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How Do I Stream Using vMix?

VMix has a variety of different products, all centered around video production. This includes both hardware and software. This guide is based on their encoder for Windows (only) called the vMix Live Production Software. We are using version 17 of the software.

You can download a free version here

vMix offers a powerful encoder with a lot of options. It’s particularly efficient at streaming with a lower consumption of CPU power, which is noteworthy as many encoders are often resource hogs when being used on a laptop or desktop.

Getting Started: Adding Inputs

First, launch the vMix program.
You’ll see a basic layout as seen below:

Before you configure stream settings, you will want to add an input. An input can be anything from a camera, to a video file to even a still image depending on your broadcasting needs.

To start this process, click the ADD INPUT button located toward the bottom of your screen in the layout.

This will open a new window with a lot of options called INPUT SELECT.

For most, they will want to select Camera, although there are a lot of rich options to choose from. In terms of camera, it should automatically detect any compatible camera (or camera with capture card combo) and present them in the drop down. The only thing to keep in mind is that you will have to manually set the resolution to something your camera can support. Sometimes this is auto detected for, sometimes not. Luckily the encoder will tell you when its not setup properly. For example, if I select a HD resolution on a built-in webcam, I get the following error:

In this case, it’s telling me to use 640×480 as the max, which I can change in the resolutions and then click OK.

Now you will be brought back to the main layout. You can click to add more inputs if you like. vMix is setup so its easy to change sources, so you can transition from a live stream to previously recorded video very easily.

Important things to note are the placement. The left works as a “staging environment” while the right is what’s currently broadcasting. There is a switch, located below Zoom and FTB, between the two areas that lets you change between them. Want to switch to the Green Check above? Clicking the switch will do that. In addition, above the green check are alternate transition options as well if you want to utilize a specific effect in your transition.

Getting Started: Streaming

Once you have your input, you’ll want to configure your stream. This will setup your eventual destination, in this case streaming live content on the internet. To do this click the gear icon found to the left of the word STREAM, located at the bottom of the layout.

Once clicked, you will be taken to the STREAMING SETTINGS window.

There are a couple of ways to proceed, although you will need to first click the DESTINATION drop down selection.

We will break out the ways to do this into two steps, one being through the DaCast option and the other through the Custom RTMP Server.

Live Stream: DaCast Method

This process will be broken into steps required inside your DaCast account, and those steps required inside the vMix encoder.

Inside your DaCast Account

If you haven’t already, create a live channel. Get all the way to the ENCODER SETUP part. Make sure to remember the name of your live channel.

Inside vMix

From the drop down menu for DESTINATION, click DaCast.

This will ask you for your Username and Password. This is the email and password that you use to login to your DaCast account. Please note that this is note the username and password provided in the encoder setup section. 
Enter them and then click LOGIN AND UPDATE CHANNELS.

NOTE: In case of error in this step, try to go to your DaCast account and reset the password (under Account => Personal Profile). It should normally fix the connecting issue.

Your channel list will now populate. Select this area and choose the live channel you want to broadcast to.

You’ve now configured the channel to stream to your DaCast channel. Before you will begin, though, you’ll likely want to edit your quality settings. The default quality setting, before doing your first broadcast, is 1500 kbps. This might be too high depending on your upload speed. Not sure what your upload speed is? We recommend doing an upload speed test at Testmy.net. You generally don’t want to exceed 50% of your upload speed for the bitrate you choose. So if your upload speed is 2 MB per second, 1 MB per second would be a good range of bitrate quality. Be considerate of your viewers too, you don’t want to exceed 950kbps in a lot of scenarios unless you are offering multi-bitrates. Otherwise it will lead to buffering from your viewers with a slower connection. Unfortunately, to do multi-bitrates, you need to use the “Custom RTMP Server” method mentioned below instead of the DaCast one.

To edit the quality of your steam, click the gear icon to the right of QUALITY.

This will launch a new screen where you can edit the bitrates for your stream. Again, sadly, for the DaCast option you need to keep this to a single bitrate. Also important to note is that your profile should be Baseline and the keyframe frequency be 2 or 3, although this is the default setting.

Once you are satisfied, you can click SAVE AND CLOSE or click START if you want to begin streaming.

To preview your stream go back to the DaCast backend and click on Preview.
To test your stream in a browser you can also copy paste the Facebook or Twitter code in your search bar. Note that it can take up to 50 seconds to come up online.

Live Stream: Custom RTMP Server Method

If you prefer to do the manual method, you can select Custom RTMP Server from the Destination drop down. This process will be broken into steps required inside your DaCast account, and those steps required inside vMix.

Inside your DaCast Account

If you haven’t already, create a live channel. Get all the way to the ENCODER SETUP part which includes the 3 steps as shown below: 

Jot down the Login and Password for your stream, and be prepared to copy and paste the Stream URL and Stream Names in the next step.

Inside vMix

From the drop down menu for DESTINATION, click Custom RTMP Server.

First step is to copy and paste the Stream URL into the URL field.
Next copy and paste the Stream Name into the “Stream Name or Key” field. 

Now click ADVANCED. This will give you a screen to enter in a username and password. This will be the login and password that you wrote down during the ENCODER SETUP step inside your DaCast account. It will be a series of six digits each. 
Enter them and then click OK.

You’ve now configured the channel to stream to your DaCast channel. As mentioned above during the DaCast destination method, you might want to change the quality setting. The default here is 1500 kbps, but you should pick something best suited for your upload speed and intended audience. Remember, you don’t want to exceed 50% of your upload speed.

Multi-bitrate

If you want to do multi-bitrate, Custom RTMP Server provides the opportunity to do this.
First, notice the numbers above the destination area, denoted as 1, 2 and 3.

For each you want to have a bitrate setup on, enter in the details like you normally would. The change will come during the stream name part. For each, you will want to configure a unique number in the stream. For example, your base might be:

dclive_1_1@104121

This would be followed up by:

dclive_1_2@104121.

For example:

So it’s always dclive_1_X, with X changing based on which bitrate you are configuring.

For each multi-bitrate you can change the quality as shown below (You need to click on the gear wheel shown at the end of the "Quality" field: 



Make sure the keyframe Frequency is equal to 2 or 3 seconds.

Once you are satisfied, you can click SAVE AND CLOSE or click START if you want to begin streaming.

To preview your stream go back to the DaCast backend and click on Preview.
To test your stream in a browser you can also copy paste the Facebook or Twitter code in your search bar. Note that it can take up to 50 seconds to come up online.

 Note: If you are getting an error when trying to open the vMix recording settings, please click here

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