Create a fully-configurable live stream in Wowza Video

Wowza Video lets you easily stream live video to any device, scaling automatically to accommodate audiences of any size, anywhere. Wowza Video accepts video from nearly any encoder or IP camera, transcodes that video in the cloud, and delivers a high-quality stream in multiple bitrates that can be watched in a customizable player on virtually any device.

This tutorial walks you through using the Custom stream type to create a flexible, highly configurable stream. Those customers who're used to our older user interface will find many of the setup options they're used to in this stream type. 

Before you start

You should have access to the following items:

1. Set up your stream

Complete the following steps to create a configurable live stream.

  1. In Wowza Video, navigate to the Live streams page and click Add new.
  2. From the Type list, select Custom Stream.
  3. Enter a title for your stream. By default, this title is used for the hosted page we generate for you.
  4. Select the region closest to your broadcast location to get the best stream performance.
    Selecting the closest location minimizes network distance and reduces latency.
  5. From Stream input type, select the type of encoder or camera you're using to send video to Wowza Video.
    • RTMP, SRT, RTSP, WebRTC, Stream from file — Creates protocol-specific connection information you'll use to connect your encoder to Wowza Video. You'll access this connection information on the live stream details page. You might need to refer to your encoder's manual to make sure you add the connection information correctly. 
    • Wowza Streaming Engine, vMix, Epiphan, Telestream, LiveU, Teradek, Matrox, and IP camera — Creates a connection code or other specialized connection method for these cameras and encoders to make the setup quicker and easier.
       

      If your input type requires additional information, like a source URL for an IP camera, add that information. 
  6. If you know your input resolution, specify it in the Stream profile field. If you don't, you can use the default of 1080p (HD). Precision in selecting the input resolution makes a difference when you stream high definition video and want the highest resolution available in the adaptive bitrate (ABR) ladder Wowza Video creates.
  7. (Optional) Select Record this stream if you want a recording of your live event. Wowza Video will save an MP4 and video-on-demand asset in the Videos section for future use.
  8. (Optional) Click Schedule the start/stop of this stream and enter the scheduling information for your stream.
    • One-time start and stop — Enter the date and the start and stop time for the stream. 
    • One-time start or stop — Enter the date and either the start or the stop time for the stream. 
    • Recurring — After setting the date and time, click Schedule repeats and indicate which days of the week the schedule should recur and when the recurring schedule takes effect and ends.

      While you can only set up one schedule when you create your stream, you can create additional schedules after the stream is created on the live stream details page.
  9. (Optional) Select an image, specify the location, and other settings if you want to include a watermark. You might include a watermark to indicate the status of a video, for example, if it's copyrighted. 
  10. (Optional) If your video source includes closed captions, indicate the format. 
  11. Select Create live stream.

Wowza Video creates the live stream and displays the Overview tab of the live stream details page.

Tip: After you create the live stream, it shows up in your Live streams list. If you click on the name of the live stream, the live stream details page opens where you can edit the settings you chose when you set up your stream or change any of the settings we defaulted for you.

2. Set up your viewing experience

Wowza Video generates several viewing formats for your stream, giving you flexibility in presentation. You can use one viewing format or combine them for a more robust viewing experience. 

  1. After the stream is created, navigate to the live stream details page and click Share live stream to display the viewing formats we provide.  

  2. Choose from one or more of the viewing formats and either share links directly or update your site with the embed codes:
    • JavaScript embed code — Copy this code and add it to your site to embed the specified player into your own site. 
    • iFrame embed code — Copy this code and add it to your site to embed an iFrame with the specified player into your own site.
    • Hosted page — Copy the Hosted page link URL and share it directly with your viewers. Wowza Video automatically generates a web page, that we host for you, and embed with the specified player.

Player

Wowza Video generates a default player that we use in all the viewing formats we generate for you. You might want the player to reflect your event branding with poster images or brand colors. You can do this by either:

  • Updating the default player. This will update the viewing experience for all streams that use the default player.
  • Create and configure a new player, perhaps specifically for this event or customer. After you create a new player and configure it as you'd like, you'll update the Player configuration field for the viewing format to point to your new player. See Get started with player configurations in Wowza Video to learn more. 

3. Connect your encoder or camera to the stream

Now that you've created a live stream in Wowza Video and you know how your viewers will watch your stream, you need to configure your encoder or camera so it's able to send video to Wowza Video. 

  1. In the Connection section of the Overview page, locate the connection information. The information generated varies by input type.

    For example, for an RTMP connection, you'll probably need the Primary Server for the stream and the Stream Name.
  2. Refer to your encoder or your encoder's product manual to determine where to input the connection information settings.

Extra help connecting your encoder

See these topics for more info about connecting to different types of encoders or cameras:

The following encoders or cameras differ enough in connecting and use that you should review the following topics for the entire streaming workflow:

4. Start your stream

Once your encoder is able to connect to Wowza Video, you can start your live stream.

  1. Click Start live stream
  2. Click Start to confirm that you want to start the stream. Wowza Video opens the stream and connects with the encoder.
  3. Start the encoder or camera.
  4. In the Wowza Video, confirm that the live stream is playing by looking at the video preview on the Live Stream Details page.

5. Test your stream playback

Go to the viewing format you chose in step 2 and confirm your stream is playing as you expect. For example, if you chose to embed the javascript in your own site, navigate to your URL and watch the stream.

Tip: The easiest way to test stream playback is to open the hosted page URL. 

6. Stop your stream

When you're done streaming, in Wowza Video, click Stop live stream at the top of the live stream details page. Then stop the stream in your encoder or camera.

Important: Charges accrue for live streams started in Wowza Video even if they aren't actively streaming content. Wowza Video automatically stops idle live streams after 20 minutes, but you should stop your stream as soon as your event ends to avoid accruing unnecessary charges.