The TicketCo guide to Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Follow
Streaming with OBS studio guide
Hi, and welcome to this “how-to” guide for OBS Studio. This will be based on one of the most cost effective solutions to stream sound and image via TicketCo TV.
With this guide our aim is for you to manage simple live streams through your laptop, sound card and camera (iPhone/iPad).
The most cost effective way to get going with a live stream, is to use a software based solution that runs through e.g. a laptop. There are a lot of alternatives available, but this guide will be based on access to a laptop with specifications such as Windows, MaxOS or Linux. The programme we have based this guide on is OpenBroadcast Software (OBS).
Installation and layout
To install OBS, go to https://obsproject.com and download the software for free to your platform. The installation process should be fairly straight forward.
You can click through the “Auto layout” - guide if you want to, or simply ignore. We will go through the most important settings below.
The first think we will do is set up OBS on your laptop. Go to “Settings” which you will find in the bottom right corner, or you can press “CMD and +” on MacOS.
In the picture below, you can see the menu which includes several options on the left side:
The first thing we will do is press “Output” as shown below:
Under “Output Mode” we will choose “Advanced” to access more options:
“Codes” should be set at x264.
“Rescale outlet” can be left without being ticked, as we will adjust those settings under “image” further on.
Moving on the most important setting to consider is “Bitrate”. “Bitrate” means how much data we will stream each second, and this is strongly connected with the quality of the live stream. If the "bitrate" is set too low your image will become grainy, while a too high "bitrate" will provide a clear and sharper image. The limitations with "bitrate" is affected by where you are streaming too as they have their own specifications and recommended "bitrates", which is highly recommended to follow. It is also essential that you have a high speed WiFi that can manages the "bitrate" you choose.
If you set your “bitrate” to 1000kbps you will upload 0,125mb each second. To achieve HD quality sound and image we have set our bitrate to 6000kbps.
We would advise you to visit https://speedtest.net and run a speed test before streaming, to get an overview of how fast your WiFi you have accessible. A good rule of thumb is to have a double uploading speed compared to the “bitrate” you are broadcasting in. A broadcast of 6000kbps should then have an uploading speed of 12mb to achieve a stable stream.
Set your buffer size to 2000.
The remaining settings you can leave as they are.
Moving on, under “Recording” you can choose to do record while you are streaming. If you wish to do so, it could be wise to choose “Recording Base”, which means to choose a folder where your recordings will be saved on your laptop.
Under “Recording format” it is advised to switch to mp4, which will provide considerably smaller files than the standard option “mkv” will.
“Use power codes” is the only option under “Codes” which should be left as it is, so the same settings will be used for your streamings. If you would like your recordings to be set to a higher quality, you can do so by choosing another option in your drop down menu.
Under “Sound” you can choose “Sound-bit frequency” for the different tracks. “160” would be preselected, but change it to “320”.
The last option in our settings menu under sound is “Replay Buffer”, and this you can leave as it is.
Next step in “Settings” is “Audio”.
Here we can set our “sampling frequency”, channels and override units.
Our “Sampling frequency” will automatically be set to 44,1kHz, and can remain like that. “Channels” should be set to “Stereo”.
Connect “Microphone"/Aux" to your external sound card which will automatically appear in your drop down menu.
Other from what is mentioned above, there are no other settings that needs to be changed in this section.
Look at your menu on the left side in “Settings” and choose “Video”. Here we can adjust some important parameters.
“Initial Resolution (canvas)” means the size on our project window. “1920x1080” means that it is 1920 pixels wide, and 1080 pixels tall, which in other words are named “full HD”. The most regular option for streaming is “1920x1080” or “1280x720”.
“Output Resolution (scaled)” is what resolution we are actually streaming. As mentioned above, let this be decided on how powerful machine you have. Start with “1920x1080”, and go down to “1280x720” if you experience that your laptop is not capable of streaming in full HD.
Under “FPS collected value”, “FPS” means “image per second”. This will be set to 30, but is based on American standard. In UK and Europe, we use 25 images per second, or 50, while in the U.S. it is 30 or 60. It is advised to change this to 25 or 50 as it will correlate to your camera, and you will avoid unnecessary effort from your machine to process and adjust.
The last part that now remains in “Settings”, is “Power source” which is where we adjust which source we want our streaming to be sent to.
Here choose “Custom” under “Service”, which will give you two fields to fill out. “Servant” with a server address, and “Power Key” which is a unique key made up of numbers and letters which ensures that you are streaming to the correct location. Add in rtpm/url and your power key which you can find under “Technical Information” in your TicketCo event.
The image below shows how OBS looks like after opening, and the guide is either completed or closed. The first thing we are going to do is choose “Studio Mode” in the bottom right corner, to change the viewing mode in the programme.
When “Studio Mode” are in effect we see two video windows instead of one. The window to the left, is named “Preview” which allows us to see how thing looks before we air it live. The window to the right, named “Programme” which shows us our finished result which will be streamed, recorded or both.
