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Thread: Play FLV on all devices?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    6

    Default Play FLV on all devices?

    Hello,

    I run Wowza Media Server to play FLV files for our clients. Is there a way I can play an RTMP stream on all devices like YouTube?

    Haven't found a good answer for this yet.

    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    299

    Default

    Rick,

    It sounds like you are interested in a player solution that will support RTMP on all platforms. RTMP is broadly compatible with embedded HTML media player solutions for playback in a web browser on a desktop computer. When it comes to various devices (particularly mobile), the RTMP streaming protocol is not supported. Wowza will stream to devices and players that support RTMP, RTSP, Flash/HTTP, Silverlight and Apple/HLS. This means you can use an embedded player to deliver RTMP streams for your website, however, you will need to augment the RTMP playback with an HLS option for iOS and an RTSP player link for Android. For example, JW Player offers a fallback to HTTP streaming for embedded delivery in Safari on iOS. Take a look at the tutorial on How to set up video on demand streaming for a basic overview of VOD workflow and how to playback to different protocols.

    Streaming FLV files on demand will work to most devices, however, FLV is not compatible with iOS. FLV files will need to be converted into a MOV or MP4 format for delivery to iOS.

    Resources:
    Supported Media
    How to set up video on demand streaming

    -Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I thought Wowza was able to encode the stream to be compatible with whatever device is viewing the video. Isn't that what transcoding does? I don't want to have to convert any files.

    If that is the case, then what format is universally cross-platform?

    How do I stream an HTTP file when the content directory is hidden from the public?

    There's my 2 followup questions.
    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    299

    Default

    Rick,

    Wowza is able to provide a stream to any device, however, not all devices use the same streaming protocols. For example, you may send a live RTMP stream to a Wowza server that, in real time, will be packetized and served to devices and players using RTMP/Flash, HTTP/Flash, HTTP/Silverlight, HLS/Apple, or RTSP/Android, etc. The universal, cross-platform solution Wowza offers is the ability to provide "Media Streaming For Any Screen" which consists of sending multiple streams to multiple devices and players at the same time. Wowza does not provide a universal streaming protocol for all devices (that does not exist).

    In your original post, you mention FLV files, which sounds like you have a library of media that you would like to distribute as video on demand to many devices. The fact is that iOS cannot play FLV, so in order to deliver this media to IOS, your FLV files will need to be converted into a format that is compatible with iOS. The Wowza Transcoder AddOn is designed to only support a live streaming workflow - we do not transcode video on demand content/files. Conversion of existing media can be accomplished using several 3rd party tools like FFMPEG, Handbrake and VLC Player.

    HTTP streaming is facilitated through Wowza server. This does not mean your files are publicly available on a web server. Take a look at this Apple/HLS URL:

    http://[wowza-ip-address]:1935/vod/mp4:sample.mp4/playlist.m3u8
    This will instruct the iOS device to request a playlist, from Wowza server, using HTTP protocol on port 1935. Wowza is configured to listen and provide data for these requests. There are also many security options that can help protect media streams. For more information about security, see this article that provides a Media Security Overview.

    -Tim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Tim,

    Security was the main reason why we chose Wowza and RTMP. We didn't want people to be able to download our clients content with a browser plugin or some other thing.

    Are you saying we can be as secure and still use http streams with the Media Security?

    This should be the last question...

    What would be the best format for me to encode all my FLV files to so that it will play on all devices? I am reading that an MP4 encoded with the H.264 codec is the most widely supported.

    Rick

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