Manage HLS playback over SSL for Wowza CDN on Akamai in Wowza Streaming Cloud

When you broadcast an HLS stream using the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, you have control over whether or not Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to encrypt the HTTP connections that deliver the stream to viewers. By default, Wowza CDN on Akamai stream targets use relative playlists, which allow streams to be played over HTTP or HTTPS—or both. This provides the greatest flexibility for your viewers. You can, however, require that viewers watch a live stream over HTTP or HTTPS.

Note: This article applies to transcoders using Wowza CDN on Akamai stream targets only. To manage HLS playback over SSL for Wowza CDN on Fastly targets, see Manage HLS playback over SSL for Wowza CDN on Fastly in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

About SSL playback from Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS stream targets


Live streams delivered from the Wowza Streaming Cloud travel across the Internet in two stages to reach their audiences.

After Wowza Streaming Cloud transcodes (or passes through) the encoded live source video, it sends the stream to geographically distributed servers called stream targets. Those targets then deliver the live stream to viewers via a player leveraging an HLS playback URL.

Wowza Streaming Cloud uses the HTTP protocol to make these two outbound network transfers, delivering streams for playback over HLS or over HLS and HDS.

For both types of HTTP delivery, Wowza Streaming Cloud generates a relative playlist, which means that the stream can be viewed over HTTP or HTTPS. The viewer is not restricted to the secure or unsecured protocol.

When you choose to use Wowza CDN on Akamai stream targets to deliver a live stream over HLS only, you can enjoy the default flexibility of relative playlists, or you can control whether the viewer has to use HTTP or HTTPS to watch the stream by editing the stream target’s properties.

HLS stream target SSL playback cheat sheet


Three HLS stream target properties are used to manage SSL playback. Here's a table that summarizes how to configure those properties for the type of playback you want to support.

Tip: Click the desired result to jump to instructions on how to configure the target with these settings.

Desired result: Send stream to target over SSL: Play over SSL: Relative playlists:
Play HLS over HTTP or HTTPS True* False (default) True (default)
Play HLS over HTTPS True* True False
Play HLS over HTTP False (default)* False (default) False

* Sending the stream from the transcoder to the target over SSL isn't required for secure playback, but it's good practice to use SSL for the connection in to and out of the target to make the communications as secure as possible.

Deliver an HLS stream for playback over HTTP or HTTPS


Add a transcoder and output renditions

  1. Sign in to Wowza Streaming Cloud.
  2. Click the Advanced menu, click Transcoders, and then click Add Transcoder.
  3. Complete the Add Transcoder: Transcoder Setup page.
     
Note: For information on transcoder setup options, see the Help panel on the right side of the page.
  1. Click Add.

Wowza Streaming Cloud creates the transcoder and displays the Outputs & Targets tab of the transcoder detail page.

Empty output for transcoder

All transcoders need at least one output rendition, so next create one or more output renditions for the transcoder.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • Click the down arrow on the right side of the Add Output button and select a preset output rendition from the list.
     
  • Click the Add Output button to create a custom output rendition. Specify the output settings and then click Save.
     
    Note: For more information on creating custom outputs, see the Help panel on the right side of the Add an Output page or see the article Create a custom transcoder with many outputs and targets in Wowza Streaming Cloud.
  1. Repeat Step 4 to create as many output renditions as you need for your transcoder. Typically you might create a high-bitrate rendition that matches the source encoder's settings, and then create additional, lower-quality output renditions.

Add a Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS stream target

  1. For the transcoder's highest bitrate output rendition, click Add a Stream Target and select Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS.

Choose Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS when adding a stream target

  1. Specify the Target Name. The Target Name is required but doesn't have to be unique, and it can't be longer than 255 characters.
     
  2. (Optional) Select Yes, ingest this stream securely and Yes, enable CORS if you want to use those options. See the Help panel on the right side of the page for more information about each one.
     
  3. Click Add.

Wowza Streaming Cloud generates a target and returns to the Outputs & Targets tab of the transcoder detail page.

Assign the stream target to the output renditions

Now that you've created the Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS target for one output rendition, assign it to the other outputs.

  1. Return to the transcoder's detail page: Click the Setup tab of the stream target detail page, and then click the name of the transcoder under Transcoders Using This Target.
     
  2. Click the Outputs & Targets tab.
     
  3. Click the Add a Stream Target button for the second output rendition on the page.
     
  4. Choose Existing stream target.

Add an existing stream target to a transcoder

  1. Select your Wowza CDN on Akamai stream target from the list, and then click Assign Stream Target.
     
  2. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 for the transcoder's other output renditions until the HLS target is assigned to each one.

Stream playback

Use the HLS playback URL to play the stream in a browser or player that supports HLS. Although the playback URL appears as HTTPS, the playback URL can be accessed using HTTP.

Deliver an HLS stream for playback over HTTPS only


You can require SSL for HLS playback, if desired.

  1. Create a transcoder with output renditions and at least one Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS stream target. See Deliver an HLS stream for playback over HTTP or HTTPS for detailed steps.
  2. Click Advanced on the menu bar, click Stream Targets, and then select the target you created for your transcoder.
  3. Click the Properties tab, and then click Edit.
  4. (Optional) Under HLS, select Enabled make sure Send stream to target over SSL is True.
  5. Under Playlist, select Enabled for Play over SSL and specify True.
  6. Under Playlist, select Enabled for Relative playlists and specify False.
  7. Click Save.

Stream playback

Use the HTTPS HLS playback URL to play the stream in a browser or player that supports HLS.

Deliver an HLS stream for playback over HTTP only


You can disable SSL for HLS playback, if desired.

  1. Create a transcoder with output renditions and at least one Wowza CDN on Akamai - HLS stream target. See Deliver an HLS stream for playback over HTTP or HTTPS for detailed steps.
  2. Click Advanced on the menu bar, click Stream Targets, and then select the target you created for your transcoder.
  3. Click the Properties tab, and then click Edit.
  4. (Optional) Under HLS, select Enabled make sure Send stream to target over SSL is False.
  5. Under Playlist, select Enabled make sure Play over SSL and Relative playlists are both False.
  6. Click Save.

Stream playback

Use an HTTP version of the HLS playback URL to play the stream in a browser or player that supports HLS. Although the playback URL appears as HTTPS, the playback URL can only be accessed using HTTP.