December 3, 2014

MPEG-DASH support for VOD playback in Nimble Streamer

Through past several years, MPEG-DASH has gone a long path from a basic concept to industry standard. Thanks to contributions from a lot of companies and stakeholders, this technology can now be used in a variety of scenarios, including video on demand.

Nimble Streamer team is up for HTTP streaming technologies like HLS or Icecast. So moving towards DASH is a great step forward to better user experience for our customers who would like to try advantages of this HTTP-based protocol.

Today we introduce VOD playback for MPEG-DASH in Nimble Streamer. Is allows transmuxing MP4 files to DASH stream on-the-fly with very low resources consumption. It supports both time-based and number-based manifests for VOD DASH.

You can follow these easy steps to set up DASH VOD streaming.

1. Install Nimble Streamer

Use this installation instruction.

2. Prepare content

Upload your content to a designated location on the server. This needs to be MP4 file with H.264, H.265 or AV1 video and AAC or MP3 audio.

The user called "nimble" must have read access to this directory and its contents. Let's say it would be /home/user/video directory

3. Set up VOD streaming

Click on Nimble Streamer -> VOD & re-streaming routes menu to open streaming routes setup page.

Click on Set up VOD streaming button to see the following dialog.

Adding VOD transmuxing route for DASH, HLS and progressive download.
In section 1 "Where incoming requests are coming" you may see the following fields.

  • Path field contains the URL name part which will then be used for accessing streams. You need to enter some value here, it shouldn't be blank because it's used for stats calculation purposes. It's /vod/ in this example. 
  • You may also set up Domain if you'd like this route to process only specific domains. You may leave it blank if you don't plan putting any limitations.

In section 2 you need to fill in Path field with full path to your content in your file system.

Then you need to select which Nimble Streamer instances will get these settings. So you may apply them to any number of instances at once in just a few clicks.

Once the route is set up, you may request any of the uploaded files via any protocol you need:

  • http://server_IP:8081/vod/sample_file.mp4/manifest.mpd - MPEG-DASH time-based manifest
  • http://server_IP:8081/vod/sample_file.mp4/manifest_number.mpd - MPEG-DASH number-based manifest
  • http://server_IP:8081/vod/sample_file.mp4/playlist.m3u8 - HLS
  • http://server_IP:8081/vod/sample_file.mp4/playlist_fmp4.m3u8 - fMP4 HLS
  • http://server_IP:8081/vod/sample_file.mp4 - progressive download

You may also change default port 8081 to any other port by changing server config.

If you'd like to have better viewing experience you may also consider using adaptive bitrate for VOD MPEG-DASH by using SMIL files.

Take a look at this article to see how you can use WebVTT, SRT and TTML subtitles with your VOD HLS streams

4. Stream the content

With streaming URLs ready for further use, you may now add them to your player. MPEG-DASH streaming of Nimble Streamer was tested with DASH reference player as well as with Bitmovin's bitdash™ player. If you find any other players more suitable for you - please share your experience with us.

Using Nimble Streamer in your streaming infrastructure, you can get DASH streaming statistics via WMSPanel reporting SaaS. It has built-in support so you don't need to parse logs or anything like that - Nimble will send required metrics to central service for your convenience. Check also MPEG-DASH live streaming via RTMP transmuxing.


Nimble Streamer internal transmuxer buffer sometimes may not be enough to fit generated HLS chunk. This may lead to this error in Nimble Streamer logs:
[tmux1] E: buffer is too small to generate
By default the buffer is 40MB. You can increase it using "vod_transmuxing_buffer". Read Nimble Streamer configuration description for config setup details.

You can also take a look at the video where Jan Ozer of Streaming Learning Center and Yury Udovichenko of Softvelum discuss pros and cons of dynamic packetizing of live, VOD and DVR content. It gives more details about Nimble Streamer VOD streaming.

Related documentation

Nimble Streamer, MPEG-DASH live streaming from RTMPDASH industry forum, HLS VOD streaming, HLS live streaming, Hotlink protection and paywall for MPEG-DASH


  1. HI,
    I can see in your DEMO (, MPEG-DASH with BitDash player, as of now JWPlayer has started supporting MPEG-DASH since their player version 7, can you update your Demo where MPEG-DASH VOD is shown played using JWPlayer as well?


    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the idea, we'll consider that for future updates.

  2. Replies
    1. Should work. We even have ipv6 test that pass for all platforms.
      Please contact us with details so we could identify the problem


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