With more businesses turning to live events and virtual events as part of their marketing strategy, it’s no surprise that brands are trying to find more ways to improve these services. With Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) services, you can upgrade video streaming technology simply and effortlessly.
Trends suggest that RTMP will be a critical solution for live streaming, and you should incorporate it in your next online or hybrid event. The Accelevents Studio connects with live streaming solutions (such as Lightstream, Streamyard, ReStream, and Open Broadcaster Software) through RTMP capabilities.
Because RTMP has seen considerable improvement in the last year, we thought we’d provide a high-level overview of what RTMP is and why you should consider an RTMP solution for your live streaming needs.
What is RTMP?
RTMP, which stands for Real-Time Messaging Protocol, is a type of video encoding that makes live streaming possible. This is known as Transmission Control Protocol-based technology, and it was initially developed by Adobe and their work on the Adobe Flash Player.
Originally, RTMP was developed to transmit video between the video player and the hosting server. At this stage, it was known as RTMP delivery. Now, It is used in modern streaming setups, and its primary objective is to deliver content from an encoder to an online video host.
It is now referred to as RTMP ingest. RTMP, at a glance, transmits video files from an encoder to an online hosting platform.
It is no longer used solely for feeding live video streams; it is now used for optimizing live streams with minimal buffering and higher stream quality.
How Does RTMP Work & What Are Its Technical Requirements?
RTMP ingest is a highly technical process, and all you really need to know is that this protocol operates a swift-moving sequence to quickly, efficiently, and with minimal buffering process your video data for you.
- RTMP works with a simple protocol request, including the client sending the necessary coded information to the server to let them know about the RTMP protocol, the time stamp, and all the essential data. Once a connection is established, then the stream will start.
- Streaming services may use HLS for live streaming, but RTMP encoding for improved stream quality. RTMP has several protocol distinctions as well.
- For compatibility purposes, RTMP encoding works best with AAC-LC for audio codec (although AAC is also supported) and H.264 for video codec (although MP4 and x264 are also supported).
There are several variations of RTMP, which include:
- RTMP proper: This is the standard RTMP protocol.
- RTMPS: RTMP streaming which uses secure streaming on an SSL connection. Facebook Live uses a variation of this.
- RTMPE: RTMPE is encrypted with Adobe’s security standards.
- RPTMPT: RTMPT is designed to bypass firewalls, but it does not perform as well on its own.
- RTMFP: Real-Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP) is used in peer-to-peer technology and social media.
4 RTMP Encoding Platforms Compatible With Accelevents
What you need to know about RTMP is that it streams with an encoder option. The options that the Accelevents Suite accepts are OBS Studio, Lightstream, Streamyard, and ReStream.
OBS is an application-based program. The three web-based platforms, Lightstreetn, Streamyard, and ReStream, include basic overlay features such as custom graphics you can upload, lower thirds, custom backgrounds behind the content, multiple speakers on screen at once, and a variety of pre-set on-screen layouts for speaker/content windows.
- Lightstream is an affordable streaming platform; it allows up to eight speakers in the online studio at once. It comes with the features listed above, like custom backgrounds, multiple speakers on screen, and custom graphics.
- Lightstream has some negatives: it lacks priority support, multistreaming (streaming to multiple destinations at once), split audio track recording, and built-in video recording.
Luckily, this is not a problem for Accelevents users since they are only streaming into one event and are recording using the Accelevents platform. Still, the negatives will affect users who need multistreaming and redundant recording.
- Streamyard is an affordable solution, very similar to Lightstream, with the ability to host ten guest speakers at once, priority support, live chat support, multiple streaming destinations, and split audio track recording.
- One unique feature that Streamyard includes is Chroma Key capability for speakers with green screens, similar to Zoom’s “virtual background” feature.
While owned by Hopin, Streamyard is very commonly used, and Accelevents users should be prepared to host guests using Streamyard for their sessions and content.
- Restream is, by far, the most sophisticated solution listed in this brief. Broadcasters can have up to 10 speakers in the studio simultaneously, and they provide both priority and live chat support.
- Restream also supports multistreaming to up to 30 destinations, and they provide recording functionality and cloud storage of up to 20 hours per stream for up to 30 days.
- Unlike other platforms covered here, Restream has social media features like broadcasting chats from social media into the stream, cross-platform chat, on-screen captions, and real-time comments.
- Restream is unique in that it provides stream health monitoring in real-time, which includes FPS, bit rate, frame drops, and more, to ensure that broadcasters always know the quality of their stream. They also provide cross-platform analytics so organizers can get an overall view of their audience across all streams.
- OBS is an application-based, open-source software platform for broadcasters that allows for simple video editing functionality in real-time.
- This software is free but is limited and has no professional support because of its open-source nature.
- OBS requires direct connections to allow guest users in the stream. Therefore, OBS is best used for hybrid events and the technical means to connect. Recordings are stored locally and based on hardware capabilities.
Why Does RTMP Make a Difference in Your Stream?
- RTMP for live streaming is extremely important and powerful because it is capable of providing low-latency streaming.
- Broadcasters streaming major events in real-time will want high-quality video production tools, and RTMP services are one of them. With this, hosts can live stream with low latency, which means that the computer processing of the data will have a minimal delay.
- Additionally, RTMP also plays a role in adaptive-bitrate streaming, which is the technology that makes it possible to rewind and fast-forward videos.
- Of course, another big perk of RTMP ingest is that it is one of the more affordable encoding technologies. And on some live streaming suites, it supports automatic conversions from HTTP Live Streaming (or HLS) to iOS, Android, and browsers.
Because it minimizes buffering and has loads of features, RTMP provides an optimal user experience. If you are looking for very powerful software that is also affordable, RTMP is the way to go.