How to use the MediaDS integrated production system with Wowza Streaming Engine for live video streaming

The MediaDS™ (media distribution system) is a real-time media encoding and live streaming video delivery platform that integrates live production technology from NewTek with live streaming software and services from Wowza Media Systems™ in a rack unit. The integrated production system establishes a direct link between producers who create video content and viewers that consume it. This article describes how to use the MediaDS to deliver video from a production to viewers directly using the integrated Wowza Streaming Engine™ live streaming software (version 4.6.0) and Wowza™ Player.
 
Note: You can also use the MediaDS to deliver video from a production to viewers through the cloud via the Wowza Streaming Cloud live streaming service. For more information, see How to connect a MediaDS encoder to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

Contents

Licensing the integrated Wowza software
Create a live video production
Configure SMIL file for adaptive-bitrate video production (Optional) Configure the MediaDS webpages
Enable DVR playback in players
Test the video production Deliver the video production to Wowza Player More resources

Licensing the integrated Wowza software


After you purchase and register the MediaDS, the licenses you need to use the Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Player software on your appliance are automatically configured. Wowza Media Systems will send you an email message with the license key information for your records as well. This includes:
 
  • A Perpetual (lifetime) license key for the Wowza Streaming Engine software instance on the appliance. This license can only be used with software on the appliance and can't be transferred.
     
    Note: One-year of maintenance and support is included with your Wowza Streaming Engine license key. This includes software upgrades/updates and involvement from our support engineers for Wowza related issues on the appliance. Visit contact NewTek Professional Services to learn more about submitting support tickets and renewing your maintenance and support.
  • The Login ID for your Wowza account.
     
  • A license key for the Wowza Player software. This is an embeddable HTML5 player with optimized adaptive bitrate streaming that will play your content on all devices and platforms. For information on accessing the player, see Deliver the video production to Wowza Player.
     
    Note: This article assumes basic familiarity with Wowza Streaming Engine software. If you've never used Wowza Streaming Engine software, our free 30-day Trial license is a good option to help you learn about the software. To get a Trial license, complete the Wowza Streaming Engine Trial request form. You can then download the Wowza Streaming Engine Trial Edition package, which includes the Wowza Streaming Engine software, documentation, and examples, onto a separate computer in order to learn more about it. The Wowza Streaming Engine User's Guide contains instructions about how to install and use the software.

Create a live video production


First, you must connect a video source to the MediaDS appliance and configure one or more channels to encode it.
 
  1. Connect video input to the MediaDS appliance. You can connect an SDI video source to one of the BNC inputs on the MediaDS backplate, a network device interface (NDI) source, a PTZ camera with compatible network output, or a suitable external A/V capture device connected to the system using a USB port. For more information, see the NewTek MediaDS User Guide.
     
  2. On the MediaDS appliance, navigate to the MediaDS Desktop interface. This is the interface you'll use to configure your video production. It is open and running by default. You can configure one or more of the four channels (we'll use Channel 1 in this article).
     
    Note: If you need to re-start the MediaDS Desktop, navigate to the Windows desktop and double-click the Launch MDS1 shortcut.
    1. In the toolbar beneath the Channel 1 viewport, click on the configuration gear next to the channel label to open the Configuration panel from which you can change the channel name (used as the stream name in Wowza Streaming Engine software), select video and audio sources, specify encoding bitrate, framerate, etc. Additionally, you can click on the configuration gear next to the STREAM button in the toolbar to select a Stream Profile for the channel.


       
    2. (If desired) select the same video and audio sources in another channel to create an adaptive-bitrate video production. Any channels that have the same Video Source are linked together, but you can create different different quality outputs of the same source by selecting a different Stream Profile for each channel. This lets players switch between the different bitrates in your video production on the fly to accommodate changing network conditions, CPU constraints, and display capabilities. This streaming method can provide optimal image and sound quality for viewers. The player controls switching based on player-side factors, and the Wowza Streaming Engine software performs the server-side switching, which is transparent to the viewer.

      When channels are linked together, a linked icon appears in each channel's toolbars:



      To finish producing an adaptive-bitrate stream, you must also configure a SMIL file. See Configure a SMIL file for adaptive-bitrate video production.
  3. If desired, configure other settings in MediaDS Dashboard.
     
    Note: By default, Wowza Streaming Engine is selected in the Connection menu. If it isn't selected, you must select it to connect the video production to Wowza Streaming Engine.
  4. Click STREAM in the toolbar beneath the Channel 1 viewport to connect the channel output to Wowza Streaming Engine.

Configure a SMIL file for adaptive-bitrate video production


To produce an adaptive bitrate video with MediaDS, you must create a SMIL file for the stream. Each channel's streaming output is a single entry in the SMIL file, which is then used by Wowza Player to determine the options displayed in the Bitrate Selector. This enables viewers to select a bitrate or configure the player to automatically switch between bitrates as needed.
 
