Wowza Community

streaming over low bandwidth dial up connections

Hi there,

I have just installed the Wowza Media Server 2 and have a 60MB file streaming fine over broadband, but it just hangs over dial up (46kbps connection). I am using a securetoken and rtmpe running on a Linux server.

I expected Wowza to detect the connection speed and adjust the stream accordingly, but this does not appear to be the case.

Do I need to configure something somewhere?



Wowza doesn’t adjust streams, which would involve encoding, which Wowza doesn’t do. You can use the BWCheck module to detect bandwidth (from server to client):

You can use the results in a Flash application to choose a lower bitrate version of a video that you have prepared. And you can use BWCheck with player systems like JW Player and Flowplayer. But this requires a lot of preparation on your part: Setting up the BWCheck module, the player, and the media.


A 46kbs connection can support a modest audio stream. But, as noted above, it’s the server to client bandwidth that matters most to Wowza, which changes from moment to moment and is usually different than what users think they have. The BWCheck example, which includes a Flash app that does the BWCheck repeatedly, will illustrate this.

60MB files size is not relevant. It’s bitrate that matters, which you can calculate an average with this formula:

(File size in kiloBytes * 8) / video duration in seconds = kiloBits


I thought I read something about dropping video frames when streaming to a low bandwidth connection? What was that all about then? Does that only apply to streaming of live content and not streaming of static files?



The player will, but it’s not a solution. If you try to put 10 lbs of something into a 5 lb bag (or 1000kbs into 500kbs pipe), half of it is going to get dropped. But the result is going to be a bad experience, typically jittery playback and a lot of buffering. With the BWCheck, you try to figure out how much capacity you have and send less than that for best playback.