Set up video-on-demand streaming in Wowza Streaming Engine

Use Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software to stream video-on-demand (VOD) content to a wide variety of player technologies.

Video tutorial: Set up VOD streaming

See how to configure a VOD application in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager and test playback of a VOD file.


You can configure VOD streaming applications by using Wowza Streaming Engine Manager or by editing Application.xml. Both methods produce the same result; using Wowza Streaming Engine Manager is recommended.

Configure a VOD application in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager

The easiest way to set up a VOD streaming application is to use Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. This task uses the application vod to play the sample.mp4 video file. Both the application and the video are included in the default Wowza Streaming Engine installation. You can also follow this procedure to create a new vod streaming application.

Wowza Streaming Engine Manager works on most web browsers that support HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets level 3 (CSS 3). We recommend Google Chrome.

  1. Make sure Wowza Streaming Engine Manager is running. See Start and stop Wowza Streaming Engine.
  2. Click the Applications tab at the top of the page.
  3. Configure the vod application:
    1. In the Applications contents panel, click vod, and then click Edit.
    2. Select all of the Playback Types, and then click Save.

Note: A "Saved!" alert appears after each configuration change. However, wait until all changes are complete before you restart.

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

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

  2. Click Restart Now.

The application runs whenever Wowza Streaming Engine is running.

Configure a VOD application in XML

Configuring the VOD application in XML is an alternative to configuring it in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. Here's how to configure the vod application by editing the Application.xml configuration file.

  1. Create the folder [install-dir]/applications/vod.
  2. Create the folder [install-dir]/conf/vod and copy [install-dir]/conf/Application.xml to this new folder.
  3. Edit the newly copied Application.xml file and confirm or set the following properties:
    1. Set the Streams/StreamType property to:

    2. Set the HTTPStreamers property to:

    3. Set the RTP/Authentication/PlayMethod to:

  4. Restart Wowza Streaming Engine.

Test playback

You can use the sample.mp4 video file as a VOD stream source (stream name) and the sample vod application installed with Wowza Streaming Engine to test your configuration.

Playback URLs

To test playback, you need the playback URLs for your stream and the playback types, or streaming protocols, you want to test. You can get playback URLs from the Test Playback window in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager or by entering information about the stream on the Video Test Players webpage. For more information about playback URLs, see About playing Wowza Streaming Engine streams.

The Test Playback window generates playback URLs for each protocol based on the page you're on when you click Test Playback. You can also edit the Server (IP address or domain name), Stream or Media File Name, and Application fields to update the playback URLs for all protocols as needed.

Test players

To play your stream, enter the playback URL into your player or a mobile browser, depending on the playback type. To learn more about stream playback, see the Players and Playback articles.

You can also test playback using the Video Test Players webpage. Select the tab for the protocol you want to test and enter the playback URL above the player. Entering the server (IP address or domain name), stream name, application name, and application type (VOD or live) will also generate the playback URLs for each protocol. Click Start to play your stream, and then click Stop when you're ready to end your test.

Tip: To play your own VOD file, copy it to [install-dir]/content and use its file name as the stream name. By default, Wowza Streaming Engine streams VOD content from the [install-dir]/content folder. To specify a different storage location for a VOD application in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, change the Content Directory value for the application. See Change where Wowza Streaming Engine stores video-on-demand content.

Configure adaptive bitrate streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming requires multiple files that are encoded to a variety of bitrates. For the player to switch properly between bitrates, keyframes must be aligned across the files. You also must create a Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) file that links the files for playback. For details, see Stream adaptive bitrate content with Wowza Streaming Engine.


Check your UDP port

If you're delivering streams for playback over RTSP/RTP, be sure that UDP ports 0-65535 are open and properly mapped to your Wowza Streaming Engine server.

Note: To configure Wowza Streaming Engine for RTSP/RTP streaming, follow the instructions in Troubleshoot RTSP/RTP playback.

Force MPEG-TS output

When streaming out RTSP/RTP, you can force the output to MPEG-TS, which is required by many set-top boxes. For more information, see Generate and control MPEG-TS output for set-top boxes.

Change the AAC packetization method

Wowza Streaming Engine can use the mpeg4-generic or mp4a-latm (3gpp) packetization method to output AAC audio. The default packetization method is mpeg4-generic, but you can switch it.

Change the AAC packetization method in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager

  1. Click the Applications tab and then click the name of your VOD application in the contents panel.
  2. On the Properties tab of the VOD application page, click Custom in the Quick Links bar or scroll to the bottom of the page.
    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 audioPacketizerAAC
  • Type – Select String
  • Value – Enter com.wowza.wms.rtp.packetizer.RTPPacketizerMPEG4LATM
  1. Click Save, and then restart the application to apply the changes.

Change the AAC packetization method in XML

  1. Use a text editor to open the [install-dir]/conf/[application]/Application.xml file for your VOD application and add the audioPacketizerAAC property to the <RTP>/<Properties> container. Be sure to add it to the correct <Properties> container in Application.xml, as there are several in the file.

  2. Restart Wowza Streaming Engine to apply the changes.

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