Playback Controls API for Subscribers (Live Streaming & VOD)

This document covers the Controls API and usage for Subscribers from the Red5 Pro HTML SDK. The Controls API supports both Live Streaming and Video On Demand (VOD) across the 3 supported playback platforms: WebRTC, Flash/RTMP and HLS.

Playback Controls

The Playback Controls of the Red5 Pro HTML SDK provide a cross-browser and unified look-and-feel for playback of streams across the supported platforms of WebRTC, Flash/RMTP and HLS.

By enabling the Red5 Pro HTML SDK Playback Controls, users have the ability to due the following during stream playback:

  • Pause and Resume the Stream
  • Mute and Unmute the Audio of the Stream
  • Control the Volume of the Audio of the Stream when unmuted
  • Toggle FullScreen mode (using the screenfull library dependency)
  • Seek to Timeframe on VOD (Video on Demand)

Enabling the Controls

To turn on the custom Red5 Pro HTML SDK Playback Controls simply add the following to the target video or audio element that will play back the stream:

  • controls
  • class="red5pro-media"

Internally, the SDK will read these attributes and override the default browser controls, replacing them with the custom Red5 Pro SDK Playback Controls.


<video id="red5pro-subscriber" controls class="red5pro-media"></video>

Playback Controls Dependencies

The following describes the resource dependencies required to properly display the controls and support fullscreen mode.


In order to view the controls, the red5pro-media.css file included in the Red5 Pro HTML SDK distribution needs to be added as a resource to the page.

Somewhere in the head tag, add the following:

<link href="lib/red5pro/red5pro-media.css" rel="sylesheet">


The full screen functionality utilized the Open Source screenfull library. You will need to include that as a script depencency on the page as well if you intend to support full screen mode (by default the Red5 Pro Playback Controls show fullscreen toggle buttons).

Somewhere in the head tag - or before the declaration of the Red5 Pro SDK JavaScript dependency - add the following:

<script src=""></script>

If you do provide the red5pro-media class on the video or audio element, and still include the controls attribute, the SDK will allow for the default browser controls.


You can enable the ability to automatically start playback of the stream once it has been loaded by providing the autoplay attribute on the video or audio element:

<video id="red5pro-subscriber" class="red5pro-media" controls autoplay></video>

Auto Mute

You can set the playback to be automatically muted upon initial load and playback of the stream by providing the muted attribute on the video or audio element:

<video id="red5pro-subscriber" class="red5pro-media" controls autoplay muted></video>

Additional Information

The controls, autoplay and muted attributes are not unique to the Red5 Pro SDK and Playback Controls API. They are browser-accepted attributes of HTMLMediaElement (e.g., <video> and <audio>). The Red5 Pro SDK reads these attributes in order to determine how you wish to present controls and play back the stream.

Playback Controls API

The Red5 Pro HTML SDK Subscriber(s) have been updated to provide an API that interacts with stream playback. With the default Red5 Pro SDK Playback Controls enabled - as described in the previous section - the controls interact with this API internally.

The API is available to be interacted with as seen fit by the developer - and in the case if you, as a developer, want to create your own custom controls.

Method Name Arguments Description
play none Request to start playing the stream.
pause none Request to pause the current playback stream.
resume none Request to resume the paused playback stream.
stop none Request to stop the current playback stream.
mute none Request to mute the audio of the current playback stream.
unmute none Request to unmute the audio of the current playback stream.
setVolume Number Request to set volume, between 0 and 1.
seekTo Number Request to seek to (in seconds) in VOD playback.
toggleFullScreen none Request to toggle fullscreen mode. Requires screenfull.js library as a script dependency on page.

Playback Events API

The following events pertain to the playback of a stream through a Subscriber and are accessible from the SDK from SubscriberEventTypes.

Access Name Meaning
VOLUME_CHANGE 'Subscribe.Volume.Change' Invoked when a change to volume is detected during playback. From 0 to 1.
PLAYBACK_TIME_UPDATE 'Subscribe.Time.Update' Invoked when a change in playhead time is detected during playback. In seconds.
PLAYBACK_STATE_CHANGE 'Subscribe.Playback.Change' Invoked when a change in playback state has occured, such as when going from a Playback.PAUSED state to Playback.PLAYING state.
FULL_SCREEN_STATE_CHANGE 'Subscribe.FullScreen.Change' Invoked when a change in fullscreen state occurs during playback.


The VOLUME_CHANGE event occurs upon:

  • Initial start of playback
  • Response to mute and unmute
  • Response to setVolume

The event data is as shown:

  volume: <Number, value 0 - 1>


The PLAYBACK_TIME_UPDATE event occurs in change to playhead time.

The event data is as shown:

  time: <Number, in seconds>,
  duration: <Number, in seconds>

The duration value is the known duration of the stream, and is only available during Video On Demand (VOD) playback.


