Wowza Community

Dynamically transcode (and save) multiple bitrate-versions of one stream

I’m trying to setup Wowza + JWPlayer to allow streaming of VOD files (from S3 servers).

Let’s say my file is called “video1.f4v” and is located at rtmp://server:1935/vod/mp4:amazons3/bucket/video1.f4v.

Is there a way to setup Wowza so it generates different versions (e.g. 240p, 360p, 720p) of a stream, which I can add to my (JWplayer) video player instance? Does Wowza save the files after encoding them the first time somewhere or will it have to transcode everytime a user requests the file?

Or do I have to encode all 3 versions by myself, upload it to s3 and then create a custom playlist for JWplayer?


Hi there, if I understand your question correctly, no, the Wowza Transcoder does not support VOD.

You can use Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 to create the multi-bitrate set of files:

How to encode video on demand content

This guide explains how to do ABR with JW Player:

How to use LongTail JW Player with adaptive bitrate streaming from Wowza Media Server


I looked into the current state of Expression 4 Encoder. I uninstalled my copy and re-installed from the free version. It had mp4 output format listed in a drop down, but this was disabled. The links that are given when you try use mp4 output do not lead lead anywhere that allows you to purchase Expression 4 Encoder, and none of the documentation I could find was helpful.

However, I do have a license for Expression 4 Ultimate suite which I was able to apply, and that enabled mp4 output. It doesn’t say that anywhere that I can find, but that seems to be how to get h.264 in Expression 4 Encoder.


Wowza streams to smooth and HLS clients at the same time.

As for the Expression Encoder, I can’t answer further for Microsoft on their Expression products. Our guide will still work if Expression 4 Encoder has those features enabled.


Actually it may be opportune time to point out that this suggestion to use Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 ( Pro ) , no longer is applicable, since Microsoft has removed the product from sale ( for the Pro version). The standard version is free for download but it only includes VC-1 encoding.

As a side note, is there any way to purchase the H.264 codec option ( I cant find one) to plug into the Expression encoder. It is strange, I have many products that have H.264 encoding incstalled on my machine but is there no way to take advantage of them with Expression?

Hi Richard

Yes, this is the only way to get the H264 codec to be used with Expression, with the Expression Ultimate Suite. Further to that you must have a retail version and not the OEM version. I found this out in MSDN forum. Some people who thought they should have it did not because it was OEM.

So unfortunately because this is not sold anymore, it does seem like it is not possible to achieve anymore unless you already have the said software,

I was just hoping there might be a way to use existing system codecs, like from Wirecast or something, I can not find any information how to.

This is a real blow because it is the only (realistic, economical) way to do live broadcasting in Smooth Streaming with renditions for iOS. When using VC-1 you can only use with Silverlight client.

Yes but with Expression encoder if you don’t have the H264 codec, then you can only stream out in VC-1, which Wowza can not accept.

Thanks for the replies and the link to

I’ll go for a FFmpeg script/cron job which scans all files in my directory and create different bitrate versions.