Introduction to RTMP to HLS Live Streaming

RTMP to HLS live streaming

In the dynamic world of digital broadcasting, the transition from Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) represents a significant evolution in how content is delivered to audiences. This article delves into the process and technology behind RTMP to HLS live streaming, exploring its benefits, challenges, and practical applications in modern media environments.

Understanding RTMP and HLS

RTMP has been the standard for live streaming for years, known for its low-latency communication capabilities which make it ideal for interactive applications such as live sports, concerts, and gaming. However, RTMP’s reliance on Flash player for playback on browsers has become a limitation due to the declining support for Flash.

HLS, on the other hand, was developed by Apple as a part of its iPhone software package and has gained immense popularity. It works by breaking the live stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads, each containing one short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As a result, HLS is highly compatible with a wide range of devices including desktops, mobile phones, and smart TVs.

Why Migrate from RTMP to HLS?

**1. Compatibility and Reach: HLS is universally supported across all modern browsers and devices without the need for additional plugins or players, unlike RTMP which requires Flash.

**2. Adaptive Bitrate Streaming: HLS supports adaptive bitrate streaming, which adjusts the video quality in real-time based on the viewer’s bandwidth, ensuring a smooth viewing experience.

**3. Improved Security: HLS provides enhanced security features, such as tokenized access and encryption, which protect the stream from unauthorized access and piracy.

**4. Better Buffering: HLS streams are less prone to buffering issues, making them more resilient over fluctuating network conditions.

How to Convert RTMP to HLS

Converting RTMP streams to HLS involves a process called transcoding, which can be implemented using various software solutions and services. Here’s a general overview:

1. Capture and Send: The live video feed is captured from the source and sent to a media server using RTMP.

2. Transcode: The media server transcodes the RTMP stream into HLS format. This involves re-encoding the video to fit HLS specifications and splitting it into short, downloadable segments.

3. Distribute: The HLS segments are then made available on a web server where they can be requested over HTTP by an HLS-compatible player.

4. Play: The end-user’s device requests these segments from the server, and the player reassembles the segments to play the stream almost in real time.

Tools and Technologies for RTMP to HLS Conversion

Several technologies facilitate the RTMP to HLS conversion, including:

  • Media Servers: Solutions like Wowza Streaming Engine, Red5 Pro, and Nimble Streamer can ingest RTMP feeds and convert them to HLS for delivery.
  • Cloud Services: Cloud-based platforms such as AWS MediaLive offer managed services to handle live stream transcoding from RTMP to HLS seamlessly.
  • Software Encoders: Software like OBS Studio can be configured to output HLS directly, although it might still require a server to manage the playlist and segment files.

Challenges and Considerations

While converting RTMP to HLS offers numerous benefits, it comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Latency: HLS inherently has higher latency than RTMP, which might be an issue for ultra-low-latency applications.
  • Resource Intensity: Transcoding from RTMP to HLS is computationally intensive and requires robust server capabilities, especially for high-resolution streams.
  • Cost: Running media servers or using cloud services for transcoding can lead to higher operational costs.


The transition from RTMP to HLS is an essential move for broadcasters aiming to reach a broader audience with enhanced viewing experiences. Although there are challenges in adapting to this new standard, the long-term benefits in terms of compatibility, user experience, and scalability make HLS an indispensable format in today’s streaming landscape. By understanding the technologies and strategies involved in this conversion, content providers can ensure they are well-equipped to meet the demands of modern viewers.

red5 news and red5 servers

Red5 is a media server created with Java language. It is a free open source software but recently a new version Red5 Pro came out developed by the same people, this new version supports streaming to mobiles, Android or iOS, which red5 does not. The Red5 Pro is commercial product and costs $55 per server.

A media server allows Flash based applications connect to it using Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). The server can send and receive data to and from the connected users who have a flash player installed. The server also allows users to receive and publish streams. This permits video chat applications, live streaming and even ondemand video streaming.

Most common Video chat software’s are:
1- Avchat
2- Videowhisper
3- Prochatrooms
4- Gchats

For live streaming the necessary tool if you already have a server with red5 installed is an encoder, an encoder is the software that will connect your computer to the red5 server using the RTMP, which your server provider will give you.
1- FMLE, it is an free Adobe product and does a good job.
2- Wirecast, it is an expensive commercial product of very high quality, absolutely necessary if you starting a TV station.

