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HTTP Live Streaming


This article outlines how HTTP live streaming, aka HLS, is utilized in live streaming video from Meraki security cameras.

How it works

Meraki MV cameras use HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) as the delivery mechanism for video. HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is a protocol originally developed by Apple for streaming media. It works by creating a continuous collection of small files which are downloaded by the web browser and played back seamlessly. Video delivered this way is simple for a browser to interpret and removes the need for special software or browser plugins that can show the video. 


Below are the workflow steps for streaming live video via HLS to Dashboard.

  1. The camera creates a playlist file called m3u8 that contains a list of all current .ts segment files on the camera. These .ts segments are two-second video clips.
  2. Dashboard will create a secure connection to the camera and request the playlist file. Once it retrieves the m3u8 playlist file, Dashboard will read it to learn of the current .ts segments on the camera.
  3. Dashboard will make requests for each .ts segment on the camera.
  4. Video is streamed to Dashboard.

Stream delay

Due to how HLS functions, there is a small buffering period which leads to a slight delay in the video stream. For local direct streams, this delay can be 5-10 seconds. 

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