November 20, 2018

DVR MP4 thumbnails in Nimble Streamer

Nimble Streamer software media server has it DVR feature set which covers the majority of use cases for streams recording and playback.

DVR setup is described in this article and you're probably already familiar with it. Now, to get snapshots of DVR stream, you may use direct URL described below.

Notice that thumbnails are generated as .mp4 files containing a single keyframe. This allows inserting thumbnail in any modern browser using <video> element.

If you'd like to generate JPG thumbnails, please read this article.

The latest thumbnail can be obtained using the following URL:
http://<server>/<app>/<stream>/dvr_thumbnail.mp4
If you'd like to get specific time spot, add epoch time:
http://<server>/<app>/<stream>/dvr_thumbnail_<utc>.mp4
E.g. http://serverip/live/stream/dvr_thumbnail_1542708934.mp4

This feature is enabled by default and if you'd like to disable it, use this parameter in Nimble Streamer config file:
dvr_thumbnails_enabled = false

MP4 output was chosen over PNG or JPG images due to resources usage. MP4 frame can be extracted and inserted into MP4 container with relatively small amount of CPU and RAM. Still image capture requires frame decoding and encoding into proper format which needs extra resources. Our customers like Nimble Streamer primarily because of its high performance and we'd like to keep it that way.

Take a look at this video tutorial to see MP4 thumbnails in action and get familiar with DVR most useful features.


Read other documentation articles for more details and full description of available options.


You may also find useful the API call for DVR archive export to MP4.

If you have any questions on this or other features, let us know.

Related documentation


Nimble Streamer, Live streaming scenarios, DVR feature setDVR setup for Nimble Streamer, Usage snapshots