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As organizations are becoming increasingly interested in delivering real-time content to their viewers, be it for internal corporate communication or global product launches, live streaming has become more of a necessity than an option. With this increase in growth, organizations are in a constant search of a seamless interface to record, encode, stream and enjoy the smooth streaming of their live webcasts with the ease of a few clicks. This helps them broadcast live sessions and reach their specific target audience with enhanced viewer experience and interactivity.
For this reason, VIDIZMO empowers enterprises to stream live video with ultimate ease, allowing their content to reach an unlimited number of public or private audience or selected users.
Live Streaming encompasses the process of recording video content and delivering it to the end viewers in real-time. This delivery of content goes through the following steps, before the stream can be enjoyed by the end-users.
- First, the stream is captured via a camera device to convert it into a digital format.
- Next, the transcoder/encoder is a hardware device that is used to process those raw data files into playable formats to ensure smooth playback when it is streamed over the network to reach its desired audience.
- Then, the stream is sent to the streaming server which is responsible to broadcast it to multiple channels/worldwide for the viewers to be able to access it. Streaming Servers have to ensure low latency streaming by configuring chunk size while delivering content, managing fast content delivery by deploying an efficient network of server nodes in the CDNs to serve content from the nearest edge possible, and making sure the stream is converted using the right streaming protocol and formats that are compatible with the player.
- The final and the most important aspect of live streaming is a robust live media player, without which it is not possible to deliver your live stream to the end-users. VIDIZMO's powerful HTML5 player has the capability to support live stream playback on a wide range of OTP devices. This also includes various interactivity options while your live session is going on. Learn more about it by going through Interactivity Options in Live Streaming.
Streaming Server Options
VIDIZMO provides the following streaming server options that are integrated with VIDIZMO's live streaming workflow to readily get you streaming. However, you can use any streaming server provider of your choice and configure it using our Portal:
Wowza Streaming Cloud
If you have a large global audience base for your live streaming, Wowza Streaming Cloud will definitely prove to be not only the most viable option, but the best at what it can offer. With its ultra-low latency streaming capabilities and a smooth integration with VIDIZMO's workflow to set up your live stream within seconds, Wowza Streaming Cloud becomes one of the most popular choices of enterprises to live stream their content globally with the flexibility to scale their outreach and accessibility anytime, anywhere.
The steps to integrate with your Wowza Streaming Cloud account using VIDIZMO are clearly explained in the following guide:
- You can easily set up a Wowza Streaming Cloud ECDN node using VIDIZMO Portal, to be able to use this node as a Publishing Point for Live Streaming.
- And the final step of the process would be to create a Publishing Point of the same node to enable it to broadcast your live stream globally within seconds of setup.
Wowza Streaming Engine
If you have an on-premise deployment model with a need to reach a specific audience over intranet/ethernet/WAN using your own CDN network, then Wowza Streaming Engine serves as a powerful stand-alone streaming server that transcodes your stream and broadcasts it over IP networks to a wide range of devices for playback including laptop, desktop, mobile and tablet devices, IPTV set-top boxes, internet-connected TV sets, game consoles, and other network-connected devices. Interestingly, Wowza Streaming Engine along with Wowza deployed CDNs can also be used for smooth on-demand delivery of content to a much larger audience.
The steps to integrate with your Wowza Streaming Engine account using VIDIZMO are clearly explained in the following guide:
- You can easily set up a Wowza Streaming Engine ECDN node using VIDIZMO Portal, to be able to use this node as a Publishing Point for Live Streaming.
- And the final step of the process would be to create a Publishing Point of the same node to enable it to broadcast your live stream to your specific audience within seconds of setup.
General Streaming Server
If you wish to set up any other streaming server provider of your choice, our General Streaming Server configuration helps you input your stream name, and playback URLs for a smooth delivery of live stream.
The steps to integrate with your own choice of Streaming Server provider using VIDIZMO are clearly explained in the following guide:
- You can easily set up a General Streaming Server ECDN node using VIDIZMO Portal, to be able to use this node as a Publishing Point for Live Streaming.
- And the final step of the process would be to create a Publishing Point of the same node to enable it to broadcast your live stream to your targeted audience within seconds of setup.