Note: By default, Wowza Streaming Engine authenticates RTMP and RTSP source connections to applications. The MediaDS Desktop doesn't allow you to specify a source username and password, so you must set the RTMP authentication to Open to produce an adaptive bitrate video production. See Managing live source authentication settings.
Use one of the following methods to create a SMIL file:
 
  • Wowza Streaming Engine Manager method - You can use the application-level SMIL Files feature in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager. See Wowza Streaming Engine Manager method, below.
     
  • Text editor method - You can use a text editor to create a SMIL file, making sure the editor doesn't append the .txt file extension to the file name. See Text editor method, below.

Wowza Streaming Engine Manager method

The easiest way to create a SMIL file is using the SMIL Files feature in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.
 
Notes: If you have already created a SMIL file for your stream, skip to step 9 to add title attributes as Bitrate Selector menu options.
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.


     
  2. In the web browser that opens, log in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager and click the Applications tab.
     
  3. In the Applications contents panel, click live, click SMIL Files, and then click Add SMIL File.
     
  4. In the Add SMIL File dialog box, enter a name for the new SMIL file (for example, myStream), and then click Add. The .smil file extension is automatically added to the name you enter.


     
  5. On the myStream.smil page, click Add SMIL Stream.


     
  6. In the Add SMIL Stream dialog box, select the video stream type, and then click Add.
     
  7. In the new SMIL stream page, enter your channel output information including the Source (src) (the channel name) and Video Bitrate (in bps). You can find your channel output's information on the Incoming Streams. Add optional information into the System Language, Video Width, Video Height, and Audio Bitrate fields if desired. Click Add.


     
  8. Repeat steps 4-5 for the other channel streaming outputs in the adaptive-bitrate video production. The order of the channel outputs in the SMIL file doesn't affect how they appear in the Bitrate Selector as Wowza Player orders channel outputs from highest bitrate to lowest.
     
  9. In a text editor, open the new SMIL file in your [install-dir]/content folder. In each <video> entry in the SMIL file <switch> container, add a title attribute and set the value to the label you want to display in the Wowza Player Bitrate Selector menu. Then, save and close the file.
     
    <video src="myStream.stream_source" height="720" title="High">
    	<param name="videoBitrate" value="548000" valuetype="data"></param>
    </video>
  10. On the SMIL Files page in the Manager, click the Connect to SMIL file button next to your SMIL file to re-stream the channel streaming outputs listed in the SMIL file. Your SMIL file is valid if your MediaDS-generated outputs have been replaced with the SMIL file streams on the Incoming Streams page.

Text editor method

To create a SMIL file for Wowza Streaming Engine using the text editor method:
 
  1. On the MediaDS appliance, use a text editor to create a SMIL file (for example, myStream.smil) in the Wowza Streaming Engine [install-dir]/content folder. Make sure that your editor doesn't append the .txt file extension to the file name.
     
  2. Add channel output information similar to the sample code below. In the <switch> container, create a <video> entry for each channel output. In each <video> entry, include the mandatory src attribute (the channel name) and video-bitrate attribute (the bitrate of the video track in bps). Add the title attribute to all <video> entries. Make the value for each title attribute the label you want to display in the Wowza Player Bitrate Selector menu. The order of renditions in the SMIL file doesn't affect how they appear in the Bitrate Selector as Wowza Player orders renditions from highest bitrate to lowest.
    <smil>
            <head>
            </head>
            <body>
                    <switch>
    			<video height="720" src="myStream.stream_source" title="High">
    				<param name="videoBitrate" value="548000" valuetype="data"></param>
    			</video>
    			<video height="360" src="myStream.stream_360p" title="Medium" >
    				<param name="videoBitrate" value="100000" valuetype="data"></param>
    			</video>
    			<video height="180" src="myStream.stream_180p" title="Low">
    				<param name="videoBitrate" value="50000" valuetype="data"></param>
    			</video>
    		</switch>
    	</body>
    </smil>
    Note: For more information on optional attributes you can add to SMIL file entries, see Understanding SMIL file syntax.
  3. Save and close the file. Test your video production to make sure the new title attributes appear in the Wowza Player Bitrate Selector menu.

(Optional) Configure your MediaDS webpages

MediaDS serves webpages that host Wowza Player for each channel. You can use the default webpages or you can use embed code to host Wowza Player on a different website for audience viewing. If you're using the MediaDS webpages, you can customize them without leaving the MediaDS Desktop:
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel.


     
  2. In the Webpage Editor panel, select the channel that you're configuring the webpage for, and provide the following:


     
    • Page Name - A unique name for the page. This is part of the Page URL.
       
    • Title - A title for the page. Often this is the title or name of the video production.
       
    • Description - A description of the video production.
       
    • Logo - An image file for your logo. Click Browse to select the image from the file browser.
       
      Note: The Page URL is the URL used for audience viewing.
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Enable DVR playback in players


Wowza nDVR in Wowza Streaming Engine software enables you to record a live stream while simultaneously enabling users to play or pause the live stream, rewind to a previously recorded point, or resume viewing at the current live point over the Apple HLS protocol. The MediaDS has nDVR turned on by default, so all video productions are automatically recorded.

