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Bad results streaming live Flash from Tricaster via Wowza

I am using Wowza Media Server 2 to take a live stream from a Tricaster Studio and publish it as a UDP multicast stream. The encoding options on the Tricaster are Windows Media Pull (http), Windows Media Push (http), and Adobe Flash (rtmp). The only way it seems to work with Wowza is using Flash/rtmp, but I get terrible results: stuttery, artifact-filled video (I’ve tried oodles of different bitrates and other tweaks in Flash Media Live Encoder on the Tricaster, with no luck). However, the Windows Media encoding options on the Tricaster look great when played streamed directly from the Tricaster, and also when transcoded using VLC and published as a UDP multicast stream from VLC. I can’t figure out if the problem with Flash video quality is occurring on the Tricaster (I’ve tried 2 different units/2 different models and gotten bad, though slightly different, results with both) or in Wowza. Is there any way to ingest a Windows Media-encoded http stream with Wowza? Or any way to rule out Wowza as the source of the video-quality issues with Flash encoding? I’m going nuts with this…

Sorry for the delay. There is not a way to directly ingest a Windows Media-encoded http stream with Wowza. You could probably put VLC in between; take a look at the transcoding examples at the bottom of this post (you can replace the RTSP url with MMS url):

Can you try replacing the Tricaster source in FMLE with a webcam, just to test the difference. Are you encoding with b-frames? If so, try turning that off. “Stuttery” is usually a bitrate/bandwidth issue.


In Flash playback “stuttery” usually means that the stream is a higher bitrate than the bandwidth between Wowza and client. Can you test local, i.e., playback in Flash client running on same machine or server on the lan? Or try cutting bitrate in half to see if stuttering goes away.

If no b-frame option in FMLE then nothing to turn off. I don’t see one either. It is just one thing that might be a problem, but not in this case apparently.


Thanks for the response. What exactly do you mean by a bitrate/bandwidth issue? I don’t see how insufficient bitrate or bandwidth could be the problem. When I spit out full-frame video from the Tricaster and use VLC to encode it and publish a live multicast stream, the full-frame video takes up a LOT more bandwidth than Flash-encoded video between the Tricaster and the Wowza server, and we have plenty of bandwidth to handle it.

As far as bitrate, a Tricaster-full-frame-to-VLC-to-multicast stream looks perfect at the same bitrate where a Tricaster-Flash-to-Wowza-to-multicast stream stutters horribly. I’d just switch completely from Wowza to VLC except that sometimes VLC isn’t reliable and craps out and refuses to start encoding.

I don’t see any place in FMLE to turn b-frames on or off…any hints? I’ll see if I can get a webcam set up with FMLE to test.