When setting up and producing your live broadcast, issues may arise that you’ll need to diagnose and fix. When you’re confronted with unexpected problems, the most important thing is to remain calm. You are the professional, and the client will expect confidence that you will make the live broadcast happen, and updates/information about what is going on and how long it will take to fix.
All of this to say, never stop communicating. Don’t wait to deliver bad news, and never tell the client to leave you alone. Communicate the basic issue and ask for a few minutes to troubleshoot. Report back with options and let the customer know if there’s anything they can do for you.
Here are examples of issues that could come up, along with suggestions for fixing them:
A camera source won’t show up in Wirecast.
- Check that the camera is turned on.
- Check all connections between the camera and the computer (unplug/replug).
- If using a Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder on a Mac computer, use the Blackmagic Desktop Video utility in your System Preferences to make sure it is set to the HDMI input (not SDI).
- Restart Wirecast with everything plugged in, and try adding your shots again.
- Restart the computer with everything plugged in, then reopen Wirecast and add your shots.
There is no audio in Wirecast from the microphones or audio mixer.
- Check that the microphones are turned on.
- If using wireless microphones, make sure the corresponding receivers and transmitters are set to match frequencies. If using multiple wireless microphones, be sure that each set (receiver/transmitter) is on a different frequency than the others.
- Check all connections between the microphones and the computer (unplug/replug).
- If using an audio mixer, make sure it’s turned on and that the main volume is turned up. Be sure to also check the volume of the channels that the mics are plugged into.
- Check that the shot you’ve selected in Wirecast has the correct audio assigned to it.
- Restart Wirecast with everything plugged in, and try adding your audio again.
The audio meters in Wirecast show a signal, but I can’t hear anything through my headphones.
- Ensure that the headphone icon is clicked below the audio meters next to the Live window. If it is greyed out, you won’t hear the audio feed that is being broadcast out.
- Next to the headphone icon is a speaker icon; make sure this is clicked on (white). If it is greyed out, you won’t hear the output audio through your headphones.
I have audio signals in my Preview window, but when I take the shot Live, there is no audio going out to the broadcast.
- Check that the speaker icon is clicked below the audio meters next to the Live window. If it is greyed out, your output will be muted.
When I click the button to begin streaming, Wirecast shows this error: “Cannot connect to the RTMP/Flash server at the given IP address...”
- Go to Output → Output Settings and check that the RTMP address and stream key are entered correctly. Make sure there are no spaces or incorrect characters.
- Copy/paste the correct RTMP address and stream key into their fields again if necessary.
When I click the button to begin streaming, it blinks green and then turns red.
- Make sure you’re connected to the internet, preferably via Ethernet on a dedicated network.
- Check the internet speed (www.speedtest.net) to make sure it’s strong enough for broadcasting. An upload speed of 10mbps or more is ideal for broadcasting.
- Work with your IT department to make sure your internet firewall settings allow you to broadcast out. See firewall settings for recommendations.
My computer’s CPU usage seems to be running high, in the 80-90% range.
- Close all unnecessary programs that are open on your computer. When doing a live broadcast, Wirecast should be the only application running.
- Go to Output → Output Settings and edit the Encoding settings. You may need to consider lowering the resolution and bitrate of your video stream.
- Also in Output Settings, check the settings of your video recording. Try recording at a lower resolution and bitrate to avoid overworking the computer.
- View the recommended Wirecast encoder settings. Keep in mind that these settings are a base starting point and may need to be altered depending on your specific circumstances.
- If you’ve tried the above steps and your CPU usage is still high, your computer may not be powerful enough for broadcasting. View Technical Recommendations for specifications of computers and operating systems.
The internet dropped out, and my broadcast stopped.
- If you can get the internet back up and continue broadcasting, do so as quickly as possible.
- Ask your moderator to communicate to the online viewers that they may experience a temporary break in the video stream.
- If the internet is not working and you cannot stream, calmly let your moderator and presenters know so they can communicate with the online audience and decide how to proceed.
- Remember that a backup option is to record the presentation for re-broadcast at a later date.
Sometimes your technical needs may exceed the skills or knowledge of the Brandlive team. If this happens, please reach out to our partners and vendors directly. Below is a list of some of the brands* we work with to help you build and delivery live video broadcasts:
- Blackmagic Design:https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/family/capture-and-playback
- Sennheiser: Call 877-736-6434 or submit a technical trouble ticket at https://en-us.sennheiser.com/techsupport-ticket
- Sony Camcorder:https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/select-system.pl?model_type_group_id=24
- Wirecast (by Telestream):http://www.telestream.net/telestream-support/wire-cast/support.htm
* As companies regularly update their websites, the above addresses are offered as a place to start to look for specific technical support. For additional details, please contact the respective websites directly.
Tiered Equipment & Production Options
Tiered options: Brandlive offers support for various production levels. From self-produced, basic, to turnkey, high-end production, Brandlive has your live video production needs covered.
Plug-and-Play: This package is very portable and requires little training to use. The plug-and-play package uses a USB webcam with the tripod, USB mic, and Brandlive’s web-based broadcast software. In just a few minutes, you can be up and running, producing a simple broadcast with one person. This level is typically reserved for internal communications.
Standard: The basic offering builds off the plug-and-play package by adding a handy-cam style HDMI camcorder with a tripod, an HDMI capture card, a camera-mounted shotgun microphone, live video production software, and PelicanTM protective carrying case. This package takes your broadcast quality up a notch from the plug-and-play package and easily accommodates 2 or 3 presenters. Additionally, the live video production software will allow you to create a professional-looking experience for your audience by adding pre-recorded video (b-roll), title cards, still images, and multiple cameras while remaining easily portable.
Advanced: Most Brandlive customers use the advanced package, which provides a great online experience for their audiences. This package includes 2 handy-cam style HDMI camcorders with tripods, 2 HDMI capture cards, 2 wireless lapels (lavalier) mics with USB sound mixing board, and adjustable LED lights. As with the standard package, this setup also includes live video production software and a Pelican case. This package is great for moving and tracking with a presenter, sharp close-ups, and high-quality second camera shots. The HDMI cameras, lights, and wireless mics with soundboard create a great quality audio/video online presentation to represent your brand.
Brandlive Production Services: If you’re planning a live event that requires broadcast quality beyond what you can achieve with your resources, consider contracting with Brandlive to carry out the production portion of your event. Brandlive’s production team will work with you and your presenters to deliver a top-shelf show to your audience. With studio-quality cameras, lights, and audio equipment, Brandlive Production Services not only deliver a professionally produced video stream of your organization’s event but also takes the work off your plate by producing the show. Talk with your customer success manager about scheduling a Brandlive production team for your next event.