Broadcasting with Producer

Setting up Producer

Brandlive Producer gives you the ability to broadcast professional-quality events without the need for a production team in an easy-to-use downloadable program. Please follow the instructions below to download Producer on your computer.

  1. Install the Producer app from the Admin Console. This can be done one of three ways: 
    1. From the banner on the Dashboard screen.
    2. Or, by navigating to an event overview page and clicking “Broadcast”. This will prompt a dialog with instructions to download Producer.
    3. A button under the menu.png menu section
  2. After installation, open Producer on your computer. Be sure it meets the system requirements (what are the System Requirements?)
  3. Sign into your Brandlive account using your administrative login credentials. Please note, if you are not an administrative user, you cannot log into the Producer.

Selecting a Channel

For those customers who have multiple licenses with Brandlive, be sure you are in the correct channel before selecting the event or lesson you wish to broadcast to. The channel name is listed in the opening screen, in the top-left hand side. To change the channel, simply click the Change button and a list of available channels will populate.  

Selecting an Event or Lesson

To get started broadcasting to an event or lesson, you’ll first want to create an event or lesson in the Admin Console. Note: Lessons require a Course to be created and you must have at least one lesson in the course.

Once the event or lesson is created, there are two ways you can start broadcasting:

  1. From the Admin Console: Navigate to the event overview page and click on the “Broadcast” button in the upper right. From there you will have the option to open the event directly in Producer. Note: you cannot open lessons in the Producer from the Admin Console at this time.
  2. From Producer: you will see the event or lesson either under the Events tab or the Lessons tab. Click the desired event or lesson to begin.

Note: After you’ve selected an event or lesson to start broadcasting to, you can always go back to select a different one. You can do this by clicking the angle-left.png back arrow in the far upper left of the screen. However, if you have already begun broadcasting, you must stop the broadcast before you can go back to select a different event or lesson.

Getting Started

Once you’ve selected your event or lesson, it is now time to decide how you would like to broadcast. For a quick and easy broadcast, select the Go Live Now button to the left of the screen. This option allows the Producer to use your default camera and default microphone for a fast broadcast. You can change which default camera is used by clicking the grey Change Default Camera link, located just below the Go Live Now button. 

Build a Shot

From this same screen, you can also build a custom shot by selecting Build a Shot. A Shot is where you can add more cameras or custom video content into a frame and go live. You can create as many shots as you would like for a broadcast.

By clicking “Build a Shot”, this will take you to the templates choices, where you can customize a shot by selecting a template based on your production needs. See Building a Shot for more details.

Broadcast View

On the right side of the Producer screen is the Broadcast View. When you go live with your Default Camera or custom shot, the live video feed will appear here.

Just above the live Broadcast View are gear.png Options (and Settings). It’s good to double check your event settings before you go live. From here you can adjust broadcast quality and set up simulcasting using RTMP. See Settings & Simulcasting for more information.

Comments

Just below the live Broadcast View are incoming comments from event viewers and the Moderator. If your event has comments turned on, comments can be seen in the All Comments tab. If you have a moderator for your event or lesson, you can see their messages in the Moderation tab. See the All Comments & Moderator Tabs section for more details.

Distraction Free

If you are presenting and broadcasting at the same time, you can hide the shots column so you can focus only on your broadcast and comments feed. To do this, locate the angle-left.png arrow in the upper-middle of the Producer. By selecting this arrow, the Broadcast View will go full screen to allow for minimal distractions by only showing the live broadcast feed as well as comments from viewers and the moderator. To return back to the split screen, simply click the same arrow again which is now located to the left hand side of the Producer.

Camera Management

To see a list of cameras available for broadcast, click the Cameras tab located to the top-right of the Producer. This will open a slide out drawer called Connected Cameras where you can change the volume and audio source of each camera. Here is where you can determine a camera as your default for easy shot building by clicking the Set as Default button in the top-right of each camera choice.

If you plug in a camera after you launch the Producer, the Producer will require a restart. You will get a Device Change Detected notification in the top-right of the application. Simply click the Restart button and come back to the Camera list. You will now see your newly added camera in this list.

Minimum webcam resolution support is 480x858.

Please note, at this time the Producer only supports one Blackmagic device at a time.

Settings & Simulcasting

To change the quality of the broadcast, set up to simulcasting (broadcasting to social media platforms) or view the event you are broadcasting, select the gear.png Options drop-down located just below the name of the event on the right-hand side of the Producer.

Settings

The Settings option serves as the control station for broadcast quality and setting up simulcasting.

Broadcast Quality

The broadcast quality is customizable through resolution, frame rate and bitrate. You can choose from three predetermined options:

  • Standard (720p/24fps/1000kbps)
  • High (1080p/30fps/2000kbps)
  • Extreme (1080p/60fps/3000kbps)

If none of these match your preference, clicking the Advanced toggle (to show as green) will open up additional options for customizable resolution, frame rates and bitrates.