Test the video production


Test a single-bitrate video production

If your video production is a single bitrate, you can test it with the default webpages served by MediaDS that host Wowza Player.
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel.
     
  2. In the Webpage Editor panel, use the tabs at the top to select the channel whose output you're testing, and then change the Page Name to a unique value that won't be used when you publish the stream. For example, if you're testing channel 1, you could change the Page Name to test1.
     
    Important: If you're using the default webpages served by MediaDS for audience viewing, changing the Page Name to a test value enables you to test all aspects of the video production with a different URL than the URL that viewers use to access the stream. If you use the same Page Name value for testing that viewers will use to watch the stream, any viewers who have the URL could also watch your testing.
  3. After changing the Page Name, click Visit Page to open the webpage in a browser.
     
  4. On the webpage, do the following to test your video production:
     
    • Click the play icon in the middle of the player to test the playback of your video production.
       
    • (If you're using the MediaDS webpages) check that the Logo image, Title, and Description are displayed correctly on the MediaDS webpage. For more information about configuring the webpage, see Deliver the video production to Wowza Player.

Test an adaptive bitrate video production

After creating the SMIL file, you can use Wowza Player Builder to test an adaptive bitrate video production.
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.


     
  2. In the web browser that opens, log in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager and click the Applications tab.
     
  3. In the Applications contents panel, click live, and then click Wowza Player.
     
  4. Select Enter a playback URL, specify the URL using the following format, and then click Launch Player Builder.
    http://[mediads-ip-address]:1935/live/smil:[SMIL-file-name].smil/playlist.m3u8
    Where:
     
    • [mediads-ip-address] is the IP address of your MediaDS. To find the IP address, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel. Copy and paste the IP address from the Page URL into the Wowza Player Builder playback URL.
       
    • [SMIL-file-name] is the name of the SMIL file you created for the channel outputs.
  5. In the Wowza Player Builder tab that opens, click the play icon in the preview player to test the adaptive bitrate playback of the video productions.
     
    Note: If you are prompted to log in to your Wowza account, enter the email address associated with your Wowza account and your password.
  6. Click the HD icon in the player toolbar to open the Bitrate Selector. You should see the <title> values that you assigned to each channel output in the SMIL file.

Deliver the video production to Wowza Player


The MediaDS makes it easy to deliver video productions to Wowza Player on the default webpages served by MediaDS, but you can also use the embed code to host Wowza Player on a another site.
 
Note: To deliver an adaptive-bitrate video production, you must use the embed code. At this time, the webpages served by MediaDS can only play one channel's output at a time. See Use embed code for an adaptive-bitrate video production.

Use the MediaDS webpages

To deliver a single-bitrate video production to Wowza Player on the MediaDS webpages:
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel.
     
  2. In the Webpage Editor panel, use the tabs at the top to select the channel (or one of the linked channels) that you want to deliver to Wowza Player and make sure all settings are correct.
     
    Note: If you used a test value for the Page Name when testing the video production, make sure to change it back to the production value.
  3. Then do one of the following:
     
    • Click Visit Page to open the customized webpage with the production URL
       
    • Click Copy URL to copy and paste the production URL into a web browser.
  4. Click OK to save your changes and close the Webpage Editor panel.
     
  5. In the MediaDS Desktop, in the toolbar at the bottom of the channel (or one of the linked channels) viewport, click STREAM.
     
  6. On the channel's webpage, click Play.

Use embed code to host Wowza Player on another site

Use embed code for a single-bitrate video production

If you want deliver a single channel's streaming output to Wowza Player hosted on another site, do the following:
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel.
     
  2. In the Webpage Editor panel, use the tabs at the top to select the channel (or one of the linked channels) that you want to deliver to Wowza Player and make sure all settings are correct.
     
    Note: If you used a test value for the Page Name when testing the video production, make sure to change it back to the production value.
  3. Then click Copy Embed Code to copy the embed code to set up Wowza Player with a custom configuration in your own webpages, and paste it into your webpage.

Use embed code for an adaptive-bitrate video production

If you want deliver a an adaptive-bitrate video production to Wowza Player hosted on another site, do the following:
 
  1. In the MediaDS Desktop, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.
     
  2. In the web browser that opens, log in to Wowza Streaming Engine Manager and click the Applications tab.
     
  3. In the Applications contents panel, click live, and then click Wowza Player.
     
  4. Select Enter a playback URL, specify the URL using the following format, and then click Launch Player Builder.
    http://[mediads-ip-address]:1935/live/smil:[SMIL-file-name].smil/playlist.m3u8
    Where:
     
    • [mediads-ip-address] is the IP address of your MediaDS. To find the IP address, click on the System Configuration gear icon in the right corner of the Titlebar, and then click Edit MediaDS Webpages to open the Webpage Editor panel. Copy and paste the IP address from the Page URL into the Wowza Player Builder playback URL.
       
    • [SMIL-file-name] is the name of the SMIL file you created for the channel outputs.
  5. In the Wowza Player Builder tab that opens, click Get Embed Code, and then copy and paste the embed code into your webpage.

More resources



Originally Published: For MediaDS 1 on 01-05-2017.
 

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