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Thread: Need some help with live stream configuration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Need some help with live stream configuration

    Hi, everyone.

    I'm fairly new to live streaming server setup and I would appreciate some help in choosing the right setup.

    I will be using Wowza for live streaming only, and our maximum usage will be 200-300 concurrent viewers (at 500 kbps) with 70% on desktop and the rest on iOS / Android. We will be streaming for about 5 hours per week most of the time, so AWS with a DevPay license looks like the right one for our needs. Over 90% of our viewers are local, and we get very few from outside North America.

    So my questions are:
    1) Do I need to use HLS and HDS to support the iOS and Android viewers?
    2) Can I do this without Cloudfront? Are there any drawbacks to using Cloudfront for this application?
    3) Is the cost to use Cloudfront about the same as if I don't use it? For example, if the user data transfer is 100 GB from EC2 (without Cloudfront) then the cost is virtually the same other than the data transfered from the origin EC2 server to the Cloudfront distribution. Is this correct?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007



    1) Yes, you need HLS for iOS devices, and it can be used in new Android devices. To reach all Android devices you have to use rtsp playback.

    2) Cloudfront is overkill for your requirements. A single m1.small might handle 300 x 500kbs (150mbs), but it would be close. An m1.medium, large or xlarge would be better.

    3) I think data transfer costs are the same cost either way


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    Thanks for the info, Richard. I've been using Adobe Media Server on AWS, with HLS for iOS (and Android, in some case) and HDS for Flash users and I'm planning to do the same with Wowza. It covers a good enough percentage of our audience.

    I had a chance to try it out tonight, and unfortunately had some issues with the live streaming...several viewers commented that the video was choppy or buffering at times. I was running an m1.large instance, and we had only about 100 viewers at that point. There's a good chance it was an issue on our end (not enough bandwidth to upload), but I just want to confirm that the 100 users should not have been a problem for the server...?

    Also, is there a good way to access stats on how many current viewers there are when using HLS & HDS?
    Last edited by RehanZ; 11-07-2013 at 09:49 PM.

  4. #4


    We are also setting up a similar live stream configuration. We are using the Cloudfront configuration now. We have setup a proof-of-concept for a live broadcast with the stand alone version from the Marketplace. We did have to setup HLS and HDS support to cover the clients you mentioned, in our stand alone setup.

    I recall the setup and links for playback were easier with the stand alone version, than I seem to be having with the CF version. Using the CF, I seem to be having a lot more difficulty getting a player setup on a landing page to serve most major clients, against the playlist/manifest file links provided by the CF setup. I have tried the recommended JW Player & Flowplayer, each seem to have something to hang up my setup. On the other hand, the CF setup was much easier than I anticipated, and more hands-free (mostly fill out a couple forms for CF) than the stand alone setup. Setting up the domain alias was pretty simple for the CF version also.

    We went with the CF configuration, because we have some of our audience based in Europe. The CF solution, accessed by clients in Europe, saw better performance/quality from the AWS system, than their local provider. Can't speak much about the cost you asked about, but our costs for CF so far, have been pretty low. We are still testing, so we may be in for a treat during the event.

    If you don't mind, I'm curious what delivery solutions you are implementing (client UI / player).


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Joe, hold on for review and response.


    Choppy playback is usually a symptom of stream bitrate greater than client bandwidth, i.e., throughput from Wowza to that client. But it can have other causes. An m1.large is actually not very big. 100 playback clients with reasonable bitrate (<1mbs) should work on an m1.large, but there is no guarantee. AWS is not specific regarding network throughput for these instance types, but we think the m1.large gets about 150mbs.

    This is what AWS documents:

    Inadequate bandwidth at the encoder location can also result in poor playback, but that would be noticeable for all client. If only some clients are experiencing poor playback, it is more likely congestion at the server or inadequate client bandwidth.

    If you are not using Cloudfront you can get playback stats from your access log (take a look at Sawmill for reporting), from these two built-in HTTPProviders and from JConsole.

    If you are using Cloudfront, Wowza will not have any playback statistics. Clients playback from CF, Wowza is unaware of playback clients in that case.

    Last edited by rrlanham; 11-15-2013 at 09:39 AM.

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