September 21, 2017

Two-factor authentication in WMSPanel

Softvelum team is continuously improving the security and reliability of our products. As one of the steps, we now add two-factor authentication for accessing WMSPanel. Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) is a method of confirming a user's claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different components.

In case of WMSPanel this means using user/password pair and then generate access code using your mobile device. So when you log into your account, you'll need to enter login information and then use your Android or iOS device to create 6-digit code and provide it to WMSPanel.

Here's how you can use this new security measure.

September 8, 2017

ABR live streaming setup

Nimble Streamer has wide Live streaming feature set which includes receiving streams via various protocols and generating output streams. Each stream can be transported via several protocols simultaneously, like HLS, MPEG-DASH, RTMP, SLDP, SRT etc.

Some protocols - HLS, MPEG-DASH and SLDP - support adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) which allows a player to switch between streams with different bandwidth in case if networks conditions change over time. WMSPanel control web-service allows setting ABR for those protocols at Nimble Streamer using both pre-defined set of streams and wildcard pattern. Let's see how this can be done in our web UI.

Prepare streams 


Adaptive-bitrate stream is formed from a number of single-bitrate streams. Which means that you need to have at least two of those single-bitrate streams in order to make ABR.

Nimble supports a variety of protocols and they all have their outgoing streams setup specifics. E.g. if you use RTMP or RTSP, once you get incoming stream, you will get outgoing streams of the same name. For MPEG-TS, SRT and UDT, you need to define the outgoing streams directly as one channel may contain multiple streams. Check respective articles for setup details of outgoing streams.

Also notice that you can use Live Transcoder to create different resolution and bitrate streams from a single stream.

Once you have some streams to make ABR from, you can proceed with setup.

Go to Nimble Streamer -> Live Streams menu to open the list of servers.


There you need to look for the server you'd like to add new ABR stream for. Now either click on respective number of streams in "ABR streams" column or click on server name and chooso Adaptive stream on the opened page - those actions open the same page shown below.


At this page you can click on Add ABR setting to open the setting dialog for a new ABR stream. Both pre-defined and wildcard ABR are created in the same dialog.

Create ABR with pre-defined streams


In this picture you see typical ABR stream being set up.

New ABR setting dialog for predefined streams

ABR application name and ABR stream name fields allow setting the names which will later be used for playback URL - see the last section.

Source application name and Source stream name fields allow specifying which existing streams need to be used as part of ABR. As you type the name you will get suggestions from available streams. Bandwidth value will be used in a playlist by your player. If you select Audio only for a stream, it will not stream video, only audio part.

Advanced settings will open a drop-down list which will allow defining the sorting option for the streams in the result playlist.

You can see the list of servers in the bottom of the dialog which you can select. Current ABR setting will apply to those servers which you select by the check boxes

After clicking on Save button your settings to be synced with each selected servers within a few seconds.

Create wildcard ABR


Wildcard ABR is done in a similar way, the fields are the same. The difference is in streams' names.



Leave the stream name blank in ABR stream name field and use {STREAM} placeholder in Source stream name fields. This will allow getting any single-bitrate stream directly by its name.

For example, if you have source streams live/sport_720, live/sport_480 etc. you can access ABR as
http://server/live_wildcard/sport/playlist.m3u8
with respective single-bitrate chunklists as
http://server/live_wildcard/sport_720/chunks.m3u8 
http://server/live_wildcard/sport_480/chunks.m3u8
etc. They will be used by your player for playback.

Please notice that only 1 wildcard ABR setting can be created for 1 application. If you happen to create several ones, only one setting will be used.

Playback


Once the ABR streams are defined you will see them in the list.



Clicking on "?" icon (a question mark) will show a playback dialog where you'll be able to get the stream URL and test the stream in most popular players. You'll also be able to get sample code for those players for further embedding (with your own player licenses if needed).


The player will use full list of available bandwidths to show to the user.


Graceful adaptive bitrate


When the player starts the playback from ABR playlist it may select the stream which is most preferred for your current bandwidth. When the network capability changes, new chunks are started to pick up from the proper sub-playlist. The main playlist is continuously requested again to make sure it has latest changes.

