Amazon Kinesis Video Streams
Developer Guide

Kinesis Video Streams Playback with HLS

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is an industry-standard HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol. You can use HLS to view an Amazon Kinesis video stream, either for live playback or to view archived video.

You can view a Kinesis video stream using either HLS or the GetMedia API. The differences between these methods are as follows:

  • GetMedia: You use the GetMedia API to build your own applications to process Kinesis video streams. GetMedia is a real-time API with low latency. If you want to create a player that uses GetMedia, you have to build it yourself. For information about how to develop an application that displays a Kinesis video stream using GetMedia, see Stream Parser Library.

  • HLS: You can use HLS for live playback. Latency is typically between 3 and 5 seconds, but it can be between 1 and 10 seconds, depending on the use case, player, and network conditions. You can use a third-party player (such as Video.js or Google Shaka Player) to display the video stream by providing the HLS streaming session URL, either programmatically or manually. You can also play back video by typing the HLS streaming session URL in the Location bar of the Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge browsers.

To view a Kinesis video stream using HLS, you first create a streaming session using GetHLSStreamingSessionURL. This action returns a URL (containing a session token) for accessing the HLS session. You can then use the URL in a media player or a standalone application to display the stream.

An Amazon Kinesis video stream has the following requirements for providing video through HLS:

  • The media type must be video/h264.

  • Data retention must be greater than 0.

  • The fragments must contain codec private data in the AVC (Advanced Video Coding) for H.264 format (MPEG-4 specification ISO/IEC 14496-15). For information about adapting stream data to a given format, see NAL Adaptation Flags.

Example: Using HLS in HTML and JavaScript

The following example shows how to retrieve an HLS streaming session for a Kinesis video stream and play it back in a webpage. The example shows how to play back video in the following players:

Set Up the Kinesis Video Streams Client

To access streaming video with HLS, first create and configure the Kinesis Video Streams client (to retrieve the service endpoint) and archived media client (to retrieve the HLS streaming session). The application retrieves the necessary values from input boxes on the HTML page.

<script src=""></script> ... var streamName = $('#streamName').val(); // Step 1: Configure SDK Clients var options = { accessKeyId: 'ACCESS_KEY_ID', secretAccessKey: 'SECRET_KEY', sessionToken: $('#sessionToken').val() || undefined, region: 'REGION', endpoint: $('#endpoint').val() || undefined } var kinesisVideo = new AWS.KinesisVideo(options); var kinesisVideoArchivedContent = new AWS.KinesisVideoArchivedMedia(options);

Retrieve the Kinesis Video Streams Archived Content Endpoint

After the clients are initiated, retrieve the Kinesis Video Streams archived content endpoint to retrieve the HLS streaming session URL:

// Step 2: Get a data endpoint for the stream kinesisVideo.getDataEndpoint({ StreamName: streamName, APIName: "GET_HLS_STREAMING_SESSION_URL" }, function(err, response) { if (err) { return console.error(err); } console.log('Data endpoint: ' + response.DataEndpoint); kinesisVideoArchivedContent.endpoint = new AWS.Endpoint(response.DataEndpoint); });

Retrieve the HLS Streaming Session URL

When you have the archived content endpoint, call the GetHLSStreamingSessionURL API to retrieve the HLS streaming session URL:

// Step 3: Get an HLS Streaming Session URL console.log('Fetching HLS Streaming Session URL'); kinesisVideoArchivedContent.getHLSStreamingSessionURL({ StreamName: streamName, PlaybackMode: $('#playbackMode').val(), HLSFragmentSelector: { FragmentSelectorType: $('#fragmentSelectorType').val(), TimestampRange: $('#playbackMode').val() === "LIVE" ? undefined : { StartTimestamp: new Date($('#startTimestamp').val()), EndTimestamp: new Date($('#endTimestamp').val()) } }, DiscontinuityMode: $('#discontinuityMode').val(), MaxMediaPlaylistFragmentResults: parseInt($('#maxMediaPlaylistFragmentResults').val()), Expires: parseInt($('#expires').val()) }, function(err, response) { if (err) { return console.error(err); } console.log('HLS Streaming Session URL: ' + response.HLSStreamingSessionURL);

Display the Streaming Video

When you have the HLS streaming session URL, provide it to the video player. The method for providing the URL to the video player is specific to the player used.

The following code example shows how to provide the streaming session URL to a Video.js player:

<!-- VideoJS elements --> <video id="videojs" class="video-js vjs-default-skin" controls autoplay></video> <script src=""></script> <script src=""></script> ... // Step 4: Give the URL to the video player. var playerName = $('#player').val(); if (playerName === 'VideoJS') { var playerElement = $('#videojs');; var player = videojs('videojs'); console.log('Created VideoJS Player'); player.src({ src: response.HLSStreamingSessionURL, type: 'application/x-mpegURL' }); console.log('Set player source');; console.log('Starting playback'); }

The following code example shows how to provide the streaming session URL to a Google Shaka player:

<!-- Shaka Player elements --> <video id="shaka" controls autoplay></video> <script src=""></script> ... if (playerName === 'Shaka Player') { var playerElement = $('#shaka');; var player = new shaka.Player(playerElement[0]); console.log('Created Shaka Player'); player.load(response.HLSStreamingSessionURL).then(function() { console.log('Starting playback'); }); console.log('Set player source');


If the video stream does not play back correctly, see Troubleshooting HLS Issues.

Completed Example

You can download or view the completed example code here.