Wowza Community

MPEG DASH VOD Adaptive Bitrate newbie question.

Hi guys!

I’m quite new to the streaming world. My goal is to stream a 3000 kbps MP4 file using MPEG-DASH. So my questions are:

  1. Can Wowza generate multiple renditions from my MP4 file on the fly? If the answer is not, what’s the point to have a MPEG-DASH streaming with a single rendition?

  2. I can use my transcoder to generate multiple renditions of my MP4 and a MPD manifest. Can I use those with Wowza? It seems that I need to create a SMIL file for all my renditions, manually for each file I want to stream. Is that right?

I read the documentation and my conclusion is that I have to create my own renditions with a transcoder, and that I’m better just hosting the MPD and the renditions in a simple web server, that feels wrong.

I would like to think that Wowza should be the right answer to my problem, but I must be missing something.

Maybe you can help me to understand? Thank you!

Happy to help with this…you can indeed stream MPEG-DASH as VOD with Adaptive Bitrate Streaming through Engine and when you configure that stream in Engine, one of the steps is to create the SMIL file in Engine Manager. This will take you under 5 min to do. Once that SMIl file has been created, the players will have access to whatever version it needs and will automatically select the the correct bitrate and resolution stream file from the SMIL. ( you can also do create all the transcoded files yourself first on your own as you mentioned, but that’s a bit more involved since you are brand new to Wowza)

Once you have created that SMIL file in Engine Manager, you’re good to go and it will always be a part of the mainifest file that a player requests when a viewer is trying to connect to your mp4.

You will need to use an MPEG-DASH compatible player if you’d like to stream that back over MPEG-DASH and while Wowza has one that is still in Beta, we also suggest you use Bitmovin or Google Shaka player if you’re embedding the player in a site.

Note: You may also want to consider playing your VOD stream back over HLS, which may be easier, but it’s up to you. If you do it’s simple to enable the transcoder in Engine and all your MPEG-DASH rendition in the SMIL file would playback as HLS which almost all players support and you can reach a bigger audience.

1. To play your own VOD file, copy it to [install-dir]/content. Follow the steps here:

2. Then set up the VOD adaptive bitrate SMIL file:

You can even give MPEG-DASH vod streaming a try first with our sample VOD Big Buck Bunny. Engine will give you the playback url, but it would look like this:


3. For your own VOD, you can test the playback here and sample playback urls are provided.

Once you click on SMIL file in the Engine Manager, we do have templates already in place for the most common bitrate and resolution files needed, so you won’t need to enter everything manually yourself.

Here’s a video if you’d like to see how to set up a SMIL file in Engine. Keep in mind the video is for live, so for you, once you have set up your VOD stream in Engine and you have your mp4 in the correct directory, you can skip to the part of the video where he is in Engine setting up the actual SMIL file. Hope it helps and feel free to submit a support ticket where our engineers are happy to walk through the setup and playback for your MPEG-DASH stream. You can submit a ticket for free even if you are on a trial license. Let us know what help you need!