Simulcasting

To broadcast on your social media channels (such as Facebook and Youtube), scroll down to the Simulcasting section, just below Broadcast Quality. Follow the listed instructions by adding an RTMP address by entering the Stream URL and Stream Key separately in the respective fields. Both are required to broadcast and will be provided by the social media channel.

Note: At this time, you can simulcast up to 4 channels at once.

You may disable Simulcasting at any point by toggling the “Enable Simulcasting” switch. However, when you do this, simulcasting will be turned off for every event you conduct on the same computer. If you re-enable simulcasting, we will remember the previous RTMP addresses you entered.

Simulcasting to Facebook

To successfully broadcast to Facebook, you must set up the proper parameters (such as live broadcast time, date and open feed) on facebook.com before going live with your broadcast. If Facebook’s RTMP address is included in your simulcasting list but you are not using it, it could cause all other simulcasts to fail. Please be sure you are using a current and active Facebook RTMP address if it is included in this list.

View Event

To view the event you are broadcasting to, simply click the View Event button in the Options menu and the event with open in your default browser window.

All Comments & Moderator Tabs

Live comments from viewers are a great way engage your audience and answer questions about your broadcast. Viewers of the event or lesson may submit comments  which you will be able to see under the All Comments tab, located just below the Broadcast View on the right-side of the Producer.

Just as it is important for the Presenter to see comments from the viewers, it is also important to see any communication from the Moderator. Under the Moderator tab you will see any comments the Moderator has sent to the presenter when they click “send to presenter” from moderation screen.

Presenters typically view these comments from a dedicated device, such as an iPad, during the broadcast.

To learn more about about moderation, see our Moderation article.

Chat

You can chat with other participants in this event, including the host and moderators. To start chatting with them, click the bell.png bell icon located to the top-right of the Producer. This opens the chat “room” where you can read all comments from any other participant.

To type a response, enter your message in the field below the chat stream and hit Send. This message will appear in the moderator chat column on the Moderation screen as well.

Building a Shot

Brandlive Producer has made shot building a breeze and can either be done before the event starts, or while you’re broadcasting during the event. So, depending on your producing style, you can plan ahead or customize each shot as you go.

Shots may contain a variety of content, such as pre-recorded videos, up to four connected cameras, screen sharing, and text and images.

To start building a shot, select the grid.png Shots button in the upper left to open the Shots menu. As you build shots, this is where they will be saved. From there, click the add-circle.png New Shot button to open the Producer’s shot preview and template selections. If this is the first time you’re creating a shot for an event, click “Build a Shot” from the initial broadcasting options screen.

Next, select one of the four shot templates:

  1. Basic - Can contain up to four cameras, a pre-recorded video, or screen share.
  2. Lower Third - Contains one video plus a graphic that can include two lines of text and your company logo.
  3. Picture-in-Picture - Contains one primary video and an overlaying video in the upper right. This is best used for screen sharing.
  4. Mixed Content - Can contain a heading and/or body text along with a background color or image as well as an mp3 audio or microphone.

When you select a template, we automatically give the shot a title called “New Shot”, followed by the time it was created. You can change this by clicking in the field and entering your own title for the shot. 

Basic Template

The basic template gives you the option to add up to four cameras, one pre-recorded video, or one screen share into a single shot. This template is great for building a simple single-camera broadcast, or a more complex shot of a camera with a video, or even a screen share to show a Powerpoint presentation.

Note: due to the processing power required to broadcast more than one video or conduct a screen share, your computer must meet the system requirements, otherwise you may be limited to the type of broadcast your system can conduct. See System Requirements for more information.

Adding Video

Add your first video by clicking the Add Video box. This will open a window of video options. From here, you can add a camera, a pre-recorded video, or a screen share. Once your selection is made, the window will close and return you to the template with the video loaded into the shot preview. Continue this process to add more videos to your shot.

As you add more cameras (or video) to your shot, you’ll notice they will populate the full area of the shot. But different combinations will fill the area differently:

  1. One camera - Gets full shot area
  2. Two cameras - Event space is distributed between videos in a portrait format
  3. Three cameras - The first camera appears in portrait format, using twice the space as the next two videos.
  4. Four cameras - All videos are evenly distributed

Priority View - When enabled, the first video takes priority (about ⅔ width) while reducing the size of the remaining videos, filling the shot evenly. Please note that this toggle will only work when this shot has three or more videos.

You can also spice up your shot with Effects. Select the effects.png Effects button, located below the shot preview, to add filters, clean up your shot, and fine-tune the appearance. Learn more about effects. Be sure to click the Save button just above the preview window in the top-right corner to save your changes before going live. For more information, see Go Live with a Shot.

