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SRS Server - Unlock the Power of HEVC via RTMP - Boost Your Live Streaming with OBS and FFmpeg

· 4 min read

Introduction​

HEVC, or H.265, can reduce bandwidth usage by about 50% compared to the widely used H.264 codec, which has the best compatibility. Over the past 10 years, HEVC has grown slowly because a new codec needs an ecosystem to support it, including decoders and device hardware. Now, both RTMP and FLV support HEVC in OBS and FFmpeg, which are the standard tools in the live streaming industry.

In live streaming, all the necessary tools are ready for HEVC. For encoding, FFmpeg and OBS are the most commonly used streaming tools. OBS 29+ supports RTMP with HEVC, while FFmpeg 6 supports RTMP with HEVC. For HTML5 players, mpegts.js 1.7.3 already supports HEVC via HTTP-FLV or HTTP-TS. VLC and ffplay also support HEVC via HTTP-TS, SRT, and HLS. For media servers, SRS 6 supports HEVC via RTMP, FLV, TS, HLS, SRT, WebRTC, and more.

In this tutorial, we introduce FFmpeg 6, which added HEVC support just a few months ago. This is a significant development, as many tools that use FFmpeg can now utilize HEVC via RTMP without any patches.

Note: If you are interested in learning about OBS support for HEVC via RTMP, please read How to Push HEVC via RTMP by OBS.

Note: Please note that SRS 6.0 had already HEVC(H.265) support for RTMP, HTTP-FLV, SRT, HTTP-TS, HLS, MPEG-DASH and WebRTC(Safari), please refer to H.265 Live Streaming Saving 50% Cost.

Step 1: Run SRS Media Server​

YouTube supports HEVC through RTMP, allowing you to directly publish HEVC via RTMP streams to YouTube using OBS or FFmpeg. If you need to create your own live streaming platform, you can use the SRS media server, which also supports HEVC via RTMP.

To run SRS, you can use Docker with the following command:

docker run --rm -it -p 1935:1935 -p 8080:8080 ossrs/srs:6 \
./objs/srs -c conf/docker.conf

To check if it started successfully, open your browser and visit http://localhost:8080.

Step 2: Publish by FFmpeg 6​

If you have compiled FFmpeg 6 from source code using the instructions from this post, you can now utilize FFmpeg to publish RTMP HEVC streams:

ffmpeg -stream_loop -1 -re -i doc/source.flv -acodec copy \
-vcodec libx265 -f flv rtmp://localhost/live/livestream

Keep in mind that FFmpeg 6.0 does not support HEVC over RTMP until the following commit 637c761b:

commit 637c761be1bf9c3e1f0f347c5c3a390d7c32b282
Author: Steven Liu <liuqi05@kuaishou.com>
Date: Mon Aug 28 09:59:24 2023 +0800

avformat/rtmpproto: support enhanced rtmp

add option named rtmp_enhanced_codec,
it would support hvc1,av01,vp09 now,
the fourcc is using Array of strings.

Signed-off-by: Steven Liu <lq@chinaffmpeg.org>

SRS offers Docker support for FFmpeg versions 4 and 5, which enable HEVC streaming through RTMP. You can conveniently use Docker to directly publish your live stream.

# For macOS
docker run --rm -it ossrs/srs:encoder \
ffmpeg -stream_loop -1 -re -i doc/source.flv -acodec copy \
-vcodec libx265 -f flv rtmp://host.docker.internal/live/livestream

# For Linux
docker run --net=host --rm -it ossrs/srs:encoder \
ffmpeg -stream_loop -1 -re -i doc/source.flv -acodec copy \
-vcodec libx265 -f flv rtmp://127.0.0.1/live/livestream

Note: If want to use OBS, please download OBS 29+ from here, select the HEVC codec, please see How to Push HEVC via RTMP by OBS for detail.

Step 3: Play by HTML5 Player​

To play HEVC streams in your web browser, you can utilize mpegts.js version 1.7.3+ for playing HTTP-FLV or HTTP-TS.

The SRS player has mpegts.js integrated, so all you need to do is open the URL to play the HEVC stream:

When it comes to HLS streaming, hls.js doesn't support HEVC via TS. As a result, you should use VLC or ffplay to play the HLS stream instead:

  • HLS(by VLC or fflay): http://localhost:8080/live/livestream.m3u8

Cloud Service​

At SRS, our goal is to establish a non-profit, open-source community dedicated to creating an all-in-one, out-of-the-box, open-source video solution for live streaming and WebRTC online services.

Additionally, we offer a cloud service for those who prefer to use cloud service instead of building from scratch. Our cloud service features global network acceleration, enhanced congestion control algorithms, client SDKs for all platforms, and some free quota.

To learn more about our cloud service, click here.

Conclusion​

In summary, using HEVC for live streaming has become more accessible thanks to essential tools like OBS, FFmpeg, and SRS media server, making it simpler for users to benefit from the bandwidth savings provided by this codec. By following the steps in this guide, you can create your own live streaming platform with HEVC and RTMP, and play the streams using HTML5 players like mpegts.js, or VLC and ffplay for HLS streaming.

Contact​

Welcome for more discussion at discord.