About Wowza Transcoder

Wowza Transcoder is a real-time video transcoding and transrating solution in Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software. As a transcoding solution, it can ingest a non-H.264/VP8/VP9 video and non-AAC/MP3/Vorbis/Opus audio source stream and convert it to outbound H.263/H.264/VP8/VP9 video and AAC/MP3/Vorbis/Opus audio. Multiple outbound renditions with aligned keyframes can be created from the single input stream. As a transrating solution, it can ingest an H.264 video and AAC/MP3 audio source stream and create a full set of output renditions that are keyframe-aligned to the original source. The aligned keyframes in the encoded output renditions enable adaptive bitrate delivery from the Wowza media server over Adobe HDS, Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, MPEG-DASH, and RTMP streaming protocols to multiple devices.

Supported video and audio formats

Wowza Transcoder can decode and encode the following video and audio codecs:

Video decoding (source streams)
Audio decoding (source streams)
Video encoding (outbound renditions)
Audio encoding (outbound renditions)

MPEG-4 Part 2
* H.265

G.711 (µ-law and A-law)
MPEG-1 Layer 1/2
MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3)
  • Wowza Streaming Engine™ 4.5.0 or later is required to use the VP8/VP9 video codecs and Vorbis/Opus audio codec encoding.
  • * = Preview Transcoder Technology
    Transcoder support for the H.265 codec is provided as an early feature preview of software that may be updated in a later release of Wowza Streaming Engine. Unexpected results can occur when using feature preview software. To get the best results when using this codec, follow the instructions in Stream using HEVC/H.265 with Wowza Transcoder.


Hardware requirements

Wowza Transcoder is supported on 64-bit versions of the Windows and Linux operating systems (32-bit versions aren't supported). The OS X operating system isn't supported.

Wowza Transcoder can be configured to take advantage of hardware acceleration, which is recommended but not required. If your configuration doesn't include hardware acceleration, then a built-in software encoder is invoked. For recommended workstation and server-level hardware to support Intel Quick Sync Video, see Server specifications for Intel Quick Sync acceleration with Wowza Transcoder. For a list of supported NVIDIA graphics cards that are compatible with Wowza Transcoder, see Server specifications for NVIDIA NVENC and NVIDIA CUDA acceleration with Wowza Transcoder.

Licensing Wowza Transcoder

Perpetual and Subscription licenses for Wowza Streaming Engine software enable unlimited use of the Wowza Transcoder technology that's integrated with each licensed media server instance. The integrated Transcoder can decode an unlimited number of inbound live streams and encode an unlimited number of outbound live renditions (subject to CPU/hardware limitations).
Note: If you purchased a license for Wowza Streaming Engine or Wowza Media Server software before January 1, 2015, contact sales@wowza.com to learn more about how to license Wowza Transcoder.

More resources

For a detailed introduction to Wowza Transcoder, download the Wowza Transcoder User's Guide.

To get started, see Set up and run Wowza Transcoder in Wowza Streaming Engine.