Getting started streaming on a PC or a Mac is quick and easy once you have the main components in place. First, you will need a video source such as a camera. Next, you will need a video capture device to bring the video (and audio) into the streaming computer (the Magewell USB capture device is a good option to consider if you are not sure where to start). Lastly, you will need PC or Mac encoder software on your streaming computer to send your live stream to Sunday Streams.
Below is a quick video showing you these steps using VidBlasterX and a Magewell video capture device, however, the steps are virtually the same for any encoder software and video capture device you would use. Below the video are further details about each of the components.
TWO IMPORTANT NOTES: The item about matching the bit rate(s) and resolution(s) set in your encoder and your Sunday Streams Manager is a very important step. Skipping this step can cause playback issues. Secondly, the section at the end of this article discussing a local backup is also very important and is highly recommended. For example, if your local internet connection goes down during your service due to weather, the broadcast may not be fully recorded on the Sunday Streams server. Having a complete local backup available to upload in situations like this can be very important.
Quick Start Guides for PC and Mac Software Encoders:
In our demo video above, we used the VidBlasterX encoder software, however, you can choose from a number of options for your PC and Mac. View more of the PC and Mac encoder software options. Please note, the Magewell device we recommend works with a number of the encoder software options, however, it is important to view the compatibility options of the encoder software and video capture devices to ensure they are compatible. We recommend first determining which encoder software you wish to use (most have free demos to test) and then select a video capture devices that is recommended by the manufacturer of the encoding software to ensure the best results.
PC Software Encoders Quick Start Guides: (NOTE: We used the Magewell USB HDMI capture device in these quick start guides)
Mac Software Encoders Quick Start Guides: (NOTE: We used the Magewell USB HDMI capture device in these quick start guides)
Many of our clients already have a video source, whether it is a single camera or a advanced multi-camera setup. However, if you need a camera, we have some recommendations on our Recommended Hardware webpage.
Video Capture Device:
If you are new to live streaming, chances are you may not have this device. There are many options available to meet various budgets (see the PC and Mac Video Capture Devices), however, an easy to use option that works for both SD or HD streaming is the Magewell USB HDMI capture device. This is available for purchase at our Recommended Hardware webpage as well as for rental at our Rentals webpage. This device is plug-n-play and is designed to work right out of the box.
Setting Bit Rates and Resolution:
Setting the proper bit rate and output resolution is very important for ensuring a stable broadcast. Please see our Set proper bit rate for your broadcast and our Set your proper output resolution help articles for more details. Also, please see our 10 helpful tips section for more general information on fine tuning your broadcasts.
Additionally, the bit rate(s) and resolution(s) you use in your encoder must match the bit rate(s) and resolution(s) listed in your Sunday Streams Manager in the Broadcast Settings -> More... -> Bit Rates & Resolution section. The actual broadcast bit rates use must match those listed in the Sunday Streams Manager so that the adaptive bit rate players will function properly. If you are noticing any playback issues, this is a good first place to look to make sure your broadcast encoder settings match those in the Manager.
Multi Bit Rate:
Using the multi bit rate options is recommended if you are doing an HD stream. This enables your viewers with lower bandwidth connections, such as some mobile networks or slower home networks, to be able to watch the lower bit rate version without buffering or other playback issues. Details for setting up multi bit rate broadcasts are included in the setup documentation for the PC and Mac encoder software as well as streaming hardware.
Preview Live Stream:
In your Sunday Streams Manager you can preview your live stream in the Dashboard -> Live Preview section.
Player and Embed Options:
You and make your videos available to your viewers by embedding directly in your website or by using our Go Player. Visit our Players and Embed Options section for more information.
Local Backup Highly Recommended:
Although the Sunday Streams system does record your broadcasts for archiving purposes, recording a local backup copy is highly recommended in case there are any issues (e.g. your local internet connection goes down during bad weather). Many software encoders have a local recording option and having a complete local backup available to upload in situations like this can be very important.