• How to build a redundant workflow by using a stream source

    One of the best ways to prevent playback disruptions is to build redundancy into your production workflow by using multiple source encoders. That way, if one encoder breaks or disconnects from the transcoder, the second device can continue to supply the source video.

    When you use two encoders with the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, you can connect one to a primary stream entry point and one to a backup stream entry point by using a stream source. A stream source receives an encoded H.264 RTMP stream at a CDN entry point and sends it to the Wowza Streaming Cloud transcoder. If the video source fails at one stream entry point, Wowza Streaming Cloud can continue to receive and process the source video on the second, backup entry point, ensuring that playback continues uninterrupted for viewers. Another benefit of using a stream source is that you can restart one of the encoders while your stream continues to run on the other, again without disruption to viewers.

    Contents


    Use a stream source with a live stream
    Use a stream source with a transcoder
    Configure, connect, and test your video sources
    About playback

    Use a stream source with a live stream


    If you want viewers to be able to watch your stream by using the Wowza Streaming Cloud player or hosted website, create a live stream that receives your encoded video at a stream source. To use a stream source with a live stream, you must send your encoded video to Wowza Streaming Cloud using an RTMP "push" connection.

    1. Click the Live Streams menu and then click Add Live Stream.

    2. On the Live Stream Setup page, give the stream a name, specify a broadcast location, and then click Next.

    3. On the Add Live Stream: Video Source and Transcoder Settings page, choose Other RTMP as the encoder you're using as your video source.



    4. Specify the delivery method for your source video: Click Push Stream and then select Push to a stream source.



    5. Specify the aspect ratio of the encoded video you're sending to Wowza Streaming Cloud as well as the other video source and transcoder setup options.

    6. Click Next and complete the steps to create the live stream: Specify playback and hosted-page settings, review your choices, and then click Finish.

      Note: For more information on the options on each Add Live Stream page, see the Help panel on each page or the Wowza Streaming Cloud User's Guide (PDF).
      Wowza Streaming Cloud creates the live stream and prepares a stream source for it. The Source Connection Information on the Overview tab of the live stream detail page shows the URLs of the primary and backup RTMP servers at the stream source.



      To see the complete connection details of the stream source, go to its detail page.

    7. Click the Advanced menu, and then click Stream Sources.

    8. In the Stream Sources panel on the left side of the page, click the stream source for your live stream. It appears as [live stream name] / Stream Source.

    9. Use the stream source details to connect your two video sources:

      • Use the Primary Server URL for your first source encoder.

      • Use the Backup Server URL for your second source encoder.

      • Use the Stream Name, Source Username, and Source Password with both source encoders.

      Note: Using authentication is required when sending encoded video to a stream source. Authentication can't be disabled.

    Use a stream source with a transcoder


    If you want to deliver your stream to viewers over a Wowza CDN or custom stream target, create a transcoder that receives your encoded video at a stream source. First add the stream source and then configure a transcoder to use it.

    1. Click the Advanced menu, click Stream Sources, and then click Add Source.

    2. On the Add Stream Source page, enter a Stream Source Name.

    3. Select Choose a region in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    4. Click the Stream Source Location menu and choose the region closest to where you're encoding your video.

      Note: The Stream Source Location can't be changed after the source is created.
    5. Click Add.

      Wowza Streaming Cloud creates the stream source. Now, create a transcoder that uses it.

    6. Click the Advanced menu, click Transcoders, and then click Add Transcoder.

    7. On the Transcoder Setup page, give your transcoder a name and specify the transcoder type, billing mode, and broadcast location.

    8. For the source protocol, choose RTMP.

    9. For the source delivery method, choose Push to an existing stream source and then select the stream source you created in steps 1 5 from the menu.



    10. Select Stream Smoother. Stream smoothing helps reduce buffering when using a stream source to receive encoded video.

    11. Specify the remaining setup options and then click Add.

      Note: For more information on the transcoder setup options, see the Help panel on the page or the Wowza Streaming Cloud User's Guide (PDF).
      Wowza Streaming Cloud creates the transcoder and displays the Outputs & Targets tab of the transcoder detail page.

    12. Complete the transcoder by creating at least one output rendition and target for it. For instructions, see the Wowza Streaming Cloud User's Guide (PDF) or the article How to create a custom transcoder with many outputs and targets.

      When your transcoder is finished and you're ready to connect your video source, get the connection details from the stream source's detail page.

    13. Click the Advanced menu, click Stream Sources, and click the stream source for your transcoder in the Stream Sources panel on the left side of the page.

    14. Use the stream source details to connect your two video sources:

      • Use the Primary Server URL for your first source encoder.

      • Use the Backup Server URL for your second source encoder.

      • Use the Stream Name, Source Username, and Source Password with both source encoders.

      Note: Authentication is required when sending encoded video to a stream source. It can't be disabled.

    Configure, connect, and test your video sources


    Configure your source encoders as follows.

    • Choose the same model or device. It's easier to set them up quickly and achieve consistent video quality.

    • Use the same encoding presets/configurations in both source encoders. For guidelines, see How to encode source video for Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    • Make sure that both encoders are keyframe- and timecode-aligned. Sync the encoders with a genlock device or connector and make sure that both encoders use the same time server. Genlocking synchronizes (locks) the output of the encoders to an externally generated (gen) signal.

    • If possible, set up the encoders on different networks. If they're on the same network and the network goes down, both sources will lose connectivity to Wowza Streaming Cloud and your redundant source set up won't matter.

    • Use a network monitoring tool on both source encoders to ensure that they connect to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

    • If possible, use a wired connection between your encoders and your router(s). Ethernet provides more reliable, consistent local bandwidth than Wi-Fi.

    • Check your firewall software to make sure that it won't interfere with your encoder or production workflow.

    • If possible, set up redundant power supply. Backups and redundancy for all aspects of your production setup reduce the likelihood of disruptions and failures.

    • Test your redundant streaming setup in advance. Run the primary and backup encoders with a test stream for at least 30 minutes each. Manually bring down one source encoder and then the other to ensure the switchover works correctly.

    • Make sure your encoders are set to auto-reconnect.

    About playback


    The stream source has a single RTMP playback URL that is automatically scaled and load-balanced by Wowza Streaming Cloud. This playback URL will deliver a single bitrate stream to the transcoder. It can also be used for legacy RTMP playback, but you should only use RTMP playback if you fully understand its limitations (for example, it's not supported on iOS devices).

    In addition, if you created a live stream, you can use the player or hosted web page and the live stream's Apple HLS and Adobe HDS playback URLs to view the stream.

    If you created a transcoder, you can use the stream target(s) you've configured for the transcoder.


    Originally Published: 05-10-2016.
    Updated: 09-08-2016.

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