• Getting Started

    Published on 09-22-2016 09:00 AM     Number of Views: 14434 

    Learn how to set up a live stream, connect a video source to the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, configure a player, and start streaming.

    Contents


    Video tutorial: How to get started with Wowza Streaming Cloud
    About Wowza Streaming Cloud
    Sign in to Wowza Streaming Cloud
    Add a live stream
    Set up your video source
    Configure your playback setup
    Start streaming
    More resources

    Video tutorial: How to get started with Wowza Streaming Cloud



    About Wowza Streaming Cloud


    Wowza Streaming Cloud lets you easily stream live video to any device, scaling automatically to accommodate audiences of any size, anywhere. Wowza Streaming Cloud accepts video from nearly any encoder or IP camera, transcodes that video in the cloud, and delivers a high-quality stream in multiple bitrates that can be watched in a customizable player on virtually any device. You don't have to purchase or maintain hardware, or install or run software locally. You pay only for the resources you use, and broadcast to audiences large or small, any time.

    Using a simple, browser-based interface, tell Wowza Streaming Cloud what you're using to capture and encode your video and specify your playback options, then let Wowza Streaming Cloud do the rest of the work. Wowza Streaming Cloud provides you with the information you need to connect with your source encoder and for your viewers to watch the stream, and then it performs adaptive-bitrate transcoding in the cloud by using the robust, reliable technology you've come to expect from Wowza.

    Advanced settings let you create custom transcoding workflows, receive live streams to selected Wowza Streaming Cloud sources, and send streams to multiple targets, offering the control and scalability required for large-scale, professional deployments.

    Sign in to Wowza Streaming Cloud


    You can sign in to Wowza Streaming Cloud by using any modern web browser that supports HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets level 3 (CSS 3). The Wowza Streaming Cloud web manager has been most extensively tested on Google Chrome, however, so for best results we recommend that you use the latest version of Google Chrome.

    1. Do one of the following:

      • Click Launch Wowza Streaming Cloud when you complete your purchase in the Wowza portal.

      • Go to cloud.wowza.com.

    2. Sign in using your Wowza credentials.



    3. Accept the Terms of Use by clicking I accept.

    Welcome to Wowza Streaming Cloud.



    The menu bar provides access to these Wowza Streaming Cloud features:

    • Home - Provides links to useful documentation and displays graphs that depict recent traffic and usage. On the left are panels that display Recent Streams and Recent Activity. On the right are panels with Current Usage information and What's New announcements.

    • Live Streams - Lets you create, edit, start, stop, schedule, and record live stream broadcasts.

    • Monitor - Provides a quick view of the health of active streams.

    • Advanced - Offers options to customize your transcoding setup, to receive video to specific Wowza Streaming Cloud stream sources, and to deliver output renditions to multiple stream targets. You can also view and manage recordings, schedules, and user activity logs.

      Note: Features under the Advanced menu are limited for the Wowza Streaming Cloud free trial users. For information about the limitations of the free trial, see Wowza Streaming Cloud release notes.
    • Settings (your Wowza account email address) - Lets you view usage information for the account, go to your account details in the Wowza portal, or switch to a different workgroup.

    • Help - Provides links to documentation, articles, and Support resources.

    • Sign Out - Exits the Wowza Streaming Cloud manager.

      Note: The Wowza Streaming Cloud manager menu bar adjusts for mobile devices and as you resize your browser window. In smaller windows or screens, only the icons are visible.

    Add a live stream


    A live stream is a single, linear video broadcast. You broadcast a live stream by receiving encoded source video into Wowza Streaming Cloud and letting Wowza Streaming Cloud transcode the stream and deliver it to viewers.

    Each live stream has a name, specifies how the video source connects with Wowza Streaming Cloud, and defines the playback method that allows viewers to watch the stream.

    To create a live stream, click Live Streams on the menu bar, click Add Live Stream, and then complete the five steps to add the stream. Click Next to advance to the next step; click Back to return to a previous step. Most settings can also be changed after the live stream is created.



    Note: The Help panel provides details about the options that need to be configured on each page. Click Hide Help to hide the information or click Show Help to bring it into view.
    1. Live Stream Setup.



