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Wirecast Encoder Setup

This page is a step-by-step on how to set up Telestream’s Wirecast Encoder for LIVE broadcast on SermonAudio. 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 Wirecast Encoder installed on your system you will need to do so before beginning this tutorial. You may download the trial version for testing at the link above.
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 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 Wirecast Encoder program on your computer. This is a very powerful paid tool from Telestream that you can purchase or download a trial copy of here!

For a more basic and less expensive option see our help page on Adobe’s Flash Encoder.

Wirecast encoder
From the menu at the top select the OUTPUT and then OUTPUT SETTINGS from the drop down menu. (You can also hit CTRL + Y on your keyboard to open the window.)

Wirecast encoder - select output settings

You will be asked to create a new “Output Destination” (more on this later) for now just click OK.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - add stream2

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 Webcast Server URL to the settings page, to eliminate the possibility of a typo.

Your server address 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 ADDRESS field in the encoder like the example below.Wirecast encoder - output settings - server

The next step will be to set up the presets for your stream(s).  To do so click on the gear icon next to the ENCODING drop-down menu and select NEW PRESET from the drop-down list.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - new preset

You will then be asked to name your new preset, you can name it whatever you like but for this example we have chosen to name it “Standard Definition Broadcast.”

Wirecast encoder - output settings - name preset
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 a video broadcast with a still shot substituted for the video. You can also see the help page for Audio Only Webcasting here if you need help with the configuration.
  • H.264 Baseline + AAC. Be sure both H.264 baseline + AAC are selected.
  • DO NOT exceed 48kbps for audio on any given stream. Max. bitrate for video per stream is 150kbps. (1Mbps 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. Wirecast encoder - output settings - Standard preset Standard video settings for webcast (non-HIFI).
  • Encoder: H.264
  • Width and Height: 480×270 (this may be different depending on the input device)
  • Frame Rate: 30 (frame rates lower than 30fps may cause difficulty with some mobile devices.)
  • Video Bitrate: 150kbps (Anything between 110kbps-150kbps is recommended)
  • Video Profile: Baseline 3.1
  • Audio Channels: MONO
  • Audio Bitrate: 48kbps
  • Audio Sample Rate: 22.050 kHz
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.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - HIFI presetHIFI video settings for webcast.
  • Encoder: H.264
  • Width and Height: 1280×720, or 1024×576
  • Frame Rate: 30 (frame rates lower than 30fps may cause difficulty with some mobile devices.)
  • Video Bitrate: up to 1Mbps
  • Video Profile: Baseline 3.1
  • Audio Channels: MONO
  • Audio Bitrate: 48kbps
  • Audio Sample Rate: 22.050 kHz

Once you have entered the settings as they appear in the graphic above click on the SAVE button to save your settings for later use.

If you are a HIFI broadcaster it is highly recommended that you create a second PRESET for a standard definition broadcast as well.  To do so repeat steps 4 and 5 and create a separate preset with those settings.

Important!  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.

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 add a second stream (recommended for HIFI Broadcasters) to better serve those on slower connections, click on the ADD button in the lower left hand corner of the settings screen.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - add stream

After clicking on ADD you will be presented with a dialog like this:

Wirecast encoder - output settings - add stream2

Click OK.

This will add a second Output Destination (live stream).  You should now see two RTMP Server streams listed along the left hand column.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - multiple streams

Feel free to rename the Output Destinations by entering the new name in the NAME field to reflect your settings like we have in the example below. But this is not a required step.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - name stream

Be sure to change the new stream address to point to our server like you did for the first one above.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - server

Next, name the stream. This is important!  If you are using multiple streams you MUST have different names for each stream in order for our server to recognize them.  You can name them anything you like, just make sure they are different for each individual stream that you will be sending to the server. In the example below we used “HighDefinition” but “something like “Stream1″ and “Stream2″ would be fine as well.  Just make sure they are different for each stream.

Wirecast encoder - stream name

Next, select the Preset for each stream that you wish to use. You should already have one of your presets selected on the first Output, all you need to do now is select the second Output on the left and the preset from the drop down menu.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - select preset
Once you have your streams set up and the presets and server name entered all that is left to do is to set credentials for each stream. To do so, click on the SET CREDENTIALS button on the Output settings screen.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - credentials 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.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - credentials
To save a copy of your live event to your local hard drive for archival purposes or to upload to SermonAudio you will need to create one more Output Destination.  To do so, click on the ADD button in the lower left hand corner of the settings screen as we did before.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - add stream

In the popup window select one of the RECORD TO DISK options.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - record to disk

You can them set the encoding options to whatever you would like. Keep in mind that the higher you choose to go, the more CPU power and storage it will take.

Now that you have everything set up let’s save the settings so you do not need to do this again. To save a Wirecast document that will open the program with all the preset streams and settings that you have entered click on the FILE menu and select SAVE from the drop down menu.  Name your file and save it somewhere you can find it.  (i.e. the desktop).  Clicking on the file will open Wirecast with all the settings that you have saved.

You are now ready to webcast!

To begin a Webcast, Press the STREAM 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.

Wirecast encoder - streaming

Before beginning the Live Webcast be sure that all the Output Destinations that you wish to present to your users are checked on the OUTPUT setup page. If you are going to save an archive to disk be sure that is also checked.

Wirecast encoder - output settings - multiple streams checked

When you begin the webcast you will notice that the stats to the right of the STREAM and RECORD buttons will begin to change. To begin RECORDING click on the RECORD button. (you will need to have a “Record to Disk” Output Destination set up and checked on the setup page) A red dot on the stream and record buttons will indicate that you are live and recording.

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 STREAM button again or from the Menu at the top choose OUTPUT and then Start/Stop broadcasting and select STOP ALL.  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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