Create and manage live streams in Wowza Streaming Cloud

Contents


About broadcasting live streams
Add a live stream
Start a live stream
Stop a live stream
View live stream details
Edit a live stream's settings
Delete a live stream
Find and sort live streams

About broadcasting live streams


A live stream is a single, linear video broadcast. You broadcast a live stream by receiving encoded source video into the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service and letting Wowza Streaming Cloud transcode the stream and deliver it to viewers. Each live stream has a name and location, specifies how the video source connects with Wowza Streaming Cloud, and defines the playback method that allows viewers to watch the stream.

You create live streams and edit their settings on the Live Streams page of the Wowza Streaming Cloud manager. The graph on the Live Streams page, Total Player Views – All Time, shows traffic to all streams that were played on the Wowza Streaming Cloud player on both Wowza Streaming Cloud–hosted pages and external websites.

A list of all live streams appears in the Live Streams panel on the left side of the Live Streams page.

  • A blue dot by the stream name indicates the selected stream, which also appears in the Selected Live Stream panel and in the live stream detail page.
  • A gray square under the thumbnail indicates a stopped stream.
  • A gray triangle under the thumbnail indicates a started stream.
Note: The same icons indicate selected, stopped, and started transcoders in the Advanced menu, too.

Add a live stream


Create a live stream by completing a few easy steps.

  1. Click Live Streams on the menu bar, and then click Add Live Stream.

  1. On the Live Stream Setup page, provide basic information about your stream.

  • Live Stream Name – A short, descriptive identifier for the stream that differentiates it from other streams. The Live Stream Name is required and can't be more than 200 characters in length. It doesn't have to be unique.
  • Broadcast Location – The geographic region where Wowza Streaming Cloud transcodes and processes your live stream. Select a Broadcast Location that:
    • Supports 4K streaming (3840x2160 resolution), if you want to use it,
    • Supports the billing mode you're using, pay as you go or 24x7, and
    • Is as close as possible to where your stream will originate.
Notes:
  • If your subscription plan covers passthrough streaming, choose a location that supports it.
  • 24x7 streams can't be recorded.
  • 4K streaming isn't available for 24x7 billing plans.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Provide Video Source and Transcoder Settings.

  • Camera / Encoder – Choose one of the following sources:
    • Wowza Streaming EngineTM – Wowza Streaming Engine can push streams Wowza Streaming Cloud to deliver streams through Wowza Streaming Cloud output targets.

When you choose Wowza Streaming Engine as your video source, specify how you want to use it with Wowza Streaming Cloud: To stream directly to a Wowza CDN target without performing transcoding in Wowza Streaming Cloud, select Yes. To send a stream to Wowza Streaming Cloud for transcoding and/or to deliver the source stream to multiple stream targets in Wowza Streaming Cloud, choose No. Streams that go directly to a Wowza CDN target without transcoding can't be recorded in Wowza Streaming Cloud. Also, you can't change the type of stream you send from Wowza Streaming Engine after the Wowza Streaming Cloud live stream is created.

  • Wowza GoCoderTM – A mobile encoding app for iOS and Android devices.
  • Works with WowzaTM partner – Choose a professional encoder or IP camera from a Works with Wowza partner, including Axis, NewTek, Sony, Telestream, or Teradek.
  • IP Camera – Any IP camera that supports RTSP and H.264.
  • Other RTMP – Any encoder that supports RTMP and H.264.
  • Other RTSP – Any encoder that supports RTSP and H.264.
  • Live Stream Type – Live streams can be Adaptive bitrate or Passthrough. An Adaptive bitrate stream generates multiple renditions of the source video, at different bitrates. A Passthrough stream sends the source video directly to the hosted page or other target without performing transcoding.

If your subscription plan covers passthrough streaming, select whether you want to create a passthrough or adaptive bitrate live steam.

