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how to reduce HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) latency with Wowza Streaming Engine?

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is here to stay, it works everywhere, high quality and stability, but latency or delays between the stream and the end user can be 60-90 seconds, if you streaming live events that can be a very big issue, imagine Sports betting?
But with Wowza Streaming Engine it is possible to reduce the latency to 3 to 5 seconds.
It is not good enough but for now there is no other solution.

Below we have some adjustments that using the Wowza Streaming Engine Manage, we can easily improve, although of course there are some negative components.

This risks inherent of the configuration adjustements are due to smaller chunk sizes may result in playback errors if you fail to increase the number of seconds built into the playlist. If a stream is interrupted, and the player requests the next playlist, the stream may be interrupted when the playlist doesn’t arrive.

Additionally, by increasing the number of segments that are needed to create and deliver low-latency streams, you also increase the server cache requirements. To alleviate this concern, ensure that your server has a large enough cache, or built-in elasticity. You will also need to account for greater CPU and GPU utilization resulting from the increased number of keyframes. This requires careful planning for load balancing, with the understanding that increased computing and caching overhead incurs a higher cost of operation.

Lastly, as chunk sizes are smaller, the overall quality of the video playback can be impacted. This may result into either not being able to deliver full 4K video to the player, or small playback glitches with an increased risk of packet loss. Essentially, as you increase the number of bits (markers on the chunks), you require more processing power to provide smooth playback; without it, you get packet loss and interruptions.

A- In Wowza Streaming Engine Manager, click the Applications tab and then click live in the contents panel.

On the details page Properties tab, click Cupertino Streaming Packetizer in the Quick Links bar.

In the Cupertino Streaming Packetizer area, click Edit, and change the values for the following properties:

1- cupertinoChunkDurationTarget- Set the duration of each chunk in milliseconds. The default value is 10000, but the chunkDurationTarget must be smaller to reduce the latency of Apple HLS streams. For a one-second chunk size, set the value to 1000.

2- cupertinoMaxChunkCount- Sets the maximum number of chunks Wowza Streaming Engine stores in the available chunk list. The default value is 10, but for reduced latency streaming we recommend storing 50 seconds worth of chunks. For one-second chunks, set the cupertinoMaxChunkCount to 50; if you’re using half-second chunks, the value should be doubled (100).

3- cupertinoPlaylistChunkCount- Sets the number of items returned to the player in the playlist. The default value is 3, but for reduced latency streaming we recommend returning 12 seconds of data to the player. This prevents the loss of chunks between chunklist requests. For one-second chunks, set the cupertinoPlaylistChunkCount to 12; if you’re using half-second chunks, the value should be doubled (24).

ClickSave.

B- On the Properties tab, click Customin the Quick Links bar.

In the Custom area, click Edit.

Click Add Custom Property, specify the following custom property settings in the Add Custom Property dialog box, and then click Add:

1- In Path, select /Root/Application/LiveStreamPacketizer.

2- In Name, enter cupertinoMinPlaylistChunkCount.

3- In Type, select Integer.

4- In Value, specify the minimum number of chunks required before Wowza Streaming Engine provides a playlist to the player. The default value is 1, but for reduced latency streaming we recommend requiring a minimum of 6 seconds worth of chunks. For one-second chunks, set the cupertinoMinPlaylistChunkCount to 6; if you’re using half-second chunks, the value should be doubled (12).

Click Save and restart the application to apply the changes.

Done, try now. Or just contact Hosting Marketers and order our RTMP Wowza with our shared hosting Wowza Engine.

RTMP Servers

Real-Time Messaging Protocol or RTMP was developed originally by Macromedia, which then became Adobe. It was a system to implement streaming of video, text and audio over the internet between a flash player and a server with the RTMP setup.

Using fragments between the server and the user, it maintains a stable connection and because of that it has low latency, meaning that there is a very short delay, between the server and the user. The delay is perhaps 1 or 2 seconds.

The RTMP servers available are Adobe Media Server, Red5, Wowza Streaming Engine, Nginx RTMP server and a few more, but this 4 are the most common, although Adobe is very expensive and Red5 is difficult, personally I prefer Wowza RTMP, which has a number of advantages, we will talk about this on another post.

