How to publish and play a live stream (Apple HLS)

You can set up an application that ingests content from a live source that provides a stream using an Apple HLS format that can be retrieved by Wowza Streaming Engine™ live streaming software.

Contents


Set up a live application to ingest the Apple HLS stream
Publish the Apple HLS stream to Wowza Streaming Engine
Test the Apple HLS stream using video test players
Adaptive bitrate streaming
Troubleshooting
More resources

Set up a live application to ingest the Apple HLS stream


This section shows you how to set up a live streaming application in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. The stream is sent to Wowza Streaming Engine from a live source that delivers a stream in the Apple HLS format. Users play the live stream to view the event as it happens. The example uses an application named live, which is included in default Wowza Streaming Engine software installations. If you want to create a new live streaming application, you can use this same procedure.

You can use Wowza Streaming Engine Manager with the latest versions of most web browsers that support HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets level 3 (CSS 3). We recommend the Google Chrome browser.
 
  1. In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click the Applications tab at the top of the page.
     
  2. Configure the live application:
     
    1. In the Applications contents panel, click live, and then click Edit. (This example uses the installed live application. If you want to create a new live streaming application, click Add Application in the contents panel, and then click Live. Follow the instructions in the UI.)


       
    2. On the live page, select all of the Playback Types, and then click Save.



      The following alert appears after every configuration change. You can wait until all changes are completed before you restart.

  3. Configure playback authentication:
     
    1. In the contents panel, click Playback Security, and then click Edit.


       
    2. On the Playback Security page, under Client Restrictions, select No client restrictions, and then click Save.

  4. Restart the application.

Publish the Apple HLS stream to Wowza Streaming Engine


This section provides the basic steps for creating a .stream file to publish your live stream to the Wowza Streaming Engine media server.
 
  1. Consult your live source documentation to configure an outgoing Apple HLS live stream.
     
  2. Create the .stream file:
     
    1. In the Server contents panel, click Stream Files, and then click Add Stream File.


       
      Note: You can also start the procedure to create a .stream file in the Applications contents panel for the live application.
    2. In the Add Stream File dialog box, enter a name for the new stream file, enter a Stream URI, and then click Add. The Stream URI should end with a .m3u8 suffix.

  3. Start the stream:
     
    1. In the Server contents panel, click Stream Files, and then click the Connect icon for the stream file you created in step 2.


       
    2. In the Connect a Stream File dialog box, select live in Application Name and applehls in MediaCaster Type, and then click OK.


       
    3. The Connection successful notification is displayed.

Test the Apple HLS stream using video test players


In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click Test Players in the upper-right corner of the live application page. The Test Players window that opens includes test players that are pre-configured to stream a live stream named myStream over various streaming formats.

Each tab in the Test Players window either hosts a test player that you can use to play the live stream or provides instructions for playing the live stream. For example, to use the Adobe HDS protocol to play applehls.stream, click the Adobe HDS tab, enter the information below, and then click Start.
 
  • Server: Enter [wowza-ip-address]:1935.
     
  • Application: Enter live.
     
  • Stream: Enter applehls.stream.



The result when using the Adobe HDS tab on the player is the following URL:
 
http://[wowza-ip-address]:1935/live/applehls.stream/manifest.f4m

The test players are also online on our Video Test Players webpage.
 

Adaptive bitrate streaming


To implement adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, you can include multiple entries in the manifest file provided, each of which are automatically ingested when you start the stream.

In the manifest, the primary stream isn't numbered, but any additional renditions are numbered sequentially. For example, if the manifest contains three streams and the MediaCaster stream file is called applehls.stream, then the primary stream that is created is named applehls.stream, and the other two renditions are named applehls.stream_1 and applehls.stream_2.

Troubleshooting


Property to import AC-3 elementary streams

Note: Wowza Media Server 3.5.1 or later is required.
A Wowza media server can import AC-3 elementary streams, using Apple HLS and MPEG-DASH streaming to allow Dolby Digital (AC-3) and Dolby Digital Plus (Enhanced AC-3) audio from MPEG-TS encoders to pass through unaltered for delivery. This lets your customers experience immersive surround-sound audio when streaming on media devices such as Apple TV, Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), hybrid set-top boxes, and smart TVs.

To import AC-3 elementary streams:
 
  1. In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click the Applications tab and then click the name of your live application (such as live) in the contents panel.
     
  2. On the live application page Properties tab, click Custom in the Quick Links bar.
     
    Note: Access to the Properties tab is limited to administrators with advanced permissions. For more information, see Manage credentials.
  3. In the Custom area, click Edit.
     
  4. Click Add Custom Property, specify the following settings in the Add Custom Property dialog box, and then click Add:
     
    • Path - Select /Root/Application/RTP.
       
    • Name - Enter mpegtsImportAC3.
       
    • Type - Select Boolean.
       
    • Value - Enter true.
  5. Click Save, and then restart the live application to apply the changes. 
Note: The mpegtsImportAC3 property will apply to all streams delivered by the application. For more information on only changing the property for a single stream, see How to specify per-stream settings in .stream files.

Property to debug the incoming Apple HLS stream

If you're experiencing trouble ingesting an Apple HLS live stream, you can use the cupertinoMediaCasterDebug property to capture additional information in the logs.
 
Note: The cupertinoMediaCasterDebug property is turned off by default and should only be used for troubleshooting. Using this property significantly increases the size of your log files.
To turn on debug logging for an incoming Apple HLS stream:
 
  1. In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click the Applications tab and then click the name of your live application (such as live) in the contents panel.
     
  2. On the live application page Properties tab, click Custom in the Quick Links bar.
     
    Note: Access to the Properties tab is limited to administrators with advanced permissions. For more information, see Manage credentials.
  3. In the Custom area, click Edit.
     
  4. Click Add Custom Property, specify the following settings in the Add Custom Property dialog box, and then click Add:
     
    • Path - Select /Root/Application/MediaCaster.
       
    • Name - Enter cupertinoMediaCasterDebug.
       
    • Type - Select Boolean.
       
    • Value - Enter true.
  5. Click Save, and then restart the live application to apply the changes.

More resources


How to play your first live stream (video tutorial)
Media Players and Devices
How to create and play SMIL files with streams created by Wowza Transcoder
How to specify per-stream settings in .stream files
Originally Published: For Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5.0.01 on 08-18-2015.
 

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