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Adobe Flash Media Encoder Setup

This page is a step-by-step on how to set up Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder. For more on what other options are available and what is needed to set up your account for webcasting visit our webcasting help page

If you do not yet have the Flash Media Live Encoder installed on your system you will need to do so before beginning this tutorial.
There are several quick and easy ways to see if your account is webcast-enabled.
  • Go to the Live Webcasts section to see if your church is listed as a webcaster.
  • Visit your homepage on the SermonAudio and look for the webcast badge under the HOME tab. broadcaster home TOP - webcast badge
  • You can also visit your Members Only page, the webcast server will appear under the STATS tab in the “Basic Account Settings” section if activated.
You will need to have your account webcast enabled before you will be assigned a webcast server (needed below.)
Next, you will need to start the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder program on your computer. This is a free tool from Adobe that you can download here!

You must purchase an additional AAC Plugin (approx $180) to make your webcast available on devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, ROKU TV and Chromecast. (Mac users can webcast without the plugin as AAC is built into the OSX and above operating system.) Adobe encoder settings

Select the Stream to Flash Media Server option. This will allow you to initiate the live webcast to SermonAudio whenever you want and as often as you want. Adobe encoder settings-Stream to checkbox The site will automatically detect your webcast and activate the notification buttons on-site and (if you have them installed) on your church website as well! A truly complete and flexible solution!

In the examples shown below, use your SermonAudio Member ID  wherever the text “MEMBER_ID” appears. You will need to find your assigned webcast server at this point to ensure that you are connecting to the right server.

You can find this information in the Members Only section of the site under the STATS tab.  It should be listed near the top of the page under “Basic Account Settings”  If it is not listed there, you have not yet been enabled for LIVE Webcasting. Members Only - webcast server You can simply cut and paste the FMS URL to the settings page, to eliminate the possibility of a typo.

Your server address (FMS URL) will “look like” the one below where the text MEMBER_ID is replaced with your actual SermonAudio Member ID:

rtmp://stream2.sa-media.com/MEMBER_ID

Type or cut and paste the server address into the FMS URL field in the encoder like the example below.

Adobe encoder settings - FMS URL Also observe that the STREAM field can be any value as long as there is a “%i” at the end of the name. This will give you the option of sending multiple streams (multiple bitrates) to our server.

In the example below you can substitute any name for the text “mystream”. In our example we have chosen to just use the name “mystream” like this:

mystream%i

Adobe encoder settings - Stream Also note that in our example the Save To File option is selected. You can choose to save the live VIDEO webcast as a F4V (Flash MP4) file which you can upload later as an archived video.

Also note the “%i” at the end of the filename to save the multiple streams. Again the filename can be anything you like, in the example below it is “archive%i.flv”. Adobe encoder settings - archive

Clicking on the Connect button on that same OUTPUT tab will initiate a connection to our server but will not start the webcast. Adobe encoder settings - connect btn After clicking on connect, you will be prompted with a login window where you will fill in your SermonAudio Member ID and Password. This ensures that no one can use your connection unless they have your Member ID and Password. Adobe encoder sign in
Next, you need to set the bandwidth bitrate of the webcasting stream. What you select here will depend on your connection and whether or not you have HIFI enabled for your account on SermonAudio.

Please review the details of this entire step carefully.

HIFI OPTION. Broadcasters that have the HIFI option enabled for their account can webcast at higher bitrates and upload archived media at higher bitrates. You must have this option enabled for your account in order to use the higher HIFI bitrates.

  • Video + Audio. Be sure both audio + video are selected. For those wishing to do Audio-Only webcasts please note that some devices will not accept an audio only flash stream (i.e. ROKU and Chromecast).  If you are trying to reach an audience that uses these devices and wish to do an audio-only broadcast please consider using WIRECAST where a still shot can be inserted in place of a video.
  • H.264 Baseline + AAC. Be sure both H.264 baseline + AAC are selected. (If AAC is not an option you can obtain the plugin here.)
  • DO NOT exceed 48kbps for audio on any given stream. Max. bitrate for video per stream is 150kbps. (800kbps for HIFI)
  • IMPORTANT!! It is imperative that your upload bandwidth speed is fast enough to ensure a smooth and successful webcast. Find out what your upload bandwidth speed is at your location. Your upload bandwidth speed should be at least 350kbps for standard live video webcasts and at least 1Mbps for HIFI video webcasts.
  • Multiple Bitrates. When you stream with multiple bitrates, the user will automatically be presented with your bitrate streams so they can choose the one that is appropriate for their connection.
Recommended encoding settings for standard webcast. If you are unsure of what to enter feel free to use these exact settings for your initial webcast setup. You can lower the bitrate, or change the video size if needed for your particular setup. Adobe encoder video settings low Standard video settings for webcast (non-HIFI).
  • Format: H.264
  • Frame Rate: 30 (frame rates lower than 30fps may cause difficulty with some mobile devices.)
  • Input Size: 480×270 (this may be different depending on the input device)
  • Output Size: 480×270
  • Bitrate: 150kps (Anything between 110kbps-150kbps is recommended)
  • Video Profile: Baseline 3.1
Recommended encoding settings for HIFI webcast. If you are unsure of what to enter feel free to use these exact settings for your initial webcast setup. You can lower the bitrate, or change the video size if needed for your particular setup.Adobe encoder video settings hiHIFI video settings for webcast.
  • Format: H.264
  • Frame Rate: 30 (frame rates lower than 30fps may cause difficulty with some mobile devices.)
  • Input Size: 1280×720 (this may be different depending on the input device)
  • Stream 1:
    • Bitrate: 800kbps
    • Output Size: 1280×720, or 1024×576
  • Stream 2:
    • Bitrate: 150kbps
    • Output Size: 480×270
Important! Set the H.264 PROFILE to BASELINE. One more step in this section, click on the Advanced Encoder Settings button located next to the FORMAT option as shown here. Adobe encoder video settings profile And be sure that the BASELINE 3.1 profile is selected: baseline Please abide by the limits and rules as outlined in the above points. If you go over these limits, visitors may not be able to experience your webcast properly, your webcast may interfere with other webcasts in progress, and we may therefore be forced to terminate the stream until it is corrected.
Please note: You are welcome to adjust these settings to suit your particular needs but please keep the following issues in mind if you wish to change the settings:

