How to Stream to Facebook Live
Facebook added Live Streams to their Facebook Pages. So if you own a page you can from now on start streaming on Facebook. (It might not be unlocked for everyone right away. And you might need to have a certain number of likes. I could not find exact info about this.)
There are a few limitations though (see here or read on) and as mentioned, you need a Facebook PAGE:
- Video Resolution: maximum 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second.
- Key-Frame Interval of 1 every 2 seconds
- Max bit rate 2500Kbps
- 90 minute maximum length.
To start a stream you have to first visit your Facebook Page, then at the top click on “Publishing Tools” (if you do not see the Publishing Tools your page is probably not unlocked for Live Streaming yet, contact Facebook to find out whats needed), on the left click on “Videos” and then on the top right click on “Live”:
A popup will appear with the necessary information for your streaming software. You can use any software that supports RTMP output. OBS, FFSplit, XSplit, Wirecast, Vmix and similar. Just copy the Server URL if needed and Stream Key and paste it one by one into your streaming software. Some programs will probably also allow you to login to Facebook directly, check the softwares manual for more info in that case.
In my example screenshot OBS-Studio lets you select Facebook Live as a Streaming Service, so you only need to copy over the Stream Key and OBS will make sure you do not exceed the max bitrate or key-frame interval limit of Facebook:
Important: The Server URL and Stream Key can only be used for a single Live preview/post connection. You must use the same URL and key to preview and post. That is, you cannot preview, stop the stream, and then resume at a later time. The URL and Key also expire 24 hours after creation.
Now we can set OBS to meet Facebook’s maximum Video Resolution and maximum FPS in the Video settings (1280×720 and 30FPS) You can of course stream at a lower resolution and FPS interval but not higher. And Facebook recommends you to stream at an aspect ratio of 16:9:
Depending on your Output Resolution and FPS you can set your desired bitrate, for 720p@30fps probably 2000-2500kbps or lower:
Check out some guides on how to find the best bitrate if you are not sure what to choose.
Make sure all your other settings (Audio especially), scene and source configuration are done before you start going live. If you accidentally start and stop your stream you will need to create a new live video and copy over the new stream key.
As soon as you are ready to start click on the Preview Button in the bottom right of the Facebook “Create live video” popup. The next popup will allow you to preview your stream. At this point you are not live on Facebook yet but I got a terrible echo from the preview and had to mute my Tab on Chrome to get rid of it. I hope Facebook will soon show you some controls to mute the preview. In the meantime just mute your Tab until that is the case. Firefox and Chrome both should have this option, not sure about Opera or IE.
You can now enter a Post message, give the Video a title, add tags and even tag people before going live. And you can also start the Stream in your Software and it should appear in the Popup Window:
After you entered everything and if your stream is online, the “Go Live” button will be blue as you can see in this example, which means you are now ready to go live. Click on “Go Live” to do so.
After you are done with your Stream you can click on “End Live Video” to stop being Live on Facebook. The video will be saved and should soon appear in your Video Library of your Facebook Page:
That’s about it. You can now stream your content to Facebook and publish it on your Facebook Page. Remember, the next time you start a Facebook stream you have to update your Stream Key.