To send a stream to UpStage, you need to use a streaming application on your computer or mobile phone. There are many applications you can use; the only requirement is that it can send a stream in the RTMP format (RTMP = real time messaging protocol). This manual focuses on the desktop application OBS and the mobile app Larix Broadcaster:
Creating a stream media item on UpStage will generate a unique streaming key to enter into your streaming app, and enable you to assign your stream to the stage or stages where you want to use it.
In the Backstage, go to the Media section and hover over the "New +" button (do not click the button).
A dropdown menu appears with the option "RTMP Stream" - select this.
In the media edit window that appears, give the media item a name, and enter a unique key. This key can be the same as the media name - for example, it could be your first name in both places.
Click Save, and the media edit window closes. You are back at the Media section, and you should see your new Stream at the top of the list of media, with a QR code as its preview.
If you are using Larix Broadcaster on a mobile device, you can scan this code directly from the Media list and your unique key will be imported into the Larix settings. Otherwise, click on the green pencil icon at the right-hand side to enter the stream's edit interface again: the QR code is also here.
If you are using OBS, click on the green pencil icon at the right-hand side to enter the stream's edit interface again. Then click on the OBS icon for the configuration instructions. You will find the stream URL and unique key in these instructions, along with screenshots of the OBS settings.
Once you have created your Stream media item, you will find a QR code in both the Media list and the stream's edit interface. Open Larix Broadcaster on your mobile device and scan this code to import your unique key and the UpStage streaming URL into the Larix settings.
In the edit interface of your Stream media item, click on the OBS icon. A window opens with step-by-step instructions for configuring OBS. Click on the red icon at the end of the streaming URL and key to copy and paste to OBS.
The Output, Audio and Video settings can be configured to optimise your stream. Some suggestions are below, and there are many online tutorials and discussions about optimal settings for streaming from OBS.
Before you start sending a stream to UpStage, make sure that you are not sending more data than necessary and have adjusted the settings to make the stream as good as possible for everyone in your audience. If you decide to use large high quality streams, you need to be prepared for some people to have problems receiving your stream.
There are no universal optimal settings, as your requirements will depend on variables such as artistic choices and your audience's bandwidth and devices. You will need to experiment and try out different adjustments to find what is right for you.
Resolution is the dimensions (height and width) of your video in pixels. The appropriate resolution will depend on how big you want your video to be on the stage - if you want it to fill most of the stage then you will need a higher resolution than if your stream will be quite small. If you have chosen a lower resolution and then increase the size of the stream on the stage, it will become pixelated.
Start with a resolution of 640x480, or 800x600 and see how this looks on the stage. The resolution will also determine the shape - for example, 600x600 will give you a square stream, while 800x600 will be a rectangle.
The bit rate is the size of the file per second of data, in kilobits or megabits per second. Lowering this will reduce the file size, and also the quality of your stream. The default bitrate in applications such as OBS and Larix is 2500. This can be reduced to 2000 without significant loss in quality.
If you know that many in your audience are on unstable connections or with older devices, you may choose to reduce it further and accept a loss of quality in exchange for more of your audience being able to recieve the stream.
The standard frame rate is 24 or 30 fps (frames per second). Reducing the frame rate will decrease the size of your stream, however the stream may also become choppy or other noticeable loss of quality such as loss of lip synch.
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