Note: The Live Stream Type can't be changed after the live stream is created.
  • Billing Mode – If your subscription plan covers 24x7 billing, choose whether you want to run the stream in Pay as you go or 24x7 mode.
Notes:
  • 24x7 streams run until they are stopped either manually or by using a schedule. They do not automatically stop after the transcoder has been idle for 20 minutes.
  • 24x7 streams can't be recorded.
  • 24x7 streams don't support 4K resolution.
  • The Billing Mode can't be changed after the live stream is created.
  • Source Delivery Method – For Other RTMP or Other RTSP, specify whether the encoder will Push the stream to Wowza Streaming Cloud or whether Wowza Streaming Cloud needs to Pull the stream to the transcoder.
  • For Other RTMP push streams, select Push directly to Wowza Streaming Cloud to send the stream directly to the transcoder at your Broadcast Location. If you experience problems with the direct connection to Wowza Streaming Cloud, select Push to a stream source to route the stream through a CDN endpoint that offers reduced latency between your video source and the transcoder.
  • Source URL – For IP cameras, including IP cameras from Works with Wowza partners, and for RTMP and RTSP pull streams, enter the device's web address. Consult the device's documentation for the syntax of the stream address and enter it in the Source URL field.
Note: By default, Wowza Streaming Cloud uses TCP port 1935 for RTMP streaming and TCP port 554 for RTSP streaming. If you don't use the default port, be sure to indicate that in the source URL.
  • Delivery Protocol – Makes the live stream available to viewers by using Apple HLS or Apple HLS and Adobe HDS. Wowza Streaming Cloud generates playback URLs for one or both protocols depending on your selection. The Delivery Protocol can't be changed after the live stream is created.
  • Low Latency – If the Delivery Protocol is Apple HLS, you can create a low-latency stream. Low-latency streams use modified transcoder buffer settings and send smaller video packets to players from Wowza CDN – HLS stream targets. This can reduce latency to as little as 10 seconds, but it also creates additional network overhead. If the client doesn't have enough bandwidth, playback may stall. Also, playback may be affected on some older devices. Select Yes, create a low-latency stream only if your viewers experience unacceptably long latency while watching your live stream over Wowza CDN - HLS stream targets.
Note: The live stream Low Latency setting does not reduce latency on streams viewed on a Wowza Streaming Cloud hosted webpage.
  • Aspect Ratio – The aspect ratio and pixel dimensions, or frame size, of the source video. Choosing the correct aspect ratio and dimensions ensures that the video won't be distorted, squeezed, or cropped when it's played.

The higher the resolution of the incoming video, the more bitrate renditions Wowza Streaming Cloud generates. A bitrate rendition is a version of the live stream at a specific frame size and bitrate, such as 640x360 pixels at 1200Kbps. Wowza Streaming Cloud creates multiple bitrate renditions, based on the resolution of the source video, to offer the best possible playback experience given a viewer's device and bandwidth. The following tables show how many bitrate renditions Wowza Streaming Cloud generates.

16:9

Source Video Frame Size Number of Bitrate Renditions
≤ 3840 x 2160 7
≤ 1920 x 1080 6
≤ 1280 x 720 5
≤ 848 x 480 4
≤ 640 x 360 3
≤ 512 x 288 No transcoding. One output rendition.

4:3

Source Video Frame Size Number of Bitrate Renditions
≤ 768 x 576 4
≤ 640 x 480 3
≤ 384 x 288 No transcoding. One output rendition.
  • Recording – If you want Wowza Streaming Cloud to create a recording of your live stream, select Yes, record this live stream.
Note: Recordings incur storage costs. See the user guide topic Record live streams and transcoders for more information about recording streams and usage.
  • Closed Captions – Wowza Streaming Cloud can receive closed caption data with your source stream so that captions appear when the stream is played using the Adobe HDS and Apple HLS protocols. Choose the type of caption your video source is sending to Wowza Streaming Cloud: CEA-608 (digital), Action Message Format (AMF) onTextData, or CEA-608 (digital) and onTextData. To omit captions from playback, leave the closed captioning option set at None.
Note: Wowza Streaming Cloud supports only the digital CEA-608 portion of the CEA-708 closed captioning standard.
  • Source Security – By default, Wowza Streaming Cloud secures Wowza GoCoder, Other RTMP / Push directly to Wowza Streaming Cloud, and Other RTSP / Push Stream connections by requiring a source username and password for authentication. Select Disable authentication if you don't want to use authentication with your video source connection.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Specify Playback Settings.

Playback settings are used by the player on your Wowza Streaming Cloud hosted webpage. If you use a different player or play streams in Safari using the Apple HLS playback URL, playback settings are disregarded.

