In this paper, we have proposed a hybrid P2P overlay approach with tree optimization, referred to as HOWTO, for live media streaming. In the proposed scheme, the hybrid P2P overlay network consists of mesh and tree overlay. The mesh overlay is organized by peers that have the similar bandwidth ranges in geographical place. The tree overlay is formed by promoting peers that are considered stable in the mesh overlay as members of tree overlay, and is constructed over the mesh overlay. Depending on the tree optimization mechanism, the peers which have a large bandwidth will be near to the media source node in the tree overlay, and evenly distributed in the tree with branches of a similar depth.