Read on this page about using the features, limitations and advanced options like remote live streaming (streaming only plans), email deliverability, scaling multiple servers & FAQ .
Complete: Streaming + Web & VOD plans provide all hosting capabilities, including multiple live streaming protocols (HTML5 WebRTC/HLS/MPEG-DASH & RTMP, RTSP), CPanel web hosting, SSL, VOD support with FFmpeg, WordPress Toolkit. Capabilities are already configured and ready for installing the VideoWhisper solutions.
In addition to streaming & web, these plans include specific features that involve both web and streaming on same server: managing archived streams, configuring RTSP ip camera re-streams, scheduling video playlists as streams. Also advanced tools on web hosting: FFmpeg (stream snapshots / transcoding / analysis, video conversions), document conversions, GeoIP for geofencing. Full mode VideoWhisper web software license can be ordered separately or in a solution bundle, to remove all intrusive ads and limitations from the live streaming web applications. Bundles with full mode web software licensing start from $99/mo for PaidVideochat and $75/mo for BroadcastLiveVideo.
Requirements: A domain or subdomain needs to be pointed to these complete plans, for setting up HTTPS and installing solutions with full capabilities at that URL.
For some projects is possible to host solution on a web host and stream remotely using a different streaming host.
Multiple features depend on existing web hosting, where solution web scripts are deployed.
On demand dynamic transcoding and stream snapshots are only available if FFMPEG and involved codecs is available and accessible on web hosting where solution is deployed.
Remote streaming is usually suitable if you already have a video sharing hosting plan and just need live streaming services (without archiving/recording/restreaming or vod trough streaming server).
Remote Streamings plans are not suitable for regular budget web hosts that don’t include necessary video tools like ffmpeg and html5 codecs. Ex: GoDaddy, HostGator. Most budget web hosts will not provide or allow FFMPEG on their shared plans.
We recommend moving site or pointing a subdomain to our premium Complete Web & Streaming plans if your web host does not include ffmpeg. You will probably get better performance and reliability than on budget hosts.
Streaming Only with 3rd Party Web Hosting
When using a 3rd party web host for website, scripts need to have access to FFmpeg with all involved codecs, for detecting stream encoding, transcoding, generating snapshots for streams, converting videos. This functionality will only work if available on the 3rd party web hosting. Warning: Budget web hosts usually do NOT include necessary video tools like FFmpeg and HTML5 codecs. Ex: GoDaddy, HostGator.
FFMPEG Requirements Details: For adaptive streaming between various types of sources and player devices, advanced solutions like BroadcastLiveVideo.com involve on demand dynamic transcoding between different encodings specific to webrtc, rtmp, rtsp, hls. Adaptive various input and output types can’t be setup as static transcoding configurations as each channel can be broadcast/playback using different methods, that adapt dynamically to broadcaster and viewers.
Latest FFMPEG is required with codecs like H264, AAC, Opus, Speex, NellyMoser depending on input/output formats that need to be supported. Also server configuration must allow process to be called by web scripts, with necessary resources and for necessary streaming duration.
For generating snapshots, process needs permissions to write the snapshot file in web account files.
Limitations for Remote Streaming
These features are not available when using streaming remotely:
- archiving all streams on streaming server or importing, because streams go trough streaming server and require hosting space (on demand stream recording with FFmpeg & browser side HTML5 recorder still possible)
- scheduling playlists, because configuration smil files need to be managed on streaming server
- re-streams of RTSP (IP cam) or other streams, because configuration stream files need to be managed on streaming server
Requirements for Remote Streaming
These requirements are needed on web host, where solution web scripts are deployed:
– FFmpeg Requirements: For displaying live stream snapshot advanced solutions like BroadcastLiveVideo.com / PaidVideochat.com require web host to connect to live streaming server with FFmpeg.
Adaptive streaming between various types of sources and player devices requires FFmpeg, for on demand dynamic transcoding between different encodings specific to WebRTC, RTMP, RTSP, HLS. Adaptive various input and output types is required in BroadcastLiveVideo because each channel can be broadcast/playback using different methods, that adapt dynamically to broadcaster and viewers.
Recording live streams on web hosting also requires FFmpeg. It is also used in VideoShareVOD solution for video conversion and extracting video thumbnail, info.
Latest FFmpeg is required with codecs like H264, AAC, Opus, Speex, NellyMoser depending on input/output formats that need to be supported. Also server configuration must allow process to be called by web scripts, with necessary resources and for necessary streaming duration.
For generating snapshots, process needs permissions to write the snapshot file in web account files. For VPS and dedicated servers, FFMPEG installation is available for additional fees.
