Live Streaming with OBS | Meet & Engage
Live Streaming with OBS

Live Streaming to a Meet & Engage event

The Meet & Engage platform allows you to stream live audio and video to group events using the RTMP protocol. For complex (studio) implementations, the Meet & Engage servers will accept an RTMP output feed from any compatible broadcast system.

To setup to stream from your computer webcam and microphone, we recommend using a free tool called OBS (Open Broadcaster Software - https://obsproject.com/).

Setting up OBS

OBS is a full-featured livestreaming package with several powerful options, most of which are not needed for the typical webcam stream to a M&E event. Setting up OBS to stream from your webcam and microphone is quite straightforward though:

  1. Download and install the ‘OBS Studio’ software – this is available from https://obsproject.com/ for Windows, Mac and Linux.

  2. When the OBS application opens, you will see a window like this:

  1. The large black area in the middle is what will be broadcast to the event. We need to set up a video and audio source (your webcam and a microphone). Click on the ‘+’ icon under the ‘Sources’ window. Select ‘Video Capture Device’ from the list of options:

  1. Choose ‘Create new’ from the option window that appears and press ‘OK’

  2. In the first dropdown box, choose your webcam. If you have multiple webcams, you can choose the best from the list

  1. Press OK. The image will probably appear smaller than the black stage area. Grab the red handles to enlarge it to fit the stage. Be careful to keep the aspect ratio the same so as not to squash the image up. It’s better to enlarge too much and crop some of the image than leave black bars:

  1. Click on the ‘+’ button under ‘Sources’ again, and this time choose ‘Audio Input Capture’. Choose ‘Create New’ and click ‘OK’ on the popup window as before.

  2. From the dropdown list, choose your preferred microphone. Be careful to pick the right microphone – headset microphones will appear separately from any built-in microphone on your computer.

  3. Now we need to tell OBS about how to stream to the Meet & Engage platform. Click on ‘Settings’ on the main window (bottom right corner)

  4. Click on the ‘Stream’ tab on the left. Choose ‘Custom Streaming Server’ from the dropdown list at the top:

  1. Add the ‘Meet & Engage RTMP Ingest Server’ URL to the ‘URL’ box, and your personal Meet & Engage stream key to one beneath it (see ‘RTMP Ingest Server Settings’ section below to obtain these). Ensure the event ID in the URL is correct. Press OK to dismiss the settings window.

Live streaming to an event

Shortly before you are ready to begin your stream, you can begin sending video to the Meet & Engage platform from OBS (no participants will see it yet, don’t worry!). This will ‘queue’ the stream ready to publish to the group in the same way as sharing other media in Meet & Engage.

  1. Press the ‘Start Streaming’ button on the main window of OBS. The video will appear in the stimulus queue to all moderators. Initially it will show with a spinning cog as below, but will then show a thumbnail taken every 5 seconds.

  1. When you are ready to go live – click on the livestream tile in the stimulus queue. The participants will then see your live video!

  2. Feel free to share other media like slides, images, polls etc. at the same time as the livestream. When you share these, the livestream video will reduce in size and move to the corner of the window (like a picture-in-picture view) so that the participant can see both at once.

  3. When you want to stop streaming, click on the tile in the stimulus queue. This will then unshare the livestream video from the participant’s view.

  4. In OBS, click on ‘Stop Streaming’.

Things to note when livestreaming

There is an intrinsic delay between when you say something and when the participant hears and sees it. This is typically around 20-30 seconds. We continuously measure this delay as you stream, and when you share other stimulus such as images or polls, these are also given the same delay. For example, if you say “now I’m going to share a picture of our on-site Café” and click to make a picture live, the two line up for the participant automatically.

Because of the delay, we recommend that you conclude the live stream around a minute before sending participants to the Exit Lobby – this gives everyone a chance to see the end of the stream before being forwarded automatically.

Participants’ and moderators’ comments are not delayed.

RTMP Ingest Server Settings

You can find the Ingest Server settings and your stream key by pressing the ‘cog’ button on the topright corner of the control panel and finding the Live Streaming section. Press ‘Reveal/Hide’ to show the stream key.

When you enter the ingest server URL, please update the [ event id ] to match the event you wish to stream to. The event ID can be found by pressing ‘edit’ on the event you wish to stream to – you will see the ‘Chat Event ID’ listed in the ‘Chat event info’ section at top.