I'm considering my options for implementing a VOD service. Until recently my choices seemed to be either Wowza or Darwin, but now I discovered VLM, which looks really cool.

I am going to stream MPEG4 H.264 video with AAC audio. I'm probably going to use the RTSP protocol, but I'm willing to use HTTP as well (after reading this article).

Can anyone comment on his or her experiences with VLM? How does it compare to Darwin or Wowza? Is it stable and worthy of production use? Are there any limitations or performance problems?


I haven't used Darwin or Wowza, I have used VLC streaming a few time:

Basically, I found it good... It was awkward to setup, but it seemed to work fine... No problems, did everything as expected.

However, in the end, I settled on using Windows Server with the media services role. It just has so many more options and is very flexible.

We needed to do a lot of features on the project such as membership, custom controls, advert injection and VLC just wasn't capable of this where Windows media services did pretty much everything out of the box.

  • did you have issues streaming mp4 or mkv files? It seems WMS doesn't support these. – gbjbaanb Aug 21 '14 at 13:27

I have used all three just to mess around, and here's how I would rank them:

Ease of use:

  1. Wowza
  2. VLM
  3. Darwin


  1. Darwin
  2. VLM
  3. Wowza

Overall, I would choose the one that works best for you based on utility and Ease of Use. VLM has of course the added bonus of being free and open source, an advantage shared by Darwin. Unfortunately, I would say it's the least stable of the three as well.

  • Wow. Do you mean that VLM, which always seemed like a little side-feature in VLC, is actually up to par with Darwin and Wowza? – StackedCrooked Nov 27 '09 at 21:42

It's not really Video-On-Demand, but here in France, we have an ISP that distributes phone, TV and Internet Access trough what the call a "FreeBox". It's like an ADSL modem on steroids. The "modem" is connected to your phone line, and sends data via wifi, ethernet or BPL to the other devices (computer, another device called Freebox HD that you attach to your TV and allows to watch TV, acts as a media center, etc...).

I really have no idea what is the infrastructure behind all that, but as a end-user, I just need to open VLC, load a .m3U playlist, and I have all my TV channels from around the world streamed right to my computer (in HD for some channels). There are some lags sometimes, freezes and hangovers, but they are quite rare.

Not sure it will help you but here are my 2 cents.


I find wowza confusing. the documentation regarding theory and programmatic control is lacking. It is easy to use if you want to do really really simple things, but as soon as you want to role up you sleeves and setup a real video on demand service with permissions and such, its a headache to figure out.

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