About HTTP streaming and packetization in Wowza Streaming Engine

When using Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software to deliver streams to players that use HTTP-based streaming protocols, incoming streams must be packaged (packetized) accordingly. This article explains how the HTTP streamers and live stream packetizers are used to accomplish this.

Note: The Playback Types available in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager for each application encompass both HTTP-based and non-HTTP protocols, such as RTMP RTSP/RTP. Delivery of streams over RTMP and RTSP/RTP relies on TCP and doesn't require any re-packaging. Therefore, those two options aren't covered in this article. 

The <HTTPStreamers> element in Application.xml, also known as Playback Types in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, defines the streams in an application that are available for playback to different HTTP-based player technologies. All of the playback types are enabled by default, and at least one must be enabled.

When you configure HTTP streamers (Playback Types), the corresponding live streaming packetizer values are added to the <Streams>/<LiveStreamPacketizer> container element in Application.xml. These packetizers specify the streaming protocols that are used when packaging live streams. In Wowza Streaming Engine, there are two types of live stream packetizers: streaming packetizers and repeater packetizers. 

  • Streaming packetizers are used when delivering a live stream from a live application in a single Wowza Streaming Engine instance to clients (players, CDNs, social media platforms, or another instance of Wowza Streaming Engine). These live stream packetizer values end in 'packetizer.'

  • Repeater packetizers deliver a live stream from a live edge application in a Wowza Streaming Engine instance to clients in a live stream repeater (origin/edge) configuration. These live stream packetizer values end in 'repeater.' For more information, see Scale with Wowza Streaming Engine live stream repeater.

The following HTTP streamers and their corresponding live stream packetizers are supported by Wowza Streaming Engine.

Playback Type HTTP streamer Live Stream Packetizers Description
HLS cupertinostreaming cupertinostreamingpacketizer / cupertinostreamingrepeater Enables live and VOD applications to stream content to iOS devices, QuickTime player, Safari, and other devices that support the HLS protocol.
MPEG-DASH mpegdashstreaming mpegdashstreamingpacketizer / mpegdashstreamingrepeater Enables live and VOD applications to stream content to players that support the DASH protocol.
nDVR dvrchunkstreaming dvrstreamingpacketizer / dvrstreamingrepeater Enables live applications to act as an http origin and stream live content while also recording content with the nDVR feature. (XML only)
CMAF N/A cmafstreamingpacketizer For CMAF streaming, both the HLS and MPEG-DASH HTTP streamers and live stream packetizers should be configured. See Stream using CMAF with Wowza Streaming Engine

Legacy HTTP-based streaming

The following legacy HTTP streamers and live stream packetizers are also supported by Wowza Streaming Engine, but should only be used when your workflow requires the use of legacy protocols. Note that no feature enhancements are available for these legacy protocols.

Playback Type HTTP streamer Live Stream Packetizers Description
HDS sanjosestreaming sanjosestreamingpacketizer / sanjosestreamingrepeater Enables live and VOD applications to stream content to Flash Player using the HDS protocol.
Smooth Streaming smoothstreaming smoothstreamingpacketizer / smoothstreamingrepeater Enables live and VOD applications to stream content to Microsoft Silverlight using the Smooth Streaming protocol.