– Web Access Requirements: Videochat applications require Session Control to manage streaming access and status, show live webcams as online. Session Control involves streaming server requests to web server, in order to authorize and update streaming sessions. Some web hosting rules or web firewalls (including CloudFlare) may reject web requests from streaming server. If advanced administrative assistance to configure such access is not available, the turnkey complete plans are recommended, On complete plans access is already available on same server and experienced administrators can also assist with web related issues.
– SSL (HTTPS): Latest browsers require HTTPS for sharing webcam/microphone and HTML5 live streaming. Live streaming functionality will not work on HTTP pages.
– WordPress / PHP: Turnkey site editions like PaidVideochat, FansPaysite, BroadcastLiveVideo install as WordPress plugins. A self hosted WordPress installation is required.
WordPress installation can be provided for extra if 3rd party web host includes WP requirements (required PHP, MySQL), access (FTP) and MySQL database settings (or a control panel to setup). On servers without cPanel (using other control panels or none), setting up WordPress requirements depends on server provider/administrator. That may require changing version/configuration of PHP/MySQL/web server/firewall for WordPress and plugins to install and run.
On VideoWhisper complete hosting plans, quick WordPress installation is available with cPanel > Softaculous installer and included as part of turnkey setup.
Stand alone editions are deployed with sample PHP scripts for quick deployment. Web applications can be integrated to work with other types of server scripts, with some development efforts for migrating.
– Other: Depending on solution and project features, other requirements for web hosting may include GeoIP, specific ports open in firewall, specific security rule exceptions, increased resource limits per process for FFmpeg, increase script execution and upload limits for video uploads, document conversion tools, troubleshooting tools like PHP error logs. VideoWhisper plans include tested settings, configuration and administrators that can easily troubleshoot common issue. On other hosts this depends on provider.
Web Hosting Email Features, Deliverability and Limitations
Most email providers will filter as SPAM or even block emails that don’t meet high criteria, especially for new senders/projects that don’t have an established domain reputation.
- Email accounts setup from cPanel are automatically configured with SFP & DKIM to improve deliverability.
To send email reliably from your website, use real email account that passes SPF & DKIM checks (setup from CPanel).
Use SMTP to send all site emails trough that account. In example, in WordPress setup a SMTP plugin to send all emails trough a real email account, not the default system account.
- Do some tests yourself on popular email sites and mark the emails as Not Spam if showing in Spam folders. This can unblock future emails on that service, after an user marked it as safe, increasing sender reputation. Theory: On big providers, new email senders are start as unreliable and positive feedback increases reputation.
- Advise users to check spam folders after registration and mark emails as Not Spam. Depending on provider, automated emails like for registrations can go to spam. Before production test registering on few major providers like gmail, yahoo, hotmail.
- If you can’t find the emails, test mailing by sending directly from CPanel webmail and troubleshoot with CPanel Email Deliverability tool.
- Web hosting plans have email rate limitations to protect servers and network from being blacklisted as mass spammers. Getting blacklisted affects all clients on a shared server or different servers if a class of network IPs got blacklisted and results in emails not being delivered for long time. This policy is designed to improve experience for projects on these turnkey plans, to avoid the hassle related to whitelisting/unblocking with certain providers.
- If you need to do email campaigns and send thousands of emails per day, use a specialized mass emailing service.
Trying to send directly from website will result in rate being reached, full queue for days and regular site emails for registration being delayed or not being sent.
In example, if there’s a 30 emails per hour limit for an entry plan, when limit is reached additional emails are delayed for next hour. If there’s already a big queue of unsent emails, registration emails can get sent days later or never.
When sending newsletters or mass emails your domain, dedicated site IP, server hostname can get blacklisted due to regulation compliance details or users reporting it as spam (sometimes incorrectly). So it should be handled by an external professional service specialized in sending mass emails or newsletter.
- If hosting plan is underpowered (i.e. more than 30 registration/confirmation or other automated emails per hour for an entry plan) account should be upgraded to a higher plan.
Higher plans have higher mailing limit allocation.
Scale Bigger Projects
As project grows (and income) it will require more hosting resources to serve more users. This can be achieved in first stages by upgrading to higher hosting plans.
Turnkey plans are designed to get project started fast and with effective costs. As projects takes off and budget increases, further scaling options can be explored.
Single server turnkey setup plans can handle up to several hundreds of simultaneous streams (broadcasters & viewers) depending on streaming bitrate.
To handle thousands of simultaneous streams or more, load balancing multi server setups are required.
Projects that grow very big, require multiple servers and special custom load balancing solutions, as big industry players use.
Hosting Capacity: Bitrate and Number of Simultaneous Users
Hosting limitations refer mainly to server bitrate which is related to physical server capacity, constraints related to connection and also processing resource bottlenecks. Capacity in number of simultaneous users depends on bitrate configured per stream and total hosting bitrate capacity: Divide total hosting bitrate capacity by bitrate used per stream and obtain number of simultaneous streams that can be handled by host.