  • Player – You can choose from two players for your live stream.
  • Original HTML5 player – A HTML5-based player that falls back to playing Flash on older browsers that don't support HTML5 but do support Flash.
  • Wowza Player – Wowza™ Player is a lightweight HTML5 player that uses Apple HLS and plays streams on any browser, on any device.
Note: In order to choose Wowza Player, the Delivery Protocol must be Apple HLS and Closed Captions must be None. If necessary, click Back to set the Delivery Protocol and Closed Captions options on the Video Source and Transcoder Settings page.
  • Player Width – The width of the player can be either fixed or variable. If you choose Responsive, the player's width adjusts for the device on which it's being viewed. If you choose Fixed Width, enter a width, in pixels. The height is calculated automatically based on the aspect ratio of the video source. The dimensions, whether fixed or responsive, are used in the player embed code.
Note: For a fixed-width player, we recommend a minimum width of 365 pixels. If you need a smaller player, use a responsive player instead of a fixed-width player.
  • Countdown Clock – (Optional) If selected, a countdown clock appears in the player before the stream begins. If you include a countdown clock, provide the date and time zone of the event.
Notes:
  • With the original HTML5 player, if you display both a poster image and a countdown clock, the poster image appears behind the clock.
  • With the original HTML5 player, the countdown clock doesn't appear in the Flash fallback player.
  • Video Poster Image – (Optional) Upload a poster image to appear in the player before the stream begins. To prevent distortion or cropping, make sure the image has the same aspect ratio as the source video. Poster images must be GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB.
  • Player Logo – (Optional) A logo or other partially transparent image that appears in the player before and during playback. Upload a logo or other image file that's GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB. Then, specify the corner of the player to which you want to anchor the logo.
Note: With the original HTML5 player, the player logo doesn't appear in the Flash fallback player.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Specify Hosted Page Settings.

  • Wowza Streaming Cloud Hosted Page – A webpage hosted by Wowza Streaming Cloud that includes the video player. Select Yes to have Wowza host a webpage for your live stream. Select No to manage video playback yourself.

If you don't use a hosted page, you can embed the player on your own webpage or use your own player. After you create the live stream, Wowza Streaming Cloud provides the embed code and playback URLs you need for those playback methods.

Note: If you choose to not have a hosted page when you create the live stream, you can't add one afterward.
  • Hosted Page Title – A short, descriptive title that appears above the player. HTML, JavaScript, and other tags aren't allowed. If you leave the Hosted Page Title field empty, Wowza Streaming Cloud uses the Live Stream Name as the page title.
  • Hosted Page Logo – (Optional) A graphical logo of your choosing that appears above the player. The logo file must be GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB. Wowza Streaming Cloud resizes the image to fit the space on the page.
  • Hosted Page Description – (Optional) A longer text description of the stream or event that appears below the player. HTML, JavaScript, and other tags aren't allowed.
  • Sharing Icons – (Optional) Buttons that let viewers quickly share the link to the video on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and by email. Sharing icons appear below the player and below the Hosted Page Description, if there is one.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Review your choices. If necessary, click Back or click the Live Stream Setup, Video Source and Transcoder Settings, Playback Settings, or Hosted Page Settings icon to edit your selections.

  1. Click Finish.

Wowza Streaming Cloud creates the live stream and displays the Overview tab of the live stream detail page.

Start a live stream


  1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Click Start Live Stream at the top of the live stream detail page.
  • Click Start your live stream now in the Video Thumbnail on the Overview tab.

Wowza Streaming Cloud asks you to confirm that you want to start the stream and then opens it and connects with your video source.

Important:
  • After starting the live stream, make sure to start your video source, as well.
  • It may take about a minute for the stream to connect and the preview to start.
  • Charges begin to accrue as soon as you start your stream in Wowza Streaming Cloud, even if you haven't started your video source yet.

Stop a live stream


  1. Select the live stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.
  2. Click Stop Live Stream at the top of the live stream detail page.
Important: Remember to stop your live stream when your event ends. Transcoding charges accrue for started live streams even if they aren't actively streaming content. Wowza Streaming Cloud automatically stops idle pay-as-you-go live streams after 20 minutes, but you should stop your stream as soon as your event ends to avoid accruing unnecessary charges. You can instruct Wowza Streaming Cloud to stop the transcoder for inactive, pay-as-you-go streams sooner than 20 minutes by changing the Idle Timeout value on the Transcoder Setup page. See the user guide topic Edit a transcoder's settings, outputs, or targets.

View live stream details


  1. Select a live stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.
  2. Click a tab on the live stream detail page to see relevant information.
  • The Overview tab shows:

Video Thumbnail – When the stream is running, the Video Thumbnail displays a frame from the live stream every five seconds. If the stream has started but Wowza Streaming Cloud isn't receiving any source video, the message "No video detected" appears in place of the video frame. At the bottom of the thumbnail, a date/time stamp indicates when the stream began.

Statistics – Real-time connection, transcoding, and delivery details appear for running streams. See the user guide topic View statistics for an active stream for information about the statistics.

Hosted Page URL – The web address of the Wowza Streaming Cloud hosted webpage for the live stream, if you created one.

