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Dacast Live Streaming Encoder Setup

By Eliot Miller

5 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.

      Step 1 – Servers, Resolution and Multi Bit-Rates

      Start by choosing the best “Server” for you. This should be the one closest to your geographical location.

      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 CODEC H.264 (x264 may work)
      FRAME RATE 25 or 30
      KEYFRAME INTERVAL 2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
      SCANNING Progressive
      AUDIO BITRATE 128 kbps
      AUDIO CHANNELS 2 (Stereo)
      AUDIO SAMPLE RATE 48 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:

      Name Ultra-Low Definition Low Definition Standard Definition High Definition Full High Definition
      Video Bitrate (kbps) 350 350 – 800 800 – 1200 1200 – 1900 1900 – 4500
      Resolution Width (px) 426 640 854 1280 1920
      Resolution Height (px) 240 360 480 720 1080
      H.264 Profile Main Main High High High

      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 you “Stream URL”, “Stream Name”, “Login” and “Password” into the encoder’s Broadcast Settings, or RTMP Plugin.

      For details on how to connect to Dacast with specific encoders, check out some of our tutorials:

      We will update this list as more tutorials are added!

      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!

      Video and article by Eliot Miller. Find me on Twitter and G+

      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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