July 13, 2018

Vote for Softvelum in 2018 Streaming Media European Readers' Choice Awards

The voting for Streaming Media European Readers' Choice Awards of 2018 is now opened.

Softvelum is nominated in 3 categories and we appreciate all of our customers and partners to for for its products!


First, go to voting page here and introduce yourself to Streaming Media website to start voting.

You will find our products in the following categories:

  1. Mobile Video App or Solution - Larix Broadcaster
  2. Server Hardware/Software - Nimble Streamer
  3. Transcoding Solution - Nimble Live Transcoder


After voting closes on 3 August, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your vote. If you do not confirm your vote, the vote will not be counted so please follow up with Streaming Media email to count your vote!

Thanks to our customers, Nimble Streamer was a finalist for Best Streaming Innovation in 2016. We hope we'll get to the finals this year as well!


July 1, 2018

Softvelum 2018 Q2 news

In Softvelum, we are continuously improving our products and services to protect customers' data, so we've made several major updates in Q2 of 2018.

Before reading further, check the State of Streaming Protocols for Q2 2018, we've added total view time for all of customers, and it's 18 million hours watched through our server software every day!

GDPR


On May 25th, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of European Union came into effect adding new requirements for companies who may work with data of users from EU.
We have improved our products to comply with new regulation, as well as updated Privacy Policy accordingly. Please read it and let us know if you have any concerns about it.

By logging into our services you agree to our privacy policy and you give a consent to Softvelum to use your email for sending products updates like this one.

We don't send you emails very often, but from time to time we'd like to share news about our products with you.
If you'd like to avoid announcement emails, you can go to Users management page in your WMSPanel account, click on editing user information and check "Exclude user email from WMSPanel announcements" checkbox.

If you have any concerns or issues regarding your privacy in our products, please feel free to contact us via our helpdesk.

Cookies


We've also added cookies usage banner for all users who use WMSPanel website - you might have noticed it entering your account lately. It can be easily dismissed for your convenience.

If you use WMSPanel as a white label and would like this banner to appear for your users, you need to enable it. In order to keep white label look independent from Softvelum, we removed links to Softvelum privacy policy to make it neutral. If you want to control the appearance of this banner, go to Settings menu > Branding tab. For each domain you may click on gear icon to open settings dialog. There you may click on "Show cookie policy notice" checkbox to allow cookies banner for your white label users. It will have a company-neutral text, however if you'd like that banner to point to your own privacy policy, use "Privacy Policy URL" field to specify URL which will be used in banner text.

Nimble Streamer


Nimble Advertizer now supports audio-only HLS output. This means you can serve audio ads via Icecast and audio-only HLS.
You can check more about technical details in this document.

Speaking of HLS, Nimble Streamer now supports fMP4 for VOD HLS for both H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC content. It also supports ABR VOD via SMIL files. Read this article for more details.

We follow up with latest updates of operating systems and create new packages for Nimble Streamer for supported platforms. Check out new packages of Nimble Streamer for Ubuntu 18.04 and Raspbian 9.

Live Transcoder


We've made a major improvement for transcoder which now allows using shared contexts. This enhances resources usage and simplifies the fine tuning. Read this article for more details on shared contexts.

Also, take a look at Troubleshooting Live Transcoder article for various cases you may face while using Live Transcoder.

We've also added NVidia decoder deinterlacing mode, you can read more about it here.

You may also find useful a step-by-step description for wildcard ABR scenario setup.

Mobile SDKs


Larix mobile SDKs were updated to include new improvements as well as mobile playback solutions. It has a number of bugfixes and performance improvements.

You can check SDKs release notes for all updates and use this page to subscribe for SDKs.


Stay tuned for more updates and follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get latest news and updates of our products and services.

The State of Streaming Protocols - 2018 Q2

Softvelum team continues analyzing the state of streaming protocols. It's based on stats from WMSPanel reporting service which handles data from Wowza Streaming Engine and Nimble Streamer servers - there were 3600+ servers on average this quarter. WMSPanel collected data about more than 13 billion views.

We've added a new metric - total view time for our server products. It's nearly 1.7 billion this quarter, or 18+ million view hours per day.

Let's take a look at the chart and numbers of this quarter:




You can see HLS share as 67% and RTMP at 17% while progressive download went down a bit.

You can compare that to the picture of Q1 streaming protocols landscape:

April 25, 2018

fMP4 ABR HLS for VOD AVC and HEVC streaming in Nimble Streamer

Last year Apple announced their support for fragmented MP4, or fMP4, in HTTP Live Streaming protocol. This enables HLS carry the content without traditional MPEG-2 Transport Stream container, which allows reducing the traffic by removing MPEGTS overhead.
The traffic saving is more than 10%, with 15%-20% on average. The all-favorite Big Buck Bunny showed 13% saving on using fMP4 compared to MPEGTS.

Nimble Streamer already had fMP4 support for live streaming, now we introduce fragmented MP4 support for VOD HLS.

This container supports H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC video, with AAC, MP3 and AC-3 audio.

Setup


The setup for Nimble Streamer VOD streaming routes is made the same way as before, you can read this article for all details. The only difference is in the playback URL. Instead of "playlist.m3u8" name you will use "playlist_fmp4.m3u8" like this:
http://127.0.0.1:8081/vod/sample.mp4/playlist_fmp4.m3u8
When accessing the stream using that type of URL, the content will be automatically re-packaged on-the-fly to provide it in fMP4 container and the playlist will be made using proper standard.

The same applies to ABR streaming with SMIL files. You can set up ABR VOD HLS using SMIL and then use "playlist_fmp4.m3u8" file name like this:
http://127.0.0.1:8081/vod/abr.smil/playlist_fmp4.m3u8
This URL will also generate proper playlist and chunklists.

Playlists


The fMP4-based playlist generated by Nimble Streamer will look as follows.

H.264/AVC playlist for fMP4:
#EXTM3U
#EXT-X-VERSION:6
#EXT-X-INDEPENDENT-SEGMENTS
#EXT-X-MEDIA:TYPE=AUDIO,GROUP-ID="audio",NAME="English",AUTOSELECT=YES,URI="audio.m3u8?nimblesessionid=3"
#EXT-X-STREAM-INF:BANDWIDTH=1016419,CODECS="avc1.66.30,mp4a.40.2",RESOLUTION=424x240,AUDIO="audio"
video.m3u8?nimblesessionid=3
H.265/HEVC playlist for fMP4:
#EXTM3U
#EXT-X-VERSION:6
#EXT-X-INDEPENDENT-SEGMENTS
#EXT-X-MEDIA:TYPE=AUDIO,GROUP-ID="audio",NAME="English",AUTOSELECT=YES,URI="audio.m3u8?nimblesessionid=4"
#EXT-X-STREAM-INF:BANDWIDTH=1284765,CODECS="hvc1.1.6.L93.80,mp4a.40.2",RESOLUTION=1280x720,AUDIO="audio"
video.m3u8?nimblesessionid=4

The chunks list will be made the same way.


All Nimble HLS fMP4 streams can be played in latest versions of Apple's operating systems as well as in ffplay and JWPlayer. If you know of any other players or platforms, please share your comment about it.

If you have any questions regarding this feature set, please contact our helpdesk.

Related documentation


fMP4 ABR HLS for live streaming, DVR for fMP4 ABR HLS in Nimble Streamer, Nimble Streamer, VOD streaming in Nimble StreamerABR VOD HLS using SMILMP3 and AAC to HLS transmuxing.

April 2, 2018

Live Transcoder wildcard scenarios

Live Transcoder for Nimble Streamer is a powerful tool for easy transformation of your live content. One of its most popular cases is creating multiple renditions from single input which is used for ABR live streaming setup.

To process multiple streams, you typically need to specify a new scenario for every transcoded stream, this means you need to have a set of decoders, filters and encoders for each.
Even though Live Transcoder has a very convenient and easy-to-use drag-n-rop UI, this may be annoying for setting up big amount of streams.

This is why we have wildcard capabilities in transcoding scenarios:

  1. You may specify just application name as a baseline for separating different types of scenarios.
  2. For each incoming stream in this application, its stream name will be taken as is and it will be used for output stream names.

April 1, 2018

Softvelum 2018 Q1 news

First quarter of 2018 gave us several great features and updates.

Before reading further, check the State of Streaming Protocols for Q1 2018 - HLS is on the rise again, SLDP gains momentum, take a look.

Nimble Advertizer


Softvelum released a new premium functionality for Nimble Streamer called Nimble Advertizer. It's a server-side ads insertion framework based on Nimble Streamer.
It allows:

  • Pre-roll ads per each connection
  • Flexible timing for mid-roll ads
  • Per-stream ads insertion
  • Personalized ads
  • Customizable business logic

Those capabilities are supported for RTMP, SLDP and Icecast output protocols, having all other supported protocols for input.
Take a look at Advertizer website for read more details and download technical spec.

Nimble Streamer


Nimble Streamer brought some attention within the industry.

How to Create a Live HLS Feed With HEVC: a new highly detailed article by Jan Ozer explaining how to make fMP4 live streams with Nimble Streamer.
We've also released a blog post describing HEVC transcoding Amazon EC2 instances - which instance types will work best for you for that kind of transcoding.

Take a look at Reliable Low Latency Delivery with SRT+SLDP - an article in Haivision blog describing a combination of SRT and SLDP protocols for building reliable delivery networks.
Softvelum has also partnered with Haivision to provide a 10% discount for their SRT-enabled encoders, check this blog post for details.



We get questions regarding Nimble Streamer usage in high load use cases and scenarios.
Take a look at performance tuning guide for live streaming via Nimble Streamer.

For those who extensively uses SSL for their streaming use cases, check our support for multiple certificates and domains.

Mobile SDKs


Larix mobile SDK is being updated all the time to include new features and improvements.

Our streaming library now supports publishing via SRT in Push mode for both Android and iOS. This allows improving the publishing process within unreliable networks. Read more about SRT and its usage in Nimble Steamer and feel free to try SRT in action using Larix Broadcaster free app.

Mobile playback solutions now support Icecast playback widely used for online radios.
We've also improved our web player to handle fallback for iOS browsers by opening stremainf in SLDP player.

You may also check SDKs release notes for all latest updates and use this page to subscribe for SDKs and their support.


That's it. Stay tuned for more updates and follow us at Facebook and Twitter to get latest news and updates of our products and services.