The Overview tab also displays connection information, which varies depending on the video source you've chosen:

Source Connection Information – Details such as the Wowza Streaming Cloud primary server and host port, the stream name, and authentication information that you can use to manually configure and connect the video source to the live stream.

Connection Code – The Connection Code can be used to easily connect Wowza Streaming Engine, Wowza GoCoder, and some Works with Wowza partner video sources to Wowza Streaming Cloud. Each code can be used once and expires 24 hours after it's created. If the code is expired, click the Video Source and Transcoder tab to generate a new one.

Source URL – The web address of the IP camera or pull-connected RTMP/RTSP device specified as the video source for the live stream.

Player Embed Code – The HTML code that you can copy and paste into an external webpage to display your live stream on that page in your selected player.

Playback URLs – The addresses that can be used to configure playback of the stream using Adobe HDS and Apple HLS protocols.

Notes:
  • For push streams, the Stream Name in the Source Connection Information table and the stream name used in Adobe HDS and Apple HLS playback URLs don't match. This is intentional and allows certain advanced custom transcoding workflows.
  • A Live Stream Name is different from a Stream Name. You create a Live Stream Name to identify the live event you're broadcasting in Wowza Streaming Cloud. A Stream Name is an element of a streaming URL, such as an Apple HLS playback URL or an RTMP connection URL. It's typically an alphanumeric string that's created automatically by an encoder or server.
  • Adobe HDS playback URLs work only with players that support the Akamai HDCore ActionScript Library. For more information, see the article How to use Adobe HDS playback URLs in third-party players.
  • The Live Stream Setup tab shows the Live Stream Name and Broadcast Location.
  • The Video Source and Transcoder tab shows the hardware or software that's providing the source video to Wowza Streaming Cloud, the information you need to use in the video source so it can connect with Wowza Streaming Cloud, and the aspect ratio, billing mode, recording, captioning, and other source details.
  • The Playback tab shows a preview of the player, a summary of player settings, the player embed code, and playback URLs.
  • The Hosted Page tab shows details about the Wowza Streaming Cloud hosted page, if you have one. Give the Hosted Page URL to viewers so they can watch your event.

Edit a live stream's settings


  1. Select the live stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.
  2. Do any of the following:
  • Click the Live Stream Setup tab and then click Edit to change the live stream name.
Note: The live stream's Broadcast Location can only be edited on the Setup tab of the stream's transcoder detail page. See the user guide topic Edit a transcoder's settings, outputs, or targets.
  • Click the Video Source and Transcoder tab and then click Edit to change or reconfigure the camera, encoder, or connection you're using. You can also change the username and password used for GoCoder and RTMP and RTSP push authentication. Usernames and passwords can contain only upper and lowercase letters; numbers; and the period (.), underscore (_), and hyphen (-) characters. No other special characters can be used.
Note: The low-latency option can't be changed on the Edit tab of the Video Source and Transcoder page. Change the segment duration on the Wowza CDN - HLS stream target's detail page (see the user guide topic Edit an HLS stream target's properties). Adjust the incoming buffer size and turn on the sort packet buffer on the live stream's transcoder detail page (see the user guide topic Edit a transcoder's settings, outputs, or targets).
  • Click the Playback tab and then click Edit to change Wowza Streaming Cloud player settings.
  • Click the Hosted Page tab and then click Edit to change hosted page settings.
Note: If you chose to not have a hosted page when you created the live stream, you can't add one afterward.
  1. Click Save.
Note: Some changes to the player take a few minutes to generate and require you to manually refresh the hosted player page in order to see them.
  1. If you edited the settings of a live stream while it's running and you want the changes to take effect for the active stream, click Reset Stream.

Delete a live stream


  1. Select the live stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.
  2. Click Delete Live Stream in the upper-right corner of the live stream detail page.
Notes:
  • You can't delete a live stream while it's running.
  • If you delete a live stream that has schedules associated with it, the schedules are deleted, too.
  • If you delete a live stream that has recordings associated with it, the recordings aren't deleted.

Find and sort live streams


As your list of live streams grows, use the search and sort commands in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page to quickly find the stream you want to view or edit.

  • Enter text in the Search field to see all live streams with names that include the search criteria.
  • Change the order in which live streams are listed by clicking any of the following:
    • Sort by Name – Lists live streams in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order. By default, streams are listed in alphabetical order.
    • Sort by State – Lists started live streams followed by stopped streams, or stopped streams followed by started streams.
    • Sort by Date – Lists the most recently used streams first, or oldest first.
Note: The search and sort commands are available for transcoders, stream sources, and stream targets in the Advanced menu, too, except you can't sort stream sources or stream targets by state.