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Broadcasting with third party encoders

 

If you're hosting your own Brandlive event and plan on using your own production gear or working with a third party production company, it's likely that you'll be utilizing a Hardware or software encoder to stream your content to Brandlive.  Here are some recommended settings and workflows to help with third party encoder use.

 

Output Settings

The output settings of the encoder you use will allow you to set your streaming destination (i.e. Brandlive Channel).  This is where you'll enter the RTMP and stream key that's associated with your Brandlive Channel.  You can find your channels RTMP and Stream key within the settings of the Brandlive Admin Console.

 

This is also where you'll set up the bit rate of your stream and find the resolution/frame rate settings. There are usually several defaults available to choose from. We recommend starting with 720p (2Mbps) x264 (H.264) or Apple Codec H.264, unless you have done previous stream testing with a Customer Success Manager and have been assigned specific settings. Brandlive also has recommended output settings, and you can find them listed below in the Encoder Settings section. Once you have selected a default setting, you can adjust the default settings, then save the new settings as a customized default of your own. The saved encoding setting will then be available for you to choose whenever you open your encoder.

 

Encoder Settings

Recommended RTMP Encoder Settings 

(Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the bitrate settings depending on the speed of your internet.)

 

Video Encoding (720p)

  • Encoder: (X.264) H.264 or Apple H.264
  • Width: 1280
  • Height: 720
  • Frames per second: 30
  • Average bit rate: 2250
    this is dependent of what your internet (and your audience’s internet) can support
  • Quality: 3 - (Very Fast encoding) Default
  • Profile: Main
  • Key frame every: 30 frames

Audio Encoding

  • Channels: Stereo
  • Target bit rate: 128 kbits/sec
  • Sample rate: 48.000 kHz

Video Encoding (1080p)

  • Encoder: (X.264) H.264 or Apple H.264
  • Width: 1920
  • Height: 1080
  • Frames per second: 30
  • Average bit rate: 4000
    this is dependent of what your internet (and your audience’s internet) can support
  • Quality: 3 - (Very Fast encoding) Default
  • Profile: Main
  • Key frame every: 30 frames

Audio Encoding

  • Channels: Stereo
  • Target bit rate: 192 kbits/sec
  • Sample rate: 48.000 kHz

 

Compare your settings to this screenshot and make sure everything matches:

Once you've got the settings correct, click the Save As button at the bottom. Give this new preset a name, such as Recommended Encoder Settings. Click OK, and this new preset will be added at the top of the Encoder drop-down list. You can now select this preset for your default broadcast profile.

Simulcast Brandlive to Your Social Sites

Your encoder can likely be configured to stream to several social media sites. Below are the step-by-step instructions for live streaming to your Facebook Live and Periscope/Twitter accounts.

 

Facebook Live

With Facebook Live’s video publishing tools, you can simulcast your Brandlive feed to your Facebook Live account. The following points will help as guidance to get you set up:

  • NOTE: You will need administrative rights and access to the Facebook account to which you want to stream.
  • Before you begin, click on this link and login to your Facebook account you're wanting to stream from: https://www.facebook.com/live/create
  • Click on Create Live Stream and you will taken to the Live API Facebook page. You will need to stay on this page through the process of connecting the stream from Wirecast to the Facebook account you're wanting to broadcast on. 
  • On the left, you'll see a holding window generating an RTMP and Stream Key that are specific to your Facebook account. Be sure to choose where you want to post your live broadcast on the right hand side in the drop-down menu at the top of the window, select 'Share on Page You Manage' or choose the profile you'd like to use and you'll see an RTMP and Stream Key generate for that specific page. 
  • On the right hand side of the broadcast window, you'll see a space to add in a Caption/Post introduction for your video. This can be a promo you're doing in the live broadcast, and you can also add a link to your Brandlive event page. 
  • Below that, you'll want to title your video and add in any tags that can generate more visibility on your event. 
  • Going back to the left hand side- you'll see two items, the RTMP and Stream Key are generated. Be sure to check the 'Enable persistent stream key' box, this will lock in your stream key so if you're testing before an event, you won't need to generate another stream key for your broadcast. Do not close this page out- keep this page up in the background and open up Wirecast. 

connectyourapi.png

  • Within your streaming encoder, head to the 'Output Settings'. Select RTMP as your destination then input the RTMP and Stream Key from Facebook to their Address and Stream lines within that menu. You should also name this destination as a Facebook Profile next to Name. 

Video Encoding

  • Set your encoder: X.264 or Apple H.264
  • Make sure the Width and Height is no larger than 1920 x 1080; 1280 x 720 would work
  • Make your bitrate no higher than 4000; 1500 - 2250 would be a good test range based on your internet connection
  • Keyframe every 1 frames 

Audio Encoding

  • Channels: Stereo
  • Target bitrate 128kbits/sec
  • Sample rate: 48 kHz

Now save this preset, click ok and you'll be returned to Wirecast. When you're ready to begin your show, load in your logo and then click the stream button. Before you begin your event, return to the original Create Live Stream page. The left window will then go black before displaying your live-stream preview. When you see your image, click on the bottom right button, 'Go Live' and you'll then be live on your page. 

