Wowza Streaming Cloud Feature Update
In this webinar, we review recent updates to Wowza Streaming Cloud, including Facebook Live integration, enhancements to high-quality stream delivery, global content viewing control, and public REST API general availability.
Designed from the ground up to deliver scalable, global live streaming, and with an infrastructure able to quickly and programmatically integrate and take advantage of new advancements in streaming technology, Wowza Streaming Cloud continues to evolve for greater control and deeper developer tools.
In this session we cover the following:
- Facebook Live delivery
- REST API public preview
- Easier 4K UHD transcoding
- Tuneable frame rates
- GUI control for geoblocking
- Token authentication access control enhancements
James Jackson: Good morning or good afternoon everybody, wherever you are. We want to thank you for joining us today for this webinar. We're viewing Wowza Streaming Cloud. Our most recent feature is enhancing what we believe are workflow automation as well as the security and control of delivery of your content.
My name is James Jackson. I'm the Director of Technical Marketing here are Wowza Media Systems. I'm joined also by Ryan Jespersen, a string media technologist architect as well as Regional Manager in Europe, and Philipp Angele who is the also the Senior Product Manager and Product Owner for Wowza Streaming Cloud.
Some of the things we want to talk about in terms of our new feature highlights, just touching on briefly. One thing we're very excited about as well as there's been a lot of excitement out in the marketplace for Facebook Live and the ability to simply stream to Facebook.
Also enhancements to our 4K/UHD high frame rate support in terms of delivery of content. The REST API which has been available for a while in preview but now is in general availability. GEO blocking and targeting, the ability to actually deploy content out and designate the regions where it can be viewed. Then enhancements within security in terms of CDN token authorization in terms of actually protecting the content.
To start off with Facebook Live, it's one of the things that there's been a lot of excitement both inside of Wowza as well as outside. We've integrated directly with Facebook Live as a screen target to simplify the ability to actually publish live streams out to Facebook.
Philipp, do you want to take a couple of seconds to talk about the integration in terms of what it means, in terms of the types of use cases, and why we feel it's actually a great addition to the portfolio?
Philipp Angele: Sure, hi. Facebook Live stream targets simplify how you could send a stream through Wowza Streaming Cloud to Facebook. Any existing stream on Wowza Streaming Cloud can be published out to Facebook by linking your Facebook profile to a stream target in Wowza Streaming Cloud. What we basically do is we take care on the necessary API calls to establish and maintain these streams so you have less things to worry about.
JJ: When you talk about the things that we maintain, so can you talk a little bit about in terms of stream interruption, in terms of those type of things that we help not only with establishing that stream, but maintaining that stream.
PA: The idea is to make it more easy for users to re-stream to their profile without always having the log into Facebook again and re-establishing the connection.
JJ: Thank you very much Philipp. If there are any questions, please let us know about those and we'll try and get those answered in real time as best as we can for you, as well as we'll leave time at the end for questions too.
One of the things that we're talking about is enhancements in terms of 4K UHD transcoding in terms of delivery of 4K in those streams. A lot of what we've done is actually, in terms of making that not only readily accessible, but doing some things in terms of actually simplifying and making sure we can deliver that.
Philipp, can you talk a little bit about not only the 4K delivery but also in terms of just the enhancements we've made in terms of being able to select instances specifically designed for that?
PA: Hi, yeah, so the 4K UHD 2160P that all are different words for the latest video resolution standard and especially the swinging 60 VR content benefits from that additional size of video, hence you would always only see a part of the whole picture. Also high end broadcasters are about to switch their 1080P streams to be 4K, and what's already there for quite some time for the gaming world now finally makes it onto all kinds of playback devices.
There's a big hype around 4K but it's very challenging to produce it. It needs about four times more resources than with 1080P. That counts for your CPU but also for your network bandwidth. With Wowza Streaming Cloud we take off the burden to do an adaptive bit rate encoding but allow a user to send a single 4K stream that is then being transcoded in Wowza Streaming Cloud.
