RTMP stands for ‘Real time messaging protocol’. It started out as a proprietary protocol developed by Macromedia for streaming audio, video, and data over the Internet, between a Flash player and a server. Back in 2005, Macromedia was purchased by the well-known computer software company, Adobe Inc. The protocol initially designed by Macromedia had many gaps to be filled and after the purchase, Adobe significantly improved its features.
So, what is RTMP exactly?
In simple words, RTMP is a video streaming protocol that makes high quality live streaming possible. In its early stages, RTMP was a proprietary protocol, but now it is an open specification and its features are available to a larger audience. Its main purpose is to deliver high speed transmission of audio, video and data between the server and a specific flash player. With RTMP, users can avoid latency in communication and deliver live content smoothly. Video streams are split in fragments, aggregating them into a single connection. This way, streamed content becomes available across multiple channels, simultaneously. It assures that each channel meets its bandwidth, latency, and other specific quality requirements. Big social media players such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitch are compatible RTMP channels. A live stream can occur at the same time, across any approved channels and even on personal websites.
Computer camera vs RTMP on Streams.live
Before deciding on whether using the computer camera or RTMP for your live stream, you need to answer some critical questions:
- How broad and diverse is your audience?
- Where do you plan to share your streamed content (websites and platforms)?
- What type of streaming setup do you need to use (hardware)?
If you plan to host a live stream for a large and diverse audience, make it available on multiple streaming channels simultaneously and use professional gear to record it , RTMP is what you are looking for. Since it’s not linked to a shared cloud, your live stream will experience minimal delay (latency) and a high-video quality.
When using the computer camera, the information is processed through an additional layer (server). It is processed through a shared cloud and it can result in lower resolution and higher latency. Besides that, if you plan to amaze your audience and create a live event experience with special effects, you will not be able to use your own gear and sophisticated hardware. However, by using the computer camera, users can stream live content straight from their smartphone’s camera.
To wrap up, the RTMP feature is dedicated to advanced users that require higher levels of production. It provides the alternative of using professional gear to record live content for a broad and diverse audience.