How to live stream to Facebook Live
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 Epiphan Pearl-2 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.
This tutorial shows you how to stream to Facebook Live using Pearl-2, but you can also use it for Pearl. For a more general walk-through, see Facebook’s tutorial for Live Videos from Publishing Tools. For an example of what it can look like, take a look at our own Facebook Live show, Live @ Epiphan!
To live stream to Facebook Live, you need the following:
To stream your video live, you need to connect your sources to Pearl-2 and start configuring it.
- Turn on your video source(s) and your Pearl-2 system.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the Admin Panel, select an auto channel from the list. Alternatively, you can create a custom channel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
B. Select the Video Library link from the left side of the page.
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.
- Keep the Facebook Live page open and return to your Pearl’s Admin panel in a separate browser window or tab.
- Click the Streaming link located under the channel you want to stream to open the stream setup page.
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.
Use the information from the Live Events page to configure your stream on Pearl-2.
- 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.
- Leave the username and password fields blank.
- Click Apply.
- 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.
- Once Pearl-2 is pushing out your RTMP stream, you can preview in Facebook for verification purposes before going live.
- 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.
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!
- Before going live, use the fields on this page to add a video title, keywords, and accompanying text to post alongside your live stream.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
With this process you can stream to Facebook Live from Pearl-2 with ease! Use it to engage with your audience by responding to comments in real time, to talk to people in a new way, and to keep your videos dynamic and interesting for you followers. When combined with the permanent value you get from the automatic addition of the video to your timeline, Facebook Live can do a great job of getting your video seen by a wide audience.