Stream a video as live in Wowza Video

Using stored video as the source of a live stream is a powerful tool for automated virtual events. It can be used to broadcast a video as a live stream on a specified day and time.

By livestreaming a video, you make sure it's only available to watch at the specific time of the stream, while video on demand (VOD), is accessible to viewers at any time. 

Before you start

You should have access to the following items:

Complete the following steps to create a live stream that uses stored video as though it were a live source.

1. Set up your stream

Complete the following steps to broadcast live video as a live stream.

  1. In Wowza Video, navigate to the Live streams page and click Add new.
  2. From the Type list, select Stream videos as live.
  3. Enter a title for your stream. By default, this title is used for the hosted page we generate for you.
  4. Select the region closest to your broadcast location to get the best stream performance.
  5. Select the video you want to stream from the drop-down menu. If you don't see your video, type the video name and it appears.
    Note: You can only stream videos with a valid MP4 recording.
  6. (Optional) If you want to loop the video, select Loop video. The stream will run until and play the video until you manually stop the stream or a schedule stops it. 
  7. (Optional) Click Change image in the Poster image section if you want to display an image other than the default image in the player before the video begins playing. You'll then upload the image you want displayed. 
  8. (Optional) Enter the scheduling information for your stream if you want to schedule the start and/or stop of your video.
    • One time start and stop — Enter the date and the start and stop time for the stream. 
    • One time start or stop — Enter the date and either the start or the stop time for the stream. 
    • Recurring — After setting the date and time, indicate which days of the week the schedule should recur and when the recurring schedule takes effect and ends. 
      While you can only set up one schedule when you create your stream, you can create additional schedules after the stream is created, on the live stream details page.
  9. Click Create live stream

After you create the live stream, it shows up in your Live streams list. If you click the name of your live stream, the live stream details page opens, where you can edit the settings selected when you set up your stream or change any of the default settings.

2. Set up your viewing experience

Wowza Video generates several viewing formats for your stream, giving you flexibility in presentation. You can use one viewing format or combine them for a more robust viewing experience. 

  1. After the stream is created, navigate to the live stream details page and click Share stream to display the viewing formats we provide. 
  2. Choose from one or more of the viewing formats and either share links directly or update your site with the embed codes:
    • JavaScript embed code — Copy this code and add it to your site to embed the specified player into your own site. 
    • iFrame embed code — Copy this code and add it to your site to embed an iFrame with the specified player into your own site.
    • Hosted page — Copy the Hosted page link URL and share it directly with your viewers. Wowza Video automatically generates a web page, that we host for you, and embed with the specified player.


Wowza Video generates a default player that we use in all the viewing formats we generate for you. You might want the player to reflect your event branding with poster images or brand colors. You can do this by either:

  • Updating the default player. This will update the viewing experience for all streams that use the default player.
  • Create and configure a new player, perhaps specifically for this event or customer. After you create a new player and configure it as you'd like, you'll update the Player configuration field for the viewing format to point to your new player. See Get started with player configurations in Wowza Video to learn more. 

3. Start your stream

Note: If you've scheduled your live stream to start automatically, it'll start at the specified time and you can skip this step.
  1. Click Start live stream
  2. Click Start to confirm that you want to start the stream. 
    Wowza Video opens the stream and connects with the encoder.
  3. In Wowza Video, confirm that the live stream is playing by looking at the Video Preview on the Live Stream Details page.

4. Test your stream playback

Go to the viewing format you chose in step 2 and confirm your stream is playing as you expect. For example, if you chose to embed the javascript in your own site, navigate to your URL and watch the stream.

Tip: The easiest way to test stream playback is to open the hosted page URL. 

5. Stop your stream

Note: If you've scheduled your live stream to stop automatically, it'll stop at the specified time and you can skip this step.

When you're done streaming, in Wowza Video, click Stop live stream at the top of the live stream details page.

Important: Charges accrue for live streams started in Wowza Video even if they aren't actively streaming content. Wowza Video automatically stops idle live streams after 20 minutes, but you should stop your stream as soon as your event ends to avoid accruing unnecessary charges.