      Wowza Streaming Cloud needs some basic information about the stream:

      • The Live Stream Name, which is required, should be short and descriptive.

      • The Broadcast Location is where Wowza Streaming Cloud transcodes your stream. By default, the Broadcast Location is set to your browser's time zone. Choose a Broadcast Location that's as close as possible to the video source and supports the features you want to use.

        Notes:
        • Pay-as-you-go billing and adaptive bitrate transcoding are supported in all locations. 24x7 billing, passthrough transcoding, and 4K streaming, however, aren't universally supported. See the tags on the Broadcast Location tiles to help you select a location that supports the features you want to use, and see Wowza Streaming Cloud broadcast location features and addresses to compare feature availability at different locations.

        • The Broadcast Location can't be changed after the live stream has been created.

    2. Video Source and Transcoder Settings.



      Wowza Streaming Cloud needs to know the camera or encoder you'll be using. Choose one of the following sources:

      • Wowza Streaming Engine - Wowza Streaming Cloud can receive encoded live video from Wowza Streaming Engine. When you use Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud together, transcoding can be performed by either product. To transcode in Wowza Streaming Cloud, select Wowza Streaming Engine as your source and then select No, I want Wowza Streaming Cloud to transcode this stream and/or deliver it to multiple stream targets. Wowza Streaming Cloud generates a connection code that you can use in Wowza Streaming Engine Manager to configure it to connect to Streaming Cloud.

      • Wowza GoCoder - A mobile encoding app for iOS and Android devices. For more information and to download the GoCoder app, visit the Wowza GoCoder page.

      • Works with Wowza™ partner - High-end, professional encoders and IP cameras from Works with Wowza partners can connect seamlessly to Wowza Streaming Cloud. Select an encoder or camera from a Works with Wowza partner such as Axis, NewTek, Sony, or Telestream. If you choose an IP camera, you'll need to provide its Source URL. For more information about each partner's technology, visit the Works with Wowza page.

      • IP Camera - Wowza Streaming Cloud can pull encoded video from any H.264 IP camera over Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). Provide the IP camera's Source URL. Consult the camera's documentation for source URL syntax.

      • Other RTMP - Any H.264 encoder that supports RTMP can provide source video to Wowza Streaming Cloud. Select whether the encoder will Push the stream to Streaming Cloud or whether Streaming Cloud needs to Pull the stream. For pull streams, enter a Source URL. Consult the encoder's documentation for the source URL syntax. For push streams, select Push directly to Wowza Streaming Cloud to send the stream directly to the transcoder at your Broadcast Location.

        Note: If you experience problems with the direct connection to Wowza Streaming Cloud, select Push to a stream source to route the stream through a CDN endpoint that offers reduced latency between your video source and Wowza Streaming Cloud.
      • Other RTSP - Any H.264 encoder that supports RTSP can provide source video to Wowza Streaming Cloud. Select whether the encoder will Push the stream to Streaming Cloud or whether Streaming Cloud needs to Pull the stream. For pull streams, enter a Source URL. Consult the encoder's documentation for the source URL syntax.

      Note: By default, Wowza Streaming Cloud uses TCP port 1935 for RTMP streaming and TCP port 554 for RTSP streaming. If you don't use the default port, be sure to indicate that in the source URL.
      Then, specify the Delivery Protocol, which is the protocol used to deliver the stream to viewers. You can choose Apple HLS, Apple HLS over HTTPS, or Apple HLS and Adobe HDS. Wowza Streaming Cloud generates playback URLs for the protocol or protocols you choose.

      Do not select Yes, create a low-latency stream. Most live streams don't need this setting.

      Next, specify the Aspect Ratio and pixel dimensions, or frame size, of the source video. Choosing the correct aspect ratio and dimensions ensures that the video won't be distorted, squeezed, or cropped when it's played.

      The aspect ratio of widescreen, high-definition (HD) video is 16 divided by 9, or 16:9. The aspect ratio of standard-definition video is 4 divided by 3, or 4:3. Full HD video is 16:9 with a frame size of 1280 x 720 pixels.

