Walkthrough: Encoder Setup Guide

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While setting up your live channel is easy, the encoder setup page is admittedly the most challenging step.

Setting Up an Encoder for Your Live Channel:

First, a note that this guide focuses solely on the Encoder Setup step. We break this guide into three steps, to mimic its presentation on the site:

1. Auto-Select a Publishing Point

encoder setup

Publishing Point & Stream Quality:
Our system auto-detects and optimizes the selection of the publishing point based on the location of your stream.
Please note that Dacast does not support adaptative live transcoding yet, but we soon will!
At this point, Dacast uses a multi-bitrate method for live video. This method allows the broadcaster to set up several different qualities at which to stream content.
Please note, also, that our player is adaptive and automatically detects your encoder multi-bitrate settings. In this way, we can provide the best quality stream to your viewers based on their individual connections.

2. Select an Encoder

encoder setup

At this point in the process, we display various options:

  • OBS Studio: an open broadcaster software that you can use to freely and easily set up your stream. This version has been customized to offer you an easier and faster setup.
    (Please be aware that OBS studio does not support multi-bitrate.)
  • Wirecast: a paid software encoder available for Max and Windows. (A free demo is available but your broadcasts will contain both video and audio watermarks.)
  • VMix: a paid encoder for Windows (free 60-day trial).
  • VIDBlaster: a paid encoder for Windows (free demo available but your broadcasts will contain video watermarks).
  • Other RTMP Encoders: you are free to use any hardware or software encoders with Dacast as long as they are RTMP-based.

When choosing a setup option, make sure your KeyFrame interval is 2 seconds (and nothing else).

3. 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 Common 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
ENCODING BITRATE Constant (CBR)
AUDIO CODEC AAC
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:

ULD LD SD HD FHD
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

4. To Start Streaming

This step contains the information you need to enter in order to connect your encoder to your Dacast live channel.

Note: Stream URL and Stream names are always needed. If you are having trouble using the Stream URL, you might consider using the Backup URL.

Stream URL Example: rtmp://p.ep123456.i.akamaientrypoint.net/EntryPoint
Back-Up URL Example: rtmp://b.ep123456.i.akamaientrypoint.net/EntryPoint
Stream Name Example: dclive_1_XXX@123456

Some encoders have only one URL field. If this is your case, please go into the “Other RTMP encoders” (step 2). Once there, click on the link below the back-up URL to access a full URL. The full URL is a combination of the Stream URL and the stream name.

Example of a Full URL: rtmp://p.ep123456.i.akamaientrypoint.net/EntryPoint/dclive_1_150@123456

Note: Login and Password are needed when Dacast is not integrated into the drop-down menu of the encoder.

Example of Login: 123456
Example of Password: 321654

When Dacast is available in the drop-down menu, you can log in to your account directly with your Dacast credentials.

3 thoughts on “Walkthrough: Encoder Setup Guide

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hey Larry!

      Have you talked to our online chat support? That would be great to give them screenshots of what you’re not able to see!

  1. Kurt Oluwatobi says:

    Hi! Hope you are well!

    I have an hardware encoder that uses XML code and RTMP to stream to Twitch, Youtube and Facebook etc… They all work fine to which I think is because they don’t require authentication.

    Looking at section 4 I can see the information to stream, is there a way to include the authentication in the stream URL or Name?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

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