Flussonic Media Server documentation

Contents

HLS Playback

Flussonic Media Server supports playing video via HLS protocol. Many of HLS features use non-standard extensions of HLS – we support them for your convenience.

The supported codecs are: H264, H265, MPEG2 video, AAC, MP3, MPEG2 audio, and AC-3.

Flussonic Media Server supports access via HLS to live streams, VOD files and DVR (catchup and timeshift).

On this page:

Simple HLS playback

When you have a simple live stream or file (one video track, one audio track) for playing, the URL for playback via HLS is simple:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/index.m3u8

where FLUSSONIC-IP stands for your Flussonic Media Server host + port address.

Flussonic Media Server will also accept playlist.m3u8 in the end of url for backward compatibility with other servers.

When you start working with multi-language or multi-bitrate content, things become more complicated.

Multilanguage HLS

If you want to play your multilanguage stream on iPhone you need to use the same http://flussonic-ip/STREAMNAME/index.m3u8

But when you want to watch a multi-language stream using VLC or a set-top box, the video mode must be turned on.

URL for the player will be: http://flussonic-ip/STREAMNAME/video.m3u8

This is due to the Apple HLS requirement of a separate playlist with an audio-only option for each individual language. MPEG-TS uses another algorithm: all audio tracks are packed in the same container with the video, and it is up to the player which one to play. So, to make sure the video is viewable on iPhone, it must satisfy the requirements of Apple. At the same time, VLC and STBs, in violation of the HLS standard, expect the old version of MPEG-TS converted to HLS. This is why this trick with different URLs is needed.

Adding 'Audio only' for Apple devices

Apple requires that all your streams must include a version without video, only with audio.

They suppose that if a user is watching video via 3G and has moved to a zone with bad network conditions, it would be better to have audio only than video with buffering.

Flussonic allows you to enable audio-only mode in the following way:

stream ort {
  url udp://239.0.0.1:1234;
  add_audio_only;
}

Note. Such a configuration might make your index.m3u8 URL unplayable on VLC or STB — in that case use video.m3u8 option (described earlier on this page).

Separate bitrates for STB

If you have a multi-bitrate multilanguage content and want to play it on STB that doesn't support multi-bitrate HLS playlists, you can query from Flussonic Media Server separate playlists with one video track and all audio tracks like with the mono option:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/video1.m3u8

This playlist is not a variant playlist, but it is a playlist with URLs to segments that contain the first video track and all available audio tracks.

If you want to deliver multilanguage multi-tibtrate to STB that doesn't understand Apple standard for multilanguage, use video.m3u8:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/video.m3u8

This is a variant playlist that will give you list of non variant playlists like video1.m3u8, video2.m3u8, etc.

DVR catchup playback

When your stream is already recorded on server with our DVR you can play video via HLS when you know beginning of telecast and end for example from EPG.

Available URLs will be:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/archive-1362504585-3600.m3u8

This is a regular playlist that will be variant playlist if you have more than one language or more than one bitrate.

It will deliver a list of segments starting from UTC 1362504585 ( 2013, March, 5th, 17:29:45 GMT) and for one hour forward.

The mono URL will give you list of segments that contain all tracks in MPEG-TS:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/mono-1362504585-3600.m3u8

More specific videoN playlist will give you a list of segments with an N'th video track and all audio tracks:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/video1-1362504585-3600.m3u8

and a variant video playlist with a list of videoN playlists:

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/video-1362504585-3600.m3u8

Rewinding a playlist

Flussonic Media Server has a special playlist "rewind-N.m3u8" with a wide sliding window that allows to rewind and pause HLS streams for many hours.

http://FLUSSONIC-IP/STREAMNAME/rewind-7200.m3u8

7200 is a duration of a HLS manifest in seconds, so your clients will be able to pause the stream up to two hours or rewind to the start of TV show without accessing catchup URLs.

DVR timeshift playback

If your stream is being recorded on disk but you haven't configured a timeshifted stream for it, then you can play timeshifted video via HLS by using a propely constructed URL.

Here goes the list of URLs for relative timeshift:

/timeshift_rel-3600.m3u8
/mono-timeshift_rel-3600.m3u8
/video-timeshift_rel-3600.m3u8
/video1-timeshift_rel-3600m3u8

and these are URLs for absolute timeshift:

/timeshift_abs-1508403742.m3u8
/mono-timeshift_abs-1508403742.m3u8
/video-timeshift_abs-1508403742.m3u8
/video1-timeshift_abs-1508403742.m3u8

Playing individual tracks

If a stream has several audio and video tracks, you can specify which tracks should be delivered. To do so, specify the track numbers by adding the parameter filter to the stream's URL.

Examples:

  • http://flussonic-ip/STREAMNAME/index.m3u8?filter=tracks:v2a1 — select the first audio and second video tracks.
  • http://flussonic-ip/STREAMNAME/index.m3u8?filter=tracks:v1 — select video only.
  • http://flussonic-ip/STREAMNAME/archive-1362504585-3600.m3u8?filter=tracks:v2a1 — DVR archive playback starting from UTC 1362504585 and with the duration of 3600 seconds.