How to set up video-on-demand streaming

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

Video tutorial: Play your first VOD stream


This video shows how to use the sample.mp4 video file that's included in your Wowza Streaming Engine installation to create a VOD stream.

Configuration


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 How to start and stop Wowza Streaming Engine software.
     
  2. In the Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, 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. (If you want to create a new on-demand streaming application, click Add Application in the contents panel, click VOD Single server, name the application, and click Add.)

    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.

Note: Wowza Media Server™ software doesn't support Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, so you must edit Application.xml if you're running Wowza Media Server.
  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:
       
      <StreamType>default</StreamType>
    2. Set the HTTPStreamers property to:
       
      <HTTPStreamers>cupertinostreaming,smoothstreaming,sanjosestreaming,mpegdashstreaming</HTTPStreamers>
    3. Set the RTP/Authentication/PlayMethod to:
       
      <PlayMethod>none</PlayMethod>
  4. Restart Wowza Streaming Engine or Wowza Media Server.

Test playback

In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click Test Players in the upper-right corner of the vod application page.

The Test Players window is preconfigured to stream the sample.mp4 video file over various streaming formats.

Each tab in the Test Players window either hosts a test player that you can use to play the video file, or provides instructions for playing the video file. For example, to use the Adobe HDS protocol to play the sample.mp4 video file, click the Adobe HDS tab, and then click Start.

  • Server – Enter [wowza-ip-address]
  • Application – Enter vod
  • Media File Name – Enter mp4:sample.mp4



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

Tip: To play your own VOD file, copy it to [install-dir]/content and use its file name the Media File Name field of the Test Players window.

You can also use example players installed at [install-dir]/examples/ to test your streaming applications. For more information see the following articles:

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 How to do adaptive bitrate streaming.

Troubleshooting


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 How to 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 How to 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 following 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.
     
    <Property>
        <Name>audioPacketizerAAC</Name>
        <Value>com.wowza.wms.rtp.packetizer.RTPPacketizerMPEG4LATM</Value>
    </Property>
  2. Restart Wowza Streaming Engine to apply the changes.

More resources



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