With the consumption of live streams ever increasing, more and more people are asking the question, ‘How do I build a video streaming server?‘.
If your business needs to broadcast video for your audience/client to view in the same way that YouTube or Zoom does, you’re probably searching to learn how to build a video streaming server.
Thanks to the constantly evolving market for video platforms, there are IT providers who can offer you video platforms either on the cloud or on-premises.
However, if your business depends on streaming video, it may make much more sense to get support from a video streaming vendor, especially if you don’t have enough resources to build your own video streaming server.
In this post, we’ll explore exactly what a video streaming platform is, who can benefit from it, and how to build a video streaming server for your business.
What is a video streaming server?
In simple terms, a video streaming server is a web server with built-in RTSP functionality that is specialized for providing live or on-demand video on a computer, smart TV, or smartphone.
However, it’s different from simply downloading videos because they use additional technologies such as codecs and broadcast-quality capabilities to index, store, and deliver high-quality video files.
Video streaming means converting or encoding video into a data format and then sending it over the internet as a stream of data from a server to a viewer’s computer. Unlike downloading, streaming does not need users to store the whole file on their hard drives.
Instead, they can watch or “stream” the video while the file transmission is in progress.
Who requires a video streaming server?
The technology that distributes content from the source to the customer is more crucial than ever, especially as more consumers view high-quality videos on their mobile devices. So, a video streaming server is required for anyone who wishes to broadcast live or on-demand video to their audience via the internet.
Depending on your requirements, you can either build your video streaming server, use a third-party application, or partner with a company that provides a video CMS.
How to make a video streaming server?
Building your video streaming service with a capable partner like Ant Media allows you to enjoy many benefits such as:
- Ultra-low latency
- Adaptive One-to-Many WebRTC live stream feature
- Adaptive bitrate and much more.
However, building a video streaming server requires a great deal of technical knowledge, so it’s best to work with a capable developer. To make a video streaming server, you need to complete these five steps. These are:
- Configure your server
- Install and setup your software for streaming
- Create a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Configure your media player
- Extra configurations
Let’s understand these steps in more detail.
1. Configuring your server
There’s no need to start from scratch. Good-natured nerds all around the globe submit code that you can use as a starting point, thanks to the open-source mindset. For Linux or BDS operating systems, you can choose an open-source project that uses the Nginx web server. For other operating systems, you can look for other open-source video streaming projects to build from.
2. Installing and setting up your software
Now that your server is up and running, it’s time to install the streaming software. The popular OBS (Open Broadcast Studio) software is a good choice to stay inside the open-source arena. Select the operating system you’re using to download the correct version, then follow the wizard’s instructions to customize the platform as per your needs. When you’ve finished customizing your stream, click ‘Start Streaming’ to transmit it to your server.
3. Creating a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
By leveraging a host of proxy servers, a Content Delivery Network can improve the viewer’s experience by diminishing the physical distance between the provider and the client and ensuring quicker loading times. You’ll need points of presence (PoP), an origin server, ISP, routing, and caching software for configuring your CDN.
4. Configuring your media player
You can use VLC, an open-source media player that supports RTMP, or an HTML5 video player to view and monitor your streams. Select ‘Open Network Stream’ from the ‘Media’ menu and input the stream key to connect to your stream.
5. Extra configurations for your video streaming server
Your basic streaming server is ready. However, you may want to include security features, monetization, and adaptive bitrate technology (ABR), and other additional features. You can do it at this stage.
You’ve completed these five steps to make a video streaming server, but if you need more, read on. 🙂
Now you know how to make a video streaming server. However, this will need a large amount of bandwidth and fast upload rates. You will also need add-ons like high-end security, uninterruptible power sources, low-failure equipment, transcoding, ABR technology, and more.
That’s why you should choose an open-source video streaming infrastructure provider like Ant Media, which already has the technology and capacity in place to take care of the hard work.
How can Ant Media help you with your streaming platform?
Ant Media provides ready-to-use, highly scalable real-time video streaming solutions for live video streaming needs. Based on customer requirements and preferences, it enables a live video streaming solution to be deployed easily and quickly on-premises or on public cloud networks such as AWS, Azure, and Alibaba Cloud.
Ant Media’s well-known product, called Ant Media Server, is a video streaming platform and technology enabler, providing highly scalable, Ultra-Low Latency (WebRTC) and Low Latency (CMAF & HLS) video streaming solutions supported with operational management utilities.
Ant Media Server in a cluster mode dynamically scales up and down to enable our customers to serve from tens to millions of viewers in an automated and controlled way. Ant Media Server provides compatibility to be played in any Web Browser. In addition, SDKs for iOS, Android, Flutter, React Native, and JS are provided freely to enable customers to expand their reach to a broader audience.
Thanks to the adaptive bitrate streaming feature that allows any video to be played at any bandwidth on mobile devices. Ant Media has been serving a growing number of customers in 120+ countries all around the world. Customers from different segments such as Education, Live Auctions, Radio and TV Broadcasts, Enterprises, Service Providers, Government Agencies, Gaming Companies, and Mobile / Web App Developers enhance their business by using Ant Media Server and benefiting from its capabilities. You can get started for free now.
If you are looking for a free video streaming server instead of making your own video streaming server, Ant Media also provides a community edition. You can download it here.