      The higher the resolution of the incoming video, the more bitrate renditions Wowza Streaming Cloud generates. A bitrate rendition is a version of the live stream at a specific frame size and bitrate. Wowza Streaming Cloud automatically creates multiple bitrate renditions, based on the resolution of the source video, to offer the best possible playback experience for a viewer's device and bandwidth.

      If you have a 24x7 subscription, choose whether you want to run the stream in Pay as you go or 24x7 billing mode.

      If your subscription and Broadcast Location support passthrough streaming, choose whether you want the stream to be Adaptive bitrate (default) or Passthrough. If you choose Passthrough as your live stream type, Wowza Streaming Cloud does not create adaptive bitrate renditions based on the video source's aspect ratio.

      If have a pay-as-you-go subscription and you want Wowza Streaming Cloud to create an MP4 recording of your live stream, select Yes, record this live stream.

      You can send closed caption data with your source stream so that captions appear when the stream is played using the Adobe HDS and Apple HLS protocols. Choose the type of caption your video source is sending to Wowza Streaming Cloud: CEA-608 (digital), Action Message Format (AMF) onTextData, or CEA-608 (digital) and onTextData. To omit captions from playback, leave the closed captioning option set at None.

      Finally, for Wowza GoCoder, Other RTMP / Push directly to Wowza Streaming Cloud, and Other RTSP / Push Stream sources, decide if you want to disable authentication. By default, Wowza Streaming Cloud requires a username and password to authenticate these connections. Select Disable authentication if you don't want to use authentication with your video source.

    3. Playback Settings.



      Customize the Wowza Streaming Cloud Flash and HTML5 player on the Playback Settings page.

      • Player Width - Specify whether the player should be Responsive or Fixed width. A responsive player adjusts in size depending on the device on which it's being viewed. A fixed width player does not. If you choose Fixed width, enter the width, in pixels, for the player. The height is calculated automatically based on the aspect ratio of the video source. The dimensions are used in the player's embed code.

      • Video Poster Image - (Optional) Upload a poster image to appear in the player before the stream begins. To prevent distortion or cropping, make sure the image has the same aspect ratio as the source video. Poster images must be GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB.

      • Countdown Clock - (Optional) If selected, a countdown clock appears in the player before the stream begins. If you include a countdown clock, provide the date and time zone of the event.

        Note: If you display both a poster image and a countdown clock, the poster image appears behind the countdown clock.
      • Player Logo - (Optional) A logo or other partially transparent image that appears in the player before and during playback. Upload a logo or other image file that's GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB. Then, specify the corner of the player to which you want to anchor the logo.

      Note: If you use your own player, the Wowza Streaming Cloud playback settings are disregarded.
    4. Hosted Page Settings.




      Tell Wowza Streaming Cloud if you want it to host a webpage that plays your video.

      • Select Yes to have Wowza host a webpage with the video player.

      • Select No to manage video playback yourself.

      If you choose to have Wowza Streaming Cloud host the video player, customize the page with any of the following items:

      • Hosted Page Title - A short, descriptive title that appears above the player. HTML, JavaScript, and other tags aren't allowed. If you leave the Hosted Page Title field empty, Wowza Streaming Cloud uses the Live Stream Name as the page title.

      • Hosted Page Logo - (Optional) A graphical logo of your choosing that appears above the player. The logo file must be GIF, JPEG, or PNG format and no larger than 2.5 MB. Wowza Streaming Cloud resizes the image to fit the space on the page.

      • Hosted Page Description - (Optional) A longer text description of the live stream or event that appears below the player. HTML, JavaScript, and other tags aren't allowed.

      • Sharing Links - If selected, the hosted page displays buttons that let viewers quickly share the video on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, other social-media sites, and by email. Sharing-link buttons appear below the player and below the Hosted Page Description, if there is one.

      If you don't use a hosted Wowza Streaming Cloud page, you can either embed the player on your own webpage or use your own player. When you finish creating the live stream, Wowza Streaming Cloud provides you with the embed code and direct-playback URLs you need for those playback methods.

      Note: If you choose to not have a hosted page when you create the live stream, you can't add one afterward.
    5. Review Settings.



