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SRS Stack - Ensuring Authentication in Live Streaming Publishing

· 5 min read

In today's digital age, live streaming has become increasingly popular, with platforms like YouTube and Twitch offering users the ability to broadcast their content in real-time. However, with this growing popularity comes the need for enhanced security and authentication measures to protect both streamers and viewers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of security and authentication in live streaming, discuss the SRS Stack solution for secure publishing, and provide a step-by-step guide on setting up the SRS Stack for your own live streaming service.

The Importance of Authentication in Live Streaming​

When publishing a live stream on platforms like YouTube or Twitch, users need to obtain a stream key and use broadcasting software like OBS to publish the live stream to the platform. Maintaining the confidentiality of your stream key is essential, as anyone who obtains it can stream on your behalf, potentially publishing prohibited content and resulting in your account being blocked by the platform.

For those looking to build their own live streaming service, ensuring security and authentication becomes even more critical. This is where the SRS Stack comes in, offering a solution for secure publishing through the use of a publish secret.

However, an overly complex security design can also lead to confusion and difficulty for users, making the streaming platform challenging to use. Therefore, it is crucial to implement a secure yet straightforward solution for authenticating live streaming publishing.

The SRS Stack Solution for Secure Publishing​

The SRS Stack is a powerful tool that helps users build their own live streaming service with enhanced security and authentication features. By utilizing a publish secret, the SRS Stack ensures that only authorized users can publish streams, preventing unauthorized access and protecting your content.

To set up the SRS Stack for secure publishing, follow these steps:

  1. Create an SRS Stack with just one click. For detailed instructions, visit How to Setup a Video Streaming Service by 1-Click

  2. Upon creation, the SRS Stack will automatically generate a publish secret, such as 5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294. You can set it from System / Authentication / Update Stream Secret.

  3. Copy the OBS settings from Scenarios / Streaming, including the Server and StreamKey. For example, the Server might be rtmp://135.98.31.15/live/, and the StreamKey could be livestream?secret=5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294.

  4. Open the HLS player to play the stream, such as http://135.98.31.15/live/livestream.m3u8.

For example, you will get the following URLs:

  • Publish URL: rtmp://135.98.31.15/live/livestream?secret=5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294
  • Play URL: http://135.98.31.15/live/livestream.m3u8

Note that the secret is not included in the play stream URL, preventing viewers from knowing the publish secret and ensuring they can only watch the stream, not publish it.

Supporting Multiple Streams​

The SRS Stack allows users to support multiple streams by simply changing the resource name (stream name) as needed. For example, change stream name from livestream to movie:

  • Publish URL: rtmp://135.98.31.15/live/movie?secret=5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294
  • Play URL: http://135.98.31.15/live/movie.m3u8

Or you can change livestream to sport:

  • Publish URL: rtmp://135.98.31.15/live/sport?secret=5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294
  • Play URL: http://135.98.31.15/live/sport.m3u8

You can use any name you prefer, for example, the-10-years-anually-for-you:

  • Publish URL: rtmp://135.98.31.15/live/the-10-years-anually-for-you?secret=5181a08ee6eab86597e913e1f9e4c294
  • Play URL: http://135.98.31.15/live/the-10-years-anually-for-you.m3u8

Note: Please note that all streams share the same publish secret.

The SRS Stack allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous streams, with the only constraint being your server's bandwidth capacity. Additionally, you have the freedom to choose any desired stream name.

Limitations of the SRS Stack​

Nevertheless, the SRS Stack has a few limitations.

As of now, it only supports authentication for publishing streams using a global secret applicable to all streams. It does not provide individual secrets for each stream in an effort to maintain simplicity.

Additionally, unlike YouTube and Twitch, the SRS Stack does not support changing stream names, which use different names for publishing and playing. This can be confusing and complex, as it requires an additional system to manage the mapping of filenames.

Finally, the SRS Stack does not have authentication support for playing streams at the moment, making the stream view public and accessible to anyone. If you would like to limit the playback of the stream, please let us know. This feature is included in the milestone, but there is no specific timeline for its implementation.

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, security and authentication are vital aspects of live streaming, and the SRS Stack provides a straightforward solution for those building their own streaming services. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your live streaming service remains secure and accessible only to authorized users.

Contact​

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