It’s no longer a secret that live streaming apps and platforms are currently on the rise due to the demand driven by both viewers and streamers. More and more streamers are finding their way in this booming industry to realize their dreams while doing the things they love and are good at. If you’re a beginner or thinking about starting your own streaming channel, one of the areas that must be bothering you is online video hosting. Which live streaming software to use? How to stream smoothly and effectively? Today, we discuss the two popular protocols – HTTP and RTMP streaming – and help you determine your ideal choice.
Smooth, stable and professional online video hosting is pivotal to the success of your streams. The more convenient it is for your viewers to watch your content, the more your streams are likely to draw in an increased number of people. In this context, you need to remember that smooth streaming is not only dependent on the live stream apps you choose to broadcast to. A key role in this aspect is played by the live streaming software you choose. Today, we take a look at the two most popular protocols – HTTP and RTMP streaming – and decide which option is the right way to go.
The Significance Of Streaming Protocols
Before we delve into the two above-mentioned protocols, it’s better to understand what exactly they are and what their purposes might be. To put it simply, live streaming protocols belong to the family of internet protocols which are nothing but a set of computer rules that break your content into chunks, send them from your device to your viewers’ devices, and reassemble them for the audience to see your broadcasts. The advancement of technology has made it possible for people to view content simultaneously as it’s broadcasted and this is where streaming protocols come in to ensure that it takes place smoothly.
Now that you know what streaming protocols are needed, let’s dive deeper into the two most popular types of software.
RTMP is the abbreviation for Real-time Messaging Protocol which has been developed by Macromedia (now under Adobe). It’s an incredibly famous streaming protocol that is supported by almost all the mega streaming platforms like YouTube, Twitch, etc. Long story short, it follows a standardized procedure of moving multimedia files between the encoder and the streaming platform.
Pros of RTMP streaming:
- RTMP streaming is most popular for low latency broadcasts. Low latency is what maintains a stable connection and helps your viewers continue seeing your content even when the internet connectivity is poor. In other words, low latency results in lesser lags or buffers while viewing your streams.
- A major advantage of RTMP streaming is that it grants your viewers complete freedom when it comes to rewinding or skipping a part of the content or even joining your stream after it has already begun.
- RTMP also gives you a whole range of options when it comes to integrating different media types into a single cohesive package. For instance, you can seamlessly integrate audio, video and text into your content. Besides, you can also have multiple formats like MP3, MP4, F4V, etc.
Decoding HTTP Streaming
As the name itself suggests, HTTP streaming (also known as HLS) is a streaming protocol that allows the transmission of audio and video over HTTP websites and servers. It must be noted here that this is an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming protocol originally developed by Apple Inc. This data transfer technique enables the transmission of content from a web server to its recipients over one HTTP connection.
Pros of HTTP streaming:
- One of the major benefits of using the HTTP technique is that, since it’s a bitrate streaming protocol, it adjusts the quality of your content according to each of your viewers’ internet connections.
- Accessibility on the part of viewers is also a major advantage of HTTP streaming as it’s incredibly easy to visit websites and start viewing the content being broadcasted.
- Another great advantage driving the popularity of HTTP streaming is its simplicity and compatibility. All you need to know is how to transfer files to a web server and you’re good to go. Besides, it’s supported on all browsers, Android, iOS, smart TVs and other Apple devices.
HTTP vs RTMP: The Ultimate Choice
Now that we have covered both types of protocols and you have a basic idea of what each of them involves, it’s time to come down to the big question – which do you choose?
It must be noted here that HTTP streaming is most commonly used for playback instead of live broadcasts. Therefore, they are more suited for progressive downloads rather than streaming directly. Also, when it comes to HTTP, some amount of intrinsic latency is inevitable.
On the other hand, RTMP streaming is the solution for actual streaming sessions. It is associated with incredibly low latency which results in extremely quick and stable broadcasts. And these high speeds are achieved without the need for downloading the content. So, if you’re looking to live stream your content and have viewers watch you at that very instant, RTMP is definitely the way to go.
Now, you do not need to look for an answer anymore. We have covered the basics as simply and as much in detail as we could. We hope we have cleared your queries regarding the two streaming protocols. If you wish to live stream via RTMP, you can seamlessly do so on the popular streaming platforms simultaneously via Flutin Live. But, are you wondering how exactly to do that? Click here for a detailed guide to RTMP streaming and how it works.