This article details how to use Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (AFMLE) to send your video stream to the Field59 live stream platform.
Before you download AFMLE, first check that the computer you are installing it on has the required specs. Any modern — or even not so modern — computer can live stream. Here’s what you need:
- A video capture device: If you cannot connect your video source directly to your computer via USB. We recommend these from Blackmagic Design:
Here are some others. You should just ensure whatever you choose is compatible with the computer that is running AFMLE. You could simply have a webcam connected via USB, for example.
- RAM: We recommend at least 1 GB of RAM.
- Internet connection: We recommend a wired Internet connection, although you can also stream over wifi or data (3G/4G mobile hot spot).
When you have that all set up and AFMLE installed, here are our recommended settings.
Device: Whatever your source video options are should auto-populate here.
Format: H.264 (VP6 is not supported)
Advanced Encoder Settings (clicking on wrench next to right of Format):
Profile – Main
Level – 3.1
Keyframe frequency – Set this to 2 or 4 seconds for best performance. Two seconds is better for fast-moving subject matter (sports, for example). Four seconds is good for more static, talking-head content.
Input Size: We recommend 640×360 at minimum (this is also the size of our default player when embedded on a page if the player is not set to be responsive). Larger resolutions paired with higher bitrates will look better on larger screens, but will use more bandwidth. Also ensure that Maintain Aspect Ratio is checked.
Frame Rate: This should be set to match the frame rate for your camera (in most cases for North American cameras this is 29.97). If you are on a severely limited connection or CPU, you can use lower rates, but we do not recommend less than 15 fps.
Bitrate: What you should set here depends somewhat on your video source, what you are streaming, what your available bandwidth is at your location, and what you want the end experience to be for viewers.
If you are streaming a standard definition (SD) signal, 500 Kbps should be enough, as long as your viewers are watching in a small player/on a mobile device. If you want viewers to watch at full screen on a larger monitor or connected television, you’ll likely find this to be an insufficient bitrate.
For HD video, 1000 Kbps (1 Mbps) is a good starting point, again as long as viewers don’t go full screen, this may be lacking. Additionally if you are streaming lots of action (such as sports), you may find this insufficient.
To provide a good signal for viewers going full screen and to accomodate for lots of movement, we recommend 1,500 Kbps (1.5 Mbps) for SD and up to 3,000 Kbps (3 Mbps) for HD. However, depending on your bandwidth availability at your location you may not want to set these levels in AFMLE — you should be careful not to exceed the bandwidth available to you at your location, or the stream will have difficulty getting to our cloud platform for transcoding and distribution.
(Note: This discussion of what to set as your source input bandwidth bitrate is different than the bitrates the platform outputs to users after transcoding. Field59’s transcoding platform takes your source input feed and converts to adaptive bitrate streams that provide high- and low-bandwidth options for viewers. The high option will typically be your source stream. Users on limited connections will most likely always receive the low-bandwidth stream.)
Output Size: We recommend matching this to the same size as your Input Size. It should never be bigger than input size.
Device: Whatever your source audio options are should auto-populate here. This does not need to be the built in mic to your camera if you have other audio sources connected. You can select an alternate audio input.
Format: AAC (http://www.mainconcept.com/products/plug-ins/plug-ins-for-adobe/aac-encoder-fmle.html) is preferred if possible. Your computer may not come with this plugin, however, and this plugin is not free. If you do not have AAC, choose MP3 but note that MP3 works with some, but not all Sample Rates.
Sample Rate: We recommend the highest sample rates you have available. (examples: 32000, 44100, 48000 work. The combo of Format: MP3 and Sample Rate: 22050 is not supported.)
Bitrate: We recommend 128 Kbps.
Stream to Flash Media Server
To send the stream to us, you will need to check the Stream to Flash Media Server box, and configure the FMS URL and Stream name. Field59 will provide you with your credentials.
After you have entered the credentials, click Connect to establish a connection to our ingest servers. You can begin streaming to our servers by hitting the green Start button. The stream will appear in the player for any active Live Events (or Live Channels if the channel player contains an active Live Event) that you have configured in the Field59 video platform to use your stream.
Here is a screenshot of AFMLE with example settings: