This guide provides a quick walkthrough detailing what is required to get started live streaming over the DaCast service. It includes a checklist of things needed, basic requirements and also some baseline suggestions of equipment or setups to start broadcasting for those completely new to the technology. If something seems glossed over or missed in this guide, please see our frequently asked questions.
A reliable internet connection is mandated to stream over DaCast. This needs to be a broadband connection, preferably wired as wireless is prone to have dips in performance.
Overall speed of the connection should be at least double what you plan to stream at. So a 500kpbs stream would need a 1,000kpbs connection. If you are streaming at half your connection speed, do not try to watch your own feed at the same time as that will exceed your internet’s capabilities.
If you are doing more than one bitrate, add up the total to see if your connection can support it.
All video has to be brought through a computer or hardware encoder to stream. If it’s through a computer, it needs to be through a video capture card such as the Osprey line by Viewcast, with the Osprey-100 pictured.
Your computer may or may not already be set up to accept video feeds. The simplest way to check, and stream over DaCast, is through an attached webcam found in most modern laptops. This means the computer is likely ready to stream, although quality will not match that of a dedicated camera. If it is a camera and you want to live stream, it should have a UVC, iLink, USB3 or Firewire connection that you will need to find a way to feed this into the computer and/or encoder.
If you need a camera, here are three that have been used over our system and the general price range for them. Nearly any digital camera can be used, though, if it can be hooked up and the feed fed to an encoder:
|Canon FS400||Sony HDR-HC9||Panasonic AG HVX200A|
A free solution for encoding over DaCast is to use Flash Media Live Encoder, which makes broadcasting over a Flash video player easy for those who are new to broadcasting. A link to download is provided and found under STREAM if you selected “webcam” as your acquisition method. After installing, click the orange “Click here to export your channel profile” button to download your XML profile. Save this where you can find it later.
Now launch Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder. At the top left click FILE and then OPEN PROFILE. Now find the profile you saved earlier and open it. If a few error messages appear, click OK and continue. When you are ready to streaming, click the START button in the program, found at the very bottom, and you will begin broadcasting.
If you are using Wirecast, click here for a separate walkthrough.
If using a hardware encoder, such as a NewTek TriCaster or a TouchStream from Digital Rapids, select “professional encoder” as your acquisition method in your DaCast account. Now go to STREAM to get a publishing point. This will give a complete URL or a Stream URL and Stream Name, using one or the other depending on your encoder. If it asks for a password and username, leave this blank. If you are using a TriCaster, click here for separate documentation.
Once you are set up and starting to live stream, now you can make the most of your account by enabling and adding some of the many other features available to DaCast users. If you click PUBLISH and go down to themes, you can play with a customizable player skin. If you click MONETIZATION, you can begin adding revenue generating features to your streams such as adding paywalls through pay-per-view monetization.