Wowza Video: Getting Started
Are you ready to unlock the value of video and make it a more integral part of your business? If so, it’s time to get started using Wowza Video, an integrated platform for both broadcasting live video streams and utilizing video on demand. With Wowza Video, you’ll be able to deliver content to your viewers with unprecedented reliability, scale to audiences of any size without interruption, optimize your discoverability, and more — all from a single, feature-rich solution. Let’s dive in.
Table of contents
To demonstrate how Wowza Video works, we’ll create a new live stream using OBS Studio as our encoder software, and we’ll test HLS playback for webpages using THEOplayer’s Demo Zone.
First, sign in to your account from video.wowza.com. Once logged in, we’ll see the main dashboard displaying general information. From the left navigation, we can access all the Available Streams ready for broadcast, and we’ll start by clicking Add Live Stream. We’ll want to name this live stream something unique to reference under Available Streams, and then we’ll select the location closest to where we’re broadcasting from.
Setting Up a Stream
Next, we’ll choose the camera or encoder we’ll be using. Since we’re using OBS Studio as the encoder, we can select Other RTMP. Other SRT is also possible, but since most encoders use the RTMP protocol, we’ll use this for our demo.
You can leave most other settings as default, though you may want to consider checking Prioritize Latency to get the lowest latency possible. You can also set the aspect ratio to your highest resolution. This way, the proper number of renditions are created for adaptive bitrate purposes. If you plan on making a recording available in the future as video on demand, you should check Save to Asset Management. We can also set up closed captions, and if you’re unable to use authentication, you can click it to disable it.
The next step is to choose playback settings that apply to our embed code and hosted pages. If you plan to use a player like THEOplayer, then you don’t need to worry about any of these settings. Otherwise, you may want to consider using our Original HTML5 player, set it to be responsive, and even add a poster image that displays until the livestream begins. If you can’t do it now, don’t worry — you can always modify the setting later.
Create a Wowza Video-Hosted Page
We can now choose to create a Wowza Video-hosted page. I’ll create a default page just to demonstrate the functionality before we demo it with THEOplayer.
It’s time to review our settings. Most of these can be changed in the future so they don’t need to be set up now — we’ll just go straight to Finish. With the stream created, we can now see it available under Available Streams.
Next, we need to set up our encoder with the source connection information. We’ll start by copying the primary server information. Then, head back to OBS Studio, where we’ll go into Settings and then Access Stream. From here, we can go to Service and choose Custom. I’ll now paste in the primary server info over into Server. We’ll then show our stream key for which we’ll copy the stream name information and place it under Stream Key. Then we can choose to Use Authentication. This will involve both your source username and the source password. Remember: you do have the option to change your stream settings to disable authentication even now.
Starting a Stream
Once your stream settings are okay, you can go back to Wowza Video, scroll to the top and Start Live Stream. This will spin up the media server instance. It may take a few minutes to get up and running, but once it’s going, you’ll see it indicated on the thumbnail where no video is currently detected.
Back in OBS, we can Start Streaming. Once the stream is detected, we’ll see it reflected in Wowza Video on the thumbnail. Since we made a hosted page, we can take the hosted page URL and use it to open up our stream through the original player. This player is also used when utilizing the player embed code, but for use with a player like THEOplayer, we’ll need the HLS playback URL. We’ll copy the URL and then go to THEOplayer’s Demo Zone, where we can paste it in, load it up, and let it play.
Ending a Stream
Once we’re done streaming, we still need to click Stop Live Stream back in Wowza Video. Don’t forget, you’ll also need to go into OBS Studio and stop the stream there as well.
Now, Wowza Video does have some additional tools worth using. Stream Health lets you monitor how the stream itself is doing, and Analytics can provide some great data such as viewership. Under Managed Assets, you’ll also find your stream recording if Save to Asset Management was checked. Here, you can review your video, download the file, use the stream URL to provide playback as video on demand, and even re-stream as a live recording.
Other video files can be used the same way by going to Upload Assets and dragging them to the page. These files must be MP4 and a file size under 25 gigabytes. These video files will take time to process, but once they’re finished, you’ll find them under Managed Assets. These will be in an unpublished status, so you’ll need to click Edit Asset and make them published. Once they are published, you can use the stream URL in your own player to play back as video on demand.
That’s it for getting started with Wowza Video. If you have questions or need more help with streaming, get in touch with us here.
About Justin Miller
Justin K. Miller is the video and webinar producer at Wowza Media Systems. He’s responsible for both the live and recorded productions made to educate, train, and inform customers and live video streaming enthusiasts. When not focused on the many facets of video production, Justin spends his free time watching media, modifying 3D printers, designing terrarium topography, breeding poison dart frogs, and raising his two children Jonathan and Alexis.