The PLAYBACK_STATE_CHANGE event occurs upon change to playback state of the Subscriber.

the event data is as shown:

  code: <Int, see chart below>,
  state: <String, human readable form of code value>

The following code and corresponding states are dispatched with this event:

Code State Notes
0 Playback.AVAILABLE Listen for this state in order to recognize when the Subscriber has loaded enough of the stream or made an available connection to begin playback requests (such as play).
1 Playback.IDLE Listen for this state in order to recognize when the stream playback has become "idle" from previous playback.
2 Playback.PLAYING Listen for this state in order to recognize when stream playback has started or resumed.
3 Playback.PAUSED Listen for this state in order to recognize when the stream playback has been paused.

Custom Playback Example

Please refer to section Creating Custom Playback Controls to view an example of utilizing the Playback Controls API and Playback Events API to provide custom playback controls.

Playback Controls UI

The Red5 Pro HTML SDK Playback Controls are styled based on the provided red5pro-media.css file of the distribution.

Red5 Pro Media Container

The video (or audio) declaration for a Red5 Pro Subscriber cannot have the Playback Controls UI placed within it. As such, the Red5 Pro HTML SDK detects if the video or audio element is wrapped by a container with a class declaration of red5pro-media-container and if non-existant, creates one and adds the video or audio element as a child.

By having a red5pro-media-container element, the SDK can then add the Player Controls UI overlay on the video or audio element. If you would like to provide your own container:

<div class="red5pro-media-container">
  <video id="red5pro-subscriber" class="red5pro-media red5pro-media-background" controls autoplay>

Playback Controls Style Declarations

The CSS Style Declaration from the red5pro-media.css file delivered with the Red5 Pro HTML SDK has the following declarations:

Declaration Related Control Description
red5pro-media-container Parent container element for the video or audio element. Assigned to the class list of parent container of media.
red5pro-media The video or audio element. Used to designate the media element as being eligible for Red5 Pro Playback Controls.
red5pro-media-background The background for the video or audio element. Sets the background style properties for the media element.
red5pro-media-container-full-screen The media element container. The style properties to assign for the media element container to be presented when in full screen mode.
red5pro-media-control-bar The control bar container for the Red5 Pro Playback Controls. Layout and parent style assignment for the control bar.
red5pro-media-control-bar-show The control bar container. This is as a dispaly flag on the control bar to reveal it upon roll-over.
red5pro-media-control-element Top-level style declaration for all elements within the control bar. Base style assignments for all immediate children of the control bar.
red5pro-media-time-field The time display. During playback, the playhead time is shown.
red5pro-media-slider Top-level style declaration for slider control. Slider controls are used in the seek control and the volume control.
red5pro-media-slider-track Top-level style declaration for the backing track element of a slider control. Used for all slider controls.
red5pro-media-slider-progress Tpop-level style declaration for the progress element that overlays the track element of a slider control. Used for all slider controls.
red5pro-media-slider-button Top-level style declaration for the button element of a slider control. Used for all slider controls. Defaulted to rounded element.
red5pro-media-volume-slider Volume slider control. A slider control with a button and track.
red5pro-media-seektime-slider Seek time slider control. A slider control with a button and track.
red5pro-media-element-button Top-level style declaration for the button elements for play/pause, mute/unmute, and fullscreen toggle.
red5pro-media-element-button-disabled Top-level style declaration for button element in disabled state.
red5pro-media-play-button Play/Pause button. The display while in the Paused and Idle state of the stream.
red5pro-media-pause-button Play/Pause button. The display while in the P;aying state of the stream.
red5pro-media-unmute-button Mute/Unmute button. The display while the stream is muted.
red5pro-media-mute-button Mute/Unmute button. The display while the stream is not muted.
red5pro-media-fullscreen-button Fullscreen toggle button. The display while the stream is not presented in fullscreen mode.
red5pro-media-exit-fullscreen-button Fullscreen toggle button. The display while the stream is presented in fullscreen mode.

These declarations can be changed with any other styling to match the look-and-feel of your brand. Please refer to Creating Custom Controls UI for an example.

Creating Custom Playback Controls

The following example demonstrates how to utilize the Playback Controls API and Playback Events API to provide custom controls and not those provide as default from the Red5 Pro HTML SDK:

<!doctype html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">
    <script src=""></script>
    <div class="media-container">
      <video id="red5pro-subscriber"></video>
      <div> <!-- Controls -->
        <span id="time-field">00:00:00</span>
        <button id="play-pause-button" disabled>play</button>
        <button id="mute-unmute-button" disabled>mute</button>
        <button id="fullscreen-button" disabled>fullscreen</button>
    <script src="lib/red5pro/red5pro-sdk.js"></script>
      (function (window) {
         function getQueryVariable(variable) {
            var query =;
            var vars = query.split('&');
            for (var i = 0; i < vars.length; i++) {
              var pair = vars[i].split('=');
              if (decodeURIComponent(pair[0]) == variable) {
                return decodeURIComponent(pair[1]);
            return undefined;
          window.query = getQueryVariable;
    (function (window, red5pro) {