VIDIZMO has made the process of live streaming your content much easier than most video streaming softwares by eliminating the need to separately configure and set up your streaming server. With a built-in integration of VIDIZMO with industry leading streaming software systems like Wowza, pushing your live stream to your desired audience has become a matter of three simple steps.
For demonstration purpose, let's walk you through the process of live streaming using Wowza Streaming Cloud server one step at a time.
1. Configure ECDN Node as Streaming Server
VIDIZMO uses the ECDN (Enterprise Content Delivery Network) to distribute live as well as on-demand video content. VIDIZMO allows organizations configure their own Origin and Edge servers for uninterrupted and fast live or on-demand streaming experience.
For Live Streaming, you can configure Wowza Streaming Cloud streaming servers as ECDN nodes with a few easy steps. Apart from the general settings, you will be required to enter the location from where you would like the content to be served, API Key and Access Key associated with your Wowza Streaming Cloud account. For a more detailed guide, see: How to Configure ECDN Node using Wowza Cloud Streaming Server Provider.
2. Set Up Publishing Point for Live Streaming
A Publishing point refers to the physical location of the streaming server that the live video feed is first delivered to (ingest) via an encoder and the playback URLs the VIDIZMO player uses to playback live stream (egress), effectively hosting the stream for all viewers. A publishing point allows you to fine tune and re-use your Playback URLs for frequent live events.
For Live Streaming, you can set up publishing point on the same node you configured in step 1, using the drop-down menu while creating a publishing point. Apart from the publishing settings, you will be asked if you wish to enable recording upon this publishing point along with additional options for recorded session, aspect ratio of the content, billing mode for your service consumption, broadcast location, and stream encoding and delivery settings. For a more detailed guide, see: How to Set Up Publishing Point for Live Streaming using Wowza Cloud Streaming Server.
3. Push or Pull a Stream
While you set up your publishing point, it is important to enter delivery mode for your stream, which can either be pull or push. By pulling a stream, you specify that the streaming server needs to fetch your stream from a given source URL (where content needs to be publicly accessible). While by pushing a stream, you specify that a stream will be ingested into the publishing point using an encoder software.
In Pull delivery mode, Wowza Streaming Cloud Server will pull your stream from the video source, which you will be asked to define as Source URL while creating Publishing Point.
In Push delivery mode, your configured encoder will push the stream to Wowza Streaming Cloud. To learn more about how to set up your own encoder for pushing stream, see: Setting up Wirecast Encoder for Live Stream.
Schedule Live Webcast
After the configuration process, now you are all set to go live. Schedule your live webcast and define basic settings such as who can access your stream, sharing permissions, when should it go live, what interactivity options would the viewers may have, etc.
To learn more about the options and what they mean, see: Schedule a Live Webcast.
Enjoy Live Session
As soon as you are done keying in the important details, you can sit back and relax while your live session countdown timer begins (depending on when you scheduled it). Your live stream playback page would look something like this:
Manage Live Session
VIDIZMO allows you to have full control over how you want to manage your live stream delivery so that you can tailor the experience for your audience as per demand.
- You may start your session before your scheduled time, or wait for the countdown to end for it to start itself. You may also preview session to see if the stream is being fetched without any trouble to ensure a smooth user experience before going live.
- You may pause/resume your session as per streaming requirements.
- You may as well record parts of your live session and save it as an on-demand video on your portal, more about it is covered in the next section.
Interact during Live Session
During the session, VIDIZMO provides various different functions to engage users better with the ongoing live session. Some of them are:
- You can allow users to provide feedback on the session, favourite it, embed the session on a different web page, etc.
- According to the sharing permissions configured while scheduling the live webcast, you may share it on other social media platforms as well as via email.
- You may also share and advertise your session with various users and groups.
- You can let users interact with each other using chat, as well add other options to keep them posted with the latest news related to the live stream. To learn more about different interactivity options, see: How to Enable and View Interactivity Options in a Live Session.
