I want to broadcast live video from a playlist created by me, but the actual video files (.flv's) are stored in some external file hosting which I can't admin, but it's currently allowing the use of flash players for playing its contents (progressively).

Which is the best solution for this? Can I use my current web server (Debian w/Apache) or should I use some specific server software? I've read some names such as Red5 and Wowza but I can't tell if those are solutions to my actual problem or how should I use them. Also, costs should be as low as possible for this project.

  • You say you want to broadcast live video, but FLVs by nature are pre-recorded. Do you mean that you just want to stream the video once?
    – user4318
    Apr 29, 2010 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


You can use CDN with RTMP & RTMPT Flash Streaming, for example Amazon CloudFront, SimpleCDN, etc.


Use flvstreamer and ffserver.

flvstreamer does what it sounds like, and ffserver comes with ffmpeg, and it lets you stream live video from anything you can feed into ffmpeg like this:

flvstreamer url | ffmpeg  -i -

ffserver can "output" a flash stream- a url that you'd visit like http://site/video.swf or you can offer other formats (like asf or mpg) and ffmpeg can transcode it- if your computer is fast enough- in real time.

Then your "playlist" is essentially a list of flvserver|ffmpeg... commands, and it's very easy to add more, or add more streams.

Below is a configuration file that I use. Some things to note: the feed1.ffm is a "buffer", and the "max size" is essentially how lagged things can get. Removing the FileMaxSize records everything, allowing you to time-shift your video as well.

Port 8090
MaxClients 200
MaxBandwidth 4000000
<Feed feed1.ffm>
File tmp/feed1.ffm
FileMaxSize 10M
ACL allow
<Stream video.swf>
Feed feed1.ffm
VideoBitRate 500
VideoBufferSize 40
VideoGopSize 10
Format swf
VideoSize 640x480
VideoFrameRate 10
VideoQMin  1
VideoQMax  4
PreRoll 0

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