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WEBCASTS | FULL (BROADCASTING) MEMBERS ONLY

Overview Flash Encoder Wirecast Encoder

LIVE WEBCAST WITH ADOBE FLASH MEDIA LIVE ENCODER

    Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder
  • Easy-to-use flash-based H.264 encoder | download now.
  • FREE for basic flash encoding viewed only on PCs.
  • Need an additional AAC Plugin (approx $180) to make your webcast available on mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, ROKU TV.

 
Breakdown of costs. Webcasting is free for the viewers, but if you are wishing to be the broadcaster of a live webcast, you will need to take into consideration the following:

  • You must be a "FULL" Broadcasting Member (more info).
  • You must have the "Live Webcasting" option enabled for your account (some fees apply):

    • Only $10 is added to your base monthly fee.
    • Only $2 per webcast hour (additional usage fee).

      Our pricing is straightforward and does not scale up or down depending on the number of viewers. We've taken the mystery out of complicated webcasting costs, so you can easily predict your costs from month to month. Just remember, flat fee + usage fee!

  • You must have a direct, high-speed connection to the Internet with a sufficiently fast upload speed.

    • At least 350kbps upload recommended bandwidth for video webcasts.
    • At least 1Mbps upload recommended bandwidth for HIFI video webcasts.

      Multiple bitrate support. The higher bandwidth recommendation assumes that multiple bitrates will be streamed for any given webcast. This allows for maximum viewership.

  • For video webcasters, a fast, separate, dedicated computer used for only the webcast encoding with a "decent" graphics card is highly recommended.

  • Quick Setup Tips. Here are some quick tips and links to get you started.

    • Recommended! Single camera with firewire output -- use the built-in firewire OUT on the camera to the computer. This is by far the easiest way if your camera supports firewire.
    • Recommended! Single camera method -- use the Canopus ADVC300 to convert your analog audio/video signal from the camera to a single digital FIREWIRE signal -- to your computer.
    • Single camera with HDMI output only -- use the Intensity Products to capture HDMI. This requires a much stronger computer to handle the uncompressed HD video. Not recommended for webcasting. But it is an option.
    • Recommended! Multi-camera setup -- use a video mixer (like the Datavideo 4-Channel) to switch between your analog cameras. Take the single analog OUTPUT from the mixer into the Canopus ADVC300 to create a single digital FIREWIRE signal -- to your computer. This method does not require expensive cameras.

After you have met the above requirements, the following screen shots will take you step-by-step through the process of webcasting a live event on SermonAudio with the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder!



Step 1: Make sure your account is Webcast-Enabled.

There's a quick and easy way to see if your account is webcast-enabled. Go to the Live Webcasts section to see if your church is listed as a webcaster. Or, look for the webcast badge on your homepage as shown.

Your account must specifically be activated for the FLASH webcasting solution. This will be indicated by a bright red webcast icon.



Step 2: Start Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder.

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.





Step 3: Next, set the OUTPUT streaming options.

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. The site will automatically detect your webcast and appropriate activate the right buttons on-site! A truly complete and flexible solution!

As shown below, use your SermonAudio Member ID in the FMS URL for the publishing point. For example, if your SermonAudio Member ID is "faith", then the full FMS URL value would be:

rtmp://radio.sa-media.com/faith

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. For example:

stream%i
See the screenshot below. Also note that 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.





Step 4: Press the CONNECT button to connect to our server.

Clicking on the Connect button on that same OUTPUT tab will initiate a connection to our server but will not start the webcast. You will be prompted with a login window where you will fill in your SermonAudio Member ID and Password. You can optionally choose to save the password. This password-protection is to guard against anyone else webcasting under your account.





Step 5: Setting the VIDEO Bitrate & Encoding Options ó Important!

Now, you will be setting the bandwidth bitrate of the webcasting stream. What you select here will depend on your connection. 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 HIFI bitrates. To learn more, please click here..

  • Video + Audio. Be sure both audio + video are selected.
  • H.264 Baseline + AAC. Be sure both H.264 baseline + AAC are selected.
  • DO NOT exceed audio+video 150kbps bitrate (800kbps for HIFI) for any given stream.

    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 what is appropriate for them.
Recommended encoding settings. Observe the following screenshots and feel free to use these exact settings for your webcast needs. You can tweak the bitrate, video size depending on your situation:

    Standard Video Webcast (non-HIFI).
    See VIDEO TIP #1 below for more options.

  • Output Format: H.264
  • Frame Rate: 15
  • Input Size: 320x240

  • Stream 1:
    Bitrate=150kbps, Size=320x240
  • Stream 2:
    Bitrate=10kbps, Size=160x120

    See below in the Video Tips for more recommended video sizes..

    HIFI Video Webcast.
    See VIDEO TIP #1 below for more options.

  • Output Format: H.264
  • Frame Rate: 30
  • Input Size: 640x480

  • Stream 1:
    Bitrate=800kbps, Size=400x300
  • Stream 2:
    Bitrate=150kbps, Size=320x240
  • Stream 3:
    Bitrate=10kbps, Size=160x120

    See below in the Video Tips for more recommended video sizes..

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. And be sure that the BASELINE 3.1 profile is selected:

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.



Step 6: Setting the AUDIO Bitrate & Encoding Options ó Important!

Recommended encoding settings. Observe the following screenshot and feel free to use these exact settings for your webcast needs. You can tweak the bitrate depending on your situation:

    Audio Encoding Settings.
    See VIDEO TIP #1 below for more options.

  • Output Format: MP3 or AAC
    (AAC is necessary for mobile support)

  • Channels: MONO
  • Sample Rate: 22khz
  • Bitrate: 48kbps (or less)




Step 7: Press the START Button and you're ON-THE-AIR!

That's it! 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.





VIDEO TIP 1: Recommended Encoding Settings.

Video encoding can get confusing. But the following details may help give some guidance on what settings to use when encoding your video.

  • For standard video settings.
    Video Size:360x270 (Widescreen: 480x270)
    Video Bitrate:110kbps-150kbps
    Video Profile:Baseline 3.1
    Frame Rate:15fps
    Audio Format:AAC 24kbps-48kbps, MONO
  • For HIFI video settings.
    Video Size:768x576 (Widescreen: 1280x720, 1024x576)
    Video Bitrate:310kbps-800kbps
    Video Profile:Baseline 3.1
    Frame Rate:30fps
    Audio Format:AAC24kbps-48kbps, MONO
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. Most 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 Phones. Most cell phones today can play videos and we take that into consideration with our iPhones, BlackBerry and Android solutions. Providing a satisfactory streaming experience for viewers over a slower cellular network is part of our bitrate policy.

  • ROKU TV. The same webcast viewed on PCs, Macs, and mobile phones, can also be viewed on the ROKU Internet Media device which connects to your television. The recommended webcast encoding settings have been successfully tested on this platform.

  • Dialup Users. There are still many who use dialup 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 dialup users can also enjoy your webcasts reliably.



VIDEO TIP 2: Improving the Quality of "Noisy Video"

New! 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 appears 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).



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.

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 info@sermonaudio.com if you have any questions about this service.

        More Live Webcasting Help Topics Found...
Tip: Affordable Live Audio & Video Webcasting Finally Here!
Tip: Birds-Eye Overview of Upcoming Events and Live Webcasts
Tip: Channel for the Roku Player on your TV!
Tip: New HIFI Support for Higher Bitrate Audio+Video!
Tip: View the Webcast Schedule In Your Local Time Zone!
Tip: Wallpaper, Buttons, HTML Code, and Graphics Freebies!



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