Going back to RTMP, it is a TCP-based protocol which maintains persistent stable connections and allows low-latency communication. To deliver streams smoothly and transmit as much information as possible, it splits streams into fragments, and their size is negotiated dynamically between the client and server.

RTMP servers are ideal for live streaming but also for Ondemand video streaming, it is also a necessary component for live video chats.

RTMP Server, how it works

The server must be setup with a media server, like Adobe or Red5, then the video stream connects to the RTMP installed on the server, the video stream could be a laptop with a software installed, this software is an encoder, there are a number of them, OBS Studio, but the most common is the Adobe, FMLE, which you can download free at http://hosting-marketers.com/flashmedialiveencoder_3.2_wwe_signed.msi (for windows computers, Mac computers you can download directly at Adobe site.)

On the encoder you enter the server RTMP, which would be something like this:

fmle encoder
click on the image to see larger size

rtmp://server_IP/live/stream_name

Then you connect and start the broadcast. this stream will go directly the RTMP server and you can now setup a player for your users, if you using a RTMP player you will need to use a flash player, but using Wowza Streaming Engine on the RTMP server it converts the stream to a HLS protocol which can be used on many other platforms as well, like smartphones and HTML5 Players. Although the HLS has the latency issue because of the flash players end of live it is nearly impossible not to use it. Nowadays, with a good configuration you can reduce the latency to 3 or 4 seconds.

So we have, YOU on your laptop with a camera and an encoder >>> your internet connection and the RTMP Server connection >>> and finally the player on your site broadcasting your live event. Or your video files.

RTMP Hosting, providing red5 rtmp, wowza rtmp AND rtmp server

Hosting Marketers since 2005 have supported red5 hosting and rtmp servers, but now we also added wowza rtmp and adobe media server for rtmp support.

Red5 rtmp although mostly used for flash player is still an integral part of video chat scripts, like for example the famous Visichat, which were developed by gchats, we still support many of our customers using this script, which you can check a demo at https://chat.red5server.com/ just login as a guest.

But for high quality broadcasts wowza rtmp options are much better, with wowza rtmp you can use for live streaming of any live event, with very low latency and reliable stable broadcast, on our tests on a single server we streamed to over 7000 viewers.

rtmp hosting

With our RTMP servers we also support Adobe Media server, if that is the case please contact our customer support for your needs.

Going back to Red5 RTMP and our RTMP hosting we made it easy for our customers to find it easy on our main page at Red5 RTMP . It also shows Wowza RTMP options on the main block. in case you need help don’t hesitate to email us at customer support.

Best high quality for RTMP Wowza server. Order Free test account here.

1 – Wowza Live Streaming for live broadcasts, sport or church events with high quality.

2 – Ondemand Video Streaming, upload your videos with dynamic playlists.

3 – TV Station, upload your videos on a playlist and start a schedule, go live when you need.

4 – Live Camera Re-stream, stream live at any time from an IP camera.

Red5 RTMP

Red5 is mostly used for Flash players, but still great for live streaming on computers with flash. It is a very good option for live video chats. See our Red5 RTMP packages available.

1 – The ability to broadcast live streaming events and ondemand as long as you happy to stream to your users on flash players

2 – Cheaper then other RTMP servers and we include cpanel web hosting for your site.

Wowza Live Streaming

Our wowza live streaming supports live events, sports, church and anything related with a high quality, While ordering you can order which service you need, from

1- Live streaming

2- Ondemand video streaming

3- TV Station withe option to schedule playlists and go live broadcast when ever you need

4- IP Camera re-stream, this great to keep a security camera 24 X 7

Our RTMP works on any encoder from FMLE to wirecast.

And our player is ads-free and Embeddable  on any site.

Wowza Live Streaming works on any platform, from desktops, VLC, Tablets, IPhone, IPad and Android, you can also stream to Facebook or other video platforms, like youtube. If you need any help on this don’t hesitate to contact our engineers.

IP Camera

Addons, as of Wowza Transcoder, Wowza nDVR and extra web space for videos are available at any time.

Before you test order our free demo at https://hosting-marketers.com/customers/cart.php?gid=5

Please see our options at https://hosting-marketers.com/wowza-hosting/

or contact us for a customized sales.

