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RTMP vs RTSP vs RTMPS:What's the Difference?

Tencent Stream - Product Team

What is a Video Streaming Protocol?

A video streaming protocol is a set of rules and standards used for delivering video content over the internet. The protocol defines how the video data is transmitted, encoded, and decoded, as well as how it is synchronized with audio and other multimedia content.

There are several video streaming protocols in use today, including RTMP, RTSP, HLS, RTMPS, MPEG-DASH, and WebRTC. Each protocol has its own strengths and weaknesses, and is designed for specific use cases and applications.

Video streaming protocols are essential for delivering high-quality video content over the internet, as they help to ensure that the video is delivered smoothly and without interruption. They also provide features such as adaptive bitrate streaming, which allows the video quality to adjust automatically based on the viewer's internet connection, and encryption, which helps to protect the stream from interception and unauthorized access.

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What is RTMP?

RTMP, or Real-Time Messaging Protocol, is a streaming protocol developed by Adobe Systems. It is widely used for live streaming and on-demand streaming of audio, video, and data. Here are some pros and cons of using RTMP:

Pros:

- Low latency: RTMP provides low latency streaming, which is important for live streaming applications.

- Wide compatibility: RTMP is supported by many devices and platforms, including web browsers, mobile devices, and streaming servers.

- Adaptive bitrate streaming: RTMP supports adaptive bitrate streaming, which allows the video quality to adjust automatically based on the viewer's internet connection.

Cons:

- Limited security: RTMP does not provide end-to-end encryption, which can leave your stream vulnerable to interception and unauthorized access.

- Requires a dedicated server: To use RTMP, you need to have a dedicated server that supports the protocol.

- Limited scalability: RTMP can be difficult to scale for larger audiences, as it requires more server resources as the number of viewers increases.

What is RTSP?

RTSP, or Real-Time Streaming Protocol, is a streaming protocol designed for controlling the delivery of data with real-time properties, such as audio and video. It is commonly used for streaming IP camera feeds and other surveillance applications. Here are some pros and cons of using RTSP:

Pros:

- High scalability: RTSP is highly scalable and can support large numbers of viewers without requiring additional server resources.

- Supports multiple streams: RTSP can support multiple streams simultaneously, which is useful for streaming from multiple cameras or sources.

- Provides end-to-end encryption: RTSP provides end-to-end encryption, which can help to protect your stream from interception and unauthorized access.

Cons:

- High latency: RTSP can have higher latency than other streaming protocols, which can be an issue for live streaming applications.

- Limited compatibility: RTSP may not be supported by all devices and platforms, which can limit its usefulness in certain applications.

- Limited adaptive bitrate streaming: RTSP does not support adaptive bitrate streaming, which can result in buffering or poor quality video for viewers with slower internet connections.

What is RTMPS?

RTMPS (Real-Time Messaging Protocol Secure) is a secure version of RTMP that uses SSL/TLS encryption to protect the stream from interception and unauthorized access. Here are some pros and cons of using RTMPS:

Pros:

- Secure: RTMPS provides end-to-end encryption, which helps to protect your stream from interception and unauthorized access.

- Widely supported: RTMPS is supported by many devices and platforms, including web browsers, mobile devices, and streaming servers.

- Low latency: RTMPS provides low latency streaming, which is important for live streaming applications.

Cons:

- Higher resource requirements: RTMPS requires more server resources than unencrypted protocols like RTMP, which can increase costs and technical requirements.

- Limited compatibility: Some older devices and platforms may not support RTMPS, which can limit its usefulness in certain applications.

- Higher setup complexity: Setting up RTMPS can be more complex than setting up unencrypted protocols, which can require more technical expertise and time.

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RTMP vs RTSP vs RTMPS: Which is Right for Your Needs?

When choosing a streaming protocol, consider factors such as security, latency, scalability, compatibility, and adaptive bitrate streaming. RTMP is a good choice for low latency and wide compatibility, while RTSP is better for high scalability and end-to-end encryption. RTMPS is a good choice for added security, but requires more resources and setup complexity.

How RTMP Works for Streaming?

RTMP works by sending video and audio data from a source, such as a camera or encoder, to a server that can distribute the stream to viewers. The protocol is designed for low-latency streaming, which means that the video and audio data can be delivered in real-time. RTMP also supports adaptive bitrate streaming, which allows the video quality to adjust automatically based on the viewer's internet connection.

How RTSP Works for Streaming?

RTSP works by sending control messages between a server and a client to initiate and control the delivery of audio and video data. The protocol is designed for controlling the delivery of real-time data, rather than delivering the data itself. RTSP can support multiple streams simultaneously and provides end-to-end encryption for added security.

How RTMPS Works for Streaming?

RTMPS works by providing a secure version of the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) for live streaming video content over the internet. The protocol uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to protect the stream from interception and unauthorized access.

When using RTMPS for streaming, the video and audio data is captured by a camera or other source and encoded into a digital format. The encoded data is then sent to a server that supports the RTMPS protocol, using the RTMPS protocol's encrypted connection. The server distributes the stream to viewers who access it using a web browser, mobile device, or other streaming platform. The viewer's device decrypts the stream using the SSL/TLS encryption key, allowing them to view the video and audio content in real-time.

RTMPS provides end-to-end encryption, low latency streaming, and wide compatibility with devices and platforms. However, it requires more server resources than unencrypted protocols like RTMP and can be more complex to set up. Despite these challenges, RTMPS is a popular choice for live streaming applications that require added security, such as financial transactions or confidential meetings.

How to implement RTMPS streaming with Tencent MPS?

The RTMPS streaming protocol, which employs SSL encryption, demands the configuration of a push domain name certificate; at present, the default push domain name 'push.tlivecloud.com' of Cloud Streaming Services has been equipped with a common certificate. For other default domains, you need to Submit a Ticket to provide domain names and configure according to the corresponding certificate.
If you desire to use your certificate, port replacement is necessary. Tencent Video Cloud's multi-protocol platform has optimized the RTMPS protocol. There is no need for users to switch ports. Users can directly use their certificates. The platform will automatically adapt to the domains and match the corresponding certificate.

1. The generation of live streaming URLs can be carried out in the following two methods:
Assemble independently through splicing rules. For detailed operations, please refer to Splicing Live Streaming URLs.
1.1 Enter the Tools > Address Generator of the Cloud Streaming Services console, select URL type: Push Address, and select domain name as needed. For detailed operations, please refer to Address Generator.

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2. Modify the generated RTMP live streaming URL into RTMPS, input it into OBS to start RTMPS streaming. For detailed operations, please refer to Push via OBS.
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