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Confusion around VOD rtsp playback

Hello Wowza community,

Im looing at Wowza as a replacement to our current implementation for rtsp playback to STB’s (Amino/Entone based).

I have Wowza setup and using the default VOD application, if I make a RTSP request from the STB to the server, I can get playback (but all of the trickplay functions fail such as ff/rw) and playback ends prematurely. Ie a basic request doesnt seem to work.

I did a bunch of searching and found that by adding a /playlist.m3u8 function to the end of the requests causes playback to now work correctly (as well as adding /mp4:). So my request looks as such:

Can someone explain to me what is the difference here? Isnt the playlist.m3u8 file just a auto generated list of content to playback?

Second question, if I add the playlist.m3u8, does this increase resource load on the system?

Third question, does having the playlist.m3u8 format at the end, is there a limitation in this? Where is this file stored, and if I have 500 assets being pulled with this playlist, will it cause issues?

Last question, some of our files are .ts format. Does Wowza support this format? I did try just pulling a file, so:
rtsp:// (both with and without the /playlist.m3u8)
But I got no joy here

Hi Adam. Using a streaming URL that ends in /playlist.m3u8 refers to an HTTP protocol, Apple HLS. Your example references an RTMP URL with the playlist.m3u8 extension. What’s probably happening is the STB is ignoring playlist.m3u8 and is playing using RTSP, where you’re coincidentally experiencing good performance. Or, it’s possible that the STB is pulling the playlist for Apple HLS, regardless of the prefix. Whatever the case, this is the proper syntax:

Apple HLS is typically more stable because it is a chunk-based protocol. I suggest you experiment with both to see what works best in your scenario.

In reference to your questions about .ts files - this is actually the format of the “chunks” used when streaming Apple HLS. By default, each chunk is a 10-second media file (.ts). Spend your time getting the proper playback working and don’t worry about the .ts files, which are intended for background consumption.

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