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Getting started with Livepeer.com
Debugging Stream Playback
Live stream with the Livepeer.com API
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Your Livepeer.com account

Debugging Livepeer.com Stream Playback

This step-by-step guide will help you debug common stream playback problems. Try these steps before reaching out to Livepeer.com directly.

We will use the Livepeer.com test player to debug. You must be logged into the Livepeer.com dashboard.

Prerequisite: Locate your playback URL.

Your playback URL is specific to the stream ingest region.

  • This Livepeer.com API guide touches on finding your playback URL by combining a base URL with a playbackId. If you don't know your stream playbackId, you can retrieve it via GET /stream/<id>.
  • You can also find the playback URL on the Livepeer.com dashboard stream page, https://livepeer.com/app/stream/<stream-id>. Learn more here.

Step 1

Load your playback URL in the Livepeer.com test player. If you get a "Stream not found" error, confirm that your URL is correct. It should look something like this: https://region-cdn.livepeer.com/hls/123456abcdef7890/index.m3u8

Step 2

What seems to be the problem you are experiencing?

  • The video is not playing in my application at all. Go to the next step.
  • The video is playing, but the quality is poor. Go to step 5.
  • I don't know.: Go to step 4.

Step 3

Does anything playback in the Livepeer.com test players?

  • Yes, the quality is great: There may be something wrong with your player configuration. Start by checking if your player is loading the correct playback URL.
  • No: Go to the next step.
  • Yes, but the quality is poor: Go to step 5

Step 4

Check the stream status below the Livepeer.com test player. Is it active?

  • No: No video is being ingested. Confirm your or your streamer’s broadcast software RTMP configuration is set up properly. If you are using OBS to stream into Livepeer, check out steps 4-5 in this blog post.
  • Yes: Go to the next step.

Step 5

Check the your stream's ingest rate by looking at the graph in the Stream Info section of the test player. Every 10 seconds, the rate at which your stream is being ingested into Livepeer.com is updated. Is the plotted ingest rate line relatively flat?

  • No: If the chart shows a lot of sharp peaks and valleys, this indicates your broadcasting workflow is unstable. The RTMP stream hitting Livepeer's ingest server has problems. Try ensuring a stronger internet connection at the source via a wired ethernet connection or by broadcasting on a more reliable network.
  • Yes: This usually indicates your broadcasting workflow is stable with a good internet connection. Go to the next step.

Step 6

Check if you are transcoding. Is there only one profile listed next to Playback settings below the Livepeer.com test player?

  • Yes: You are not transcoding your source stream, and only the source profile is available for playback (no ABR) via the Livepeer.com CDN. There may be something wrong with your source stream. If you can, instruct the streamer to set the keyframe interval to 2 in their broadcasting software; this can help. In general, make sure your broadcasting workflow is stable. The RTMP stream hitting Livepeer's ingest server has problems. Try ensuring a stronger internet connection at the source via a wired ethernet connection or by broadcasting on a more reliable network.
    Or, if the resolution, FPS and/or bitrate of the source stream is very high and if your internet bandwidth is low, playback will be slow and choppy. Consider transcoding your livestreams. If no transcoding renditions are available for playback, you are not making use of ABR.
  • No: If two or more profiles are listed, go to the next step.

Step 7

Do all the profiles have the same FPS? Between 5 FPS and 60 FPS work best. Setting FPS to 0 is also acceptable and passes through the source FPS to the transcoded renditions.

  • No: Your profiles FPS is configured incorrectly. Create a new stream, and set all profiles FPS to the same value.
  • Yes: Go to the next step.

Step 8

Check if something is wrong with the source stream. The source stream is the stream sent from your broadcast software. Livepeer serves the source stream with the transcoded renditions via the playback URL.

The left player shows your source stream, as served by the Livepeer.com CDN. This player is configured to only playback the highest resolution available. Except for in rare occassions, the highest resolution is the non-transcoded source stream.

Compare the source in the left player with the transcoded renditions in the player on the right (ABR). You can manually switch between transcoded renditions by clicking on the symbol in the lower right corner of the player. Do the renditions on the right player show more problems than in the left source?

  • No: If the problems in the source-only stream are also present in the transcoded renditions, there is something wrong with your source stream. If you can, instruct the streamer to set the keyframe interval to 2 in their broadcasting software; this can help. In general, make sure your broadcasting workflow is stable. The RTMP stream hitting Livepeer's ingest server has problems. Try ensuring a stronger internet connection at the source via a wired ethernet connection or by broadcasting on a more reliable network.
  • Yes: If you created your stream via the Livepeer.com API, confirm your profile bitrate settings are reasonable. And if they are, reach out to Livepeer.com for further help,[email protected].
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