During the playback, the RTMP streams' source may loose some of its incoming streams due to many reasons. A camera may shut down, a failure may appear within the encoder itself or some network may be unavailable for transmission. So one or more incoming streams may become unavailable for ABR streaming.

Nimble Streamer provides graceful handling of cases like that. When respective RTMP stream goes down, it is excluded from outgoing streams list, thus it's excluded from the ABR playlist. So when new player gets playlist the broken stream will not be there.

This behavior means that an end-user will have good user experience with no playback interruption.



When a broken stream gets back online, a player receives its description and starts using it in its workflow.




That's it - you can use this approach to create streams for any supported protocols.


Related documentation


Nimble Streamer, Live streaming feature set, Live Transcoder, ABR control API,

September 3, 2017

Before you post a question to helpdesk

Please notice that we've posted a new page describing common things which need to be checked before posting questions for our team:

Before you post a question to helpdesk


This is an addition to our Terms of service.

You have to follow the described steps before posting any issue reports to our team. If you have any questions regarding this guide, contact us.

August 28, 2017

Splash image, MP3 and other settings of SLDP HTML5 player

Our company keeps improving HTML5 player for our low latency protocol - SLDP. You can find protocol overview in this page and some basic setup and usage described in this article.

We've got some updates for you that might be interesting.

Splash image


You can now define the splash screen image which is shown before a user initiates the playback.
It's defined by splash_screen parameters.


MP3 support


We've added MP3 audio codec support for Safari and Firefox. Check also audio-related features of Nimble Streamer in addition.

Multiple instances


SLDP player may now be used in multiple instances on the same web page.
You use container parameter for each instance to specify proper element to show the player in.

Disabling ABR


By default, if your initial stream has multiple channels (e.g. renditions), they will be shown in the list of channels in ABR settings.
However you can lock specific player on a specific rendition using adaptive_bitrate parameter. It's "true" by default. You can set it to "false" to lock the rendition, in his case the initial_resolution parameter will be used to determine the default stream, and if it's absent then the lowest resolution will be taken.

You can see these and other parameters of our HTML5 player on this player page.

Take a look at the answers for frequent questions to improve your SLDP usage and visit SLDP website and contact us in case of any questions.

Related documentation


SLDP low latency streaming, SLDP Player, Live Streaming via Nimble Streamer, Live Transcoder for Nimble Streamer,

August 21, 2017

Review: Softvelum Nimble Streamer Is Flexible and Well-Featured

Recently Jan Ozer, a leading expert on H.264 encoding for live and on-demand production, and a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, has published a full review our Live Transcoder:

Review: Softvelum Nimble Streamer Is Flexible and Well-Featured
The overall impression is very good although he found some things to improve in our products.

We'd like to thank Jan for sharing his opinion, it gives us a great feedback and inspiration.

Feel free to share your thoughts in your own blogs, we appreciate any feedback from our users.

August 20, 2017

Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards 2017

The Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards 2017 voting has been started to get industry opinions on the best solutions on the market.

Our company is presented in 2 nominations and we hope to get your votes. Here's a brief instruction how to proceed.

1. Find and vote


Go to voting page here, enter your name and contacts to see the full list of nominees.

Find Softvelum products in the following nominations:

1. Encoding Software: Nimble Live Transcoder.
Jan Ozer has a comment in his latest article called Review: Softvelum Nimble Streamer Is Flexible and Well-Featured: "The product, which has been nominated for a Streaming Media Europe Readers’ Choice Award, seems like a real winner to me.

2. Media Server: Nimble Streamer.
Well-known media server, the finalist for Best Innovation category in European Reader's Choice Awards of 2016, is now nominated again with more useful features and latest technologies on board.

We hope you enjoy our products and will choose them in the list.

2. Confirm your vote


You'll receive an email asking you to confirm your vote (to prevent automated ballot-box stuffing). Be sure to confirm, or your vote won't count.

Voting closes September 25.

Winners will be announced November 3 at Streaming Media West.


Thanks for being our loyal customers, looking forward to getting your votes.