Video on Demand With Wowza Streaming Engine


Stream high-definition video on demand (VOD) to smartphones, tablets, computers, set-top boxes, and more.​ Start with Wowza’s live broadcast and OTT solutions.

Wowza Streaming Engine makes it easy to stream VOD content to a wide variety of player technologies. And depending on your needs, the video streams can be stored locally or on remote storage solutions.

Check out the video above for a quick run down, or peruse our documentation to learn more.

Full Video Transcript:Justin Miller:

Wowza Streaming Engine is great media server software to handle all your live streaming needs. But it also does video on demand. To start using the video on demand functionality, go under Applications and Add an Application. We’ll choose for this to be VOD Single Server. Name it appropriately, and then Add.

Now, a few suggestions for the setup. Unselect Playback Types that you don’t plan to use, define your Content Directory, which for now we’ll leave as default, which uses the main content folder, and also select your Closed Captioning Sources. Now, once all your changes are saved, you can test to see if it’s working. Within the content folder of Wowza Streaming Engine, there is a sample.MP4 file. We’re going to locate this by clicking on Test Playback to create a URL to access it. Now make sure the IP address referenced is the correct one to access your server, then copy the URL of the stream you wish test.

Use a player of your choice for testing. Just be sure it works with the protocol you selected and that that playback type is one you’ve made available during setup. If you want to try it locally, you can use something like VLC Media Player to play your sample file. You’ll be able to move back and forth within the video, just like any locally hosted file.

Now, you may be running an instance of Wowza Streaming Engine on a remote server with very little hard drive space and want to access videos that are stored somewhere else. This file, for example, is hosted on S3 and has been made public. To stream this as video on demand. We can go under Server and access Media Cache. Using the Sources tab, you’ll be able to choose Add a Media Cache Source, put in a source name, and then select the source type.

The prefix will be something you’ll use later as part of the URL, so remember it. And now add a base path, excluding that extra folder information. This will also be added as part of it the URL. Now, once you’ve added all your sources, you’ll need to restart your server for the changes to take effect, but because I’m using S3, I’m getting need to make one more change directly to the media cache XML file on the server. I’ll need to add a property for the AWS sign-in version, which for me is four. This will need to be added as part of the media cache source we just created. And once it’s been added and saved as the media cache XML file, I recommend you restart Wowza Streaming Engine directly from services.

Sometimes a restart through the manager isn’t always enough. Now, the use of media cache is designed for scaling. So we’ll need an edge server. Let’s create a new VOD application, this time as VOD Edge. Name it appropriately, and then Add. Notice here that the default is set for All Media Cache Sources Are Available. So let’s just save it as is. Now to get the streaming URL, we’ll once again use test playback. And first, we’ll verify the IP address is correct for our server. And then, we’ll append the application name with /_definst_. Now for the media file name, right after the file type, we’re going to add the media cache source prefix, and then the directory structure ending with the name of the file that is on the server. Now, we can copy the URL like before and test it in a player.

Well, that’s it. Keep in mind, the video file will need to be cached by your server before it can be streamed to the client. So it may take a few seconds to load. Thanks for watching. And if you want to know more ways to optimize workflows like this, don’t hesitate to contact us at Wowza.


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About Traci Ruether

Traci Ruether is a Colorado-based B2B tech writer with a background in streaming and network infrastructure. Aside from writing, Traci enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her kith and kin. Follow her on LinkedIn at or learn more at