The processing resources will always be available. Meaning if you send us a 4K stream we will always make sure we have a server available for you with enough resources so it can do an adaptive bit rate transcoding of it.
JJ: Okay, so absolutely, so with this in mind as people want to implement VR and then other things that would utilize the 4K streaming we're taking a lot of that burden off of them in terms of they can focus, literally, on their content and their viewers and we're going to manage those pieces in between to make sure they have the necessary resources to deliver those 4K UHD streams.
Another thing that we've really been excited about is the REST API. For some time now we've had the REST API available in a preview, but now we're making that generally available. We've gone through that in terms of actually making sure that is tested, proven out, and so people can actually rely on that as a stable platform for developing their custom applications and platforms.
Can you talk a little bit more about that in terms of the things that we've gone through with the API and what's available there for customers?
PA: The REST API was previewed for nearly a year. We figured what was needed for developers to reach their goal to build their own streaming platform without hosting a single streaming server. During that preview time we already saw successful implementations that made it into apps or into streaming projects. The release now just states how confident we are to show this to a broader audience. Feel free to sign up for it and explore a variety of event streaming workflows.
JJ: That's great. Obviously, for us it's definitely about trying to help people develop and accelerate their delivery of their custom streaming, their applications, their platforms, and really helping them move along and really accelerate that process. We believe it's a great tool set to help the developer community to actually get out there and really leverage the experience that we've had in media streaming on a global scale and really take advantage of that in a very consumable fashion with the API.
Once again, one of the things we talked about is being able to actually control access and delivery of your content. A couple of things that we have added very recently when Wowza Streaming Cloud now available, previously only available through the API, was the ability to control the regions that your content is viewable in. Whether that's for security purposes or for licensing in terms of content delivery, where you actually maintain licenses for the content being able to delivered.
Then also for token authorization, being able to actually issue those tokens. Much more accessible for the developer community but, Philipp, can you talk a little bit about the actual global issues and the types of use cases for the token authorization as well as the implementation.
PA: Yeah, geoblocking is a way to restrict access to your content at the CDM level and based on the viewers location. Especially broadcasters need this feature to ensure they don't harm the broadcast restriction of their rights holders for the specific contents.
Once you set geoblocking on request from specific countries will either be white listed or black listed, meaning you can block or allow the receiving of the content in certain regions.
Token authorization is even more granular way protect your content. Once this is activated for your stream target no one can connect to your content; if he's not requesting the stream with the correct token, of course. Developers can generate these tokens with a simple script we provide and use it with their own player technology, such as JW Player, just by adding the token to the end of the playback URL.
A common scenario for this is that a token is being generated with users IP address to ensure only the user's MacBook can receive that content. The possibilities on how you can protect content with tokens is a lot bigger. It's very advanced feature. It also doesn't work with our player, you will have to use your own player technology along with that. Usually that's the thing you wanted to do anyway because you plan to do something like pay-per-view streaming for example where you wanted to make sure only the person that actually bought the ticket can watch it.
JJ: Okay. Great. Thanks, Philipp, I really really appreciate that. That was a great overview. Ryan, if it's okay with you, I was going to pass control over to you and start walking through some of the demos, particularly Facebook Live, the geoblocking, and 4K.
Ryan Jespersen: Absolutely, happy to. It's very exciting, some of the new features that are coming out. Definitely, as James and Philipp mentioned, Facebook Live is all the rage these days since the FA conference earlier, a couple months ago.
When you come to Wowza Streaming Cloud and you log in, I'll just point your attention to the "what's new" tab that's over here on the right. This is a great place to see what's new in the product and what's released. Right here with FB live, 4K Streaming and more you can see this is a lot of what we're talking about today.
Can you see my screen okay?
JJ: We can see it now, yes.
