now that JWplayer 6 is out and handles HLS streams much better than before, I am looking to move away from RTMP
But, I really would like to implement adaptive bitrate streaming, as I have each file in 3 formats (720p, 480p and 360p)
From JW player I've set up each file as a different source, but that does not work. Upon closer examination of their documentation, it seems the m3u8 file is the one that keeps track of the multiple file versions.
I know that Wowza generates m3u8 files on-the-fly, so my question is, is there a way to make wowza create multi-bitrate references in these m3u8 files?
I would be very careful about the decision not to support rtmp. HLS is only supported by iOS devices, some of the latest android devices and Safari on Mac OSX. By not supporting rtmp or at least Adobe http streaming, you will probably be cutting off over 95% of people that will not be able to view your streams.
However, in order to implement adaptive bitrate streaming you need to provide a file for each of the different bitrates. These must each be synchronized so that the Key frames align. For vod, you need to encode each file using software that suppors Adaptive bitrate encoding and upload them to the server.
Adaptive bitrate streaming (MBR) uses a smil file format to describe each of the bitrate options for the stream. You use the name of this smil file for the stream name in your player.
Please see the following articles for info on how to create a smil file and how to setup Adaptive bitrate streaming.