The Active Viewers (~600kbps) number listed for plans is an estimation of viewers capacity based on available plan streaming bitrate. Higher stream quality/bitrate will require more server bitrate and result in lower capacity. In example 1.2Mbps streams will require 120Mbps for 100 viewers. See recommended H264 bitrate based on resolution.
These plans use streaming servers with up to 1000Mbps connection (10x compared to regular web hosting servers that have 100Mbps).
For good reliability and performance, plans are balanced to about 50% of bitrate connection (guaranteed outgoing bitrate) and that’s where maximum estimates per plan comes from.
The real hosting limits are hosting resources (CPU, memory, connection) and bandwidth limitations are designed to assist in scaling hosting resources correctly: maxing out resource capacity results in major slow down, buffering, frame loss, errors and users not being able to connect. Bandwidth is a statistical tool for estimating hosting requirements.
Other resource bottlenecks related to CPU, memory can occur depending on site complexity, plugins that reflect in resource usage per request and optional operations like transcoding, recording per stream.
Projects can be scaled more by adding additional top plans for sub sites or custom load balancing setups. Depending on features required and implementation, projects can use Complete, Streaming Only plans or a combination of these.
Scaling Project / Software for Multi Server Setups
Capacity can be scaled up by load balancing project on multiple plans/servers. Balancing options can include:
– Running multiple sub-sites for popular broadcasters/performers on different sub-domains or domains: Different rooms/channels can be deployed on different sub-sites and this is easiest method to scale by ordering an additional plan for each sub-site.
– Running a single site with room interactions and distributing streaming on multiple servers/plans for streaming.
– Replicating streams where there are streams that needs to be broadcast to many viewers, more than a server can handle.
– More advanced setups with streaming/chat architecture on multiple servers where a single site is used and both chat room interactions and streaming is hosted on multiple servers.
Advanced scaling options (for streaming same channel / room from multiple servers) involves specific software implementation, depending on project. For VideoWhisper solutions, after ordering and setting up original editions, developers can customize features and implement multi-server balancing options for additional fees depending on exact requirements.
Run Own Dedicated Streaming Servers
We recommend starting with our turnkey plans because setting up your own live streaming servers involves higher costs, longer setup time, often lower reliability/performance and generally much hassle and effort compared to the turnkey plans. When project grows beyond the turnkey plans you can evaluate setting up own dedicated streaming servers to meet the solution requirements.
These HTML5 live streaming services and advanced features are based on industry standard licensed Wowza Streaming Engine server software, a custom module for Wowza SE (by VideoWhisper) and custom configuration. Running a live streaming dedicated server yourself would involve:
– a dedicated server with +1000Mbps connection and strong specs to make economical sense for the fixed costs ( ~ hundreds per month)
– licensing Wowza SE for own server ( ~ $2100/year from Wowza Media Systems)
– licensing full stream session control module for own server ( ~ $200/setup + $50/mo from VideoWhisper)
– specific streaming server configuration and administration (~ $400/setup + $40/month from VideoWhisper, recommended if you don’t have own experienced admins)
PS: All these are included in the complete hosting plans from $50/mo and turnkey site bundles at better costs, faster setup time. Bundles with full mode web software licensing start from $99/mo for PaidVideochat and $75/mo for BroadcastLiveVideo.
Plans are provisioned by default on servers in North America, well connected worldwide and that’s the best solution for global sites, on regular traffic requirements.
For sites that have most users in a certain area, it’s best to use servers close to the users, especially when high volume is required. Congestion can occur on certain routes.
The Rainmaker & Mogul plans can be relocated on a new server in a different location, on request (i.e. EU, UK – specify desired zone to inquire about closest options). This can also be used for geo-balancing setups. Our staff can evaluate specific location outside our offer: extra setup fees and taxes may be involved for specific locations, as current plans are for optimally cost effective datacenter locations we can find in North America.
Relocation Time: For faster setup, resources are first provided on available server until new server setup is completed. Takes about a week depending on server setup in data center, installing/licensing and configuration of streaming services and tools.
Q: Why not use bigger connections rather than multiple servers/plans?
A: Streaming to hundreds, thousands of users also involves lots of processing power and memory to handle all connections, packets, buffering, other data and packet errors. Setting up a higher connection does not necessarily increase user capacity to connection size, as capacity may be limited by other bottlenecks.
We use servers with 1000Mbps (1Gbit) connections and balance plans to about 50% bitrate capacity guaranteed for reliability and performance. Google data-center servers (that scale huge capacity services) are reported to also use 1Gbps connections: “Servers are connected via a 1 Gbit/s Ethernet link to the top of rack switch (TOR).”
