Information Technology

RTMP Live Stream – An Overview


You may have used RTMP, but you haven’t realized it. How so? Have you watched a live stream on Facebook, Insta, or YouTube?Then chances are you have made use of protocols like HTTP and RTMP.

But what is RTMP anyway? Real Time Messaging Protocol developed by ADOBE for live streaming. It is mainly used for low latency, reduced buffering, adaptive bitrate streaming, and to fast-forward/rewind your video streams.

This blog will tell you the pros and cons of RTMP if it is used by the TCP or UDP, and the difference between RTMP vs. HTTP. Furthermore, we’ll see how we can setup an RTMP live stream and a video platform to do it for you.

Pros and Cons of RTMP

RTMP is a protocol intended to maintain low-latency connections for audio-video streaming. To surge the amount of data to be transmitted smoothly, streams are split into little fragments called packets. RTMP also defines many virtual channels that work independently of each other for those packets to be delivered on.


  • Natively supported by Flash Player
  • Best for low latency streaming
  • Creates a seamless streaming experience by keeping constant contact between the video player and server
  • Provides secure cloud-based streaming through RTMPs.


  • It doesn’t have video compression methods like VP9, AV1, and more, plus high-resolution videos.
  • RTMP live stream is now old-fashioned and no longer supported iOS, Android, most embedded players, and several browsers. Moreover, certain networks have blocked the RTMP port by default; you need special firewall modifications to allow a passage, therefore, limiting scalability.
  • RTMP live streaming is prone to data loss. In case of network issues, it can quickly lose data over a few seconds, which can interrupt the stream.

RTMP – Is it TCP or UDP-based?

So, what protocol does RTMP uses? It is a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) based, which facilitates the exchange of data between every device in a network. The RTMP stream follows a three-way handshake that enables data transportation.

  • (First handshake) the originator asks the server to start a connection
  • (Second handshake) when the server responds, the initiator acknowledges it
  • (Third handshake) and a reliable connection is established

RTMP vs. HTTP Streaming

The difference is based on the factors like latency, playback compatibility, firewall, audio codec, video codec, and variant formats. Here’s our comparison:


  • In terms of latency, RTMP has as low as 5 seconds
  • Is only supported by Adobe flash player or RTMP compatible players.
  • Has firewall restrictions
  • AAC, AAC-L, MP3,Speex,Opus,Vorbis,HE-AAC+v1 & v2 are audio codecs.
  • Video codecs include H.264, VP6, VP8, Sorenson Spark, Screen Video v1 & v2
  • Variant formats include RTMPT, RTMPE, RTMPTE, RTMPS, RTMFP


  • Latency is around 6 to 30 sec
  • Is supported all over the internet
  • No restrictions for firewall
  • Supported audio codecs are AAC-LC, HE-AAC+ v1 &v2, xHE-AAC, Apple lossless, FLAC
  • Supported video codecs H.265, H.264
  • Low latency HLS and PHLS

How to Setup RTMP for your Live Stream

How RTMP is generally setup in Vimeo:

  1. Add the RTMP stream on Livestream Studio’s settings under the “Input tab.”
  2. In order to configure the server, authenticate the stream under the little gearwheel icon by adding your credentials such as username and password.
  3. Next to configure is your encoder by entering your Stream Name and RTMP URL. Fetch these from the Livestream Studio, under the General tab. In your third-party encoder, open your RTMP settings and enter the RTMP URL and Stream Name from the Studio into the corresponding fields.

Video Platform for RTMP live streaming

VIDIMZO, a Gartner-recognized video streaming platform that supports a wide variety of encoders, helps you with a seamless video experience. It will help you push an RTMP live stream onto the streaming player and convert it into HLS or any other supported formats for a seamless live stream.

Moreover, you can stream live and on-demand videos with an internal and external audience. Have them organized and managed in a YouTube-like video content library. You can also integrate different IT platforms with the platform and make the most of their AI-based features such as automatic transcription and translation.

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This