Tributary Release: New Features and How It Affects You

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Livepeer core will be releasing an updated version of its software, codenamed Tributary, which will add the following features:

  • Re-use existing broadcasting jobs - save money by not needing to do an additional Ethereum transaction for each job.
  • Unbond some of your tokens, rather than having to unbond all of your tokens. This will allow transcoders and users to use some of their inflationary token for alternative purposes, rather than having them all locked up.
  • Much better networking between broadcaster and transcoders - network should become stable enough to switch many of the early test streams from testnet to mainnet.
  • And more internal details described in the posts below…

For a look at the very specific protocol updates, as implemented through the Livepeer Improvement Proposal (LIP) process, see this post.

For a look at the very specific node updates to the Livepeer node software, see this post.

I’m a transcoder, how will this affect me?

In order to perform transcoding jobs correctly, you’ll want to upgrade your node as soon as possible after release (8/22). Additionally, the node will have to be accessible on the public internet. See the node update post for details on changes to some of the command line node options. Feel free to ask any questions there.

Edit: After you start your node for the first time, you’ll need to execute another Set transcoder config transaction using the Livepeer CLI, in order to register your node’s connectivity details on chain. The node will warn you to do this.

What happens if I don’t update immediately or can’t update for a few days?

Your existing node should continue to run and call reward() automatically. But it’s possible that it could crash as a result of bugs, or job assignments that it can’t handle under new networking conditions. Please continue to monitor and manually invoke reward() if you don’t have the opportunity to upgrade quickly.

What happens after I upgrade?

When you restart your node after the update, it should continue to operate as usual, automatically executing the daily reward txn on your behalf. However, as the networking should be greatly improved and we intend to start routing more video transcoding jobs through the network, it’s important to continue to monitor your node, and to participate in the dev and debug process should you see any crashes, bugs, or challenges in keeping the node running. Please file issues in the go-livepeer repository, or bring questions here or to the Discord chat. The more feedback, the better.

I’m a user of Livepeer’s transcoding network, how does this affect me?

Please just upgrade your node, and continue to send video and transcode jobs into the network as usual. Your output video will be available back on your node over the HTTP interface for you to serve to your app/DApp, or route onto a CDN for delivery.

I’m a token holding delegator, how does this affect me?

The protocol now supports partial unbonding, which means you can unbond and withdraw some of your token without having to unbond all of your token. The command line interface supports this, as do the on chain smart contracts, however the explorer doesn’t yet have the feature built out. That feature will come soon.

This post will be updated when the updated software is released.

Two small updates for transcoders:

  1. Some have asked what command they’ll run to restart their new node. The publicIP is no longer required, so the simplest possible command on Rinkeby with a locally running geth node is:

./livepeer -rinkeby -transcoder -v 99 -ethIpcPath /home/ubuntu/.ethereum/geth.ipc

Remove -rinkeby for mainnet.

  1. It’s been pointed out that transcoders do have to execute one new transaction to register their connectivity details on chain. To do this just send another Set transcoder config transaction using the CLI. Your node will ask you to do this if your node’s IP ever changes.

The new release is out! Download version 0.3.0 at

If you are running a transcoder node, please execute a Set transcoder config command from the command line interface after upgrading. You can keep your same job price, reward cut, fee share, but it will also ask you for your service URI. This is your publicly accessible node address, and you can just hit enter to use the default detected IP/port - however you are welcome to replace this with your hostname or proxy if you have a custom setup.