Dacast has a customized OBS Studio platform. In case you are not familiar, OBS Studio is the most popular free, open-source broadcasting software. We have created this custom OBS Studio platform with the goal of simplifying the steps to stream live video when using Dacast. Dacast’s version of OBS Studio is available at all plan levels. You can download it for free within the encoder set up tab of your Dacast account. Please note that Dacast OBS Studio does not support multi-bitrate streaming (same as the original version of OBS Studio) but will soon.
What is an Encoder
Encoding is a process used to convert the RAW video files captured by a camera into digital files suitable for live streaming over the internet. OBS Studio is an example of a software encoder that is used for live streaming. This means that the encoder feeds digital video files to the streaming platform in real-time.
Required Encoder 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)|
|ENCODING BITRATE||Constant (CBR)|
|AUDIO BITRATE||128 kbps|
|AUDIO CHANNELS||2 (Stereo)|
|AUDIO SAMPLE RATE||48 kHz (48,000 Hz)|
Versions of Dacast OBS Studio Available
We offer two different versions of Dacast OBS Studio available for download on our Live Encoder Configuration help page. They are also available for download in your account. Go to your Live Channel, click the “Encoder Setup” button, then click the link indicated by the red arrow below:
1. Legacy Version of Dacast OBS Studio (RTMP Ingest Only)
The Legacy Version has been online for multiple years, and it supports RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) stream ingest like most of the RTMP-enabled encoders. This version of OBS Studio supports Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, and it is available for free download in your Dacast account.
2. Dacast OBS Studio (RTMP Ingest and HLS Ingest for Low Latency Streaming)
The current version of Dacast OBS Studio supports both RTMP ingest and HLS stream ingest for low latency streaming options. This capability makes the new Dacast version of OBS Studio the only free direct HLS encoder available on the market. Additionally, this version offers more reliability for low latency streaming and is easier to set up with pre-defined encoding profiles. This version of Dacast OBS Studio and its HLS stream ingest capability are available for all our customers. The current version of Dacast OBS Studio is available for free download in your Dacast account.
To download the current version of Dacast OBS Studio, please make sure you have one of the following:
- Windows 10 (64-bit) with at least 8 GB RAM
- Mac 10.13 running an i5 or better CPU with least 5 GB of space left on the hard drive of your device
How to Live Stream with the Current Dacast Version of OBS Studio (RTMP Ingest)
This tutorial will show you how to live stream video using the latest beta version of Dacast OBS Studio and our RTMP stream ingest. If you are using the original version of OBS Studio (not the Dacast customized one), follow this link for a more accurate tutorial.
1. Download the Software
As we mentioned above, navigate to your “Encoder Setup” page in Dacast to download the software. You may see a warning sign telling you the source of the program couldn’t be verified. Just click “More Info” then “Run Anyway.”
2. Open Dacast OBS Studio
Open the software as prompted:
3. Add your Video Source
Add your video source by clicking on the “+” button in the “Sources” widget: You can add as many video sources as you want, reorder them and play them by using the eye icon. This allows you to show multiple sources during your stream or even alternate video sources.
4. Open the Settings
5. Setup Your Live Stream
On the left side menu, please select “STREAM.” In “Stream Type,” you should select “Custom Streaming Server” from the drop-down menu. For the “URL” field, copy and paste the Stream URL from your Dacast account. Do the same for the Stream Key. You can find your Stream URL and your Stream Key by clicking the pencil icon on the far right of the live channel you will be streaming to and then clicking the “Encoder Setup” button to see your encoder sign-in information:
When you click the “Encoder Setup” button, you’ll also find the Login (Username) and Password. Click the clipboard icon on the right side to copy and paste into the Username and Password fields in Dacast OBS Studio. Be sure to first check the box for “Use Authentication” in OBS Studio.
6. Start Streaming
By default, you will be using RTMP ingest and the low definition output streaming settings. If you want to run a quick test you can click on “Start Streaming” to see if it works: You know that you’re streaming when you see the green square at the bottom of the window and a running counter next to “LIVE” as shown below:
7. Configure Your Encoder Settings
Configure your encoder settings in accordance with the required encoder settings we’ve spelled out earlier in this post.
8. Modify Your Streaming Settings
To modify and choose the output streaming settings of your live stream, go back to your settings. On the left side menu, please select “Output.” Modify the video bitrate according to the stream quality you want to offer your viewer. Common stream qualities include SD and HD (video bitrate range: 800 to 1900):
Resolution and 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|
Modify the audio bitrate to 128.
9. Advanced Settings
If you have the technical knowledge, you can always select the “Advanced” Output Mode to play with more settings but we recommend that you stay in “Simple” output mode. If you decide to use the “Advanced” Output Mode please make sure to keep the keyframe interval at 2s.
10. Preview Your Live Stream
To check out your live stream, you can use either:
- Click the “Theme” tab at the top of your live channel that you’re streaming to.
- Use the “Share Link.” The “Share Link” is a URL that allows you to share your live event on your social media platform. This is also available in the “Sharing” section of your live channel within your Dacast account.
- View the embedded video player. Use iframe embed code previously embedded on your website:
What Do I Do if I Cannot Get My Stream to Work?
If you are having trouble when you preview your live stream, please follow these steps:
- Go to HELP > LOG FILES > SHOW LOG FILES. A file with all your log files will open itself.
- Please zip it and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note saying that you are using the OBS beta HLS direct ingest software and you cannot get it to work.
- Our engineering team will review your logs to see what’s wrong.
Low Latency Streaming with Dacast’s Version of OBS Studio
If you are still using Dacast’s first version of OBS Studio, start by clicking on the “Settings” button: Click on the Tab Named “Stream.” From there, select “Custom Streaming Server” within the Stream Type dropdown menu: At this point, log in to your Dacast account. Under your Live Channels, click on the pencil icon on the far right for the Live Channel that you want to edit. Then, click the “Encoder Setup” button to see your encoder sign-in information: For the “URL” field, copy and paste the Stream URL from your Dacast account. Do the same for the Stream key. Next, check the box for “Use Authentication.” You’ll also find the Login (Username) and Password. Click the clipboard icon on the right side to copy and paste into the Username and Password fields in Dacast OBS Studio. The next step is to modify and choose the output streaming settings of your live stream. To do so, go back to “Settings” in OBS Studio: On the left side menu, please select “Output.” Modify the video bitrate according to the stream quality you want to offer your viewer. Common video bitrates range from 500 to 1900. You can now close the Settings window and start broadcasting by clicking on “Start Streaming”: Please note that if you’re using your own DNS provider via DHCP, you may have a connection issue, preventing you from launching your live stream. In that case, we recommend that you update the system to use a public DNS server, such as Google’s DNS 18.104.22.168 and it should solve your problem. For Mac, please click here. Video tutorials available here. Spanish version available here. Any questions or need help/access to this feature? Please contact us. Not yet a Dacast user, and interested in trying Dacast risk-free for 30 days? Sign up today to get started.