Walkthrough: Encoder Setup Guide (New Dacast Platform)

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

For first time users of the platform, it is definitely understandable you may encounter some confusion and difficulty. But with this general guide, we can provide you with the basic steps from within the platform, to make sure your live streaming experience with Dacast is a pleasant one.

Setting Up an Encoder for Your Live Channel:

This would be the first step in the whole process, creating a live channel will be the most important step as this would where you will get the info you need to put in your encoder.

1. Auto-Select a Publishing Point

All you need to do is make sure you are logged inside your Dacast account. From the main dashboard, you can click on Live Streams (left side), then you can press the Create Live Stream button (if you have not created a Live channel yet). 

If you have created a Live channel, you can either click on the live channel name or the edit button (pencil icon). Creating a Live channel, enables the customers to get the information they feed into their encoder, and connect to the Dacast server, in order to live stream:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Create Live Stream

Now once inside the live channel, on the General tab, you will find under “Details” the encoder setup, please click on that button:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Encoder setup details 

You will then see this window. This is where you will get the information you will feed into your encoder. 

  • Server (Stream URL)
  • Stream Key (Stream Name)
  • Username (Login)
  • Password
  • Backup URL (in case of Server/Stream URL does not work on the encoder)

You simply copy and paste these pieces of information in your encoder based. We have simplified the process by including an icon you can just click to copy the info easily.

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Encoder setup confirmation

 

2. Setting Up the Encoder for your live stream:

Now that you have the information from your Dacast live channel, we will show you how to put them on the most common software encoders used for live streaming.

OBS Studio

From the main window of the encoder click on Settings under Controls:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - OBS settings

Then you will be redirected to the Settings page of OBS Studio, click on Stream on the left side. 

Then under the 1st tab, you will see Service, click on that, and select Custom. 

From there this window will appear and this is where you put the stream credentials, which you can copy and paste easily from your Dacast live channel unto this part:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - OBS authentification

Next, click apply so that OBS Studio can save those credentials.

In essence that is it, from the main window, you can now click on the Start Streaming button, and your OBS Studio will then be connected to the Dacast server and your Dacast live channel, so you can start the live stream immediately:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - OBS start streaming

Wirecast

From the main window of the encoder, click on Output: 

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings output

You will then be redirected to this window, select RTMP server:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings RTMP Server

Then once inside this window, go to the Address and Stream tab on Wirecast. Here you will put in the Server and Stream key respectively:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings RTMP Stream Key

After putting those two, next click on Set Credentials, this is where you will put the username and password respectively:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings RTMP set credentials

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings RTMP confirm credentials

Next, click OK to have changes saved. 

You have now inputted the stream credentials from your Dacast live channel, into your Wirecast encoder. You can now click on the stream icon, the encoder will recognize the stream credentials and connect to the Dacast server, thus enabling you to do your live stream:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - Wirecast settings live stream confirmation

vMix

From the main window of the encoder, click on the configuration settings icon (cogwheel icon). 

You will then be redirected to this window. The streaming settings window:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - vMix settings Configuration

Put in the server on the URL tab. Put in the Stream key on the Stream Name or Key tab. 

Afterward, please click Advanced, here is where you will put your username and password respectively:

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - vMix streaming settings Configuration

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - vMix advanced streaming settings Configuration

Click OK, then you will be redirected to the streaming settings window again. All you need to do is press start, and that is it: 

Dacast Encoder Setup Guide - vMix advanced streaming settings Confirmation
NOTE:

We have now taught you the basic setup on inputting the stream credentials from your Dacast live channel to these common software encoders our broadcasters use. 

Now since you now know the basic setup, we recommend that you always test your upload speed at the location of the stream. Kindly go to https://testmy.net/ and do an upload speed test. In general, our recommendation here at Dacast is that your upload speed should be at least double the total bandwidth you require.

Checking the upload speed of your internet connection will help you determine the necessary bitrate adjustments suitable for your live stream.

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

Any questions or need help/access to this feature? Please contact us.

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Additional Resources

3 thoughts on “Walkthrough: Encoder Setup Guide (New Dacast Platform)

    • 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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