Latest News

Shadow support on Clamp UI Clamp image URL feature

The latest stable cut of Clamp now supports a drop shadow effect that was asked for by several clients. Shadows can be added to both text and image overlays to increase contrast and make the captions on the stream easier to read.

An other convenient feature is referencing overlay images with HTTP URLs, which comes handy especially for when Wowza Streaming Engine is running on an Amazon EC2 instance and Clamp has to show logos that are hosted externally, usually on an an S3 storage. The ability to send in the image with HTTP post is supported by using Base64 encoded images, similarly to how resources can be inlined into HTML or CSS. Both of the above features received support on the Clamp UI as well.

{start: "now", duration: 15, image: "http://foo.com/image.png", position: {x: 0.5, y: 0.5}, style: { font:"Verdana", size:50, style:"bold", color: "yellow"}, shadow: { offsetX: 10, offsetY: 5, opacity: 0.4, radius: 9}}

# Or alternatively image: "data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAB4AAAAdCA...."

Today a new tool is announced in the toolbox called Scissor which focuses on combining live streams and static video files into one or multiple live output streams. Similarly to Clamp it allows you to control and program the content of the live stream dynamically using JSON instructions in an ad-hoc way or based on a predefined schedule. The functionality provided allows you to insert advertisements or arbitrary vod content into your streaming events on demand by simply editing a control file. Scissor immediately picks up and processes the changes.

The reason for not doing any public Wrench releases in 2015Q4 was not the lack of development. Behind the scenes a brand new user interface was being shaped which can dramatically simplify Wrench configuration. Previously people had to browse the reference guide, do inconventient edits in the Application.xml, then restart Wowza (or just the application being tweaked). This was a slow and error prone process.

Now that Wrench has its own configuration screens you can see all the options and the related documentation side by side and you can change any value and apply the changes to the running Wowza application immediately. You can completely reconfigure Wrench without time consuming restart cycles. The plan is to make the UI more and more intuitive with various validations and checks.

Here are some teaser screenshots of the new user interface:

wrench user interface 2

The management tab of the UI currently (as of 2016.01.01) provides you with two features. One is immediately kicking off any user by username. The other is an overview table of all currently connected sessions with username, IP address, stream name and connection/elapsed time.

wrench user interface 3

Clamp has debuted on this year IBC2015 show in Amsterdam under the hood of BCE's new Virtual TV solution. It is responsible for rendering text and image overlays on the live TV channel. Virtual TV allows kicking off a complete TV channel using virtualized software running in the cloud.

To better demonstrate the poerful features of Clamp a new video has been added to the Streamtoolbox YouTube channel. This video focuses on three key functions in Clamp: text overlay on the video with fade-in effect, image overlay on the stream and scrolling ticker text on-the-fly. Check out this video and upvote if you liked it!

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