RJ: All right, perfect. One thing I'll show you real quick is when we come into a live stream, I'll show you what the end product is. I have a channel here running on Wowza Streaming Cloud. What I've done is actually set up this channel, this is a camera, an IP camera, that runs 24/7 in our office in Colorado. What I've done is set this up to actually push to my Facebook Live or to my Facebook profile. Here you can see is my Live Facebook page. Right down here you can see here's that camera re-streaming to my page.
What I want to do is actually show what's going on here. In fact you can see here's some of my colleagues at Wowza who have posted on here and I have Eric on here who is actually one of the developers over at Facebook. You can see I'm re-streaming that same feed that's coming into my Wowza server.
What I want to do now is kind of deconstruct this and show you how to do this yourself. Here in this Wowza, I'm going to go into my monitor, and this actually allows me to see multiple live channels that are running inside of Wowza Streaming Cloud, inside of my account.
This is our account that we're using at Wowza internally. In your own account, of course, you would have your own live channels running. If I coming here this is my Facebook Live one, you can see that I'm using the same camera that I have running on this other channel. If I open this up, what happens when you provision a new live channel with Wowza Streaming Cloud is we create a transcoder profile based on whatever you choose as your input resolution.
What I've done to actually set this up is use our support articles. We have a great documentation team that documents everything inside of our support form. Right here, I'm going to go ahead and post this URL in the chat window, and you guys can actually follow through these steps when setting this up yourself. All I've done is come through ... Here it tells me some information about the Facebook requirements. Currently the maximum resolution is set to 720P at 30 frames per second. It gives you some information here as far as how to set your key frames, your iFrames, at least have 2 seconds throughout the stream. A lot of this you can set up in your encoder.
If you're using Wirecast or you're using a camera top encoder, or any of these encoders, you can actually set up these details. The recommended maximum bit rate is 2.5 megabit per second for a 720P stream. They currently have a limitation of 90 minutes for actually setting up your live video.
Right here is the pass through encoder. I'm going to show, kind of walk through the steps that I have here, and this is exactly what I've done to set up this Wowza Streaming Cloud channel.
This is what happens when you set up a new live stream. You can see here I can see information about my particular live stream that's running. One thing I'll point your attention to is up here is my ADVANCED section. Under ADVANCED, here is my transcoders. I'm going to go ahead and open that up. When you set up a new live stream you have the ability, we actually set up this advanced transcoding profile that you can come in and configure to configure your transcoding setting, to configure a lot of the information.
You can see over here on the left this shows me all the different transcoders that have been set up on this account. I'm going to open this one that's set up for Facebook Live. What happens now, all of these transcoder profiles I can customize and then I can actually add new targets of where to send this life stream to. By default, when you set up Wowza Streaming Cloud and set up a new live stream channel, we by default set it up to send to the CDN for CDN delivery. What also happens is you can now set up those transcoding profiles to go to additional places.
If I come in here, here you can see some advanced configuration. Here are all the different outputs and targets. You can see the 720P stream that's coming through is a pass through stream for both video and audio. We don't touch that, we don't re-encode that rate, but you'll notice here that we've set up a new target to Facebook. Here are the additional transcoding profiles, so all I have to do is for this high end 720P pass through stream is add that new target to send it to Facebook Live.
If I come here to my outputs and targets tab, I'm going to select that. Here you can see the one that I've set up for Facebook. What I want to do is I'm going to go ahead and remove this for now. This is the one that I set up ahead of the webinar so I could show you guys what it looks like as a finished product inside of Facebook.
What's happening now, I'll point your attention to these different transcoding profiles that are in here. This is the pass through, the 720P. Here's the one that's preconfigured at 480P, 360P, 288, 180 and so on. All of these are configured to send this to the CDN as stream targets. All I have to do to send this to Facebook Live is choose my high end 720P pass through that's right here, add a stream target, and right in here you can create a Facebook Live target so you can see that in here.
This is the same thing that you can do to send this to your own CDN or even send it to YouTube Live or a different video platform. This is the one that we have preconfigured for Facebook Live, so when I click on create a Facebook Live stream target, it's now going to open this up and allow me to configure this for this 720P stream.
What will happen is we have an integration, an API integration, with Facebook Live that will actually permit you to log in to your Facebook account, so right here I can click on log-in and you can see it's authenticated this, I've already logged into my Facebook so it's recognizing me. What it will allow you to do in the pop-up window is now log into Facebook Live. It creates that kind of single sign on type authentication for Facebook that you may have seen with other applications and that are out there.
I'm going to go ahead and this target name is a target name that will appear in my Facebook profile, so I'm going to say Facebook Live with Wowza Streaming Cloud. Right here you can see where the video destination I can now post this to my timeline, to a particular page I manage, to a group, or to an event. These are all things that are populated from Facebook. If you've posted to Facebook before you'll recognize these different options.
In here under my page I actually have Wowza as an option here on my page, so I can literally post this to the Wowza Facebook page and post it out there. Now you can notice with my privacy I can do this only for me, for friends, friends of friends, or public.
What I want to do is I actually want to post this to my timeline. I don't want to SPAM our Facebook page, but I am going to post this publicly. I'm going to click on ADD, now this will post out to Facebook Live or to my Facebook live timeline.
All I'll need to do is actually just restart the transcoder. By restarting the transcoder we reset it and then we can now start pushing that out. When that stream comes in it's going to push that pass-through stream out to Facebook in addition to the CDN. If I really quickly reset the transcoder up here, click on that, and you can actually set this up before you set up a live channel. When you go through and set up a live channel for the first time, before you start it you can come in here and configure this stream target and then start it up, then you wouldn't have to reset the transcoder, but I already had this channel running so I've had to reset the transcoder so it knows where to push that new stream target to. As soon as that's reset, as you can see it's resetting right now, it will be available to send that to Facebook Live.
The cool thing about this is ... you can see it's doing that now ... The cool thing about this is I can use this workflow to push one stream to Facebook Live or to Wowza Streaming Cloud. I could use a white label player on my own site, but then I could also re-stream it to Facebook Live. I could re-stream it to YouTube Live. I can pretty much use Wowza Streaming Cloud as a way to aggregate my content to different platforms.
Just like that it's going to go ahead and post that to my Facebook page.
A couple of other things that I want to show, I have a couple of questions here, there is a question about when will this be available inside of Wowza Streaming engine? We do actually have Wowza streaming engine 4.5 that's going to be released here in the next few weeks, that is going to have the ability to configure this on your own server. Of course we've already built this into Wowza Streaming Cloud because it's based on Wowza streaming engine, but this will give you the ability to do with Wowza Streaming engine as well on your own deployable servers.
JJ: One other question that we have, Ryan, is will two way streaming be available in terms of, and the question is ... Can I see people that are seeing me, so people that are actually viewing my stream?
PA: I think this is a question or a feature request that more has to go into Facebook's direction, but I guess they would love to hear about this feature request.
JJ: Yeah, so if I'm correct in understanding that that would need to be in Facebook's actual API to allow that functionality?
RJ: Yeah, I would say if you're trying to do a two-way streaming, there are ways to do that with other technologies that do peer-to-peer or web RTC or something like that, or you can set up, use our go-coder SDA and build your own functionality from end to end. But as far as through Facebook Live we don't control the road map for Facebook Live so like Philipp mentioned, that would be a featured request to send to them.
JJ: Okay, thanks, Ryan, that was great.
RJ: Perfect. The next thing I want to touch on is how to stream in 4K. We've had this support already inside of Wowza Streaming Cloud to stream to 4K but what I want to show is we've made this a little bit easier. We have an article here, and I'll go ahead and post this inside of the chat window.
We've had the ability to do this as setting it up in the advanced section, so just like I went to ADVANCED to set up the stream targets, you could very quickly go in there and do that within those transcoding profiles. We've had people who have done this to do VR 360 streaming, so they're using something like video stitch to do a 4K stream in 360 degrees, and they've been able to use Wowza Streaming Cloud to do this for live streaming scenarios. That's becoming more and more popular. With 4K the ability has been there but now we've made it easier by building this into the user interface.
If I go into Wowza Streaming Cloud I'm going to come into my account that's in here that we use here at Wowza, and you'll notice now when we start a new live stream there's going to be a very very easy drop down in here that allows me to do it.
Looking at the steps here, if we look at the different locations, we can actually chose a live stream add that, and the live stream setup we can chose a broadcast location, so if you are familiar with that you can chose the region that you're in. In the next step where you chose your video source and your transcoder settings, we now have the ability to chose from the aspect ratio and choose the 4K resolution, widescreen. This is a very easy way to do this.
What you need, of course, is an encoder that can support that workflow. There are very few encoders out there right now that do this. V-Mix Go is a good example. They have a solution that actually allows you to do 4K streaming and there are several more out there, but the limitation with 4K a lot of times it comes down to the encoder technology and the hardware that you have available.
PA: The good news is that the graphical processing units and phones, tablets, and computers become better and better, encoding 4K is no problem any more if you have a gaming rig. We also test is with a variety of phones that support full frame rate for 4K streams already. So we're getting there.
RJ: Yeah and I think that the thing that James and Philipp pointed out earlier as well with 4K is one of the things that we do now with both 4K and with high frame rate support, is we actually provision a virtual machine that has more computing resources to be able to trans-code. Previously when you're doing 1080P we did a pass through with a 1080P and then transcoded the other five renditions for adaptive bit rate. Now with 4K we're having to trans-code to 1080P so it requires a virtual machine with more CPU capabilities. That's one of the things that we've been able to do now is provision a machine that has more resources available.
Perfect, I think that's a pretty good overview. One of the other things that we have in here is of course geoblocking. The ability to select where you can ... there's a couple questions here about IP address, white listing, black listing, and what options are available with geoblocking.
Philipp, with your end with the actual geoblocking component, that integration you can do geographically based on country right? We have that integration with our CDM partner to be able to control where those streams go.
PA: Correct. This is a decision that happens on the CDM level so it works not only with our player but with any player out there.
RJ: Perfect. I think at this point we can probably take a few questions as well.
JJ: Okay, thanks, great. Looking at some of the questions, one of the questions we have here is Can you geoblock URLs as well as countries?
PA: Sorry, could you repeat that, please?
JJ: The question is can URLs as well as countries be geoblocked? So can we geoblock URLs, specific URLs from actually accessing content?
PA: Is there a specific type of URL mentioned?
RJ: I think the idea here maybe, Philipp, is whether we can white list or black list particular IP addresses and have the ability to do that?
PA: Yeah that would be more a token authorization feature than geoblocking. Geoblocking really means allow or disallow viewers from the United States to access your content, or any other country of course.
RJ: Right. One additional thing I wanted to show, for those of you who haven't see the geoblocking capability, and then I also want3ed to show in here the actual interface for ... I was having issues with my Chrome browser, so I'm going to pull this up in Safari real quick and show you the ability that's in here.
Then pulling up the interfacing for geoblocking will actually show you that as well. In here when I started a new live stream inside of Wowza Streaming Cloud, let's say I wanted to do a 4K stream in here, I would go and name this. I'm going ahead and select, I'm based in Europe so I'm going to select the Germany region. You'll notice that we've actually have this 4K icon letting you know which regions and data centers are available to support 4K. Here are the 4K streams that are available on different data centers.
I'm going to select this Germany one and click on next. This is really where you can select the encoder technology. Vmix has their VmixGo which can support 4K, so in here if I select from this aspect ratio, and I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here in the browser so you can see a little bit better.
Right here is where I can select the 4K option. You'll notice as soon as I select 4K it's going to create 7 bit rate renditions. The 4K stream that comes from the encoder we're going to pass through and then the other 6 bit rate renditions are going to be transcoded on the server. Very quickly we've enabled this 4K functionality directly in here.
What I'll show you inside of the advanced is in here is where we can actually configure the CDN, so right here the Facebook Live one that I've configured, here inside of stream targets is where we can actually select the geoblocking capability as well. Actually I believe it's in the transcoder setting, is that correct, Philipp?
PA: Again, sorry what was the question?
RJ: Oh the geoblocking capability.
PA: It's under advanced stream targets.
RJ: Stream targets, yeah.
PA: Right. Now choose the stream target, not the Facebook Live of course because we can't geoblock streams at Facebook we can only geoblock it for our own stream targets. Maybe just add a new stream target for a moment.
RJ: Yeah, here were go.
PA: On the left you can see geoblocking and authorization that's the token authorization.
RJ: Here you can see the actual user interface here. There is the ability to allow or do not allow for a particular location. Let's say you have the rights to broadcast the europ0ean championships from Spain. This would give you the ability to select this and you would only allow streaming in Spain, or in a particular geographic location. Very quickly you can set this on a particular stream target. With this one this is the AXIS camera that I set up.
Then the authorization side of it, this is exactly what Philipp just mentioned before as far as token authorization. You could enable this and then be able to generate this trusted shared secret inside of your account. We have a support article on how to enable this and do this as well.
The final thing I'll mention here in the interface, as well, is under transcoders we have some advanced options to actually configure your transcoder settings as well. In here when we actually come into our transcoder setup with now have the ability to configure our targets. Let's say I want to configure this 480P stream target right here. You'll notice some advanced settings, if you have come in here before, you can select the H264 profile, you can do frame rate reduction, you can even configure your key frame intervals with these transcodings.
This is also some advanced features that we've added into Wowza Streaming Cloud to add this functionality. All of these things are kind of new things that come with the newest release in the last few weeks.
JJ: Okay great. A couple of other questions that came in, just want to touch on really quickly. One question came in follow up on Facebook Live. How is this different than just streaming live on my phone?
A couple of things, one Ryan and Philipp touched on this a little bit before, but with Wowza Streaming Cloud as well as the other Wowza portfolio products, I guess the first thing would be syndication in terms of the ability to take that stream and not only go out to Facebook Live but very easily to other stream targets as well. Ryan mentioned specifically a custom page that you could have for yourself but also as well as something like YouTube live, but be able to do those things in syndication simultaneously from a common stream and being able to aggregate those things very easily.
Another one Philipp mentioned very specifically had to do with the ability in terms of just handling the workflow and automating that for you as well. You mentioned specifically on your phone, so talking about interrupting that stream possibly being interrupted and you being required to re-establish that stream and log in once again to do something like that. Once again we're talking about just the actual workflow management, to be able to aggregate that workflow and syndicate around a bunch of different streaming targets.
Ryan and Philipp, I don't know if you wanted to add anything to that as well.
RJ: No, that's a good point, James. I think that the idea of syndicating content, you have ... the benefit here is if you are using an encoder usually the biggest bottleneck in any live stream is the upload bandwidth. When you need to get a stream out of a venue or a location or your broadcast facility, you're upload bandwidth is usually the bottleneck, so the ability to send this to Wowza, be able to use a white label player, place it on your own website, but then also use Wowza to redistribute that to other video platforms like Facebook or YouTube. That's really the benefit here of syndicating your content and getting it out to as many places as possible while still retaining the ability to have that white label solution with a CDN and be able to scale that to a large audience.
Those are all very appealing and we think it's going to be ... The ability to do that, I think, is very attractive to a lot of our end customers and users.
JJ: Okay, great, thanks. One other question we have here around Facebook, will Facebook O-auth parameters be available in the API to send to both Cloud and Engine?
