WebRTC Host Play Types

Compare features and suitability for WebRTC Host plan types and read about scaling options.

Feature Compare Streaming Only Complete Hosting
Streaming Relay
VideoWhisper Web Apps Support
Stream Session Control
CPanel Web Hosting
Archiving, Recording, VOD
Dynamic Transcoding,
Stream Snapshots & Info
Serving Bitrate 12-480 Mbps 12-480 Mbps
Active Viewers ~600kbps 20-800 20-800
Storage Space No 100-2000 Gb
Price USD 35-350$ 50-400$

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: GoDaddyHostGator.

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.

Scale Bigger Projects

Scale Hosting Capacity
The Active Viewers (~600kbps) number 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.
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
Capacity can be scaled up by load balancing project on multiple plans/servers. Balancing options can include:
– running multiple sub-sites on different sub-domains or domains (when there are different rooms/channels that can be deployed on different sub-sites)
– replicating streams where there is a single stream that needs to be broadcast to many viewers
– more advanced setups with streaming/chat architecture 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.

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 Mogul plan 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.
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.

Scaling F.A.Q
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 an affordable VPS with Red5?
A: Red5 is not suitable for retail delivery as HTML5 WebRTC/HLS is required for delivery to mobile users. Wowza SE licensing required for such capabilities is $95/month.
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.

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.

Web Hosting Email Features, Deliverability and Limitations

  • Email accounts 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 send all site emails trough that 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. Theory: On big providers, new email senders are start as unreliable and 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.
  • 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.