Flash Media Server is a DVR

Adobe has released the Flash Media Server DVRCast application on the Flash Media Server Tools page. DVRCast is a server-side application that turns FMS 3.5 into a DVR. If you aren’t sure what a DVR is, think TiVo. You can pause a live show and start playing it again from where you paused. You can also join events late and rewind to watch from the beginning. DVRCast also gives publishers the ability to fine tune how they deliver DVR streams.

Actually, the DVR functionality is built into FMS 3.5. To publish a DVR stream, just record or append the stream as you publish it–NetStream.publish(“myvideo”, “record”) or NetStream.publish(“myvideo”, “append”). To view a DVR stream, use NetStream.play(“myvideo”, 0, -1). The “0” indicates that you want to play a recorded stream. When you play a live stream that’s being recorded, you’re really watching the recorded stream a hair behind.

Before DVRCast was released, you couldn’t record media captured with Flash Media Live Encoder 3.0. To create a DVR stream (one that viewers can pause, rewind, etc.), you have to record the stream. (OK, the server records the stream, but you tell the server to do it.) DVRCast lets you record media that you capture with FMLE 3.0 and FMLE 3.0 encodes media with better codecs than Flash Player. Ergo, DVRCast is good.

To build a client app that connects to the DVRCast app, you can use the FLVPlayback 2.5 component. (Both Flash and Flex support FLVPlayback 2.5.)  Download FLVPlayback 2.5 from the Flash Media Server Tools page as well. A new version ( was released with the DVRCast app so you may need to upgrade. Oh, and the FLVPlayback 2.5 component also supports dynamic streaming.

For more information, see Kevin Towes’ blog.


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