Lower Third Template

The lower third template is a simple way to provide viewers more information about the presenters. To get started, select the Lower Third template, and add one video the same way you would with a Basic Template, then you can include any two lines of text in the fields to the right of where you added the video.

By default, your company’s logo will appear next to the text inside the preview window. However, if you wish to hide it, simply enable Hide Branding, and the logo will be removed leaving only the text.

Be sure to click the Save button just above the preview window in the top-right corner to save your changes before going live. For more information, see Go Live with a Shot.

Picture-in-Picture Template

The picture-in-picture template allows you to select a primary video with a small overlaying video in the top-right corner of the screen.

Note: Due to the processing power this template demands from your computer, picture-in-picture can only be used on a machine that meets the system requirements. See System Requirements for more information.

To get started, select the Picture-in-picture template. You will see two video options, Primary Video and Video Overlay. Click each option to add a video the same way you would adding video in a Basic Template.

Be sure to click the Save button just above the preview window in the top-right corner to save your changes before going live. For more information, see Go Live with a Shot.

Mixed Content Template

The mixed content template allows you to combine text, audio, and a background image or color in a standalone shot. A common use case for this would be a title card, or ending credit for your broadcast.

To get started, select the Mixed Content template. To the left of this template is a text area with two main sections, a Heading and a Body. The Heading text will appear larger and above the smaller body text, as shown in the preview window. Just to the right of the heading text field are the options to change the color and position of the text.

To add an image or color behind your text, select the Image or Color tab to the right of the text fields. If you are selecting an image, you can adjust the size of the image using the slider located just below the image upload box. If you are selecting a color background, you can choose from the predetermined colors or input a hex code of your choice by enabling the Custom Color toggle.

To add audio to your shot, whether it is a pre-recorded mp3 file or a microphone source, click the Select Audio button below the text fields. A dialog will appear towards the top of your screen, allowing for you to choose an audio file from your computer or a microphone source. Note: File type .ogg is also supported as an audio file but it is encouraged you use an mp3 for best practices. 

At this time, the Mixed Content template only supports Roman, Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets. Sorry we do not support east asian characters at this time. Be sure to click the Save button just above the preview window in the top-right corner to save your changes before going live.

Go Live with a Shot

When you’re finished creating a shot and are ready to go live, you must first click the Save button just above the shot preview window in the top-right corner. This will activate the Go Live button on the right. From here, you can go live with this shot, otherwise it will be saved for later use. If you click Go Live, the broadcasting view (on the right side of the screen) will begin counting down until the shot is live.

During the countdown you have the option to Cancel the broadcast if you inadvertently selected the wrong shot to go live with.

To go live with other shots you have saved, click the “Shots” button in the top-left of the screen. This will open the shots menu where all previously saved shots are stored. You can click on any shot to load into the preview. From the shot preview window you will see options to Edit this Shot or Go Live with This Shot. Click Go Live with this Shot and the countdown will begin.

Once you’re live with a shot, you can stop the broadcast at any point. Stopping the broadcast is a manual process. So, regardless if you’re broadcasting a pre-recorded video, screen sharing, or using a camera, it is up to you to stop the broadcast when you see fit.

Title Card Shot

Depending on the event or lesson, it is common to start a broadcast with a title card. In Producer, this is just like any other shot, and you would use a Mixed Content shot template to do this.

Changing Shots During the Broadcast

While you’re broadcasting a shot, you can create new shots and manage previously created shots at the same time. This gives you the freedom to prepare the next shot to go live. Therefore it’s easy to update the broadcast with a different shot without ever stopping the broadcast. The purpose of this to make it easy for you to switch between multiple cameras and other video content while you’re broadcasting.

To do this, assuming you’re already broadcasting a shot, select the Shots button in the upper left to open the Shot Menus, then select a shot. The shot will load into the preview, then click Go Live with This Shot, and broadcast preview will immediate update with the new shot. Viewers will see this transition just like a cut between scenes.

After Broadcasting

When you’re wrapping up the event, it is up to you to end the broadcast. To do this, simply click Stop Broadcast just below the broadcast view. When you stop a broadcast, there is generally a few second latency at the viewer’s end. Due to this, we require a 30 second “cool down” period before you can start broadcasting again.

Final Shot

It is also common for brands to end an event on some sort of ending frame, whether this be an image or credits of some sort. This is so viewers don’t just see a black screen when you stop the broadcast. To do this, you would a Mixed Content shot template and push it live as your final shot. Then, just as mentioned before, it is up to you to stop the broadcast at any reasonable time.

Editing a Shot

To edit a shot you have previously saved, locate the shot menu by selecting the grid.png Shots button in the top-left corner. Select the shot you wish to edit then click Edit This Shot to enable the template editor.

You can also access the template editor quickly from the shots menu. Click the ellipses.png ellipses button in the upper right of any shot, and click Edit.

Be sure to click the Save button just above the preview window to save your changes before going live.

Effects

Effects give you ability to improve and stylize the appearance of your shots. For each template, within the editor, you can add effects. Simply click the effects.png Effects button below the shot preview.

By default you will see the Filters tab. You can pick from five predetermined filters (warm, cool, vintage, sepia, vignette) and preview the outcome in the shot preview.

If you want to fine tune the shot appearance, select the Advanced tab. Here you’ll have the option to adjust the brightness, contrast and the saturation levels to make each shot look exactly how you intend.

Additionally, you can enable the Cleanup Shot option to reduce on noise and smooth lines in the shot.

Pre-recorded Videos

Sometimes, you’ll want to add a recorded video to aid in your presentation. You can select a recorded video to air during your broadcast from the list shown here. Only one recorded video can be broadcasted at a time, therefore only one recorded video can be added to a shot at once.

To select a video from your computer, click the Browse Files. Once a video has been added to a shot, it will appear in the My Videos list. This list will also serve as a tool for important information about your added video.

You can preview any video in the list by clicking the play.png play button in the middle of the thumbnail. To the right of the thumbnail is the video file name, and clicking the info.png Info button will tell you the run time, bitrate and size of the video.

To add a video to your shot, select  Add Video. If you no longer wish to keep a video in the My Videos list, click Remove. Removing a video will not delete it from your file system. If you want to add it back, simply click Browse Files and add the video back.

The Producer only accepts mp4 files, however, we offer a built-in conversion tool for most other video file formats. The video conversion tool will be automatically triggered when you attempt to add a video of a different file type from your computer.

Screen Sharing

Producer also allows you to share your screen during a broadcast. This can either be your entire screen, or a specific program you have open.

To screen share an application, simply open it on your computer. If it isn’t shown in the screen share tab, close the Add Video drawer and reopen it to find your newly opened application. Note  You can only add one screen to a shot at a time.

As you’re building a shot, click one of the Add Video buttons in the template you choose, which will open the Add Video window. Under the Screen share tab, select Add to add one of the screens available to your shot, then select the audio source for that screen share from the dialog.

After naming the shot and making any further changes, hit Save. Go Live will now become available. By choosing  Go Live from a screen share, it will minimize the Producer window and only show you the Live preview for easy maneuvering of the shared screen window.

To return back to the full Producer view, click the angle-left.png arrow.

Sharing a PowerPoint Presentation

To share a PowerPoint, you’ll need to share your PowerPoint slideshow in 'Window' mode. For further instructions on how to adjust the slide show to be ‘Browsed by an individual (window)’, see some Microsoft Office instructions here.

While screen sharing is incredibly useful, it also requires your computer to meet the full system requirements to be able to do so. Please see our section on System Requirements for further information.

System Requirements

Before you conduct a broadcast in Producer, you’ll want to make note of the system requirement checklist displayed when you first open the Producer. System requirements play a vital role in the functionality of broadcasting. On this page we will  determine whether the computer you are using meets our minimum requirements to conduct a broadcast. If your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, certain features of the Producer will be turned off to protect your computer and your broadcast.

The system requirements check will look at four main components: Operating System, Processor, Memory and Graphics Card.

Operating System: In order for the Producer to make use of the latest features from Windows or Mac, we recommend a computer using Windows 10 or macOS Sierra (or newer).

  • Minimum Requirements:
    • Windows 10
    • macOS El Capitan
  • Recommended:
    • Windows 10
    • macOS Sierra (or newer)

Processor: Video production is a very daunting task for a computer. Processor speed and a high number of cores is needed to deliver video in real-time. Most of the time, if you are running software that makes your computer run slow, it just takes more time to complete your tasks. But with live video, the program simply can't run slowly and still deliver the video to viewers in real-time.

  • Minimum Requirements:
    • i5 quad-core @2.2 Ghz
  • Recommended
    • i7 quad-core @2.8 Ghz

Memory: Proper computer memory helps the processor do its job properly. Without this, the processor struggles.

  • Minimum Requirements:
    • 4 GB
  • Recommended
    • 8 GB

Graphics Card: This helps the your computer deliver the video by taking a lot of the processing work away from the main processor, so it can focus on other tasks. Without a graphics card, the processor has twice as much work to do, which means Producer can't deliver as high quality video.

  • Minimum Requirements:
    • Intel Iris Pro (SD only)
  • Recommended:
    • ATI Radeon or Nvidia GeForce 1GB+ memory

 

As noted above, the Producer will conduct a check against your machine the first time you open Producer. After this initial check, you can revisit this checklist by going to the Tools menu and clicking the System Requirements menu option.

 

 

 

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