HTTP Live Streaming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

HTTP Live Streaming playlist
Filename extension.m3u8
Internet media typeapplication/[1]
Developed byApple Inc.
Initial releaseApril 2014
Type of formatPlaylist
Extended fromextended M3U
Standarddraft 13
Jump to: navigation, search
HTTP Live Streaming playlist
Filename extension.m3u8
Internet media typeapplication/[1]
Developed byApple Inc.
Initial releaseApril 2014
Type of formatPlaylist
Extended fromextended M3U
Standarddraft 13

HTTP Live Streaming (also known as HLS) is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple Inc. as part of their QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS software. It works by breaking the overall stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads, each download loading one short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream is played, the client may select from a number of different alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to the available data rate. At the start of the streaming session, it downloads an extended M3U playlist containing the metadata for the various sub-streams which are available.[2]

Since its requests use only standard HTTP transactions, HTTP Live Streaming is capable of traversing any firewall or proxy server that lets through standard HTTP traffic, unlike UDP-based protocols such as RTP. This also allows content to be delivered over widely available CDNs.

HLS also specifies a standard encryption mechanism[3] using AES and a method of secure key distribution using HTTPS with either a device specific realm login or HTTP cookie which together provide a simple DRM system. Later versions of the protocol also provide for trick mode fast-forward and rewind and integration of subtitles. upLynk has also added the AES scrambling and base-64 encoding of the DRM content key with a 128-bit device specific key for registered commercial SWF applications together with a sequential initialization Vector for each chunk to their implementation of the standard.[4]

Apple has documented HTTP Live Streaming as an Internet Draft (Individual Submission), the first stage in the process of submitting it to the IETF as an Informational Request for Comments. However, while Apple has submitted occasional minor updates to the draft, no additional steps appear to have been taken towards IETF standardization.[5]

Server implementations[edit]


Supported players and servers[edit]


ProductLive StreamingDRMAs of VersionVendor
THEOplayer(HLS in HTML5)YesPartialOpenTelly
Amino x4x STBYesYes2.5.2
AndroidYesYesBrowser: 3.0-4.0.x
Media Player: 3.0+
3ivx HLS Player SDK for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 [15] & Xbox One [16]YesYes2.03ivx
QuickTime PlayerYesYes10+Apple
WebOS (HP Touchpad)YesYes3.0.5HP
DicePlayer (Android 2.2+)YesYesDiceplayer 1.0+INISOFT
nangu.TV on Motorola STBYesYes2.0nangu.TV
HLS Streaming Player and SDK for Flash [13]YesYes2.1Yospace
HLS Streaming Player and SDK for Flash [17]
Roku Digital Video PlayerYesYesRoku OS / SDK 2.6Roku
GPAC (cross-platform media player)YesNo0.5.0Telecom ParisTech inc.
VODOBOX HLS Player (free online player for iOS, Android, Flash)YesYesVODOBOX
VLC media playerYesNo2.0[18]VideoLAN
XBMC Media Center (cross-platform media player)YesPartial12.0 Alpha 5 and later
DRM support requires a monthly/nightly build
XBMC Foundation


ProductTechnologyAs Of VersionVendorNotes
Unicorn OnceSaaSUnicorn Media
IIS Media Services4.0[11]Microsoft
Antik Media StreamerIngest Module (UDP/HTTP Transport Stream, Backup Stream with auto-switching, stream status monitoring and logging), Stream replication UDP/HTTP, HLS streaming, Video archive with snapshots, Server-side Timeshift, Timezone Shifting with multi-timezones, Stream Encryption using AES and key-rotation (with Antik Key Server)3.0Antik technology
Adobe Media ServerLive and VOD streaming as origin and edge server5.0Adobe
Anevia ViaMotion ServersTranscapsulation: from one input, several outputs
(HLS, MS Smooth Streaming, ADS Flash, MPEG DASH)
Packet Ship OverView:Origin ServerCapture from IPTV multicast and chunking to HLS for multi-bandwidth live streams, with AES encryption2.1Packet Ship
nangu.TV Streamerson-the-fly adaptation: content is stored once enabling several outputs
(HLS, MS Smooth Streaming, ADS Flash, MPEG DASH)
TVersity Media Server1.9TVersityPro Edition only
Helix Universal ServerLive + VOD HLS with Verimatrix DRM integration, ABR, Multi-Resolution, AES encryption15.0+RealNetworksHigh performance HLS (12,000+ concurrent devices)
Wowza Streaming EngineLive and VOD streaming as origin and edge server with DVR, DRM Integration and Transcoding for adaptive delivery. Outputs to MPEG-DASH, HLS, HDS, Smooth Streaming, RTMP, and RTSP2.0+Wowza Media Systems
Unified Streaming PlatformMuxes media content from one unified source to multiple outputs (Smooth Streaming, HDS, HLS and MPEG DASH)Unified Streaming
Flixwagon Platform Video ServerFlixwagon
StreamCoder Live EncoderRealtime video encoder (inputs : DVB/IP stream or video signal). Supports multi-bitrates and multi-languagesEktacom
VODOBOX Live ServerApple HTTP Live Streaming multicast server (compliant with iOS, Android and HLS Flash Player)VodoboxLive transcoding from DVBT tuner, IP streams, DirectShow camera and video input capture card to mobile devices
Apache HTTP ServerApache Software Foundation
MistserverRTMP to HLS1.1-preDDVTECH
Unreal Media Server9.5Unreal Streaming TechnologiesLatency of live streams can be as low as 2.5 seconds over the Internet
InstaTV Server1.0InstaTVLive transcoding and streaming of broadcasting TV using any Windows compatible digital tuner to mobile devices
Nimble StreamerRTMP / UDP MPEG-TS to ABR HLS. MP4 / MP3 to VOD HLS1.0.0-xWMSPanel
Nginx-rtmp-moduleFree module for nginx server with support of HLS live streaming. Compliant with iOS and Android.0.9.xRoman Arutyunyan
Nginx PlusVOD HLS as originNGINX, Inc.
Flussonic Media ServerMulti-platform support for HTTP, RTSP, RTMP, Time Shifting, DVR Functions with Unlimited Rewind Capabilities HLS streaming specific to iOS platform support.3.0+Flussonic, LLC.Supporting a magnitude of features with full HTTP support.
VBrick Distributed Media Engine ("DME")2.0VBrick Systems, Inc.Live and stored HLS. Live can be transmuxed from several input mux including RTP, RTMP, and MPEG-TS using H.264 encoding

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pantos, R.P. (April 2014). "HTTP Live Streaming draft-pantos-http-live-streaming-13". Network Working Group: 1. 
  2. ^ Jordan, Larry (10 June 2013). "The Basics of HTTP Live Streaming". Larry's Blog. Larry Jordan & Associates. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Pantos, R. (30 September 2011). "HTTP Live Streaming". Internet Engineering Task Force. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Application keys". Digital rights management (DRM). upLynk Support. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Internet Drafts are not Open Standards". Anne van Kesteren. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Limelight Orchestrate Video Support". Limelight Networks. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Streaming HowTo: Streaming for the iPhone". VideoLAN Wiki. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Android 3.0 Platform Highlights". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "webOS 3.0.5 Updates". 
  11. ^ a b "First Look: Microsoft IIS Media Services 4". Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Wowza Unifies Media Streaming, Sets Performance Record, Slashes Costs with Production Launch of Wowza Media Server 2 for Flash, iPhone and Beyond". Wowza Media Systems. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "HLS Streaming Player and SDK for Flash". Yospace. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Blogcritics, November 26, 2010. iPad App Review: SlingPlayer (Retrieved April 14, 2014)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "HLS Streaming Player and SDK for Flash". Onlinelib. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  18. ^ VLC Ticket #2943 (Support for HTTP Live Streaming as a client)

External links[edit]