DETERMINING YOUR AVAILABLE BANDWIDTH:
It is important to understand that not everyone has a large amount of bandwidth or an insane gaming/streaming rig, you should never just set each setting to the maximum possible and assume that this will produce an optimal live stream. This step is extremely important, and it should be first on your list. Speedtest.net is a tool for testing your internet speeds. For broadcasting to Vaughnlive.tv, Breakers.tv, Vapers.tv and Instagib.tv it’s the upload that we are interested in since you will be sending data out (uploading) to the ingest servers. Visit the Speedtest.net webpage and click select “Change server” at this point you should have already decided which ingest server is closest to your physical location, so we want to also select a server in that area for speedtest as well. For instance if the ingest server you plan to use is in Chicago then select a speedtest server in Chicago as well. No matter which ingest server you select select a server in that area for speedtest as well. After you have done that click “Go.” to begin the test. Speedtest.net will give you your upload speed number in Mbps. Most broadcasting applications deal with Kbps so in order to convert Mbps to Kbps simply multiply the results in Mbps that you get from speedtest.net times 1000 to determine Kbps. You will use that information to determine what the highest value that you should ever set your video output bitrate to.
Obtaining RTMP Url and Stream Key:
The next piece of information you are going to need is the RTMP Url and the stream key for the site you plan to broadcast on. It’s very important that you are logged into the site you will be casting on before going to the next step. Next click the link below that corresponds to the site you will be broadcasting on as the stream key will be different for each site.
Below is an example of what you will see.
Leave this window open while you are setting up OBS as you will need to copy and paste the info from this page into OBS broadcaster. On a side note, any of the servers listed will work but the best rule of thumb is to select the ingest server that’s closest to your location. Now lets move on to the good stuff !!! If you haven’t already downloaded and installed OBS Studio then do that now. Once OBS is installed and running on your pc proceed to the next step.
Special note: I’m not using any special version of OBS or anything I just run mine in studio mode and prefer the darker theme. If you want to make yours the same you can click on Studio mode on the main OBS screen then Click on settings, Click on the General Tab on the left, then click the dropdown menu to the right of the line that says Theme and select dark.
- On the main OBS Screen click settings.
- Next click Stream in to column to the left.
- In the Stream Type dropdown select Custom Streaming Server.
- Copy the rtmp url from the channel settings page we opened previously and paste where it says URL.
- Copy the stream key from the channel settings page and paste where it says Stream Key.
- Click Apply
- Next select Output from the column on the left. You should see this screen.
- In the encoder drop down menu select Software (x264)
- In the audio bitrate dropdown select a bitrate (higher bitrates for better sound quality) typically 128 or less is enough).
Before we set the video bitrates there are a lot of things you need to consider. Let me start by saying this. In general there is no perfect way to find the best settings for your system other than through experimentation. For instance a 500 Kbps video stream combined with a 128 Kbps audio stream will be a total of 628 Kbps required to maintain the stream (video bitrate+audio bitrate) = Total Kbps. A good rule of thumb is never exceed 80% of your total upload bandwidth based of your speedtest results from earlier. For a 628 Kbps stream I would recommend having at least a 1 Mbps/1000 Kbps upload speed. Even though you may have plenty of upload bandwidth your hardware may not be able to handle a very high resolution and bitrate broadcast. If you try to cast at 1080p and your viewers report a lot of choppiness or stuttering, this is a good indicator that your hardware might not be powerful enough. Your next step should be to try progressively dropping your output resolution and bitrates in steps, such as 720p, followed by 540p, etc. Once you or your viewers can watch your stream without any onscreen disturbances, you’ve found a good output resolution for your broadcasting application.
10. For now lets set the video bitrate to 500Kbps. This value can be increased at anytime.
11. Click Apply.
12. Click Audio in the column to the left.
13. Set the sample rate to 44.1khz.
14. set the channels to stereo.
15. In the desktop audio device dropdown you can select your systems speaker output or can typically be left at default.
16. In the Mic/Auxilary dropdown you can select the mic attached to your system and can also be typically left at default.
17. Click Apply.
18. Click Video in the column to the left and you should see this screen.
19. Leave the top line Base (Canvas) Resolution as is, it will default to your current monitor resolution.
20. On the second line Output (scaled) Resolution select 640×360 from the dropdown menu or manually type in the value 640×360 in the box. If you don’t have a ton of upload speed, you should consider downscaling your output resolution. Lower resolutions require less video bitrate values to look good. The opposite is true too, higher video resolutions require greater bitrate values to look good.
21. The third line should say Downscale filter: select Bicubic (sharpened scaling, 16 samples).
22. The forth line is the Common Fps Values for now lets leave this at 30. Your Hardware Might Not Be Able to Handle High FPS Values: In some cases, your PC might not even be powerful enough to broadcast at higher 60 FPS values. 30fps might be your PC’s limit, or perhaps this number is even lower. Don’t try to exceed what your hardware is capable of.
23. Click Apply then click OK
Don’t Alienate Your Audience: Again, just as with your output resolution, even if your PC can run at 60fps, this doesn’t mean that you should broadcast at 60fps. Not everyone’s viewing device can process a live stream being cast at 60fps, so you might automatically alienate a potential portion of your viewership by broadcasting at this frame rate. Does 60fps look really nice? Yes. Is it worth preventing potential viewers from watching your stream? Probably not. Now if everything has gone correctly your software should be setup to broadcast. If you have previously been using the MVN broadcaster built into the site (Go Live Now) take notice that you will never again use that but instead you will simply select Start Streaming from the main screen in OBS. In order to view your chat simply open a browse tab to your corresponding channel. After opening your page the first thing you need to do is click the speaker icon on the video player and Mute the audio. If you fail to do this it will result in an audio loopback/echo that will become very annoying. Another common mistake I see broadcaster make is trying to watch their own video stream. Pause the video as well. When watching your own broadcast your stream basically pauses for and instance and changes from broadcasting (sending) to now recieving. Even though this happens very quickly it can appear on your end to pause or stutter but often times may not even be noticeable to your viewers. If you absolutely must monitor the cast do so by watching it on the main OBS screen rather than the video player on the site. If your vanity kicks in and you need to admire yourself on screen consider using a mirror instead. In the next step I’ll show you some very basic things like adding a camera etc. I’m not going to go into a full tutorial on the use of OBS simply because there are literally hundreds if not thousands of Howto videos on the internet and youtube covering most everything you could ever want to know about using OBS. Take the time to learn to use OBS after all once you start broadcasting you need to understand how to do the all these various things.
24. From the main OBS screen click + under the sources box as illustrated below.
25. Next select Video Capture device.
26. A popup box will appear and you can either leave it the default name or change it to whatever you want to call it.
27. Click ok and you will be presented with the next screen.
27. Select the dropdown menu to the right of Device and select your webcam. Leave everything else as it is and click OK. You have now added your camera as a source. The same method can be used to add other sources of video, audio, text etc. Congratulations!! you are now ready to broadcast. If you have any further questions or need additional help you can always visit Tech Corner and speak directly with site technician’s at this address. Vaughnlive Tech Channel.