The programme itself is built upon different modules which you can see at the bottom. First one displayed is “Stages”. In each individual module we add on sound, image and/or graphics, via the module named “Sources”.
To create a simple template for each live stream we build three “Scenes”. To create a new stage press “+” in the bottom left corner, and to delete a stage mark it and press “-” in the left corner.
We name Stage 1 “1 - Intro”, Scenes 2 “2 - Live” and Scene 3 “3 - Closing”. To change the order or your Stages simply drag and drop each Scene to the preferred order. You can also use the arrows on the bottom to adjust the order. If you would like to change name of each Stage right click.
When you have created the stages you can mark and preview each one. As we have not connected the Stages with any sources yet, it will just be shown as empty. Reason why we have three different stages is to use “Stage 1” as a snapshot while waiting for your actual stream. It is a good starting point, as you can ensure that your live stream is working as it should, and that you are streaming. When your stream is up and running (which we will get back to shortly), you can change to “Stage 2” which will display our actual content.
Add on graphics
To add graphics to “Scene 1”, we have to ensure that “Scene 1” is chosen. In the module “Sources” which can be found on the right hand side, we have the choice to add “+” and delete “-”, same as we did under “Scene”.
By choosing “+” we will access a menu with several power sources. To begin with, we’ll choose “Text (FreeType 2)”.
Choose “Create” to add a new text. The title we add in here is not the actual content, but a headline so we can easily find them again under our “Source” list after. Create a suitable name, for example “Title 1” and press OK. The box “Make source visible” should be ticked.
When you press “OK” the window to add the actual text will appear.
Here you can add in the text you would like to be displayed, such as “Welcome to our live stream. We will shortly begin”. If you would like more advances settings for different colours etc., press “Standard settings” in your bottom left corner.
Press “OK” to save your text as a source.
When you choose “Title” under “Sources”, you can drag it around and place the text wherever you want it to be, increase the size by and drag it up and down by pulling the corners.
Next step is to add an image as a background, if you want that.
Press the “+” - icon under “Sources” and choose “Image”. Name it the same way you did with your text above, e.g., “Background image” and press “OK”.
Choose “Browse” to choose an image file on your laptop, and press “OK”to add.
Based on the resolution in the image, you might need to do as you did with your text above and choose “Background image” under “Sources”, and adjust it so it covers your whole screen.
As illustrated in the picture below, “Background” image has ended up over our text “Title 1”, which means our text is not visible. This can easily be solved under “Sources”, by marking “Background image”, and press “Arrow down” icon underneath. “Background image” will then be moved one level down under “Title 1”, and the text will appear over our image.
Once this is done, we have completed “Stage 1” and can go back to “Stage 3” and apply the same guide as we did with “Stage 1”. Here you can create an “Ending Poster” that will appear once we are finished with out stream, and until we manage to end it for the viewers.
The same guide kan be used for “Stage 2”, to add in graphics over the video, such as “Account Number: 12345678”.
Connect to video
There are several ways to connect video to OBS. You can either use your webcamera on your laptop, or an external webcamera connected to your device. To connect an external webcamera, we need a capture-card, which can access HDMI or SDI which are the most regular professional video signals.
PLEASE NOTE: even if your laptop have access to a HDMI-connection, that does not necessarily mean it can be used for video. More specifically, that is a HDMI-outlet to transfer video our from your laptop.
Here are a few examples of some affordable and good capture-cards which can transfer video from a laptop:
Blackmagic Web Presenter (MacOS + Windows) | PRICE HERE
https://butikk.foto.no/blackmagic/110674/blackmagic-web-presenter-streaming-720-over-usb2 BlackMagic Web Presenter allows you to connect either an HDMI or SDI to an external video card, and will allow you to connect your computer via USB2. WebPresenter changes your video signal so your laptop reads it like a regular webcamera. The limitation here is a resolution on maximum 1280x720 pixels, which is 720p. The card also allows you to connect sound separately.
Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 (MacOS + Windows + Linux) | PRICE HERE
https://butikk.foto.no/magewell/115294/magewell-usb-capture-hdmi-gen-2-hdmi-hd-til-usb-3 Magwell USB Capture HDMI allows you to connect cameras or other sources with HDMI via USB3 to your laptop.
Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder ( MacOS) | PRICE HERE
https://butikk.foto.no/blackmagic/110779/blackmagic-ultrastudio-mini-recorder-thunderbolt-2-oppta ker-til-pc-mac BlackMagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder is one of the smaller capture cards, which allows you to access a video source via SDI or HDMI to your laptop via Thunderboltt 2 (or Thunderbolt 3) via an adapter.
To connect to video, we can go to “Scene” and go to "Sources" and "+" icon again. Now we select “Video Capture Device”. As in the steps before, we have to give the source a name, I have called it "Webcam". After pressing “OK” a new window will appear where we can review all available video sources connected to the machine.
The device this guide is based on is a Mac, and the webcam used from Apple named "FaceTime-HD Camera". We have now selected "FaceTime-HD Camera" and choose the highest resolution available. You also get a preview of the source above.
Resolution should always be set to the same as we previously set in our "Settings" earlier.
Once again, "OK" to add the source. If the source does not fill the entire area in "Preview", it is recommended to drag the source so that it fills the entire screen.
And there we have got camera pictures. Now all that remains is to add some graphics. Then we do as in the steps above, and choose to add either "Image" or "Text" to "Sources", and make sure it is over "Webcam". Then we have 3 scenes ready for streaming!
And then we have 3 scenes ready for streaming!
It is also possible to add "Image" over video, if it is desirable to use, for example, a logo. A good tip is to use a file format that supports a transparent background, such as GIF or PNG, for better results.
iPhone/iPad as camera
You can use iPhone and iPad as camera in production. Here we recommend the latest generation if you want good image quality, but older versions also work. These must be connected by cable.
To use the iOS device as a camera, you must first download the iOS Cam plug-in to OBS. You can download it for free here: https://obs.camera/docs/getting-started/ios-camera-plugin-usb/.
You must also download OBS Studio's Camera App to your device in order for it to be used as a camera. This costs PRICE HERE.
When the plug-in is installed on the machine, you will find camera under “Sources” such as iOS Camera.
Select “Create iOS Camera”.
Click the dropdown menu and select iPhone (it comes up as a number code).
Click “OK” and your camera is up and running.
To connect external audio sources, for example if you have your own sound cards, this is done under “Sources” and in the same way as we did for video sources. Click the “+” icon and select “Audio Input capture”. Sound cards can also appear in the list under the “+” icon under “Sources”.
If you have connected your sound card, it should appear in the list. A simple trick if not to do so is to connect the sound card to the machine, exit OBS, and restart OBS while the sound card is connected to the machine.
Switch between stages
To switch between stages we use the buttons between “Preview” and “Program”. There is always “Program” that is what viewers will also see when the stream is started.
To cut between stages, select the desired scene in the lower left under “Stages”. Then it will appear in “Preview”. By using the "Transition" button between "Preview" and "Program", that scene from "Preview" will become active and the scene from "Program" will end up in "Preview".
"Transition" and "Cut" provide a hard clip, both on sound and picture between the scene. If you use “Gradient 300ms” you will get a short fade between picture and sound between the scenes.
OBS has one last important window called "Sound mixer". Here you have an overview of all active audio sources and can control the sound on the individual, or mute. Note that you only see audio sources for the active scene, that is, not the stage you selected in "Stages", but the scene located in the "Program" window.
You may want to put all the stages in "Program" before you start streaming, to see which audio sources are in the various stages, and make sure to mutate, among other things, "Microphone/AUX" from your machine, if not in use.
For example, it would be natural to turn off all audio sources on the “Stage 1” and “Stage 3” stage.
By tapping the gear on one of the audio sources and selecting “Advanced Sound Settings” in the drop-down menu, you end up here:
Here you can set mono, or control the balance on a stereo track.
An important feature here is “Synchronise Deviations,” which is especially important if you are capturing audio through a sound card, and video through a video card. It will most likely not be in sync, and most likely the sound will be processed first. So, to get audio from the sound card synchronised with video from the video card, or webcam, you can select the number of ms you want to delay the sound. Here is the local situation that determines, then it is the clapping test in front of the camera that is the trick to check that it is in sync and just try it until it sits.
“Listen to Source” lets you decide whether to listen to it on the machine or not, whether you want to listen to it.
To start streaming, after remembering to fill in "Server" and "Power Key" under "Settings → Power", you can start by pressing "Start Streaming" in the lower right corner. Remember to select "Stage 1" first.
After pressing "Start Streaming" at the bottom of the window you will get details of how long you have been live next to "LIVE" which will count upwards. If you want to record, remember to press "Start recording" as well.
The CPU tells you how much processing power the machine uses. The lower the number, the less it uses. If it is 100% there is a high probability that something will crash or cut in some way. If it stays below 50% you have little to fear. If it is always above 50%, you can try adjusting settings, such as setting down from 1920x1080 to 1280x720, or refrain from recording while streaming.
To end the stream again when you are finished, you can press "Stop Streaming" to which the button switches as you stream.
Congratulations, you are now live!
How to set up green screen with Mac and OBS Studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz6kFuzCo7Q
Alternatives to OBS Livestream Studio
There are many broadcasting programs out there, as long as it is RTMP compliant it can be used up against TicketCo TV.
Windows og MacOS: https://livestream.com/studio
Via Vimeo Premium, PRICE HERE
Livestream Studio offers a bit more of the functionality from OBS, wrapped in a slightly more beautiful interface. Unfortunately, the way to access the Livestream Studio software is to have a “Premium” subscription to Vimeo, which costs PRICE HERE per year.
Windows og MacOS: https://www.telestream.net/wirecast/overview.htm
Price starts at 599USD
Wirecast is one of the competitors of Livestream Studio, and also offers the same as OBS, with a little extra functionality, and a little more implemented interface.
Sources: brak.no - Livestreaming ABC, obsproject.com.