port configuration include:
- Trouble signing into the Wowza Streaming Engine Manager user interface (UI).
- An error indicating that Wowza Streaming Engine is unable to validate your license.
- Inability to stream.
- Failure to connect with outside services.
#2: Enter Your Source User Name and PasswordWhen signing into Wowza Streaming Engine Manager for the first time, the Source User Name and Password form is one of the first screens you’ll see. It looks like this: Sometimes people get in a hurry and skip steps when installing software—especially during a trial, but it’s a good idea to at least temporary credentials here so that you’ll be able to connect an external live source.
#3: Configure Your ApplicationsIn Wowza Streaming Engine, applications are the part of the workflow that controls the packaging of streams into various formats and resolutions for delivery. Here’s how to configure them:
Accessing Application ConfigurationThe most straightforward approach is to launch the Wowza Steaming Engine Manager UI in a web browser. Use the URL http://[wowza-ip-address]:8088/enginemanager, where the [wowza-ip-address] is the IP address or domain name for the Wowza server. (If you are running Wowza locally on your laptop or desktop, the URL is simply localhost:8088). NOTE: When you are deploying Wowza Streaming Engine on your favorite cloud or virtualized infrastructure, make sure to use the public IP address of the server to communicate or build streaming URLs (more on this later).
Configuring a New ApplicationWowza Streaming Engine provides almost unparalleled range of streaming scenarios. You can configure a new application completely from scratch, but to make it easier to get started, we’ve provided some sample applications. I would suggest starting with a simple live stream using the sample live application. From the home screen in the Wowza Streaming Engine Manager UI, go to the “Applications” drop-down menu at the top, and select “Live” to access the default live-streaming application: From inside each application, you can configure the formats and resolution of your stream (also known as “transrating”) to accommodate the type(s) of devices and network(s) you expect your audience to use when viewing your streams. For example, if you expect a significant portion of your audience to be viewing on iOS devices across both WiFi and mobile networks, you would want to configure a multiple bitrate HLS stream. If you aren’t sure, AppleHLS provides broad compatibility across device types and networks. When you open the live application, you’ll see the default selections for playback type and options. While it’s not necessary, you may want to de-select some of the default streaming types in order to cut down on processor consumption. To turn playback types on and off, simply click , de-select the playback types you don’t want and hit .
#4: Configure Your TranscoderNOTE: If you have installed Wowza Streaming Engine on a Mac, you will NOT be able to access the Transcoder functionality. You will need to install on a Windows or Linux system in order to do this. When configuring streams with Wowza Streaming Engine, you have the ability to control virtually every aspect of transcoding. This can be done through manual profile setup, including changing codecs, bitrates and formats and building SMIL files for adaptive bitrate and scheduled live-linear streaming. That being said, Wowza Streaming Engine includes a great function called Stream Name Groups. This enables you to quickly and easily deliver adaptive bitrate streams—without needing to do things like align keyframes or know the exact video and audio data rates of each resolution. To access Stream Name Groups, go to your live application, select Transcoder from the menu on the left and enable Transcoder. This will prompt you to restart the application. After enabling Transcoder, you will be able to enable and use Stream Name Groups to configure adaptive bitrate delivery. Within Stream Name Groups, you’ll see default configuration templates called “mobile” and “all.” Edit one of these default groups, or create your own. With your Stream Name Groups enabled and configured, you can now construct URLs for players to use, with elements including:
- The IP address of your Wowza Streaming Engine server.
- The name of your stream (e.g., “Live”).
- The title of your Stream Name Group (e.g. “all” or “mobile”).
#5: Configure Your PlayerWowza Streaming Engine is comparable with most commercially available players. Regardless of which one you’re using, player configuration is pretty straightforward. You’ll generally need only two things:
- Your credentials and/or license key to log into the player you’re using.
- The playback URL for the stream you’ve configured in Wowza Streaming Engine.
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