Wowza Streaming Cloud vs. Streaming Engine on EC2?
I do live streaming of an annual 2 day conference. It is coming up again, and each year I look for new ways to do it better. The last couple of years I have used Wowza Streaming Engine on Amazon EC2, and it has worked well. This year, I see that the Wowza Streaming Cloud is now available, and may simplify things for me. One thing I'm particularly interested in is the automatic transcoding into various bitrates from a single source stream. This should enable me to finally do HD, without worrying about those with lower speed connections.
However, this conference is for a non-profit organization, and I need to keep costs minimal. Is this option also available on the Streaming Engine AMI for EC2? (It hasn't been in the past.) If so, that may still be the cheaper route.
Also, has anyone tried using this feature with Roku? I haven't tested that part yet, but I have been able to manually change the bitrate when testing on a Windows PC. I actually need to be able to stream to iOS, Android, PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux), and Roku.
And while I'm asking questions, I also discovered vMix this year. I've used FMLE along with Xsplit in the past, but this vMix looks like it's far superior, although not as user-friendly. Does anyone have experience using it with Wowza?
The Streaming Engine AMI for EC2 does support transcoding, but you would need to
set up the transcoder feature for the live stream. You would only need to set up the transcoder template once for your application. Once it is set up, sending the stream to the EC2 instance would apply the template and generate the ABR renditions.
To compare costs, it would really depend on your streaming workflow. We have had some users that prefer the ease of use with Streaming Cloud. Moreover, Streaming Cloud comes with different pricing structures. I would recommend contacting
firstname.lastname@example.org to get a quote on the pricing structure. Please include the number of viewers that you would expect, the number of hours for the event, and the quality of the incoming source stream.
To be able to stream to all the devices you listed, your best bet would be to use
HLS streams. Streaming Cloud does support HLS via the HLS direct playback link. Please note, however, that you would need to be able to keep track of viewer playback separately if you are going to use the direct HLS playback link.
We have also had users that successfully used vMix with Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud.