In this webinar, members of the Wowza team review the latest release of Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5, including this new functionality:
- Facebook Live streaming
- SHOUTcast and Icecast streaming
- Apple HLS streaming to generic targets
- Transcoded and pass through stream SCTE-35 and KLV marker preservation for advertising insertion
James Jackson: Good morning, everybody. My name is James Jackson. I'm the director of product marketing here at Wowza Media Systems. I'm here with Jamie Sherry, who is our senior product manager and our product owner for Wowza Streaming Engine. Thank you for joining us today for the Wowza Streaming Engine 4.5 release product update. We've got a lot of features that were released in 4.5. I really want to talk to you about them today and really thank you for joining us. With that, Jamie, let's go ahead and get started.
Jamie Sherry: Thanks, James. Yeah, as James said, we have a lot that's been released in 4.5. New features, bug fixes as usual, and the like. The things I want to highlight for this session are on the screen now. First one is sending your live streams to Facebook … You can use the Stream Targets feature in Engine to Facebook for distribution. The second is creating your own Stream Targets connection profiles, so again talking about Stream Targets. This feature enables you to publish from Wowza Streaming Engine as an origin for live streams into destination sites like YouTube and Facebook and others, as well as CDNs like Akamai, as well. Creating your own profiles now allows you to go beyond what we provide as far as the supported destinations in our user interface and programmatically write your own, whether it's an internal one or it's to another destination that we haven't added yet.
JJ: OK, so … There's some things we've done to make it … easier to both capture information in terms of integrate from feeds in terms of where you're getting your actual content from, your actual streams. Also in terms of being able to deliver it to your audience. Also added some additional flexibility for both monitoring as well for being able to push information out, so really acting as kind of that hub there. Is that fair?
JS: That's fair, yeah. A lot of this is about simplicity and expanding reach. We definitely want to be able to help you get your content wherever it needs to go and wherever it's coming from. That's definitely a theme here. It's important—as we talk about the SNMP one, in particular—it's important to note that we're trying to continue to make it more easy and possible to see how your content's doing.
JJ: OK. One housekeeping thing. We have a question that came in: will the webinar be available on demand? Yes. For all participants, as well as all folks that have registered …. We will notify you of that very shortly after completion of this webinar. OK, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
JS: That's alright. Let's talk about each one of these in greater detail. Quickly, again, I talked about Stream Targets. It's a feature in Wowza Streaming Engine. If you weren't familiar with this feature, it has to do with sending live streams to CDNs, streaming services, other servers like Wowza Streaming Engine as well. It treats Wowza Streaming Engine as an origin and the destination is treated as what we typically call an edge network, which is used for scalable, reliable deliveries to large audiences and globally distributed audiences. The other part of this we'll talk about when we talk about Panasonic a little more is the live source of feeds. Again, we're trying to make it easier to allow cameras and encoders to connect to Wowza Streaming Engine in many ways. Reaching out to connect to those devices or passing configurations down to those devices so that they can then connect right away. If we talk about Facebook here, what we've added, again, is part of the feature we call Stream Targets and this is the ability to publish through Facebook using the Facebook Live API that was released a while back here, a little while back. The key thing here is if you're using this features to already reach out to CDNs and YouTube and other places, you now can simultaneously reach Facebook as well. This allows you to reach the audience that you might want to talk to on Facebook. We all know Facebook has huge popularity and there are audiences to reach there and Facebook wants you to be reaching those with video. In this case, live video. We want to be able to support that through Wowza Streaming Engine rather than, say, through a separate workflow. A single workflow to get to all these places is the key here. There are some specifics here to talk about as far as Facebook Live API support. These do change a lot, so it's recommended to go to Facebook to see what the real details are on this. One of these has already changed, in fact, since I wrote this slide. Again, these are live events, though, that you can publish to your timeline, to pages that are approved, to events or groups. These are the categories on Facebook that you can publish live video to that they allow you to do this with. The source details for the contents you're bringing in, today it's 720p in single bitrate. There's 30 frames per second in that video. Having a key frame, which is an iframe, every 2 seconds and a maximum bitrate of 2.5 meg or 2500 kilobits, however you want to frame it. The max duration used to be 90 minutes. It's now moving up to between two to four hours. I believe Facebook has implemented a four-hour limit now. There's a longer duration. They will continue to change these. I know for sure they will want to try to get further into the HD and 4K spectrum, for example, so they will up the quality, the bitrate, everything like that. They'll continue to do that. Again, we have a support article that will point at how to set this up, but also refer you to the API information to continue to see the latest on these details.
JJ: OK, so on Facebook, one specific question that came in from one of the listeners is, for Facebook integration, can we integrate TV live-streaming into Facebook as well? In terms of … The way I read this, it's taking live TV and streaming it to Facebook.
JS: With any content … That's a great question. I'm not sure we have the answer. We could dig into that. The reality is with any of these services you generally have to have the rights to the content, so it comes down to ownership of the rights for that content to be able to redistribute it wherever you're going. I'm thinking TV is certainly possible, pushing it up, but I've got to imagine that if Facebook finds that this is inappropriate content at any level, whether it's TV sourced or otherwise, they will shut you down. There are policies and terms to abide by on Facebook. If people need help finding those, we can redirect them to those.
JJ: OK. Is it fair, once again, to say that, yes, you can restream within usage rights and also the time limitations imposed by Facebook for the duration of your streams?
JS: That's true too, yeah. If you had something longer than the time window, it wouldn't necessarily work. JJ: OK. One other question, not specifically on Facebook, but related. Does Wowza also support streaming live to YouTube?
JS: That answer is today, yes. We do support RTMP streaming to YouTube. We've had it in the product for over a year. The conversation shifts a little bit in the future towards the use of a codec called VP9 and a format protocol called WebM-DASH. We've done a prototype of that. We actually did a demo about it at the NAB trade show. There is technically support for this today in the product. It's not exposed in the user interface. If you have any questions about it, we can follow up with you after and let you know what the situation is with this.
JJ: OK. One other question on Facebook. Live TV requires closed captions. Can captions in the stream be displayed at Facebook?
JS: That's a good question. I don't have the immediate answer to that. We'd have to dig into it the API to see. I'm not sure that captions are supported yet. I believe it's a feature that's coming soon, but we could get some clarity on that.
JJ: OK. Thanks. I appreciate that, Jamie.
JS: Sure. A lot of people have asked us immediately once this went out, what about Ambient, which is continuous live, which is not the shorter durations. We didn't get it into this version of the product. It'll come out in a future version of the product, most likely the next one, though I reserve the right to say that may change. We're actively working on it now, though. Look for that soon. The other is the use of RTMPS. It's an under-the-hood thing. Facebook will actually move from RTMP from RTMPS at some point completely, so we will support that when the right time comes. The other is actually a suggestion of Facebook that we help indicate when a source is a virtual reality 360 source. We will actually work with Facebook from their API perspective to support this, as well. One bullet I don't have on here is the idea of populating location data. Today, the API requires you to do that once you've connected with the stream and to an update on the call to actually submit the location information. We're looking at ways to support this. We don't have that today, but we'll be writing that in the future, as well. Alright, I'm going to move on to the next slide: Generic Stream Targets. This is the creating of your own Stream Targets profiles that I mentioned earlier. The key is here that you can expand this feature's reach beyond what we have in the user interface today for connection to edge network destinations. Writing your own will get you to any place you want to go where we don't go today. This will give you greater control over the content itself, between where it's pushed from the origin and delivered over the edge. This is limited to Apple HLS today. We are adding MPEG-DASH in the future as well, so we're going to, so far, keep this restricted to HTTP formats. It does require development. This is not an out-of-the-box form-based UI piece. It is a development piece today using the Java API. We do have on GitHub a sample reference implementation you can look at, as well as documentation. As I said, MPEG-DASH will be on the roadmap. When I say UI exposure here on the roadmap, what that means is you will be able to have the ability to create these custom profiles and then expose them in the UI, so for users want to use this feature that you've created, the UI will allow you to do that.
JJ: Extending it out from the API to the UI, correct?
JS: Yeah. Today the UI has a REST API that has a limitation where you cannot extend the UI using the REST API today. That's one thing we don't allow today. That may change over time. That's not planned, but one of the controlled ways would be in this case with this feature where we would, again, in a controlled sense, allow you to extend the UI.
JJ: OK. A couple of things that have come in in terms of questions … regarding Stream Targets. One touching on streaming from and to SHOUTcast and Icecast in terms of Stream Targets. Obviously as part of this release that's one of the things we've done, is we've extended the ability to target SHOUTcast and Icecast as well as previously have been able to ingest streams from those sources. Can you touch on that a little bit more?
JS: Yeah, sure. I didn't have that in this product list. As James said, we've had inbound support for SHOUTcast and Icecast for a long time. People have requested that this go out of the server as well so you can pass it along and kind of basically continue to use a single-server product—in other words use Wowza Stream Engine to deliver these audio formats out of the server as well.
JJ: OK. Can we record those as well, those streams inbound?
JS: That's a good question. I believe if you were to invoke the transcoder, yes. The reality is recording is limited by codec, so it would have to be a conversion process if that's possible today. We'd probably have to follow up on that one to confirm it.
JJ: OK. Let's see. A couple of other things. With multiple streams, other than bandwidth, having multiple Stream Targets, what are the general effects on CPU memory, is one of the questions. Obviously this varies quite a bit, but it's …
JS: The more the server is doing, which is a real basic statement, the more the CPU and memory are impacted. We don't have performance numbers to say on this hardware profile you can spit out 10 Stream Targets at this quality level. It's really going to depend what the in and outs situation is and I would say it's generally still a bandwidth concern. At some point we are bound by resources, by CPU and memory. There are no hard numbers we have today to actually reflect how many streams you can push out on Stream Targets.
JJ: OK. Back on to Facebook, one of the things you touched on already, but just to reiterate, a question came in: Can I push multiple streams into one Facebook account?
JS: That is a good question too. I don't have an answer for that. The reality is you can set up duplicates to push to Facebook out of a single application, for example, into Wowza Streaming Engine, but whether it can leverage the same account or not, I'm not really sure. We're going to have to follow up on that.
JS: A timeline full of different live sources could be interesting, yeah. I'm not really sure if that's the best experience for somebody, but if that's a desire we can follow up on that.
JJ: OK. We'll definitely have to follow up on that and then we'll publish some answers to these as well.
JS: Shall I move on?
JS: OK. Alright, so again we have a feature for live source that I've talked about, which allows a simpler approach to cameras and encoders publishing into Wowza Streaming Engine for delivery of live streams. In this case, we've added Panasonic camcorders and PTZ cameras as families of Panasonic cameras, IP cameras that can publish into Wowza Streaming Engine now through this feature. Again, simplicity on the configuration. It can be kind of a pain to set this up if you're not sure what to do or even if you know what to do it can take time and this can kind of shorten the time to set this up, so that's the real benefit here. In this case, the families are the Panasonic AJ series, P2 HD camcorder and recorder models. I'm not going to list the whole set there, but this family uses RTSP streaming over UDP. Interleave is not supported there. Then Panasonic AW PTZ cameras are kind of the opposite. They're interleaved RTSP, and UDP isn't supported in there.
JJ: OK. We have a couple more questions regarding Stream Targets, but I was thinking maybe that we can go forward and we can actually catch some of these and have kind of a question session at the end.
JS: We can do that, sure. Last area that I wanted to highlight is SNMP. It isn't exactly what everyone uses to monitor or manage network stuff today, but there are enterprises and others than have invested in this and continue to use this out there. What we've added support for is to be able to monitor Wowza Streaming Engine at different levels for integration into an existing SNMP managed network. The real benefit is if you already have this running you can add Wowza Streaming Engine as another entity into these workflows. We have developed a MIB. SNMP support is version 2c and obviously you already have to have an SNMP managed network to do this. You can't just use this on its own without having the other pieces to the puzzle. The information that you can extract and look at is at the multiple levels here. It's the server, what we call the virtual host, the Vhost, application, application instance, and the stream or client level as well. A lot of detail you can grab from that.
JJ: On SNMP there's one question. Can we get stream client counts via SNMP?
JJ: Yes, that is available. You can get that through the actual traps by SNMP in your monitoring application or your system.
JS: With that said, we already have, through the APIs, as well, a bit of information you can get down to the stream level too. For people are used to more modern ways of looking at this from an HTTP perspective, that kind of perspective we can support that as well. This just becomes another way to get some of that similar information.
JJ: OK. That's great. Once again, one of those pieces of functionality that helps folks integrate both in order to scale but also just to integrate with their existing infrastructure, so not necessarily greenfield deployments but people who have existing infrastructures, existing monitoring types of applications in place already. Definitely integrate with those. Don't need to create something totally different. Definitely can integrate with that so that it's a very seamless sort of implementation and transition. We want to do a demo in just a second here. Just want to catch a couple of other little questions really quickly.
JS: Yeah. There is a support article we have a link for that we can send or it's in this presentation or you can find it online through the release notes that will point you at that information.
JJ: OK. Another question back on Facebook. Specifically, the question is, Are there any gotchas or specifically any tips regarding timing on Stream Targets to Facebook in terms of automating that timing?
JS: There shouldn't be. Once you get the Stream Targets set up, and you'll see it when I actually do it here in a demo, there's … RTMP can have a quick status offset from what's really going on. You'll, for example, see … You might see "error" right away and then you'll see that the target actually goes active right away. That's why we've added a refresh into the Stream Targets page view, just to kind of overcome that. On the other side, you also see there's a bit of a delay in terms of getting the live one to show up on your page sometimes. I, in doing my testing recently, would have to refresh my timeline, for example, when I did a test there to get it to actually show up. There could be a little bit of a lag, but it's not like you're going to have to wait five minutes or something.
JS: Otherwise it should be fine.
JJ: OK. One other follow-up question we had regarding SHOUTcast and Icecast, specifically regarding your ability to record as far as the transcoding. The ASC7P3, the transcoding that would need to be invoked.
JS: OK, so why don't I jump to the demo? Real quick, again, MP4 AC is what we do most commonly. The demo that I want to show is we've got one of the Panasonic cameras here. I want to actually show you how to connect to that. I want to pull that to Wowza Streaming Engine and then publish that onto Facebook Live. Bear with me a second. I'm going to jump to my browser. Hopefully everyone can see this still. First thing I'm going to do is set up the Panasonic configuration, so I'm going to start by going to our Sources > Live feature and I'm going to choose Panasonic. I'm going to give it a real original name of Panasonic. I'm going to enable the PTZ just to show you how that works, too, if you've never seen that. Let me just get the credentials in here. What I'm going to do is create a connection, which means I'm just going to reach out to that camera and actually make a connection. Let's do a quick test on that. What happens is now I should have an incoming stream that's active. If I come back here I can actually do my test player and just verify that that's working, and it is working. There you go. There's the view out of our office to the north. It's a nice, sunny day. Hot day here in Colorado. OK, so we've got that part working. That's the inbound side. Now I'm going to jump to the outbound side and actually set up a Stream Target to use Facebook. I choose Facebook, hit Next. I have to reference the incoming stream that I … I can give this a name and I can reference my source stream that way. The key here that we require, and this is part of the Facebook Live API, is that you've got to log into your Facebook account that you're going to publish to. I've got to click Log In. We're going to do a quick redirect and come right back to Engine and I should be logged in now. There we go. I'm going to do an "only me" because I'm a shy guy and I'm going to do a destination of my timeline, but you can see here the other options you have as far as privacy and the video destinations that we support today. When I click Finish what you're going to see real quick … Please notice here's that thing we talked about, that error, but if I hit Refresh it's active now. There's a little bit of a catch and that's an RTMP-related thing that's just kind of an unavoidable thing. We should see it go active like we did here real quick. Everything should be good. I should go to Facebook. Here's my page for all of you that want to see what my page looks like. I'm going to hit Refresh, and there it is. That was quick.
JJ: OK, so just that quick we can see you've added the Panasonic PTZ camera and then actually published a live stream to Facebook there. That's great. A couple of other questions that have come in.
JJ: One is … Right now is the server able to output to SHOUTcast and Icecast now or just ingest it? Yes, that is correct. That's one of the things that's been added as part of the 4.5 release. We can now output to SHOUTcast and Icecast, so not only just ingest from those sources but also output to those actual targets as well. Let's see. One of the questions is regarding WebRTC. We did not cover that specifically. We can touch on that very quickly too as well. One question is when is WebRTC being rolled out and then any updates on WebRTC for chat applications?
JS: WebRTC is still what we call a preview item. It does still require a preview NDA. There are no other qualifications to get into the program other than your willingness to provide us feedback because why we're in preview …. There's really two things. One is we continue to monitor the stability of the browsers supporting WebRTC. A lot of people want to do different things between the codec support and the protocol support. The browsers still vary in that quite a bit. The browsers also make massive updates over time that aren't necessarily announced. We want to make sure the features work for you guys. The other part of that is making sure that we have the right functionality in there within the scope of what we want to offer. That's where the feedback comes in. We want to make sure … Really for both those things. We want to make sure that it's working and that what we have in there is what you want it to be. There's a WebRTC landing page on Wowza.com. There's a blog post about this. You certainly can go join the preview if you want. The timeline to come out of preview isn't something I can address today. We continue to look at this closely and often. We could say in theory it could come out this year, but I reserve the right again to say that that may change because again, we want to make sure this is going to work for everyone. In 4.5, because WebRTC's been there prior to this version, there's a slight change in how the feature's enabled. We've made it a little easier to enabled a feature. We've also worked on some of the SSL angle using our StreamLock feature. That can still be kind of complicated to set up, but we've given people SSL a lot who really don't have one because SSL is required on this communication back and forth between clients and the server. We still have a sample called "Video Chat Sample" that people can use that you can still download separately.
JJ: OK. A couple of other questions that have come in. Is there API access available so that we can automate the process for setting up a camera?
JS: That's a good question. Between the REST API and the Java API I believe you can fully set up incoming streams in stream files, which are necessary for this. To exactly connect to the cameras and things like that, I'd have to confirm. I believe that's only through the user interface.
JJ: OK, thanks for that. One question that I missed earlier and I apologize about this. The listener is asking is there a user interface for Wowza Streaming Engine? You went through the setup going through the Streaming Engine manager, so you actually displayed that user interface. Yes, there is a UI. That was the actual interface that Jamie was using to do that demo in terms of actually setting up that stream to Facebook.
JS: Yep. I've got in on the screen again. Yeah, Engine has a user interface. It has since version 4.0. It does sit on top of a REST API. That REST API is actually available as an API-only piece. You do not need the user interface to use the product at all. Historically and what you can still do today is configuration through XML files, but user interface, obviously in a lot of ways, whether you know XML or don't know XML, is an easier approach or quicker approach to doing some of the configuration that you need to do.
JJ: OK. Thanks. A couple more questions regarding the audio streaming. Next question is, Can Wowza pass through MP3 streams to SHOUTcast listeners?
JS: Again, we can bring in MP3 under the auspices of RTMP. Again, using the transcoder you could go out as those audio-only files.
JJ: OK. Let's see. There's another question here I don't really understand, so if you could clarify … The question is, are you able to log in as a business page?
JS: Yeah. I'm guessing this is a Facebook question. I want to confirm. The Pages option … I'm going to take a guess here that the pages option that you're maybe talking about is related to Facebook, so let me know. That would be this page here. To use this page option, your pages have to be approved. To successfully publish over there, those pages have to have gone through the Facebook approval process that's defined over on the Facebook documentation. I'm not sure if that's the question they're looking to get answered, but …
JJ: OK, so next question, once again on Facebook, is, how about broadcasting to different Facebook accounts? Do the users need to be admins for both Facebook accounts?
JS: You need to have control over the Facebook account to publish to that Facebook account.
JJ: Yes, and that login is actually done through manager, so it would not be done through Facebook. You do it through Wowza Streaming Engine Manager.
JS: Right. The reason why I clicked this button, it automatically logged me in, is because I was already logged into Facebook. If I were log out of Facebook, it would actually prompt me to log in in the manager. Here, I guess I can show that.
JJ: OK, so another question about Facebook. With the Facebook API, can we create that target via the API or do I have to use the Wowza GUI for this?
JS: Today Facebook … That's one thing I wanted to stress. Facebook today is a UI-only piece. We are considering and looking at how to do this from a programmatic perspective. We've had a lot of requests for it right away. The challenge there is how to integrate the Facebook login approach. It's a bunch of dynamic back-and-forth communication. I guess that the UI is basically under the hood to some API calls. You'd have to chain together a bunch of API calls to actually deal with how this works. Under the hood for us, Stream Targets are written to a file in a local folder on the Engine software instance. It's called a MAT file. What happens is that entry for Facebook is updated and changed in a dynamic way that wouldn't allow you do you statically write into it. There's kind of a few things. We're looking at a true API programmatic kind of approach. The other is we're looking at right now vetting how people could get their RTMP URLs from Facebook and statically put those into a MAT file entry, either programmatically or the MAT file on the back end as well because people have asked us about doing that, which is kind of a legacy way to do it, but it's still supported. There's kind of two things we're looking at for future work, but today UI only is the way to go.
JJ: OK. One question came in. After live-streaming to Facebook, is there a lip sync problem? Then they go on to say how their live streaming is fine. As I interpret the question, and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, they're asking after we stream to Facebook Live is that's an actual recorded stream and we go ahead and push that out. Otherwise, is there a problem in terms of syncing of the audio with the actual video? I don't know of any issue with that.
JS: I'm not aware of any issue. If anyone wants us to look at something, just send us a support ticket and we'll take a look. I'm not immediately aware of any lip sync issues. With the said, the recording is done on the Facebook side, right? If the resulting VOD has a lip sync issue or the live didn't get persisted from the live … If it persisted from the live, we could help look at that. If it's a pure "the live is fine, but the VOD has a lip sync issue," that's something that would have to be taken up with Facebook. Again, we could maybe get involved, but it's something that we don't do so it would be hard for us to kind of look at on our own without invoking Facebook support.
JJ: OK. Very good. Alright, definitely makes sense. Appreciate that. A couple of other questions that come in. One we have now is specifically around SHOUTcast. How does the Now Playing, artist title, metadata information normally updated on SHOUTcast handled if we use the Wowza as the SHOUTcast server?
JS: That's a good question. I can't answer that. We could dig into that. The documentation might have something in there specifically. I know that metadata flows through. That would include updates, but specific to any metadata handling, I wouldn't be able to answer at this time. We certainly could follow up, though.
JJ: OK. Let's try and get through a couple other things here.
JS: Yeah, sure.
JJ: One question, we touched on a little earlier too, but just to follow up, when you think that VR streams will be available for Facebook?
JS: The VR, we're thinking of marking VR streams. My guess is you could probably do it already, you just can't understand that … neither Wowza Streaming Engine nor Facebook know it's a VR stream yet. To be honest, I spoke with them recently and the VR-marking concept I mentioned isn't even in their API yet. We'd have to have it show up in the API for us to be able to do it. I think it's coming soon.
JJ: OK. We had another listener ask, once again, about the MIB, is that online? Yes, that is available as well.
JS: Right. You can get it through the documentation. Either go to release notes in the support from the forums area and you'll find an article on it there, or we can send it out.
Candace Cunningham: This is Candace Cunningham. I'm the content manager over at Wowza. I've been kind of lurking here. I actually just posted in the group a link to the support article where you can find information on SNMP and the MIB link, so hopefully you all saw that. We can send it out afterwards, as Jamie mentioned, as well.
JS: Great. Thanks, Candace.
JJ: Thank you, Candace. One other question that came in, which I think is something we'll have to write up and reply to a little bit later is, "I have two different Facebook accounts to broadcast to. Can you please a provide a two-Facebook-stream example? They can be under the same account." That's something that we'll have to look into and actually prepare documentation for that.
JJ: One question, are you looking at a multi-audio UI in the manager?
JS: Yes. We continue to look at multi-audio support. We have it for HLS, we're adding it for DASH in a future release. Will that translate to the UI? It won't translate to the UI immediately, but we will continue to look at making it easier to deal with multi-audio going forward through the user interface.
JJ: One again, another roadmap question. This one's specific around MPEG-DASH in terms of our thoughts of where we're going with MPEG-DASH and where that sits in the roadmap.
JJ: The question is … what is our expectation for that and where are we going with MPEG-DASH?
JS: DASH as a whole?
JJ: Mm-hmm [affirmative].
JS: Yeah, we have some immediate roadmap items. As we gear up for the IBC trade show in Europe … Europe loves DASH more than the rest of the world in a lot of ways. A roadmap for DASH, without timeline confirmation, will be again, I mentioned, the multi-audio support for multiple languages. That's coming in probably the next release or soon. Then that will be followed by captions support, DVR, and data event handling through an "e-message" approach or XLink approach in DASH manifest and DASH content. Beyond that, there are no other confirmed plans for DASH. We'd love feedback from anyone who wants to see anything else show up in DASH.
JJ: OK. Another question on Facebook. Will this work on any Facebook account type?
JS: Yes. Personal or business.
JJ: Let's see. Are there any suggestions for VR importers to push to Wowza?
JS: There are definitely suggestions on 360 VR stuff we can send you offline. I can't quote it at the moment, but we definitely could follow up with you and give you some recommendations.
JJ: OK. Just a couple of other things. Just reading through a couple of these, so just give me a second here.
JS: OK. I have more slides.
JJ: OK. There's one question regarding can we provide a link for WebRTC documentation, and certainly, yes, we will provide the link as well. [Please visit this page to sign up for the WebRTC preview. After signup, you will receive documentation on WebRTC + Wowza Streaming Engine.]
JS: Yep, definitely.
JJ: With that, if we wanted to go and look at a couple more slides …
JS: I just have a couple more. For those folks that use Engine on a cloud provider like Amazon or Microsoft or Google, we will be doing the usual updates with this release on those platforms. We already have, in fact, mostly have those done. For Amazon it'll be an update to support 4.5 as a BYOL or paid offering on Amazon today. The other thing specific to Amazon is a new region in India is showing up. It's on our BYOL offering today. It'll show up on our paid offering when Amazon releases it at the end of July. They have these monthly windows where they can only be released on paid offerings, so we're kind of limited to that timeline. As for Microsoft Azure, we are in the middle of getting the BYOL offering out the door. It's in our staging environment. It's very close to getting out the door here. Then on Google, our BYOL offering is already out the door, as well. The last two slides are just about documentation. Again, I've got links if we want to give these out to people for the release notes. Where to go download 4.5. How to upgrade to 4.5 if you're already on our previous version of 4.X. How to use all the features we talked about in here, the highlighted ones, so Facebook, the generic Stream Targets, the Panasonic camera approach with live sources, and then the SNMP. That's all I have.
JJ: OK. That's great. Obviously we can get that information out to folks. Once again, had another question come in. Yes, we will be making this webinar available to all people that have registered as well as folks attending today. Please don't worry if you came a little bit late or you missed a couple of things. You'll be able to actually listen once again, review this webinar, as well. I'm just going to give it another couple minutes. Let's see. One question that just came in is regarding SCTE-35 in terms of that insertion. Just in general, what is our integration there with SCTE-35?
JS: Sure, yeah. I didn't touch on that highlight. We're organically, throughout the year adding support at a programmatic level for things that are around data events and in particular which can be leveraged for advertising. Last fall, for example, we added for HLS support for injection of ID3 into HLS, no matter what the situation or the reason for it was. That could be perceived downstream by a player to do a client-side advertising, in-stream advertising solution. What we've added to 4.5 is the support on the inbound side to programmatically listen for SCTE-35 and KLV information. SCTE-35 is typically a broadcast marker approach to let systems know it's time for an ad. So, that could be used for a lot of things. It could be for Slate as well, but generally it's an ad piece. The KLV data is popular with government entities and has similar approaches or needs to know it's time to do something. Basically this feature allows you to write something to listen to … for these formatted markers and then in the Engine convert them and do something with them downstream through separate API calls as well, like this ID3 approach or eventually this e-message approach in DASH. Getting closer to an end-to-end kind of approach on data events or specific advertising, kind of handling pieces. Again, this is not stuff that's exposed in the UI. There isn't a checkbox that says, "Listen for the SCTE-35 marker and do this with it." We're getting close to sort of an end-to-end single kind of call or even eventually in the UI maybe an approach where you say, "Listen for these things and do this with them for this live stream or this live application," or whatever. Look for future work there. Examples as well, there is an example that comes with the SCTE-35 documentation already for how to listen. Hopefully that's helpful.
JJ: OK, yeah. That's great. We'll continue that support. Obviously to support people's workflows that include the SCTE-35 markers for their advertising insertion support. One other question that we had come in regarding MPEG-DASH. The question is, Is MPEG-DASH live on Wowza Streaming Engines 4.5 now working with JW Player?
JS: The DASH format with clients will … over time has varied and will continue to vary. The test player in Engine's UI is the Google Shaka Player project. We do test compatibility with various players, like JW, who works with Wowza as a partner in one of the more involved partnerships that we have. There is the Bitmovin guys, there's OpenTelly. There's even DASH.js to some degree, although DASH.js can kind of vary over time, again just depending on who updates and what needs to change on other side. Back to JW, there should not be any issues with JW. If you do, I would recommend you submit that to Support. I know we do have a few support items with DASH from time to time and in particular JW or other players. Can't confirm anything at the moment. It's been something we test with every version since we've had DASH, specific to JW, and again, there shouldn't be any issues, but I won't say there won't be any issues at the moment.
JJ: OK. One question that came in for somebody actually joining us a little after we talked about this, but they're asking about WebRTC support. With that, sort of just to reiterate what we touched upon, WebRTC is in preview at this point in time, and so getting access to WebRTC at this point in time, you are required to actually fill out a form for NDA and get access. Other than that, there are no limitations in terms of actually getting access to that particular functionality, but that is in preview is one of the things that we do want to make everybody aware of reiterate on. Jamie, is there anything you wanted to add to that? JS: No, that was good. Thanks, James. Yeah, preview right now. We can talk more about the reasons later if you're interested, but that's the way it goes. Just sign up and you can get in.
JJ: OK. One question that came in, once again, about markers. Can those ad markers be added to the MP4 server by Wowza via VOD streaming or only dynamically?
JS: The markers are for live only today. If you were to recording in the Engine, the markers don't persist today in the recordings. We know lots of people have live-to-VOD situations where they want to advertising to persist. That's future work that would be done on our roadmap. JJ: OK. One person asked about specifically information on H.265 players. I don't have them memorized off-hand in terms of the ones written out. I don't know if you want to comment on those or if it's something to provide later.
JS: Yeah, I can comment on a few. H.265, first off, for us pairs up with HLS and DASH. HLS is an unofficial kind of support piece to that, but won't acknowledge they support it officially today. It's mainly DASH. DASH, again, player-wise, Bitmovin is a good one. That's an H.265 player. OpenTelly and I believe the Shaka project support it as well. We could get you a more exhaustive list if you're interested after this.
JJ: OK, thanks for that. I really appreciate it. Let's hang on here for a couple more minutes just to see if there are any other questions that come in, but once again I want to thank everybody for joining us. Whether or not it's morning or afternoon or evening your time, really do definitely appreciate it. Here's a little bit of additional information. Once again, I'm James Jackson, the director of product marketing here with Jamie Sherry, who is our senior product manager and our product owner—really who owns the roadmap and the product for Wowza Streaming Engine. I really appreciate your time today. Looking to see what other things we have coming in. One regarding audio as well. Is AAC-to-MP3 transcoding coming up in a future release or is that not on the roadmap?
JS: It's not on the roadmap today.
JJ: Do you recommend using something like Liquid Soap to do that translate outside now?
JS: I'm not actually familiar with that product, so I can't really make a recommendation on that. If you're looking for recommendations on conversion like that, if you send a support ticket we can try to get you some suggestions.
JJ: OK, thanks.
JJ: Let's see. One other one came in. Can Wowza capture streams directly from a sound video card rather than IP-based input?
JS: No, IP-only sources are what Wowza Streaming Engines supports today.
JJ: OK. Looking to see if we have any more coming in. … Is Apple HLS on the roadmap?
JS: Fragmented, yes. I'm guessing everyone wants to know about fragmented MP4. It is on the roadmap. It is targeted for a near-term future release. I won't say it's going to make it into the next one, but it is scheduled currently for a release this fall.
JJ: Another question that came in, is closed captioning positioning passed through Wowza to the player?
JS: Let's see if I can interpret that. Our caption support broadly supports several of the … pretty much all of the market-leading formats, so it's going to depend on what you're trying to do. Is it live, is it VOD? Is it in the content, is it a sidecar file? Things like that, but generally things pass through where they're supposed to for this feature and would then be interpretable by client. The general intent for captions in Engine is that the clients dynamically can display those with the use of a toggle button on the player to turn them on and off, and not so much burned into the video. I'm not sure if that answers the question. We can follow up.
JJ: OK, so hopefully that answers the question you were asking. Let's see if we have anything else coming in. OK, it looks like that's pretty much it. Once again, I want to thank you. Thanks, Jamie. I really appreciate it. This was great. Great update. For those of you listening, we highly encourage you to go ahead and upgrade/download 4.5 to be able to take advantage of the new features. Obviously Facebook Live, but the other things that we think are great and will enhance your streaming workflows. Once again, thanks, everybody, for joining. We really appreciate it and you have a great day now.
JS: Thanks, everyone.