How to Use Wowza ClearCaster With Wowza Streaming CloudDecember 18, 2020
With Wowza ClearCaster, you can easily broadcast using an integrated workflow between your ClearCaster and Wowza Streaming Cloud. This integration simplifies broadcast configuration and management, enabling you to start and stop a stream from one user interface. Learn how in this video tutorial to use Wowza ClearCaster as a video source for a live stream or transcoder in Wowza Streaming Cloud.
Full Video Transcript
Wowza ClearCaster is a live encoding solution complete with a remote management system. It comes in two flavors, Wowza ClearCaster Micro with a form factor for portability and professional inputs capable of 1080P, 60 frame per second livestreams, and there’s Wowza ClearCaster Enterprise, made for data centers and production teams it can handle up to 4K resolution broadcasts.
For initial hardware setup please consult the getting started insert that comes with the appliance, these do require a wired internet connection. Once you’re up and running with a connected video source, you’ll see a device code from Engineering View. Follow the instructions by going to clearcaster.wowza.com in a browser, sign-in with your Wowza account. By default, you should enter Wowza ClearCaster Universal Manager, it’s from here, you can control, monitor and manage multiple ClearCasters. However, first you must activate your new ClearCaster by going to manage and under the encoder tab enter the ClearCaster activation code. You’ll need to name the ClearCaster, as well as verify you’ve read and agree to the license agreements and privacy policies. Then you can activate your ClearCaster.
At this time, you might also want to update your firmware to the most recent version, if you choose to update your firmware be sure not to shut down the ClearCaster while the update’s in progress. Once the update is complete, the system will reboot. Under the encoder tab, you’ll see all the ClearCasters available for Universal Manager that have been activated and are ready to broadcast. I’ve added both the Micro and the Enterprise here, so you can see the difference.
Now that the ClearCasters are ready to go in Universal Manager, we’ll create a live stream to Wowza Streaming Cloud. To allow for seamless integration, go under integrations and choose to add a Wowza Streaming Cloud API key, I’ll name this after myself, since it’s my account. And for the other fields, you’ll need to go into your Wowza Streaming Cloud account at cloud.wowza.com and use the dropdown under your name to get to API access.
The first thing you’ll find is the API key, copy and paste this into the appropriate field in ClearCaster Manager. Now back in Wowza Streaming Cloud we’ll choose to add an access key, I’ll reference this in the description to be used for ClearCaster. Then once it’s created, we can copy the key over to ClearCaster Manager. Once the information has been added, we may also so want to go back to Wowza Streaming Cloud and under live streams, add a live stream for this broadcast. Name it appropriately, select the location closest to where you’re broadcasting from, and next you’ll want to choose Wowza ClearCaster as your encoder. You may want to also consider checking to reduce latency and changing to the same aspect ratio as your broadcast. We’ll leave everything else as default skipping all the other settings and going straight to finish.
Now that the live stream has been created, we can go back to ClearCaster Manager, go under broadcast and here we’ll choose to create broadcast. Name your broadcast appropriately, select which ClearCaster you wish to use and for destination choose Wowza Streaming Cloud. Now for the encoding template, we’ll stick with Wowza 1080p30. Your live stream options should propagate with the available streams in your Wowza Streaming Cloud account, choose the one that we just created. We’ll also record the broadcast and choose one of the built-in graphics packages.
Now let’s create the broadcast. Once it’s created, you’ll see the broadcast appear with details on inputs, outputs, and targets. What’s unique about broadcasting to Wowza Streaming Cloud is when we hit go live, this automatically starts up the live stream in Wowza Streaming Cloud. When we choose to stop the broadcast, it will stop the live stream as well.
Some things you may notice is the ability to monitor the health of the broadcast via the monitor. Here, you’ll see the current status of many different aspects of the broadcast, not only can you watch it in real-time, but you can view archived broadcasts to review past issues. Back under broadcast we also have the option to add graphics from our graphics package and control the audio. We can add a slate when we need it, add a lower third for a presenter, and we can even insert a logo. If you go under manage, you’ll find the graphics tab where these can be changed. You can keep up to three graphics packages, these allow for simple text and color changes, or even hosted animated GIF files, turn them on and off as needed or change them as necessary for your live broadcast. Back under broadcast, we’ll stop the broadcast.
If we returned to manage, we can access the recordings tab and there we can see the recording being uploaded from Wowza ClearCaster to the server for downloading by you. Should we want to change stream settings for future broadcasts we can go to templates. Here, we can choose our encoder mode, our destination, and the encoder template. You can make changes to things like frame size, target bitrate, and in some cases streaming protocol, change it directly to the encoding template or make a copy.
One last feature you have is controlling users. You can add additional users for Wowza ClearCaster Manager, you can limit access to templates and integrations and then give a full access only to admins.
Well, that’s it. Manage multiple livestreams and encoders with Wowza ClearCaster in conjunction with Wowza Streaming Cloud. Thanks for watching and happy streaming.