Live Stream Tips & Troubleshooting

Studio Tutorial

About Live Streaming

LIVE STREAM: “BEST PRACTICES” TO KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Live streaming is a great way to provide access to your Ministry, to a lot more people!

 

  • the disabled and shut-ins
  • those ill at home
  • those on the road travelling
  • as a sharing tool for co-workers & friends

 

…and, it’s easier than you think. You can start simple with an audio only stream (like a radio broadcast).  Or, you can stream audio & video. You can then automatically archive your broadcast for on-demand or scheduled playback at a later time (also see: why upload when you can live stream instead). We are here and happy to help… just ask!

 

Please follow these steps below to help simplify your Live Stream workflow/process, and to reduce the risk of human error that may break your feed. NOTE: when a live stream issue is reported, most often (by far) the problem originates on the broadcaster’s side (not server-side). These steps below can help things go very smooth for you – week after week!

 

Cross-platform Compatible

Your live streams are cross-platform compliant (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Roku,etc…), as long as your live stream encoding software’s settings are correct. You must be in H.264, Baseline (not Main), with audio in AAC format whenever possible.

 

http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/tutorial-live-stream-settings-mobile-friendly/

FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES – HAPPY BROADCASTING!

1. Use the same MASTER LIVE EPISODE for every Live Broadcast, and DO NOT DELETE IT!

Master Live Episode

 

a) Why make something more difficult than it needs to be!? Create one Master Live Episode and use its same stream credentials for EVERY BROADCAST (the server address & stream name do not change within an Episode). You should only need to set this up once, and NOT do the same thing over-and-over for each broadcast. Keep it simple… set it up once and do not delete it. : )

 

Once you have your encoding software (Adobe FMLE, Wirecast, vMix, OBS, etc…) setup properly (all settings and stream credentials in place), save a copy of the encoder’s project file to your desktop for safe-keeping. Next time you are ready to broadcast, if the encoder does not automatically remember all settings when you re-open it, simply load in the encoder’s project file and you should be GOOD TO GO!

 

Note: you do NOT need to be logged to your Studio when you live broadcast. If you have things setup within your encoder, you are good to go.  Just open your encoding software, load in your project file (if needed), and start the stream – that is all!

 

b) If you plan on adding a recording of your Live Broadcast to your Archive, do so to a NEW Episode to keep your Master Live Episode in tact and ready to go for the next live event!

 

HELP FILE: Publish to new Episode (always stream to same Live Episode!)
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/tutorials-live-auto-publish/

2. Setup a RECURRING BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Within your MASTER LIVE EPISODE you can create a Recurring Live Broadcast Schedule. This will automatically update the date and time of your Master Live Episode between broadcasts so that it is staged and ready to go for your next event. Your live count down clock / timer will remain accurate and let your guests know when the next event is scheduled to take place.

 

HELP FILE: Recurring Live Broadcast Schedule
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/recurring-live-broadcast-scheduler/

3. TROUBLESHOOTING Live Stream Issues

a. Encoding Software > stream Settings. These are VERY Important to ensure your Live Stream is accessible across all platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Roku, etc…).

 

– H.264,  x.264,  H.265  (Not VP6)
– BASELINE (not MAIN)
– audio in *AAC at 44,100 Hz

 

b. Make sure your live stream encoding credentials (server address and stream name) are exactly correct – if they are not, your stream will NOT WORK. (Copy & Paste to ensure 100% accuracy).

 

Note: Adobe FMLE has a special stream name type that is different that what is used by all other encoders. Please be sure you select the correct stream name type from within your Live Episode’s > Live Broadcast section.

 

c. If problems persist…

 

– Restart your systems! Restart your encoding computer and reopen your encoding software. Give your system a fresh start. Encoding software can be finicky, a fresh start may be all it will take to get you back ON AIR! Restarting your modem / router may help as well if your connection is not sending a steady Upstream.

 

– Check your system’s CPU load. If your computer is overheating this will cause your live stream to freeze or lock-up during the broadcast.

 

– Keep an eye on your network capacity. If you are pushing more bandwidth than your connection can handle, your end-viewers will experience excessive buffering. This can also be caused by multiple users on your connection, spreading it too thin.

 

– firewall and/or antivirus software systems can also interfere with your live stream performance. If you encounter issues, run a test stream with your security disabled to confirm.

 

– a hardwired connection is just about always better (more reliable / stable) than a wifi / wireless connection.. Go hard-wired whenever possible!

4. LET THE STREAM PLAY OUT (avoid cutting it short)

At the conclusion of your broadcast event, let your stream run for an additional minute to allow the buffer to play out for your audience. Continue to stream something like a logo or still-shot. This will ensure that all viewers will be able to see the actual stream in its entirety.

 

HLS streaming builds up buffers and sends out your stream in packages. It is very cross-platform friendly, meaning just about any device can accesses it, however you will need to take this into consideration at the conclusion of the broadcast. When you press stop within your Encoding software, this sends a command to the players/media centers and tells them to go OFF-AIR immediately. Let it run for an additional 60 seconds so that it can finish delivering the packages, then shut it down.

 

If you would like some assistance in getting a still-shot in place, which you can broadcast at the conclusion, just let us know. Some Ministries will run their announcements video or something along those lines at the end to allow the official broadcast play out for their end viewers.

Additional Suggestions

1. WHEN YOU ARE OFF-AIR / not broadcasting (pre-live media playback, next live broadcast countdown timer).

Have Pre-Live Media playing/looping when you are “OFF-AIR”, and keep your countdown clock accurate.

 

http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/player-options-when-you-are-not-live-broadcasting/

2. Install and Share your Live Stream Player.

Provide a way for your guests to watch or listen to your broadcast. Players are simply “windows” into your sanctuary. Your Studio provides HTML code that you can add (copy & paste) to your existing website, blog, etc…

http://sndemo.sermon.net/Tutorials/tutorials/20003144

 

Media Centers can also be embedded directly into your site (via iFrame), and have more features (live chat, integrated Bible, notes, etc…).

About Media Centers
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/media-delivery/media-center/

 

In addition to Players and Media Centers, you can create an account at http://churchonlineplatform.com/ and add your Player to their interface.

 

LIVE STREAMING THROUGH THE CHURCH ONLINE PLATFORM
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/live-streaming-church-online-platform/

 

LIVE STREAMING TO FACEBOOK
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/live-stream-facebook/

 

NOTE: If you do not have a web site, no worries! We got you covered! You can use the Church Online interface / landing page, or you can link your visitors directly to any of your Studio’s Players and/or Media Centers. (You can even purchase your own domain name and have it point directly to your Media Center.)

3. Record and Archive your Live Stream (in whole or in part).

When you stop your stream, you can automatically have its full recording added to your Archive:
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/tutorials-live-auto-publish/

 

If you do not want to archive the full broadcast, you can manually select a portion of the stream’s recording to be stored for on-demand access.
http://sndemo.sermon.net/Tutorials/tutorials/20001521

 

Alternatively, to save on Storage you can opt to not record/store your live broadcasts at all.
http://sermon.net/for-the-ministry/studio-tutorials/live-stream-do-not-record/