What is RTMP and How Is It Used for Streaming?

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In the world of live streaming, there are a variety of protocols to choose from to ensure you are using a video streaming protocol that suits your needs. One of those popular protocols is RTMP.  While recent years has seen a sharp increase in other streaming protocols such as HLS, RTMP remains an option for some media server applications. 

What is RTMP streaming?

RTMP stands for Real Time Messaging Protocol. First developed by Macromedia and then acquired by Adobe, RTMP is a TCP based protocol designed for streaming audio, video, and other data over the internet. As the name suggests, RTMP was developed as a low latency protocol. Even though Adobe owns the protocol, it is open-source and available for use in any application.

How does RTMP streaming work?

RTMP uses the TCP protocol in order to deliver video, audio, and other media in small chunks. This ensures high performance in live streaming environments which demand low-latency and high video quality. 

RTMP streaming is a three step process:


1.

The RTMP Handshake


The process begins with a handshake between the client wishing to stream media and the server delivering that video or audio content. 


  • The client advises the server which version of the protocol it is using
  • The client sends a timestamp
  • The server responds with an echo of the information received by the client and includes a timestamp of the time it received them.
  • The client sends a final packet that is a copy of the timestamp packet and the server returns it.
  • Once the final packet exchange is complete, the handshake is considered complete.
2.

The RTMP Connection


Now that the client and server are connected, they can begin exchanging information using the Action Message Format.


The messages may look similar to this:

(Invoke) "connect"(Transaction ID) 1.0(Object1) { app: "sample", flashVer: "MAC 10,2,153,2", swfUrl: null, tcUrl: "rtmpt://127.0.0.1/sample ", fpad: false, capabilities: 9947.75 , audioCodecs: 3191, videoCodecs: 252, videoFunction: 1 , pageUrl: null, objectEncoding: 3.0 }
3.

The RTMP Stream


The player on the client's device can now begin streaming the video from the server using the communication protocol outlined above.

Is RTMP secure?

RTMPS is an available RTMP protocol which leverage Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in order to encrypt data sent in transit between the client and the server. This process makes the RTMP protocol relatively secure. 

Does RTMP require flash?

RTMP does require flash in order to leverage the enhanced seeking features available in RTMP video streaming. 

What is the difference between RTMP and RTSP?

The Real Time Streaming Protocol is a protocol designed to manage the activities of a streaming server. Unlike RTMP, it does not monitor every activity of a client connecting to the server to stream media. Streaming data is not the main task of RTSP, so it requires additional protocols in order to function as a full streaming service.

RTMP Server Requirements

The RTMP stream requirements will vary depending on your unique application, including the volume of content being sent on the stream, how many users will access the media server, and the encoding required by each user accessing the stream. Both Windows and Linux support RTMP streams,

Recommended RTMP Servers

SMALL

Perfect for a small media streaming server.

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  • Intel E3 1240v3
  • 32GB RAM
  • 500GB SSD
  • 20TB Bandwidth
  • 1Gbps Port
LARGE

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  • 2x E5-2692v2
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  • 2x 500GB SSD
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • 1Gbps Port

Deploy An RTMP Server

If you're looking to leverage the power of HTTP live streaming using RTMP streaming technology, you should consider deploying your next server in the cloud with ServerMania. 

We have developed a global network of server locations that are perfectly optimized for streaming content to users around the world. Our data centers are connect to top-tier network providers and our bandwidth costs are significantly cheaper than servers hosted with Amazon or Google. 

If you're interested in learning more about our media streaming solutions and what servers we offer for RTMP live streaming, consider booking a free consultation with our team. We'll help you choose a video streaming server that is perfectly tailored for your needs and budget.

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