1. Does Livestream display in the external software/service you are using for your broadcast?
If YES, skip to step 2.
The external software/service should display a preview of your livestream at all times. If your feed is not visible, make sure the desired camera and audio devices are:
- available and
- selected and
- are not muted
Note: We can only offer support on our software - if you are unable to preview or launch a livestream from your external software/service, please contact their support team for assistance or consult with an AV professional.
2. Does Livestream display on the Virtual Control Panel of your event site?
A. Yes, livestream looks fine on the control panel - skip to Step 3.
B. No, "Livestream will play automatically" displays in the livestream window
Your external software/service is not connected to your event site:
- Confirm that the RTMP Key/URL are correct. Don't rely on visual scan - copy them again from Virtual Control Panel > Video Feed > Setup Video and paste into your external software/service.
- Confirm that the livestream feed is being transmitted to your event site (the external software/service may be in preview mode - be sure the feed is LIVE).
C. Livestream window is blank, feed is spotty, or preview quality is poor:
Your external software/service is connected but experiencing technical difficulties:
1. Are you within 2 hours of your event?
Virtual event sites are moved to a dedicated server 2 hours prior to the specified start time. The server update is usually seamless, but rebooting your broadcast machine 90-120 minutes prior to your scheduled start will ensure there are no cacheing issues. If necessary, call the event night support number that displays at the top of the dashboard on your event date.
2. Are you using our recommended settings?
Main Video Settings
- 720p video
- Video Bandwidth = 1.5Mbps
- Audio Bandwidth = 128kbps
- Frame/s = 20fps (preferred) - 30fps (if necessary)
Advanced Video Settings
If your software uses the x264 encoder (such as OBS) use these additional settings:
- Rate Control: CBR
- CPU Usage: veryfast
- Profile: baseline
- Keyframe Interval: 1 second
- Tuning: zerolatency
- No B-frames
3. Is the computer used for the broadcast is up to the task?
- Is it rated for video/livestream broadcasting? When livestreaming, the CPU usage should be < 70%.
- Running the latest versions of Operating System and Browser?
- Used exclusively for the broadcast? (no other browser/windows/tabs/applications open)
- If your external software/service supports graphics cards, your broadcast machine should have one.
4. Are you certain your broadcast location has a strong, reliable, high-speed internet connection?
- Broadcast machine is connected via ethernet (wi-fi connections are shared and unreliable).
- Conduct several speed tests at your broadcast location(s) using multiple services such as http://compari.tech/speed or http://speedtest.net. Keep in mind that these services are designed to measure your "best case" bandwidth rather than average or reliably achieved bandwidth.
- Restrict the number of other devices/windows connected to the livestream in the broadcast room/building to the minimum necessary. Be aware that each device/window/tab in the broadcast room/building that is connected to the livestream will consume 1.5mb/s of the bandwidth available. This may not sound significant, but many people assume their internet speed is much higher than it actually is (see below). You may be paying for 1gig speed, but if your router only supports 100mb/s, you probably only have (at the best of times) 70mb/s - so having a few more laptops, each with several tabs open to different streaming pages will add up quickly.
5. If you are broadcasting from a campus, government or work environment - verify that a firewall is not blocking your broadcast. Contact your IT team or test from another location.
6. If broadcasting to multiple platforms (eg facebook, youtube etc), test broadcasting to event site exclusively. If eliminating the additional platforms resolves the livestream quality issues, the most likely culprits are an underpowered broadcast machine, inadequate connectivity or settings configured to optimize one platform over another.
7. Are you using an external service that is known to be compatible or incompatible with our livestream platform?
Compatible: Open Broadcast Software (OBS), StreamYard, Many Cam, VMix
Incompatible: Black Magic Design (cannot be connected directly, but may be used in conjunction with OBS); Castr (does not connect); Livestream Studio (unreliable audio and visual); Director Multicam Studio (unreliable audio and visual)
3. Does Livestream display to end-users?
- Verify Livestream feed is not in Preview Mode on Control Panel
- Are all testers using shared work/school/org devices? Security settings may be blocking unauthorized URLs and/or videos. Check with your IT team and/or test on different devices.
- Have at least 3 testers using different devices in different locations to rule out connectivity and one-off device issues.
Mixed, displays fine for some, but others see blank screen or poor quality feed
If the livestream displays as expected for some/most, any reported problems are issues with the individuals device and/or connectivity:
- Older machines that are running out-of-date OS or browser versions.
- Security settings that require white-labeling URLs and/or block unknown URLs or videos (common on work/govt devices)
- Poor connectivity - near real time livestreaming requires better connectivity than streaming movies/videos because the real-time content cannot be buffered.
Yes, but quality is poor for all - see Step 2C above