Viewers on PCs. Many of your webcast viewers will probably be on a PC of some kind. Fortunately, the flash-based streaming method allows for a no-hassle playback. However, because connection speeds vary, we highly recommend using multiple bitrate streams.

Mobile Devices. Most cell phones and tablets today can play videos and we take that into consideration with our iPhone, BlackBerry and Android solutions. Providing a satisfactory streaming experience for viewers over a slower cellular network is part of our bitrate policy.

ROKU, Apple TV, Chromecast. The same webcast viewed on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, can also be viewed on the ROKU Chromecast and Apple TV devices which connect to your television. The recommended webcast encoding settings have been successfully tested on these platforms.

Dialup or Limited Bandwidth Users. There are still some listeners who access the site via dialup or over limited bandwidth cell connections and for them, it’s important to deliver a lower-bitrate stream. For this reason we recommend using our suggested encoding settings for the most reliable streaming experience.

These guidelines provide the optimum encoder settings for the best possible video and audio experience while at the same time ensuring that our many users on slower or limited bandwidth connections can also enjoy your webcasts reliably.
Recommended audio encoding settings.  If you are unsure of what to enter feel free to use these exact settings for your initial webcast setup. You can lower the bitrate, but for most setups 48kbps is optimal.

Adobe encoder settings - audio

  • Output Format: MP3 or AAC (AAC is necessary for mobile support, see above for more information)
  • Channels: MONO
  • Sample Rate: 22khz
  • Bitrate: 48kbps (or less)
Auto Audio-Only! For all video webcasts, we automatically produce an additional audio-only stream available on the website Flash player and on the iPhone+iPad app! This is ideal for clients with low-bandwidth situations or on cell networks.
To begin a Webcast, Press the BIG GREEN START button and your webcast will be LIVE and visible on SermonAudio.com! Please note that usage charges are accumulated at this point, even for test runs. Keep an eye on your current usage charges in the BILLING section of the Members Only Area. Adobe encoder settings - live That’s it! Congratulations!

The site is designed to automatically detect when you are “ON-THE-AIR” and will make it clear to all who are on the site that a LIVE webcast is in progress. When you are live webcasting, the button will automatically change from the OFF AIR button

to the ON AIR button.

Please note it may take up to one minute for SermonAudio to actually detect that you are on-the-air. This simply means that the OFF AIR button may not change into the ON AIR for up to one minute.

You can keep the live webcast on-the-air for as long or as short as you wish. SermonAudio will automatically keep track of the number of hours that are used in your live webcasts throughout the month and then add the total hourly usage charges for the month to your next billing cycle.

In order to STOP the live webcast, simply press the “STOP” button or close the program. Please be aware that it may be up to 5 minutes before SermonAudio is able to detect that you are completely off-the-air. Do not be alarmed at this. We have taken these delays into account when calculating the usage charge for billing.

VIDEO TIP: Improving the Quality of “Noisy Video” This entire step is an optional tip to help improve the quality of “noisy video” for those experiencing this problem. The “noise” is a result of the interlacing artifacts that sometimes appear in video. The solution is simply to turn ON the DE-INTERLACING option on your encoder settings if available. Please note, this option is significantly CPU-intensive and is only advisable if your computer is fairly new with a higher-end graphics card (that supports hardware de-interlacing).

Here are some last-minute important tips to keep in mind!

  • It is very important that you follow Step #5 (above) precisely in regards to the bitrate setting. This needs to be correct or we will need to terminate the webcast while in progress.
  • Be sure that you do not “tie-up” the bandwidth at your location by trying to watch the webcast over the same connection that the live webcast is currently broadcasting on.
  • For video-webcasting, do not “disturb” the PC that is doing the video webcast.. not even so much as clicking on the web browser. In fact, it is best simply to completely leave it alone while the webcast is in progress. Video encoding is a CPU-intensive process which can result in the webcast failing if it doesn’t have the computer’s 100% attention.
Welcome to Live Webcasting on SermonAudio.. and enjoy!

Feel free to email us at support@sermonaudio.com if you have any questions about this service.

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