Talking specifically about Cloud to start with, Philipp, I don't know if you want to talk about that for a little bit?
PA: I would love to read that question, where is it?
JJ: I'm sorry it's over in the questions tab, so if you look ...
PA: Ah, Facebook auth be avilable in the API ... I see it.
We're working on it. I know we didn't do it that way in the beginning. Currently it's all running through our app ID, but we're working on it to make that possible.
There was another question I saw about if people could get rid of the comment stream as posted by Wowza Streaming Cloud, or Wowza streaming engine, and the answer is yes we're working on that to get rid of those comment. It also is part of using your own app ID instead of ours.
RJ: Yup, that's a good point. There's a question here from Tom as well. When using Wowza Streaming Cloud can you see the concurrent live viewers like in Wowza Streaming Engine? At the moment only available after the stream.
That is a good point. We've had that feedback before. I'll show you in here real quick, we have this access camera that you can see does show the total amount of unique viewers at any given time. But, Philipp, if I remember correctly the unique viewers are people who are using the embedded player, correct? Or watching it on the hosted page?
PA: No. That was the very very beginning of Wowza Streaming Cloud. In the meantime we gather that from the raw delivery from the raw logs from the CDN, so this is accurate data now.
RJ: Oh, perfect, that's really good to know. There is also kind of the deeper usage. If we look at the usage, of course in here you can look at viewer data that we're able to get for a particular date range as well, inside of Wowza Streaming Cloud. This gives you the ability to choose a date range and see what percentage of viewers viewed different resolutions, different protocols, and we do aggregate this data from our CDN partner as well.
PA: Of course this is only working with our own stream target type. If you sent the stream to YouTube or to Facebook then we don't have that data, of course.
RJ: Yeah, there's no two way communication of data from Facebook back to us to aggregate that in here, so like Philipp mentioned you have to see that on Facebook Live or on YouTube Live in their statistics.
The same is true of your CDN, if you have your own Akamai account, your own other CDN account, you would have to view the user data inside of those CDNs within your own account.
I've an interesting question here from Tom, maybe a little off topic, but I'll take it anyway. He's asking about the go-coder SDK, will it ever support cellular bonding for more bandwidth?
That is a good point. I think it's something we've discussed and I would probably have to take that question to the product manager for go-coder SDK and find out. I know it's been discussed, but I'm not quite sure what the road map is for including that in the SDK.
JJ: We will follow up on that as well. I will tell you that it is not currently on our short term roadmap, but it is something that we are discussing. It is a backlog item that we have at this point in time.
RJ: Prema is asking an interesting question here about custom applications and action that are using the REST API. That is a great question because with the REST API, Philipp, we've had, of course we're going to keep our customers confidential, but we do have people building streaming platforms on top of the Wowza Streaming Cloud infrastructure using the REST API. There is a variety of different ones, there's customers doing, I would say periscope-like application development using Wowza, so they're doing live mobile broadcasting solutions who are building those platforms on Wowza Streaming Cloud because we can virtualize the computing resources, plus we have the CDN integrated. You can really use the REST API to create an entire streaming platform to be able to do that.
That's kind of a use case of how you could do that using the REST API.
PA: One big advantage of using it is to fill gaps within your own production chain, so a lot of our users already have their own infrastructure based on engine and now they use the REST API to scale parts of their production chain whenever they need it.
For example, they have 50 servers and one day they reach the maximum amount of possible transcoding within their cluster. This moment, instead of launching their own server and having it in their facility put somewhere, they just send a simple API call to us as streaming clouds to take that job off their infrastructure.
We call that a hybrid model. It's not only working for transcoding resources, you could also scale a stream, for example, for delivery by using our CDN offering. If you see that you can't handle the load or if you foresee an event that's just way too big or to geographically distributed to handle it with your own infrastructure, you would then opt in to use our CDN offering for delivery.
