Wowza Stream Sources: Making Live Streaming Even Easier

Blog: Streamline Transcoding With Wowza Stream Sources


Wowza stream sources simplifies setup when using the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service by automating transcoder start and stop, as well as detecting broadcast location. Find out how you can leverage stream sources to improve overall start-up time. Read more below.


Simplifying Transcoder Management

In the video streaming world, there are a lot of controls to manipulate when setting up a live stream. The range of choices can be overwhelming and time-consuming to configure.

We discussed optimizing video encoding setting for your use case in our last blog post. Today, we’re going to discuss a new technological configuration that Wowza has employed to simplify the live stream set-up process: Wowza stream sources.

This new feature helps improve the overall start-up time in Wowza Streaming Cloud.


Configuring Streams Without Stream Sources

While Wowza Streaming Cloud supports many configurations, the workflows generally fall in one of two categories: live streams or custom transcoders. Running a live stream is a good place to start. It has some transcoding presets, uses the Wowza CDN, and provides a hosted web page with the Wowza Player. For users who want to use a different CDN, have specific transcoding configurations, or have larger-scale distribution needs, the custom transcoders workflow is a better fit.

Traditional Configuration Process:

  1. In both of these workflows, you start by selecting where you’re broadcasting from.
  2. Wowza automatically kicks up a transcoder when streaming is initiated in the live streaming workflow. There is typically a lag in feedback as that transcoder ‘warms up.’ In the custom transcoder workflow, the user must manually initiate the transcoder. Again, the same transcoder ‘warm-up’ time will cause a delay.
  3. Once done broadcasting, users must manually initiate the “end live stream” or “stop transcoding” actions.


Simplifying the Process With Wowza Stream Sources

With the new Wowza stream sources functionality, publishing live streams is more efficient. This origin-transcoder layer integration leverages our global network to speed up the process. Several workflow enhancements make adding and managing your Wowza Streaming Cloud live broadcasts easier.

Workflow: Wowza Stream Sources

Stream Sources Enhancements:

  1. Location Detection: Wowza now auto-detects the stream source location and chooses the best transcoder location for this stream. This is particularly helpful in cases where you’re changing your broadcast location and don’t want to manually reconfigure transcoders.
  2. Automated Start and Stop: Wowza stream sources automatically starts and stops the transcoding service.
  3. Quicker Start-Up Time: Leveraging our transcoding network with location-based intelligence, Wowza stream sources brings the origin in front of the transcoder. This allows us to leverage more ‘warmed up’ transcoders, reducing publish time. As a result, the new configuration provides an instant connection with the origin and the transcoder. This minimizes publishing time, giving broadcasters near-instant feedback that their video is streaming.

Stream Sources Benefits:

  • Faster: Geographic optimization improves start-up time. Users no longer have to worry about reconfiguring streams when moving the camera or encoder around. By keeping transcoders up and running, the stream sources feature provides faster feedback that you’re live.
  • Streamlined: Less user management is required of the individual workflow pieces. The transcoder will automatically start when it detects the stream has started. Once complete, it will automatically stop (based on user-set time-out values) to minimize compute time and costs.
  • Reliable: With this coupled-configuration, Wowza optimizes the “first mile” for resiliency and availability.
  • Reduced Error: Auto-configuration helps minimize any user start and stop errors that can occur with manual setup.

All former streaming workflows and configurations will continue to function as normal, but we hope this new functionality will simplify and streamline the live streaming workflow for you.

This functionality is currently in tech preview, available both through UI and API workflows. If you’d like to explore this new feature, please contact

Thanks and happy streaming!


Additional Resources:

Control a Transcoder With a Wowza Stream Source in Wowza Streaming Cloud


Search Wowza Resources



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About Jamie Sherry

Based in Colorado, Jamie Sherry is on the product management team at Wowza. His background is in streaming, digital media, telecom, and network technology. In addition to passionately working to identify, drive, and execute solutions that solve unique business problems, you will find Jamie making turns in deep snow, running up mountains, travelling to far off places with his wife, eating good food, and watching his kids grow up too fast.