How to setup Roku with Wowza Streaming Engine and Hosting Marketers

You need first to decided what you want to do, live streaming? Video Streaming? then order the appropriate Wowza package at

Wowza Hosting | Wowza Streaming Engine

I suggest you contact us with your requirements, because the bitrate on the packages are not very high and if you going to stream high quality videos you will need higher bitrate, we will customize your package by increasing the bitrate and reducing the number of users allowed.

The formula we use is as below:

package bitrate x viewers allowed = A

A / bitrate requested = new number of viewers

If your wowza package that you want to order is  Wowza 300 you allowed 512kbps.

https://hosting-marketers.com/wowza-hosting/

512 x 300= 153600

Now if you ask for 2000kbps bitrate:

153600 / 2000= 77 viewers

so you will have 2000kbps bitrate and 77 max. viewers.

Now for the instructions how to Stream to Roku using Wowza streaming engine.

So lets say you want to stream videos, you will need to order Ondemand Streaming.  After you order and agree on the bitrate upload a few videos files in MP4 format and slightly below the bitrate allowed. Your HLS URL for any of your videos would be something like this

https://11234566777778.streamlock.net:1937/8XXX/mp4:video.mp4/playlist.m3u8

you will have your HLS URL from your wowza control panel, on it should click on “Media Player” and you will have on the left a player and on the right the code for the player, copy it to a notepad and find on it the “sourceURL” that will be it for the sample file. replace the sample file with the name of your uploaded video.  For instructions on setting up the ondemand streaming check the tutorial here.

Now lets go  basic instructions for packaging and uploading your application and creating a private channel on a Roku set-top box to stream videos from our Wowza to the Roku device.

Notes:

  • You may need to configure your stream as a multi-bitrate stream as outlined in How to create Apple App Store compliant streams (audio only rendition).
  • If you experience playback problems, see How to switch between absolute and relative URLs in Apple https Live Streaming playlists. This article describes how to switch back to using absolute paths for iOS playlists. This has been fixed in recent Roku firmware updates.
  • If your stream only uses AC3 surround sound audio, set the Roku Audio mode (found in Settings > Audio > Audio) to Auto. If Audio is set to Stereo and the stream only contains AC3 audio, users unable to playback surround sound will not hear audio in the stream. Viewers can identify if their HDMI device can decode Dolby Digital AC3 surround sound by looking for a (DD) or (DD+) label next to the Autosetting. To increase accessibility of your stream, make sure you have both stereo and surround sound audio tracks in your stream.

 

  • Setting up the Roku device and Roku SDK

    1. Get your Roku running and associate it with an online Roku account.
    2. In your online account, sign up for the developer program, and then download the Roku SDK (Software Development Kit) and unzip RokuSDK.zip.
    3. Navigate to the Packaging Your Application section of the Roku SDK documentation, and then follow the instructions to set up a DevID and Password. These credentials are used when packaging your application before uploading to a channel.
    4. Unzip the RokuSDK/examples/zips/simplevideoplayer.zip example and edit the simplevideoplayer/source/appMain.brs file as follows:
      1. Comment out the following lines using an apostrophe () character:
        'urls = ["https://video.ted.com/talks/podcast/CraigVenter_2008_480.mp4"]
        'qualities = ["HD"]
        'StreamFormat = "mp4"
        'title = "Craig Venter Synthetic Life"
        'srt = "file://pkg:/source/craigventer.srt"
      2. Uncomment and modify the following lines so that the urls line matches the one below:
        ' a test stream from Wowza
        urls = ["https://11234566777778.streamlock.net:1937/8XXX/mp4:video.mp4/playlist.m3u8"]
        qualities = ["SD"]
        streamformat = "hls"
        title = "my video file"
        srt = ""
        Note: To play your own content, change the urls value to the playlist URL of your content.
    5. Select all files in the simplevideoplayer folder and compress these files (not the folder itself) into a zip file to upload to the Roku box.
    6. Follow the Run the package Utility instructions in the Packaging Your Application section of the Roku SDK documentation to upload your package zip file and register your application to the Roku player. After successfully uploading the application to the Roku box, the application will show up as a channel.

    After completing these steps, a prompt to run your application appears on your Roku box. After the application is running, you can refer to the Roku SDK documentation for information on how to set up a private channel and make it accessible to users to subscribe.