      Finally, review your choices. If necessary, click Back or click the Live Stream Setup, Video Source and Transcoder Settings, Playback Settings, or Hosted Page Settings icons to edit your selections. Click Finish when your settings are correct.

    Wowza Streaming Cloud creates your live stream and displays the Overview tab of the live stream detail page.



    Set up your video source


    Now that your live stream has been added to Wowza Streaming Cloud, configure your IP camera or other source encoder to connect to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    Automatically configure Wowza Streaming Engine

    1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel.

    2. Use the Connection Code on the Overview tab with your Wowza Streaming Engine application so that it can communicate with Wowza Streaming Cloud.


    For more detailed instructions, see How to send a live stream to Wowza Streaming Cloud for transcoding. Or, see How to scale Wowza Streaming Engine with Wowza Streaming Cloud CDN delivery for information on configuring the two products for that workflow.

    Configure WowzaGoCoder

    1. In Wowza Streaming Cloud, select the stream that uses Wowza GoCoder as its video source in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page.

    2. On the Overview tab of the live stream detail page, make note of the six-digit Connection Code.



    3. Start the GoCoder app on your mobile device.

    4. Tap the Video Server icon.

    5. In the Connect To menu, tap Wowza Streaming Cloud.



    6. Enter the Connection Code from the Overview tab of your live stream detail page.


    For more detailed instructions, see How to connect Wowza GoCoder to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    Automatically configure an encoder from a Works with Wowza partner

    1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel, and then click the Video Source tab of the live stream detail page.

    2. Under Download Configuration File, click Download. Or, for Teredek Cube encoders, select the Configuration URL and copy it to the Clipboard.





    3. Open the downloaded XML file or copied configuration URL in the encoder's software or dashboard to load the connection settings for Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    Find a tutorial for connecting a specific encoder at Prepare and Connect Video Sources.

    Configure an IP camera, RTMP, or RTSP encoder manually

    1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel to open the Overview tab of the live stream detail page.

    2. Use the Source Connection Information or the Source URL to set up an IP camera or an RTMP- or RTSP-based encoder so it can communicate with Wowza Streaming Cloud. Source Connection Information is provided for RTMP and RTSP push streams. Source URL is for IP cameras and RTMP and RTSP pull streams.




    Find a tutorial for connecting a specific IP camera at Prepare and Connect Video Sources.

    Configure your playback setup


    Next, configure the player and the webpage that are hosting your live stream.

    1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel to open the Overview tab of the live stream detail page.

    2. Do one of the following:

      • If you're using the Wowza Streaming Cloud player in your own webpage, use the Player Embed Code to include the player on your webpage.

      • If you're using your own player, copy the Direct Playback URLs into your player settings.


      Wowza Streaming Cloud provides URLs for Adobe HDS playback using Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR, and Apple HLS playback for playing video on iOS devices, in QuickTime player (version 10 or later), in the Safari web browser, and on HLS-compatible set-top boxes and smart TVs.

    3. Click the Hosted Page tab.

    4. If you're using a Wowza Streaming Cloud-hosted page for video playback, give viewers the Hosted Page URL so they can watch the event.


    Start streaming


    Now you're ready to stream.

    1. Select the stream in the Live Streams panel of the Live Streams page, and then click Start Stream at the top of the live stream detail page.

      Wowza Streaming Cloud asks you to confirm that you want to start the stream and then opens it and connects with your video source.

    2. Start your video source.

    When the live stream starts, the Video Snapshot appears in the Overview tab of the live stream detail page. The video snapshot displays:



    • A frame from the live stream every 5 seconds.

    • A date/timestamp indicating when the stream began.

    • The video source frame size.

    • The inbound connection status, which indicates whether the encoder is connected to the Wowza Streaming Cloud transcoder.

    Real-time source stream, transcoder, and delivery details appear next to the video snapshot.

    Important: Remember to stop your live stream when your event ends: click Stop Stream at the top of the live stream detail page. Transcoding charges accrue for started live streams even if they aren't actively streaming content. Wowza Streaming Cloud 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.

    More resources




    Originally Published: 02-24-2015.
    Updated: 09-22-2016.

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