Wowza Technology for Low-Latency Streaming at Scale (Video Series: Part 3)

June 11, 2018 by

Wowza Technology for Low-Latency Streaming at Scale

For a growing number of streaming media apps and services, interactivity or real-time information is central to the user experience. Low-latency streaming delivery is a must for use cases such as:

  • Two-way video chat.
  • Live auctions and gambling.
  • Video-game streaming and esports.
  • Online financial trading.
  • Second-screen experiences for stadium sports, live events and broadcast TV.

Not only do these video apps need low-latency live streaming, they also need to be able to reach viewers watching on any device, located in dispersed regions around the world and, potentially, accessing content over suboptimal networks. Streaming must also scale reliably to accommodate sudden spikes in viewership for viral content or high-profile events.

In part one of our four-part video series on low-latency streaming, we covered what low latency means, and which streaming use cases require it. In part two, we talked about the options for replacing RTMP delivery. In part three, we discuss the tools and technologies Wowza supports for low-latency streaming delivery, and take a look at what the future holds. Watch it here:


What Causes Latency?

Wowza supports a range of technologies that can be used to achieve your goals of low latency, streaming at scale and delivery over poor-quality or low-bandwidth networks. The right option for you will depend on your infrastructure and use case.

Latency can be caused by a number of factors at various points in your streaming workflow:

  • At the capture end of the workflow, by the cameras and/or capture technologies being used.
  • During processing, by your encoding or transcoding settings.
  • By the distribution methods you’re using, such as streaming protocols that aren’t designed for low latency.
  • The distance between your ingest and egress points (e.g., some technologies send streams out to the public internet and back in order to reach geographically dispersed audiences).
  • On the playback end, the hardware and player technology used to view live streams.


How Do I Fix Latency in My Streaming Workflow?

Luckily, Wowza technology offers a number of solutions to reduce latency and support streaming at high volume, over long distances and/or across suboptimal networks. These include:


Wowza Streaming Cloud With Ultra Low Latency

A premium tier of the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, our Ultra Low Latency offering provides sub-two-second streaming at scale. This service leverages:

Now you can build end-to-end low-latency streaming experiences for audiences of any size, anywhere in the world, watching on any device.


Support in Wowza Streaming Engine™ software for low-latency streaming protocols.

Wowza Streaming Engine supports protocols that are build for speed, such as WOWZ™ and WebRTC. It also supports communications protocol WebSocket, which can be used along with other streaming protocols to send low-latency text, metadata and other information.


Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) ingest in Wowza Streaming Engine.

SRT is an open-source protocol designed to maximize the available bandwidth in poor network conditions for higher-quality, lower-latency delivery. Wowza Streaming Engine supports SRT ingest, and Wowza is a founding member of the SRT Alliance, which promotes the industry-wide adoption of SRT.


Testing and support for up-and-coming delivery protocols.

Wowza continues to test and support emerging protocols such as:

  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which is primarily used for low-latency streaming between internet applications.
  • Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC): an experimental protocol developed by Google for point-to-point delivery.
  • HTTP/2, a revision of the network protocol used by the World Wide Web itself.
  • Multipath Transmission Control Protocol (MPTCP), which allows for delivery over bonded WiFi or cellular networks.

Stay tuned for the final installment of our video series, where we’ll talk about the hottest trends to look for in low-latency streaming, such as video apps with live user-generated content.