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 What Protocols Is Proper for Your Workflow: Ingest
November 27, 2021

What Protocols Is Proper for Your Workflow: Ingest

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Reside streaming workflows can fluctuate immensely, however six key steps are sometimes concerned:

  1. Capturing the stream with a digicam or sensible machine.
  2. Compressing the video and audio knowledge utilizing an encoder.
  3. Ingesting that content material right into a streaming platform like Wowza for processing.
  4. Transcoding and packaging the stream into its last format and protocol.
  5. Delivering the reside stream throughout the web (usually utilizing a content material supply community).
  6. Enjoying the content material again on end-user gadgets.

This weblog’s focus will likely be steps two and three, the place content material distributors should select a protocol for first-mile contribution or ingest. Ingest describes the know-how used to move video information from the encoder to the streaming media server.

Not like on the last-mile supply portion of a streaming workflow, ingest protocols don’t should be supported by end-user gadgets. As a substitute, broadcasters usually choose an ingest protocol primarily based on pace and encoder assist. 

It’s because the media server is usually used to transcode and transmux the stream for adaptive bitrate supply to a a lot wider vary of gadgets. By letting the media server do the heavy lifting, broadcasters can preserve issues easy on the encoding step. 



The most well-liked protocol for ingest is the Actual-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). However that’s not essentially as a result of it’s one of the best. Moderately, RTMP is nicely supported on the ingest facet by encoders and media servers. For that purpose, many broadcasters select to compress their stream utilizing an RTMP encoder after which repackage it into an HTTP-based format.

In our 2021 Video Streaming Latency Report, 76.6% of broadcasters indicated that they use RTMP for video contribution, adopted by 24.74% leveraging WebRTC, and 21.13% streaming with SRT.


Which streaming codecs are you at the moment utilizing for ingest?

On this weblog, we’ll check out the most typical protocols used for ingest and concerns when figuring out which protocol is finest to your workflow.  Whether or not you’re reevaluating your present workflow or seeking to slim down your choices, the knowledge beneath is certain to assist.



RTMP ensures environment friendly video contribution however has disappeared from the publishing finish of most streaming workflows as a result of dying of Flash. Many content material producers encode their low-latency video streams utilizing RTMP, after which repackage the stream right into a extra playback-friendly different as soon as it reaches the media server. Utilizing a mixture of RTMP and HTTP applied sciences like HLS and DASH helps maximize compatibility with out pushing latency too excessive.


  • Low latency and nicely established.
  • Supported by most encoders and media servers.
  • Required by many social media platforms.


  • RTMP has basically died on the playback facet and thus is now not an end-to-end know-how.
  • As a legacy protocol, RTMP ingest will doubtless get replaced by extra trendy, open-source alternate options like SRT and WebRTC.

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One other old-school know-how for video contribution, the Actual-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) facilitates low-latency streaming in lots of surveillance and closed-circuit tv (CCTV) architectures. As with RTMP, most workflows utilizing RTSP will leverage a media server to ingest the stream and repackage for supply to viewing gadgets.


  • Ubiquitous in IP cameras and thus is frequent in surveillance workflows.


  • RTSP comes with most of the similar limitations as RTMP, in that it’s a legacy protocol that’s slowly dying.
  • Not often used finish to finish because it’s not supported by Android or iOS gadgets.
  • Not as broadly supported by encoders as RTMP.

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Safe Dependable Transport (SRT) is an open-source know-how designed for dependable and low-latency streaming over unpredictable public networks. It competes straight with RTMP and RTSP as a first-mile resolution however remains to be being adopted as encoders, decoders, and gamers add assist. One interactive use case that SRT proved instrumental for in 2020 was the primary digital NFL draft — guaranteeing high-quality streaming and operational flexibility from anyplace with an web connection.


  • An open-source different to proprietary protocols.
  • Excessive-quality and low latency.
  • Designed for reside video transmission throughout unpredictable public networks.
  • Accounts for packet loss and jitter.


  • Not natively supported by all encoders.
  • Nonetheless being adopted by encoders and servers
  • Not broadly supported for playback.

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Because the speediest know-how out there, Internet Actual-Time Communication (WebRTC) delivers near-instantaneous voice and video streaming to and from any main browser. The framework was designed for pure chat-based functions however is now discovering its manner into extra numerous use instances.

Previously, WebRTC was restricted to browser-based publishing, however streaming distributors are working to eradicate this impediment. One know-how known as the WebRTC HTTP Ingest Protocol (WHIP) gives encoding software program and {hardware} with a typical signaling protocol when speaking to media servers, thus eradicating WebRTC connectivity boundaries between encoders and media servers. At Wowza, WebRTC is the underlying know-how powering our Actual-Time Streaming at Scale characteristic for Wowza Streaming Cloud, and we’re constructing WHIP assist into our future OBS implementation for the characteristic.


Workflow: Actual-Time Streaming at Scale


  • Simple, browser-based contribution.
  • Low latency and helps interactivity at 500-millisecond supply.
  • Can be utilized end-to-end for some use instances.


  • For broadcast workflows that require fine-tune management over encoding settings (together with bitrate, codecs, and codec parameters), WebRTC encoding and ingest is just not but broadly supported throughout distributors.

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HLS is an adaptive HTTP-based protocol mostly used for transporting video and audio knowledge from media servers to viewers’ screens. It isn’t best as an ingest format. That mentioned, we sometimes see HLS used when somebody must redistribute an current feed. Utilizing HLS finish to finish (for each ingest and supply) would possibly appear to be a easy method — however we’d suggest avoiding it for a number of causes. 


  • Means that you can seize an current feed and redistribute it. 


  • Larger latency.
  • Not optimized for transporting video throughout an unpredictable community.
  • HLS ingest may consequence within the packets getting out of order.
  • There aren’t a ton of encoders that assist HLS ingest streaming.

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Concerns When Choosing a Protocol for Ingest

Wowza helps all of the ingest codecs detailed above, that means that it’s in the end as much as you. However we’d counsel asking the next questions to assist slim down your choices. 


Are you streaming on to a social media platform?

In that case, RTMP is your finest wager. Most encoders can transmit RTMP, and most social media gamers (Fb, YouTube, and Twitch) settle for it.


Do you require easy, browser-based publishing?

When simplicity is the secret, and also you’re hoping to skip utilizing an encoder altogether, WebRTC is the best way to go. The protocol means that you can begin streaming in seconds with Wowza Streaming Cloud. Learn how on this video tutorial.


Do that you must transport broadcast-quality content material throughout the general public web?

Solely one of many protocols talked about above was designed to handle distant video contribution challenges: SRT. The cutting-edge know-how additionally achieves that elusive mixture of top of the range and low latency that each reside producer appears to be chasing.


Is real-time interactivity required to your use case?

In case you want true interactivity — we’re speaking sub-one-second video supply for eventualities like emergency response and distant monitoring — then WebRTC suits the invoice. It’s the quickest know-how of the bunch and in addition can be utilized from finish to finish. Our Actual-Time Streaming at Scale characteristic combines the hyper pace of WebRTC with distribution to massive audiences, making it an important choice for any interactive video setting


Are you streaming from an IP digicam?

RTSP stays customary in lots of surveillance and closed-circuit (CCTV) architectures for one purpose: IP cameras generally assist it. However you’ll want a video repackaging resolution to ship the stream to end-user gadgets — and that’s the place Wowza comes into play.


Begin With Wowza

It doesn’t matter what sort of streaming structure you’re attempting to construct, Wowza makes it occur. Our full-service platform can energy any workflow with reliability in addition. We provide protocol flexibility on the ingest facet in addition to on the supply facet — that means you’re in a position to design one of the best streaming resolution to your use case relatively than sticking with one prescriptive workflow.


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About Traci Ruether

As a Colorado-based B2B tech author, Traci Ruether serves as Wowza’s content material advertising supervisor. Her background is in streaming and community infrastructure. Except for writing, Traci enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending high quality time along with her kith and kin. Observe her… View extra

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