Periscope or Twitter

With Periscope Producer, you can simulcast your Brandlive feed to your Periscope/Twitter account. The following points will help:

  • NOTE: You will need administrative rights and access to the Twitter and Periscope accounts to which you want to stream. If you don’t have a Periscope account, you will need to create one to stream to your Twitter account.
  • Follow the instructions for Periscope Producer; click this link to access the account.
  • Note that Brandlive does not capture event metrics for those viewing a simulcast to Periscope/Twitter.
  • If Brandlive is producing the event for you, please generate an RTMP code and stream key for your event and email those two items to your customer success manager.
  • If you are producing the event yourself:
    • Generate an RTMP code and stream key from Periscope
    • Enter those values in the encoder Output Settings
    • Change the name of the output setting to Periscope (or name you’d like)
  • Whether you or Brandlive produces your event, you are responsible for starting and stopping the Brandlive stream on your Periscope/Twitter post. Brandlive will stream your event to your Brandlive channel, but you will need to start the stream to Twitter per Periscope’s process in Periscope Producer noted above.
  • Once you hit the Start Broadcast button, Brandlive’s stream will broadcast to your Twitter account.

 

Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting an issue, it is always best practice to double check your audio and video sources to ensure they have a proper connection to your computer and that you are getting proper signal from each source.

For audio, ensure the mics and mixer are on and have been set to the proper levels.

For video and other media, ensure you have a proper HDMI or SDI connection to your switcher or video capture device, allowing the video signal to be recognized by both your computer and the encoder.  Here is a list of various troubleshooting solutions, should all of your A/V sources been verified to function properly and connect to Wirecast.

 

No video in your list of video sources:

 

When adding a Capture Device (video source), make sure that the video source that is being connected is listed, otherwise, you’ll be unable to add the video source.

  • BlackMagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder (MAC) - If you’re connecting a BlackMagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder and don’t see it recognized in your encoder, make sure you have downloaded the BlackMagic Desktop Video Utility for your Mac computer (https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/family/capture-and-playback). This will load a driver onto your computer that upon opening will pull up each black magic capture device - if you are using the source as HDMI, be sure that HDMI is checked by clicking the middle button under the photo of the mini recorder and vice versa for SDI connection.
  • Video Capture Device/Card (Windows) - If you’re connecting a Video Capture device that’s compatible with Windows computer, make sure that you have downloaded the necessary software and drivers needed for that device to be recognized by your computer.

No Audio in Encoder

When bringing in external audio into your encoder, whether it be from the camera source or a USB audio source, make sure that the video source is connected to the proper audio source. Audio is considered a separate source within your encoder, and that source needs to be paired with the video sources desired.

  • BlackMagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder (MAC) - If BlackMagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder is being connected, first bring in the video source into the desired layer.  Make sure the audio source is selected to UltraStudio Mini recorder ONLY IF you want the audio that’s coming from that camera. This will load a driver onto your computer that will recognize the connection of BlackMagic Devices like the UltraStudio Mini Recorder.
  • USB Audio Mixer - If you’re connecting a USB audio mixer to your computer, for the purpose of bringing in external audio (i.e. lavalier Mics, wired mics) to support the video sources, make sure the audio source is selected to USB audio within the audio source properties of your video sources. It’s also important that ONLY USB AUDIO is selected as an audio source within each video source you’re bringing in, to ensure you’re not picking up sounds from the cameras. This also applies to any computer video sources you’re bringing into your encoder, such as powerpoint presentations via HDMI.  
  • A/V Switcher (i.e. Roland Video switcher products) - When using an Audio/Video switcher with your encoder, you’ll most likely have a USB 3.0 connection from the switcher to the computer. The Switcher might be recognized as two different sources within your encoder, those being an audio and video source with the name of the switcher (i.e. VR4-HD, VR50-HD, Etc.). 

Unable to stream 

When you come across the inability to stream or record, the first place to look at when assessing the issue is the destination point. For streaming, this is your internet connection. For recording, this is your local destination (i.e. your computer).

  • Internet connection - If is preferred to have a hard-line connection to the internet via an ethernet cable.  Make sure the Ethernet cable is securely attached to the computer and the port that you’re connecting to.  The best way to first check your internet connection is to run a speed test before opening up your encoder.  It’s also best to confirm with the local I.T. or networking team that you’re not running into any firewall settings.
  • RTMP address and key - If you’re streaming to your assigned Brandlive channel, you will be given an RTMP address and Stream Key. This information goes into the Output settings of your encoder. Make sure the correct RTMP address is listed under address of RTMP server, and make sure the correct stream key is listed under the Stream field. We consider it best practice to stream test 30+ minutes before your Brandlive event. To do this, simply go to the Brandlive admin console, go to settings, and scroll down to Test Stream API.  From here, you’ll be able to watch your test stream from the link listed with a generated access code.

 

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