We allow you to do this in any fashion, so we don't force you to use certain workflows but you can really pick from our workflow chain whatever you would need and replace that with whatever you have running now.
It's also our transcoding price is really affordable. I hear that very often that our competition charges a multiple of what we charge for transcoding processing. So it's definitely worth a look at that bit of information.
RJ: Yeah, and I did just post the support forum on how to use Wowza Streaming Cloud REST API, so if you're interested in getting started. We also have a great webinar that Philipp did along with one of his developers that's on our website. I just posted that in the chat window as well.
In here we talk about how to get started, how to use the swagger documentation and Alex does a great example of doing a ruby demo using ruby code to actually use the REST API crawl commands.
I see a question here from Chandan asking, I want to develop a live broadcast solution, how can I use Wowza Streaming Cloud to architect this? This is exactly how you could do it. Get started with the REST API. As of this last release about a month ago, Philipp, we actually have public now, the Wowza Streaming Cloud REST API, correct?
PA: Correct. We still ask the users to sign up. We really don't want anybody in there that's not a real developer or who's just fooling around, but that's ... so it's still hidden but you can find and get API access key within your Wowza Streaming Cloud menu and from there it's just one rep of our staff away from our giving you access to that.
Also the scaling of the REST API in the beginning is limited. We don't allow you to do more than 10 stream, to create more than 10 streams per hour. But this limit is really also just to make sure we have the resources available for those who actively need them, and whenever you see or foresee bigger limits being needed for your use case then you just tell us and we can raise the limit to whatever you need.
RJ: In this support forum there's also, exactly what Philipp mentioned, instructions on how to get started, but we also have an API sandbox, so if you want to go and use the sandbox to actually use crawl commands and the REST API to connect and test, it's a great place to do that.
A question here from Prema asking what's the cost for Wowza Facebook. There really is no direct cost for using this. This is just available in Wowza Streaming Cloud, and the same for Wowza Streaming Engine, this is just a stream target. I would say that the only cost associated with it would be the egress right?
PA: Sorry, Ryan. Exactly it's the egress costs.
RJ: Yup, so the egress is really the cost from our cloud provider of the data that's coming out of the virtual machine, out of their network to the public cloud. That egress charge to get to Facebook is really the only cost. That cost is fairly low, I would say. Wouldn't you say, Philipp? It's really a pretty minimal cost when you look at the total stream.
PA: Yeah, it depends if you run a pass through server for example, then there's processing cost, very low processing cost for that server. There's a traffic cost for the transmission to Facebook, but it's really low. If you run an IP camera, for example, that would not be compatible by default with Facebook, as it can't push RTMP to it. Then we are very affordable, middle, where that actually grabs the stream from the IP camera and process it in a way so Facebook would also eat it.
RJ: Exactly, and we're very up front about the different charges there are with egress and things like that. If you go to the pricing page for Wowza Streaming Cloud we have information on the stream processing. We have information on network usage. You can calculate your egress charges based on roughly how many transcoded streams you have coming out. For something like Facebook Live it would just be that one pass through stream, so it would be just one stream not all the adaptive bit rate streams coming out of that box. At least for the Facebook Live implementation.
Perfect, I think we've got through all the questions here, James.
JJ: Yeah, it looks like we've gotten through all the questions so far. If we've missed any...
PA: There's one more of those concurrent live viewer statistics. Unfortunately we don't have that today but we're working on it. We'll try to get you like ten minutes delayed estimated concurrent viewing stats very soon.
JJ: Okay, that's great. Once again we want to thank everybody for joining us. We really appreciate it. We really appreciate your questions. We really encourage everybody to go out and take a look now, obviously, new great features we believe to greatly enhance your capability. Thanks again to Ryan and to Philipp for joining as well. Thanks everybody for being on the call. Really do appreciate it. If you have any other questions, please reach out to us, to your account management, to your sales staff, also reach out online to us and we'd love to field those, love to hear from you.