Although red5 is a free product many people prefer to use Wowza Streaming Engine or Adobe Flash Media Server which are commercial software’s and can be quite expensive, the FMS costs $4500 per server. The reason is that the developers of red5 although have created a wonderful system did not spend much time with tutorials and instructions on how to install and manage a red5 server, for this reason if you searching for a red5 server we suggest you pick a web host which specializes on red5 servers and red5 shared hosting.

1- Red5 Servers relatively cheap red5 servers starting at $15 a month.
2- Red5 Hosting, Hosting Marketers, a web host for experienced webmasters, it is the oldest hosting company specialized on Video and media servers, they also offer Wowza Streaming Engine on its shared plans. They have a very experienced customer support and a reputation for going out of their way to help customers. They starting plan with Red5 enabled costs $9.95 a month. Most other red5 hosting companies are resellers of Hosting Marketers.

Red5 is a formidable media server, extremely flexible and has the advantage of being a free product with with many people working on developing it, for now the main version does not yet work with mobiles, if that is what you need we suggest that instead of using the Red5 Pro version to use the Wowza instead.

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Promote Videos Through Wowza Hosting

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Today’s generations are living in the era of computers and internet. There are decidedly fewer dependencies on the conventional sources of information now than that used in older days. People are using internet now days more and more for getting the information on every topic. Lots of websites are offering people interactive ways of getting information. People are also dependent on these websites to make the information daily. They are using the websites not to get information on some contents only but. There are many other things that can be done by the using of the internet.

There are lots of facilities that are being provided by the internet. More and more websites are developing rapidly. The use of conventional sources of entertainment is almost ended. Internet today is the king of entertainment. The best use of the internet is done for the exchange of media content. There are thousands of media companies that are producing millions of media files daily. The use of media content on the web is done mostly than any other things. There are many media servers that are present over the internet today.

You can get several media content from these media servers. However, this must be noticed that there are only few such media servers that provide you instant media on–demand. This is the one best feature of wowza. Wowza is a media server that offers vast media space. This is a web hosting site also. It provides space to your media content for publishing over the internet. There are lots of other media servers also. However, the features of wowza hosting make this web host unique among them. Several features are provided by the website. The hosting is the main feature. There is tons of space that is available for the media content. You can upload your media content, and broadcast them by the use of wowza servers easily.

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Hosting Marketers has started offering on all its hosting plans including hybrid servers wowza hosting. Wowza has the advantage of red5 that it can stream to Apple devices, iphones and iPads.

Stream Types

In Wowza Media Server 3, MediaStreams represent an incoming or outgoing stream of video, audio or metadata. Wowza Server provides a mechanism for defining custom server-side MediaStream implementations or stream types. These stream types are configured using the Streams/StreamType property in the Application.xml file. The following table lists the more commonly used stream types and their intended use (for a complete list, consult the User’s Guide):

  • default: Video on demand streaming of static Flash media, H.264/AAC and MP3 content
  • record: Video recording
  • live: Publish and play live video content (best for one-to-many streaming of live events)
  • live-lowlatency: Publish and play live video content (best for one-to-one or one-to-few video/audio chat applications)
  • live-record: Same as live plus content will be recorded
  • shoutcast: Audio re-streaming of a SHOUTcast/Icecast MP3 or AAC+ audio stream
  • shoutcast-record: Same as shoutcast plus content will be recorded
  • liverepeater-origin: Origin stream type used by live stream repeater to deliver a single streaming using origin/edge configuration
  • liverepeater-edge: Edge stream type used by live stream repeater to deliver a single stream using origin/edge configuration
  • rtp-live: Re-streaming of an RTSP/RTP, native RTP or MPEG-TS stream
  • rtp-live-record: Same as rtp-live plus content will be recorded


Supported Media

Wowza Media Server 3 supports the following media file formats: FLV (Flash Video), MP4 (QuickTime container) and MP3 content (see table below for common file extensions). To play video on demand content, the proper prefix must be prepended to the file name to create a stream name. For example to play the MP4 file use the stream name The following table lists the more common file type prefixes (for a complete list consult the User’s Guide):

  • flv: FLV (Flash Video – this is the default media type so the qualifier and the file extension can be omitted)

    Example: “flv:mycoolvideo.flv”

  • mp4: MP4 (QuickTime container – .mp4, .f4v, .mov, .m4v, .mp4a, .3gp, and .3g2)

    Example: “”

  • mp3: MP3 (.mp3)

    Example: “mp3:mycoolsong.mp3”

  • smil: SMIL (XML files used to configure multi-bitrate streams – .smil)

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