Q: Can install on elastic server instances that scale automatically?
A: Elastic instances are also hosted on servers, meaning maximum capacity is a full server. Scaling more requires more instances. Additionally for using VideoWhisper solutions, the instance needs to be configured to meet server software requirements, which involves server grade administration and software licensing costs.
Q: Can use turnkey cloud streaming services with automatic stream replication?
A: Advanced solutions that involve interactions (chat, user list) or adaptive delivery involve specific features and logic on the streaming servers, available with server software requirements. Using turnkey streaming services with something else than video players they may provide for their streaming methods, is only possible in addition to an existing compatible host and with custom development to use the streaming services for load balancing.
Q: Why not use P2P instead of relay streaming servers?
A: As standard WebRTC implementations utilize peering networks, there still has to be a nearby node to help distribute the stream to other local hosts. Peering across a global network can be incredibly difficult taking into consideration various configurations, firewalls, mobile network participants. Often such setups are unreliable, unstable and not suitable for commercial usage.
Broadcasters would need server grade connections to live stream to multiple users and using a regular home ADSL connection (that has has higher download and bigger upload) causes real issues (long delay, buffering, latency, interruptions, frame loss, low quality or complete streaming failure). While testing with 2 or few users works fine in demos and small load trials, WebRTC limits often show in production mode: becomes unusable when many users are watching same HD stream and broadcaster connection is regular.
All startups hope their streaming applications will become a huge success, with thousands of viewers watching. A performer streaming a full hd video at 6-8 Mbps directly to 100 viewers in various world locations would require up to 600-800Mbps upload connection which is unlikely to achieve for a retail home connection. A streaming server in a well connected datacenter will do the job.
Q: Can I use a free or lower cost server software like Red5?
A: These solutions are built using Wowza Streaming Engine (an industry standard live streaming server used by multiple major players, developed and licensed by Wowza Media Systems) with specific configuration and custom server side functionality available in a Wowza SE module.
Red5 is not suitable for retail delivery as HTML5 WebRTC/HLS is required for delivery to mobile users. Wowza SE licensing required for these capabilities (when licensing own server) starts from $175-295/month (check Wowza Media System website for current pricing and terms).
Q: Can I use a VPS?
A: VPS are not recommended because multiple web hosting VPS may share a regular web hosting connection (often 100Mbps) which leaves a small fraction available for streaming.
Additionally, it does not usually make sense economically to pay the fixed costs of Wowza SE licensing (hundreds per month) for small capacity provided by a VPS.
The turnkey plans provide better reliability, capacity with more efficient costs.
Q: Can I use a different provider for these features?
A: Standard web hosting servers and plans don’t include the required specific live streaming server capabilities, server software licensing, tools and configurations or administrators experienced with such features. Turnkey streaming providers cover only certain protocols, streaming methods without support for advanced software or interactions. We don’t recommend using a provider that does not have experience with these streaming solutions as that often leads to long setup hassle and unreliable service. In most scenarios best option for a fast reliable setup at best price is to deploy solution on our fully compatible turnkey managed streaming hosting plans or dedicated servers.
If you need to use a specific dedicated server in a certain location with different provider at a later stage, our administrators can assist with setup of server requirements and server administration for additional fees.
Q: How do HTML5 streaming solutions compare with other solutions?
A: Reliability and performance of streaming depends a lot on users’ connections, as for any streaming solution.
As HTML5 solutions are web based (no downloads required), usage also depends on browser implementations. Users can try different HTML5 browsers (Chrome. Firefox, Brave, Safari, Edge) and pick most suitable for their experience and system.
Q: How much bitrate does video conferencing with multiple participants require?
A: When video conferencing, participants watch multiple broadcasters at same time and multiple streams are consumed. Conferencing optimization solutions:
– Broadcasters can stream at lower resolution to fit split screen and avoid huge bitrate requirements (1 stream at 480p can be replaced by 4 streams at 120p).
– Moderator can assign speakers one at a time into a single fullscreen slot.
– When there are few broadcasters conferencing and many viewers, a moderator can use a desktop RTMP encoder application to compose multiple inputs/scenes in a single stream.
Q: Can I achieve capacity for many thousands or millions of users, like big industry players?
A: Yes, with similar hosting and development budget/time. As project grows income will also grow and will permit expansion.
Our turnkey plans are designed to get you started fast and with effective costs. As projects takes off and budget increases, you can explore scaling options.
Q: Can I run a free service for many users with low costs?
A: Due to high resources required for streaming, costs grow a lot with volume and services should be financially sustainable.
Big projects that are not monetized are better hosted on free platforms, with their ads, terms or revenue sharing model.