You can also view the analytics of the live session which explains:
i. Current Live Views denote the number of viewer instances (not necessarily unique) currently engaged in viewing your live stream
ii. Total Unique Viewers indicate the count of unique viewers that have so far engaged in your session (regardless of whether they are still tuned in or not). This count is accumulated.
iii. Similarly, Total Views is also a cumulative count showing you an aggregated value of views that your live stream has received over the span of your live session.
The graph is a representation of how the count of live viewers is fluctuating over time. To learn more about it, click to see: Live Streaming Analytics
Troubleshoot Live Session
Sometimes, the live stream seems to disconnect and have issues in reconnecting. When this happens, make sure to check several configurations and settings which may affect your audience's live streaming experience. To fix these issues, see: Troubleshoot Live Stream Connection Issues.
Save Session via Recording
VIDIZMO allows you to record your live sessions using any of the streaming server providers of your choice, below is an explanation of how the configurations differ for every choice.
Using VIDIZMO and its seamless integration with Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud, now you can record your live broadcast session and save it as an on-demand video to be published and accessed directly from your portal just like any other on-demand content.
However, in case of Wowza Streaming Engine, you will have to define a UNC Network Path as Recording Root Path where you wish to physically store your recorded files, while configuring Wowza Streaming Engine ECDN Node. For more details, see xii point under Wowza Streaming Engine ECDN Configuration.
To learn more about how to retrieve live recording in Wowza Cloud, read Record live streams and transcoders in Wowza Streaming Cloud, and for Wowza Streaming Engine, read Record live streams in Wowza Streaming Engine.
In case you do not opt for Wowza Streaming Servers, you can still opt for server-side recording using a streaming server provider of your choice. For General Streaming Servers where you provide the configuration details from your provider, you must manually configure your streaming server to record the live streams and publish/upload them to VIDIZMO. Additionally, you can also perform client-side recording by enabling live encoder to record your streams. This can be done through Wirecast by following the steps given at Record to Disk. In case of client-side recording, you need to make sure that you have enough disk space and RAM to record your live sessions. It is better to opt for server-side recording unless your streaming provider does not support it, in which case you may use your live encoder for recording the stream.
Now the question arises, what will be saved when you record a specific duration of a live session:
- Any Quiz/Survey or handout published during that period shall be saved in the recorded session, given that they were not unpublished later on.
- Chat done throughout the session
- When you pause the session during a live session, you essentially control what the end-users see, however that portion of the live session is included in the recording irrespectively if the recording is enabled at the time.
Below are some easy steps to record your live session using Wowza Streaming endpoints (On-premise/Cloud) and publish it on your portal:
Now, during your live session, you will see a button at your bottom left indicating Start Recorder. Clicking that option, your recording will be started and the button will change to Stop Recorder. You can start and stop recording at multiple points within a live session, this is to enable you to record specific parts of the live session as per demand.
Save and Publish Recording
Eventually, when you stop the session, you will be asked for more options regarding your recorded session:
- During a live session, you can record specific parts of it using start and stop recorder option. Due to this reason, the system maintains separate files for all such recordings. Concatenate Recorded files check will help you determine if you want to combine all chunks into a single file or let them remain separate recordings.
- Enabling Publish Recording shall publish recorded session(s) as Video-On-Demand on the portal with default media settings. If you unselect the above option, that is if you do not choose to concatenate recorded files into a single file, then only the last recorded file shall be published on the portal as on-demand video.
- Purge recorded files gives you the option to delete recorded file(s) of the session in your content storage after processing and publishing (if selected) it on the portal. If unchecked, it shall preserve all recorded file(s). However, it is recommended to purge recorded files, read further below.
Note: Please note that your recorded files are saved with respect to the publishing point against which the live stream was pushed. This entails that if you do not purge recorded files for a session, when you record another session using the same publishing point, then all of the above three options shall apply on all recordings saved previously against this publishing point. For example, concatenation shall stitch all recordings from this session as well as previous sessions held using this publishing point. Hence, it is highly recommended to purge recorded files (or permanently move them elsewhere), if you wish to reuse a publishing point for another live session.
Similarly, if you do not purge recorded files for one session and record another live session without checking 'Concatenate recorded files', then the next recorded session will be overridden by the first one - essentially losing your current recording.
To learn more about how you can set up your live stream using different Streaming Servers, see: