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Thread: Current best-practice transcoder application set?

  1. #1

    Question Current best-practice transcoder application set?

    We've recently purchased Wowza and the transcoder add-on. While I'm gradually working my way through the documentation, I'm wondering if someone can answer the following conceptual questions?

    We'll be using Wowza to transcode and deliver a stream that will be originated from a Mini-Caster. My basic plan is to have the minicaster generate the top-most quality stream (1080P H.264), and have Wowza transcode to all the lesser/lower quality streams.

    Q1: for a given desktop stream type (e.g. Flash or HTML5), how do I give the user a choice of quality levels based on their connection strength (a la YouTube 1080P, 720P, 480P, 240P). Is this done via the player? What's the best player to provide that functionality?

    Q2: has someone already developed, or is there a list being maintained somewhere, of a suite of "standard" Wowza transcoder applications that cover the vast majority of user-playback options (desktops, tablets, phones, various OS's of each)?

    Any help or steer in the right direction would be appreciated!


  2. #2


    Hi Matt,

    1) Based on the stream metadata, the player decides which stream is best suited to play on the available network connection at any given moment. Most player technologies do the right thing. Not all of them do it perfectly. Using ngrp (StreamNameGroup) allows multiple streams to take advantage of this player feature, but it is the player that does the decision making. JWPlayer is a solid player option.

    2) The sample template that is referred to in the Transcoder documentation which gets installed at [install-dir]\Transcoder\templates\default.xml includes 2 examples. If you use the template as is, the 360p encode is 640x360, main profile, 550 kbits/sec aimed at the desktop and the 160p encode is 284x160, baseline profile, 130 kbits/sec aimed at a mobile phone. You can look at the file to see more parameters and options.

    A single application can be configured to deliver a stream to Adobe Flash Player; Microsoft Silverlight; an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device; and an RTSP/RTP-based player at the same time.


  3. #3


    Salvadore, thank you for your very helpful reply! I'm reading and understanding the documentation slowly but surely.

    The MiniCaster allows me the ability to send the stream to Wowza in many choices of protocols. Are some better for Wowza than others? I guess what I'm aiming to do is to supply the ideal stream to Wowza and create a minimum of processing overhead at the server.

    MiniCaster gives me the choices of RTP, RTMP or TS. Which would you say was the best starting point for transcoding and/or transrating in Wowza?

    kind regards

    Matthew P

  4. #4


    Hi Matthew,

    Here is a guide for setting this up:
    How to use miniCaster live stream encoder with Wowza Media Server


  5. #5


    Salvadore, thanks for the link! We are inching towards success.

    I have successfully setup the MiniCaster to send the stream.

    I have use the instructions to configure the Wowza Server to receive the stream.

    Using one of the example "test" pages to attempt to view the stream does not produce an error, but does not produce a picture either.


    Can I check with you: when publishing the stream using the Stream Manager, is the appropriate application to use "live/_definst_". I feel like that string _definst_ should be replaced by something, but I'm not sure what!

    Your help is much appreciated.


    Matthew P
    Last edited by matthew.petersen; 07-14-2013 at 09:34 PM.

  6. #6


    Hi Matthew,

    If you are using an application instance you will need to include _definst_

    So if your folder structure looks like this:

    You would write the url:
    If you are not using an application instance you do not need to include _definst_ but it will never be changed to something else.

    Also you don't need to use the StreamManager if you are publishing with an RTMP encoder.

    Can you describe what exactly you are trying to do?


  7. #7


    Salvadore, I must admit I didn't understand your directions 100%. Am I right in saying that if we did NOT have an application instance, then no transcoding/transrating would be done, and the stream would be whatever the Wowza server was fed? excuse my ignorance this is new to us all.

    My goal is to send a stream from the MiniCaster to the Wowza server, have that Wowza server transcode and transrate that stream into whatever would be a comprehensive number of (and bitrates of) streams of the various types, such that my stream can be viewed on the maximum number of devices, browsers and operating systems.

    In terms of the stream manager, I am a bit confused, insofar as I followed the documentation to "start the stream using the stream manager". But just to confirm, this step is unnecessary when sending an RTP stream from the minicaster?

    It seems I have most of this puzzle worked out, just the Application side of things remains to be solved.

    kind regards and thanks for helping us work this through.

    Matthew P

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007



    When configuring the RTP stream in MiniCaster, do you enter a IP for the Wowza server and an application name? And when you start the stream, do you see a publish event in the Wowza logs? If so, then you do not need to use StreamManager.

    On the other hand, if you only enter an IP address, which I think is how RTP work in MiniCaster, then, yes, you need StreamManager. Just leave the the application field with the "/_definst_" part, that is what you want to do. There is rarely a reason to change it and you have to have something in that place.

    I think MiniCast supports RTMP too, in which case you would enter IP and app name, and not have to use StreamManager.

    When you start a stream in StreamManager on an application with the Wowza Transcoder, transcoding of that stream according to the template you use begins. This is the basic Transocder Tutorial


  9. #9


    Thanks Richard, at the moment I've been sending RTP and using Stream Manager to start the stream. I'll investigate RTMP though as we don't really want to have to go through a 5 step process every time we start a stream!

    I'm reading the transcoder tutorial now. Thank you.

    Matthew P

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