Radiant Media Player

Live Video Streaming Guide



Introduction

Live video streaming is booming on the web and we thus provide this guide to help you get the best out of Radiant Media Player for your live events.

Making a live video event a success is tough even with state of the art equipment and know-how. There are just too many variables we do not have control over: network connection, transcoder restarts, poor audio and so on. So let us try to make proper live video streaming happen :)


The set up

So what do we need for streaming live video content?

  • A capturing device: from professional camcorders to webcams we need audio and video so we can cast them to the world.
  • An encoder/transcoder: most of the time we get a raw stream of audio and video from the capture point. We need to make it uploadable so we can send it to a remote audience. There are many encoders/transcoders on the market, either software or hardware with various level of features. The key here is to work with a tool you know and are comfortable with. No time for improvisation during a live event.
  • Package your content for adaptive bitrate streaming: either your transcoder would have produced a format compatible for delivery (like DASH or HLS) or you can use a streaming server to package your content for delivery. Wowza or Nimble streamer can help you with that last part.
  • Go for the cloud: if you expect a high traffic or are aiming for global delivery you should use a content delivery network (CDN) to provide support for more concurrent viewers.
  • A player: eventually you need a player to display your audio/video content to your viewers. Radiant Media Player can help you with that part!

Adaptive bitrate streaming for live video content

Be it with HLS or DASH it is highly recommended you use an adaptive bitrate streaming technology to deliver your live content. Here is an example of settings we know are working well in most case scenario for live video streaming. We assume here a video input with a 16:9 ratio.

  • Keyframe: 1 per second
  • Lowest rendition: 640x360 H.264 video at 500 kbps with AAC audio at 128 kbps
  • Medium rendition: 960x540 H.264 video at 1500 kbps with AAC audio at 128 kbps
  • Higher rendition: 1280x720 H.264 video at 2500 kbps with AAC audio at 128 kbps
  • Highest rendition (optional): 1920x1080 H.264 video at 5000 kbps with AAC audio at 128 kbps

H.264 Main profile is recommended for a larger reach. You should not go over H.264 level 4.* - unless you are streaming 4K content - as some older devices have issues playing back H.264 Level 5+ encoded content.

One of your main issue for your live event is probably going be your uplink connection. Upload bandwidth will most likely be limited and/or expensive. You will need to adapt to your environment and tweak your settings so it can work for your - most of the time unique - situation. Remember that when you upload a stream at 1500 kbps you need at least 2000 kbps of upload bandwidth to account for variation in the encoding bitrates and network overhead (sending/receiving signaling packets).

At Radiant Media Player we support adaptive bitrate streaming for live video in HLS or DASH to a wide range of devices including mobile devices.


Radiant Media Player live video streaming support

See player code examples for live/DVR streaming on our Live and DVR streaming documentation page.

Our recommendation:

You can either use an HLS-everywhere approach or a combination of DASH and HLS. DASH is a new format for delivering media content to modern devices and HLS is required to reach iOS and macOS devices.

Refer to our compatibility table to see where HLS & DASH are supported with Radiant Media Player.

If you are streaming live video content through Wowza Streaming Engine refer to our Wowza guide.

DVR streaming:

You can also go for DVR streaming to provide your audience with increased interactivity. Radiant Media Player supports DVR streaming to HLS with a dedicated UI to easily navigate into a DVR stream.
To do DVR streaming you will need an appropriate streaming server to hold the DVR content. Wowza nDVR is just an example of a streaming server module that works well with Radiant Media Player.

Test and once done re-test:

A successful live video event is made of careful planning and testing. If you have a doubt on something within your live streaming chain - don't leave it be - double check it and fix it if needs be. Having a back-up plan is also recommended for business-critical use-cases.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.