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 What Protocol Is Proper for Your Workflow: Supply
December 19, 2021

What Protocol Is Proper for Your Workflow: Supply

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Final week’s submit checked out selecting the correct protocol for dwell streaming ingest. So right now, we’re zeroing in on the alternative finish of the dwell streaming workflow: supply.

A unique protocol is commonly used for ingest and supply to hurry up the journey from digicam display screen to end-user system — whereas additionally optimizing the viewing expertise. That’s why content material distributors use a media server software program or service to transform the dwell feed from one protocol to a different.

Whereas choosing a protocol for first-mile contribution (a.ok.a. ingest) revolves round velocity and encoder help, a number of various factors come into play when selecting a protocol for last-mile supply.

These concerns embrace:

  • Playback help throughout browsers, gadgets, and gamers.
  • High quality of expertise, together with the flexibility to ship adaptive bitrate streaming.
  • Video latency and whether or not or not interactivity is required.
  • Scalability, or the capability to broadcast to 1000’s of viewers concurrently.
  • Broadcast capabilities like advert insertion and digital rights administration (DRM).

The preferred protocol used for supply is Apple HTTP Dwell Streaming (HLS). In truth, in line with our 2021 Video Streaming Latency Report, greater than 70% of broadcasters use it.

Which streaming codecs are you presently utilizing for supply?

And this is sensible. In any case, it’s probably the most broadly accepted protocol within the video streaming area. However that doesn’t imply that it’s not value contemplating the options.

Let’s discover the first contenders and why you may resolve to take a distinct route.



HLS is an adaptive HTTP-based protocol used for last-mile supply. By advantage of being each nicely supported throughout gadgets and optimized for adaptive bitrate supply through a content material supply community (CDN), It’s tremendous scalable. One main pitfall of HLS, although, is latency. When configured per Apple’s suggestions, HLS streams lag roughly 30 seconds behind a dwell occasion.


  • Broadly supported and tremendous scalable.
  • Ensures high-quality viewing experiences because of adaptive bitrate streaming.
  • Broadcast capabilities like advert insertion and captions are all standardized inside the spec.
  • Sturdy content material safety options, together with digital rights administration (DRM).


  • Standard implementations include vital latency.

Be taught Extra

Low-Latency HLS

To deal with the latency challenges surrounding HLS supply, Apple launched Low-Latency HLS in 2019. The proprietary protocol guarantees to ship sub-three-second streams globally for playback on common gadgets — whereas additionally providing backward compatibility to present shoppers. Massive-scale deployments of Low-Latency HLS are but to turn out to be commonplace, and plenty of streaming distributors are nonetheless including help.


  • All the advantages of HLS — with lightning-fast supply as well.
  • Superb for interactive dwell streaming at scale.


  • As an rising spec, distributors are nonetheless implementing help.

Be taught Extra


MPEG-DASH is HLS’s non-proprietary cousin, providing the identical CDN scalability and high-quality playback. It’s additionally codec-agnostic and vendor-independent. That mentioned, iOS and Apple TV don’t help DASH, making it a troublesome promote for anybody streaming to Apple gadgets.


  • Scalable throughout a CDN.
  • Delivers a high-quality viewing expertise with adaptive bitrate streaming.
  • Vendor-independent and codec-agnostic.
  • Broadcast capabilities like advert insertion and captions are standardized inside the spec.
  • Sturdy content material safety options, together with digital rights administration (DRM).


  • Doesn’t play again on as many gadgets as HLS as a result of Apple doesn’t help it.
  • Additionally comes with latency when streamed in typical format.

Be taught Extra

Low-Latency CMAF for DASH

Low-latency CMAF for DASH is one other rising know-how for rushing up HTTP-based video supply. Though it’s nonetheless in its infancy, the know-how exhibits promise in delivering superfast video at scale. Help for this protocol will take a while, and Low-Latency HLS will possible be adopted sooner.


  • All the advantages of MPEG-DASH plus low-latency supply.


  • Doesn’t play again on as many gadgets as HLS as a result of Apple doesn’t help it.
  • Nonetheless an rising know-how that’s but to be championed by many distributors.

Be taught Extra


Internet Actual-Time Communication (WebRTC) delivers near-instantaneous streaming to and from any main browser. The know-how was designed for video conferencing and thus helps sub-500-millisecond latency. Whereas it’s the speediest protocol on the market, scaling to greater than 50 concurrent peer connections requires further sources.

Fortunately, we designed Actual-Time Streaming at Scale for Wowza Streaming Cloud to beat this limitation. The brand new function deploys WebRTC throughout a customized CDN to help interactive streaming to one million viewers.


Workflow: Actual-Time Streaming at Scale



  • Can be utilized end-to-end.
  • Actual-time supply for interactive use circumstances.
  • Natively supported in all main desktop browsers.


  • WebRTC helps simulcast reasonably than adaptive bitrate supply.
  • Tough to scale with no answer like Actual-Time Streaming at Scale.
  • Not appropriate with DRM suppliers.

Be taught Extra

Concerns When Deciding on a Protocol for Supply

Wowza helps all the egress codecs detailed above, that means that it’s finally as much as you. However we’d recommend asking the next questions to assist slim down your choices. 


Are you streaming broadcast-quality content material to Apple gadgets?

When delivering streams for native playback on iOS and Apple TV, you’re going to need to go along with HLS or Low-Latency HLS.


Is real-time interactivity required to your use case?

If you happen to want true interactivity — we’re speaking sub-second video supply for eventualities like emergency response and dwell auctions — then WebRTC matches the invoice. It’s the quickest know-how of the bunch and in addition can be utilized from finish to finish. Low-Latency HLS and low-latency CMAF for DASH are additionally good choices, however full-blown implementations of those rising applied sciences haven’t but been deployed.


Do you want subtle content material safety?

WebRTC lacks DRM capabilities and normal out-of-the-box safety measures for broadcasting workflows. So, you’ll need to go for an HTTP-based protocol like MPEG-DASH or HLS to fulfill these necessities.


When to Go With a Hybrid Workflow

Hybrid workflows, which mix greater than one of many supply protocols above, are quite common. As an illustration, a content material distributor may select to realize each real-time interactivity and scale by distributing the stream utilizing WebRTC and HLS.

As one instance, the emergency 911 service Carbyne leverages Wowza’s WebRTC capabilities to help sub-500 millisecond video supply from just about any related system. This ensures two-way video chat between residents and call-takers. From there, Wowza Streaming Engine repackages the feed into the HLS protocol for broad distribution to paramedics, legislation enforcement officers, hospitals, and different stakeholders.

Watch the video under to be taught extra.


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Begin With Wowza

It doesn’t matter what kind of streaming structure you’re attempting to construct, Wowza makes it occur. Our full-service platform can energy any workflow with reliability as well. We provide protocol flexibility on the ingest facet in addition to supply — that means you’re in a position to design the perfect streaming answer to your use case reasonably 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. Other than writing, Traci enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending high quality time together with her kith and kin. Comply with her… View extra

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