How to Live Stream Virtual Reality and 360-Degree Productions with Wowza Streaming CloudOctober 14, 2020
See how the seamless integration between virtual reality and 360-degree video technologies makes for a quick and easy end-to-end immersive video and audio experience for live events. We cover the basic workflow for live event production using the Insta360 Pro 2, Wowza Streaming Cloud and THEOplayer.
Full Video Transcript:
With live events being canceled for the foreseeable future in the wake of COVID-19, virtual reality and 360-video have returned to the forefront as an immersive option for remote viewing of live events. The basic workflow for these productions involves a VR/360 camera, stitching software with an encoder, a media server, a content delivery network, and a player. However, for this process, we’ll be using the Insta360 Pro 2 with onboard stitching and encoding, Wowza Streaming Cloud which uses Wowza CDN, and THEOplayer for 360 viewing through a website. Let’s look at how this setup works. Starting with Wowza Streaming Cloud, we’ll go to live streams and add a live stream. We’ll first name this something unique for reference and then choose the location closest to us that allows 4K streaming.
Next, we’ll choose other RTMP for the camera. We’ll also want to check yes, create an HLS stream with reduced latency. Then we’ll change the aspect ratio to 4K or 3840×2160. In order to simplify settings, we’ll also check disable authentication. We’ll bypass the rest of these settings now by clicking next through all the others screens and going straight to finish. Now that we have the info we need listed under source connection information, I recommend you email this information to yourself, including the HLS URL found under playback URLs. We’ll be referencing this information later. On the camera side, we’ll access the Insta360 Pro 2 using the controller app available for installation on a mobile device. Using the live streaming options under general, change the mode to custom server, then scroll down and you’ll see a format option. Leave this as RTMP.
For resolution, we’ll set it to be the same as Wowza Streaming Cloud 3840×2160. Now, under live streaming URL, we can paste in the source connection information that we emailed to ourselves. Primary server will end up being server, and the key is going to be your stream name. Be sure you don’t have any extra spaces at the end of either server or key that might cause problems later. Now, with the information entered, everything should be ready to go. The last thing we need to do is set up the player. For this, we’ll need the HLS URL from Wowza Streaming Cloud. In field player, we can go to SDKs and then choose to create a player. We’ll be making one for HTML5. Name it something memorable, perhaps the same as in Wowza Streaming Cloud. Next, we’ll need to make a few changes to the player. So from playback, we’ll set the player for 360 VR. Since it can’t use ads, we’ll also go under advertisements and turn advertisements off.
Now, back under format, we’ll choose HLS for the media stream and then paste in that HLS URL. Be sure to load this before going to the next screen. Unless you have some domains to whitelist, we’ll choose except all domains and then publish. It may take a few minutes or so for the player to be built. Once it’s ready, click on how to embed my THEOplayer HTML5 SDK, and then under full sample page, you can simply download the sample page to your computer. Then we can open up the example of that HTML file in your local browser for testing. Now, with everything ready to go, we can go back to Wowza Streaming Cloud and start your live stream now. We’ll need to confirm this and then wait a few moments while the stream starts up. Once it’s started, we can go back to the Insta360 app, and at the bottom, hit the big red live button.
Once we’re live, it’ll still take about six seconds to buffer video, even with reduced latency. So I’d wait at least that long before clicking play on the player. It may take a few moments for the player to determine your available bandwidth and bring you up to 4K resolution. You’ll notice there are seven resolutions to choose from that are available as well for adaptive bitrate streaming. Also, you can go into VR mode direct from the player for viewing with VR goggles. If you’re interested in simulcasting to other places such as social media, in Wowza Streaming Cloud, stop the stream and confirm it. Then under advanced go to transcoders. Locate the transcoder for this stream and under outputs and targets you’ll add a target stream under the passthrough output. Here, you can go straight to Facebook or even use custom options to reach most social media platforms. Well, that’s it for this VR 360 workflow. For any questions, please contact us at wowza.com.