Dacast Live Streaming Encoder Setup

By Eliot Miller

3 Min Read

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Eliot Miller

Eliot was a content specialist at Dacast in 2015. Thanks to him, our customers got plenty of great written and video tutorials to learn all the tips about the Dacast platform.

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    In our previous tutorial, we covered how to create your Dacast channel. Now we’re going to look at how to complete your Dacast live streaming encoder setup. This will require your video broadcast software, also known as your encoder.

    After you’ve created your channel, to start your broadcast you will need an encoding software and to complete the “Encoder Setup” portion in your channel settings. For live streaming encoders recommend Flash and Wirecast. For other alternatives, take a look through some of our other tutorial videos.

    Next we want to choose the “Resolution” for your stream. Go to your encoder, and check your broadcast settings, to see what the resolution of your broadcast is.

    If you can’t see the resolution you are broadcasting in, choose one slightly smaller, otherwise, the video will be stretched.

    If you want to add “Multiple Bit-Rates” to your live stream, make sure that you have enough bandwidth to support all of them.

    For example, if you have 350kb, 800kb and 1200kb as your bit-rate options, then your connection will have to be able to support 2350kb of data. In other words, you would need an upload speed of at least 2.5mb.

    Step 2 – Select an Encoder

    Next, we want to select which type of encoder we are using.  This will then display the information you will need to put into your encoding software, in Step 3.

    Two encoders we recommend are OBSStudio and Wirecast.

    Dacast OBS Studio is available at all plan levels, you can download it for free within the encoder set up tab of your Dacast account. Check out this post on how to properly configure and start streaming with OBS Studio.

    Wirecast is a paid-for encoding software that is feature-rich and is very powerful, including lots of graphics for your broadcast.

    Other RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) encoders include almost any other encoding software or hardware options. Examples are Tricaster, Niagara, Teradek Products, and Xsplit.

    All encoders have their advantages and disadvantages, which one you decide to use will largely be based on personal preference.

    Whichever encoder you are using, select the relevant option to display the information you will need.

    Step 3 – Setting up your Encoder

    Recommended Encoder Settings

    To ensure your Dacast live stream is stable and fully functional, you MUST configure your encoder to use the settings defined on this page.

    First, ensure you are following everything in the Required Settings section. Then select the most appropriate Resolution & Bitrate (depending on your needs) and configure all settings for that size exactly. Finally, be sure not to use any of the Unsupported Settings because they will very likely break your stream.

    Required Settings

    The following settings are required for live streaming with Dacast, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

    VIDEO CODECH.264 (x264 may work)
    FRAME RATE25 or 30
    KEYFRAME INTERVAL2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
    AUDIO BITRATE128 kbps
    AUDIO CHANNELS2 (Stereo)
    AUDIO SAMPLE RATE48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

    Resolution & Bitrate Settings

    Please select one of the following configurations and ensure your encoder is set up with these exact settings to help prevent streaming issues:

    NameUltra-Low DefinitionLow DefinitionStandard DefinitionHigh DefinitionFull High Definition
    Video Bitrate (kbps)350350 – 800800 – 12001200 – 19001900 – 4500
    Resolution Width (px)42664085412801920
    Resolution Height (px)2403604807201080
    H.264 ProfileMainMainHighHighHigh

    Unsupported Settings

    Note that the following settings are unsupported and will break your stream:

    • Baseline H.264 Profile
    • Interlaced Scanning

    We have customized OBS Studio, the most popular, free, open-source, live streaming software. The goal is to simplify the steps to stream live video when using Dacast.

    With Wirecast, you can simply use the “Dacast” option in the drop-down menu after you have gone into the Broadcast Settings. For this, use your normal Dacast login information, rather than the login and password for your RTMP connection.

    Other encoders that have Dacast as a drop option are vMix, Vidblaster, and LiveU.

    If you are using another encoding software, you will need to follow the instructions for connecting to an RTMP server. This usually involves filling in your “Stream URL”, “Stream Name”, “Login” and “Password” into the encoder’s Broadcast Settings, or RTMP Plugin.

    We hope this tutorial has helped you to get started with your first Dacast live stream. If you still have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or reach out to us on Twitter.

    What tutorial would you like us to do next? Feel free to share that below as well. We will get back to you!

    author avatar

    Eliot Miller

    Eliot was a content specialist at Dacast in 2015. Thanks to him, our customers got plenty of great written and video tutorials to learn all the tips about the Dacast platform.

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