OBS Studio Setup Tutorial

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.

Click this to go to speedtest.net

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.

Vaughnlive.tv

Breakers.tv

Vapers.tv

Instagib.tv

Below is an example of what you will see.

serverandkey

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.

OBS Setup:

  1. On the  main OBS Screen click settings. 2 obs mainscreen
  2. Next click Stream in to column to the left.
  3. In the Stream Type dropdown select Custom Streaming Server.
  4. Copy the rtmp url from the channel settings page we opened previously and paste where it says URL.
  5. Copy the stream key from the channel settings page and paste where it says Stream Key.obsserversetup
  6. Click Apply
  7. Next select Output from the column on the left. You should see this screen.obsoutputsettings
  8. In the encoder drop down menu select Software (x264)
  9. 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.obsvideosetup

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.

Adding Scenes:

24. From the main OBS screen click + under the sources box as illustrated below.obsaddsource

25. Next select Video Capture device.videocapdevice

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.obscmaname

27. Click ok and you will be presented with the next screen.camselect

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Encoder Settings

While switching to HTML5 is going to open our live streaming platforms to more people, one issue is the different video encoder settings some of our streamers use. As of June 26, 2017 you must use the following encoder settings in order for your stream to be viewed by everyone:

Minimum recommended settings:

  • 640×360 resolution
  • 500Kbps video bitrate (VBR can be used although CBR is preferred)
  • 128Kbps audio bitrate
  • 30fps
  • Keyframe interval of 2.0 (or 250 depending on the encoder software you use)
  • H.264/x264 video codec
  • AAC or MP3 audio codec

Maximum recommended settings:

  • 1920×1080 resolution
  • 3500Kbps video bitrate CBR
  • 128Kbps audio bitrate
  • 60fps
  • Keyframe interval of 1.0 (or 60 depending on the encoder software you use)
  • H.264/x264 video codec
  • AAC audio codec

Note: The current version of MvnCaster does not meet the minimum requirements which will greatly limit your audience. MvnCaster will be removed from Breakers.TV, Vapers.tv, and Pearl TIme on June 26, 2017. It will still be available on Vaughn Live but is not recommended until the new MvnCaster has been built.

(MvnCaster is the built in broadcast tool)

Also note: To ensure the lowest latency, set your keyframe interval low. We allow keyframe intervals as low as 0.5 (30), however be mindful of playback issues of your viewers with poor internet connections.

HTML5 player testing

Pushed iOS fix for HTML5 player. Also added Loading, Buffering, Stream Error animations. At the moment only a few streams have the HTML5 player during this testing phase:

https://vaughnlive.tv/tech_corner

https://vaughnlive.tv/community

https://vaughnlive.tv/squills

https://vaughnlive.tv/infowars

The HTML5 player will be rolled out to all of the sites once testing has concluded.

Video system status and other updates

You should be experiencing less buffering and more stable connections to our video system at this moment. You may go back to using the Chicago ingest server if you haven’t already.

Live Viewers count isn’t showing for everyone, it seems. This issue has been traced to a potential buffer overflow issue in our custom server software. This poses no security threat and is harmless. Mostly annoying.

And we’ve updated our Terms of Service across all of our products. You can find the Terms of Service by clicking the Terms link at the bottom of any of our services.

 

Chicago video ingest issues

If you are a streamer and are experiencing dropped frames or your viewers are experiencing a lot of buffering/choppy playback, try switching to a different video ingest server in your encoder software. At the moment our Chicago ingest server is experiencing some intermittent issues that we are working to resolve.

You can find a list of video ingest servers in the channel settings page of the site you are streaming to. Example: https://breakers.tv/settings/channel

Our sites still use Flash

At the moment all of our sites use Flash to display video and chat. Don’t worry, we’re in the process of moving away from Flash. But in the mean time it appears some browsers (such as Google Chrome) are disabling Flash by default. Here is how you enable Flash on our sites for now:

  1. Click to the left of the URL in your browsers address bar
  2. Change the Flash property to Allow and then refresh the page

You should see something like this pop up if you’re using Google Chrome

Screenshot_1177

If you’re using Firefox, click the little lego looking icon to the left of the URL in the address bar and click Allow and Remember

Screenshot_1178

For Microsoft Edge users, click the puzzle piece in the address bar and click Always allow

Screenshot_1181