          'use strict';
          var so;
          var streamName = window.query('streamName')
          var gUM = {
            mediaConstraints: {
              video: true,
              audio: true
          var configuration = {
            host: "localhost",
            streamName: streamName ? streamName : "mystream",
            app: "live",
            embedWidth: "100%",
            embedHeight: 480,
            buffer: 1,
            bandwidth: {
              "audio": 50,
              "video": 256
            rtcConfiguration: {
              iceServers: [{urls: ''}],
              iceCandidatePoolSize: 2,
              bundlePolicy: 'max-bundle'
            } // See
          var config = Object.assign({},
          var rtcConfig = Object.assign({}, config, {
            protocol: 'ws',
            port: 5080
          var rtmpConfig = Object.assign({}, config, {
            protocol: 'rtmp',
            port: 1935,
            backgroundColor: "#000000",
            swf: '../lib/red5pro/red5pro-subscriber.swf',
            swfobjectURL: '../lib/swfobject/swfobject.js',
            productInstallURL: '../lib/swfobject/playerProductInstall.swf'
          var hlsConfig = Object.assign({}, config, {
            protocol: 'http',
            port: '5080'
          var sub = new red5pro.Red5ProSubscriber()
          sub.setPlaybackOrder(['rtc', 'rtmp', 'hls'])
              rtc: rtcConfig,
              rtmp: rtmpConfig,
              hls: hlsConfig
            .then(function(subscriberImpl) {
              var subscriber = subscriberImpl;
            .catch( function(error) {
              // handle possible error in instantiation od subscriber implementation.
              console.error('HLS Init Error: ' + error);

        function setUpAPI (subscriber) {
          var playPauseButton = document.getElementById('play-pause-button');
          var muteUnmuteButton = document.getElementById('mute-unmute-button');
          var fullscreenButton = document.getElementById('fullscreen-button');
          var timeField = document.getElementById('time-field');

          function formatTime (value) {
            var hrs = 0
            var mins = value === 0 ? 0 : parseInt(value / 60)
            var secs = 0
            if (mins >= 60) {
              hrs = parseInt(mins / 60)
              mins = mins % 60
            secs = value === 0 ? 0 : parseInt(value % 60)
            var formattedArr = (hrs < 10) ? ['0' + hrs] : [hrs]
            formattedArr.push((mins < 10) ? ['0' + mins] : [mins])
            formattedArr.push((secs < 10) ? ['0' + secs] : [secs])
            return formattedArr.join(':')
          function playPauseClick () {
            if (playPauseButton.innerText === 'play') {
            else {
          function muteUnmuteClick () {
            if (muteUnmuteButton.innerText === 'mute') {
            else {
          function fullscreenClick () {
          var enableControls = function () {
            playPauseButton.addEventListener('click', playPauseClick);
            muteUnmuteButton.addEventListener('click', muteUnmuteClick);
            fullscreenButton.addEventListener('click', fullscreenClick);
          var disableControls = function () {
            playPauseButton.setAttribute('disabled', true);
            muteUnmuteButton.setAttribute('disabled', true);
            fullscreenButton.setAttribute('disabled', true);
            playPauseButton.removeEventListener('click', playPauseClick);
            muteUnmuteButton.removeEventListener('click', muteUnmuteClick);
            fullscreenButton.removeEventListener('click', fullscreenClick);
          subscriber.on('*', function (event) {
            if (event.type === 'Subscribe.Playback.Change' &&
      === 'Playback.AVAILABLE') {
            else if (event.type === 'Subscribe.Volume.Change') {
              if ( === 0) {
                muteUnmuteButton.innerText = 'unmute';
              else {
                muteUnmuteButton.innerText = 'mute';
            else if (event.type === 'Subscribe.Playback.Change') {
              if ( === 'Playback.PLAYING') {
                playPauseButton.innerText = 'pause';
              else {
                playPauseButton.innerText = 'play';
            else if (event.type === 'Subscribe.Time.Update') {
              timeField.innerText = formatTime(Math.round(;

     })(window, window.red5prosdk);

Creating Custom Controls UI

To customize the look and feel of the playback controls, use the red5pro-media.css file distributed with the SDK as your guide, and discover the cusomizable style declarations available from the Playback Controls Style Declarations section.

When you have change the declarations to your liking in a separate CSS file, it is recommended to define your custom CSS file dependency after the red5pro-media.css dependency in your page.

For example, if you have saved your custom styles to a file named my-custom-playback-controls.css:

<!doctype html>
    <title>My Custom Playback Controls</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/red5pro/red5pro-media.css">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="my-custom-playback-controls.css">
    <script src=""></script>
    <video id="red5pro-subscriber" controls autoplay class="red5pro-media"></video>
    <script src="lib/red5pro/red5pro-sdk.js"></script>