Facebook Live streaming

How to go live on Facebook

Facebook lets users with Facebook Pages broadcast live videos through their Facebook Live feature. This works similarly to many other commercial Content Distribution Networks (CDNs). The data sent to Facebook Live starts as an encoded video stream. Encoders, such as Pearl-2 and Webcaster X2 provide the encoded video stream to Facebook using a feature called RTMP (real-time messaging protocol). Facebook processes the stream and transcodes into the format(s) and resolution(s) needed by the viewers so they can follow along with the live event or broadcast. For an example of how to go live on Facebook, check out our own Facebook Live show, Live @ Epiphan!

This tutorial shows you the detailed steps required for how to go live on Facebook using Epiphan’s “all in one” live production mixer, Pearl-2. You can also check out our Webcaster X2 Quickstart guide if you’d prefer to learn how to go live on Facebook using our social media streaming device, Webcaster X2.

To learn how to go live on Facebook, you need the following:

  • A Facebook page with administrator access
  • Epiphan Pearl-2 or Pearl configured on a network with access to Facebook
  • A channel on your Pearl-2 system you can configure to encode for Facebook Live
  • Your video sources and all their connecting cables

To stream your video live, you need to connect your sources to Pearl-2 and start configuring it.

  1. Turn on your video source(s) and your Pearl-2 system.
  2. Use your cables to connect your HDMI™, SDI, DVI, USB, VGA, or AV.io capture card output from your source to the appropriate input on your system.
  3. Log on to the Admin panel for Pearl-2 as the Admin.

Set up your channel to publish, use Pearl-2 to create your layout and add all your sources.

  1. In the Admin Panel, select an auto channel from the list. Alternatively, you can create a custom channel.
  2. To add each of your sources to the channel layout, click Add new item. A drop-down menu appears, and allows you to select text, an image, or any video source connected to Pearl-2.
    web_channel-layout-add-videoSource
  3. After selecting Video source, choose the Source from the drop down menu under Source settings. Your source appears in the visual layout editor, to be arranged as desired using the features found in the user guide. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add as many video sources as desired.
    web_channel-layout-add-videosources
  4. Create as many different layouts as you wish. Use the Admin Panel or Pearl-2’s touchscreen to live switch between them during the show.

Facebook Live requires specific encoding settings. Use Pearl-2’s encoding page to adjust your video settings.

A. Go to the Encoding page for your channel.
B. Under Frame size, select 1280 x 720.
C. Under Key frame interval, select 2 sec from the drop-down menu.
D. Under Bitrate, type in 2500 kbps.
E. Under Audio settings, ensure audio is enabled and then select either the ACC or MP3 44 kHz Audio Format.

Open a new browser window, or a new tab in your current browser window for these next steps. This way you can switch easily between Pearl’s Admin panel and the Facebook Live video control panel.

  1. Log into your Facebook page and start a live event.

    Show me how to create a live event on Facebook Live

    A. On your Facebook Page, click Publishing Tools from the links across the top of the page.

    Facebook page depicting how to get started with Facebook Publishing Tools for Facebook live streaming

    B. Select the Video Library link from the left side of the page.

    Screen capture from Facebook showing where the Live Stream button is at the top right corner of the page after having clicked Video Library.

    C. Select Live button at the top-right corner of the Video Library page to open the Live Events page. The Create Live Event page opens.

    Configuration page for Facebook's live streaming for Pages. Shows the stream key and server url needed to configure Pearl.

  2. Keep the Facebook Live page open and return to your Pearl’s Admin panel in a separate browser window or tab.
  3. Click the Streaming link located under the channel you want to stream to open the stream setup page.
  4. Select RTMP push from the New Stream drop-down list; RTMP configuration options for Stream URL and Stream name appear. See Step 5 below for details on how to use these.
    FaceBook Live Server URL Streamkey

Important note: The Stream Key can only be used for a single Live preview/post connection. You must use the same key to preview and post. That is, you cannot preview, stop the stream, and then resume at a later time. The Key expires 24 hours after creation.

Use the information from the Live Events page to configure your stream on Pearl-2.

  1. For Pearl-2 to begin pushing the video to Facebook Live, it needs to know the Server URL and the Stream key. Copy and paste the URL and the key from your Facebook Live event into their respective fields in the Pearl-2 admin panel.
    Multi-streaming: Using the URL and the Stream name
  2. Leave the username and password fields blank.
  3. Click Apply.
  4. Click the Start button to send your stream to Facebook Live. Facebook Live prepares the stream to be broadcast, but the live stream does not begin until you go through Step 7 below.
  5. Once Pearl-2 is pushing out your RTMP stream, you can preview in Facebook for verification purposes before going live.
    Multi-streaming: using the stop and start buttons
  6. To preview the stream, go to the Facebook page and click the Preview button at the bottom-right corner of the window to open the preview page to verify that your stream is coming through correctly.
    Facebook Live streaming preview window with the Go Live button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

If you receive a “Stream is offline” message, make sure you started streaming from your Pearl-2. If you still have issues, check the server url and/or stream key were copied correctly. You can reference the server URL and stream key anytime in the Advanced tab.

When you’ve looked closely at the preview on Facebook Live, and you’re confident that your stream looks the way you want it too, you’re ready to go live!

  1. Before going live, use the fields on this page to add a video title, keywords, and accompanying text to post alongside your live stream.
  2. If your stream will last for longer than 90 minutes, click the Advanced tab and click the This video is a continuous live video checkbox. The video is live streamed as normal, but does not save to your timeline or send notifications to followers.
    Facebook Live Enable continuous streaming
  3. When you’re ready to start live streaming to your Facebook followers, click the Go Live button at the bottom-right corner of the page. The  (Note that the Go Live button remains disabled until a valid stream sent from Pearl is detected.)
    Live on Facebook Live
  4. Congratulations – you’re now streaming live! A red “live” indicator appears on the preview and tells you the number of your current viewers as well as total views. You can manage your stream through this panel, responding to comments and ensuring that your stream continues to work.
    Live on Facebook Live
  5. When your live event is complete, click Finish Live Video and then click End in the confirmation message box that appears to stop your Facebook Live stream.
  6. Finally, return to Pearl’s Streaming page in the Admin panel and disable your stream by clicking the Stop button (or touch the blue streaming button on Pearl’s touch screen). Note if you do not stop streaming, Pearl continues to forward the channel’s stream to Facebook, consuming uplink bandwidth.
  7. When the event closes, the streamed video automatically begins transcoding into a normal static video, which appears in the Video Library and on your timeline!

The Result

Congratulations! You now know how to go live on Facebook with Pearl-2!

Facebook live streaming is a wonderful tool for engaging with viewers and promoting the growth of your brand.

Good luck with your future live streams!