Live Events

Broadcast and present a Live event.

Ways to broadcast a Live event

We offer multiple ways to broadcast no matter the scale of your event, the venue, or the location of your presenters. When you schedule a Live event, you select how presenters will connect their audio and video to broadcast to the audience. The device or method is the live acquisition source for the event. 

Note: This only determines how your presenters connect their audio and video and broadcast to the audience. All webcast events include visual elements such as headshots, slides, overlay videos, and more.

If presenters will speak to the audience but remain off-camera, select Telephone as the acquisition source. If they'll broadcast audio and video, you can use a single webcam, the video bridge for multiple webcams, an encoder, or a video conferencing unit (VCU). 

Available options depend on your account settings. Contact your sales representative or Support to request additional broadcasting options.

Live Acquisition Sources dropdown with several choices

Broadcast audio only

Select Telephone to broadcast the presenter audio with a telephone connection. Up to 20 presenters can stream their audio from a telephone or VoIP connection. Presenters dial in to the presenter bridge and a backup bridge is included as a backup audio source.

Broadcast audio and video

There are several options for connecting presenters and streaming their audio and video to the audience. They can connect directly using their own webcams or connect to another system or service first and then stream that source into the event.

Join the Live Studio

To moderate or present at a live event, enter the Live Studio and connect your audio or video. The Live Studio has controls for presenting slides, playing videos and other content, managing Q&A, and more.

The way you join the Live Studio depends on whether you have a webcasting account or whether you were invited to be a presenter or assist with Q&A.

Join as a moderator

If you have a webcasting account, sign in to the Webcast Admin portal and in the My Events list, click Edit to open the Live event. On the Event Summary tab, under Run My Event, click Launch Live Studio.

Run My Event- Launch Live Studio button

Join as a presenter

If you were invited to present at the event, you should have received an email with login details and a link to the Guest Admin Access site. Click the link and enter your information or credentials to sign in, and then click Live Presenter Studio.

Guest Admin Site- Live presenter studio button

Join as a Q&A manager

If you were invited to manage audience questions at the event, you should have received an email with login details and a link to the Guest Admin Access site. Click the link and enter your information or credentials to sign in, and then click Manage Live Q&A.

Guest Admin Site- Manage live Q&A button

Add a virtual background to your webcam or video stream

The Webcast service does not currently offer virtual backgrounds; however, if you're broadcasting a single webcam or multiple webcams (video bridge) during the event, you can add them to your video stream with a third-party virtual webcam app. A virtual webcam app is software that allows you to add virtual backgrounds, filters, and more to your webcam video. After you install it, the virtual webcam displays as a new webcam source that you can select when joining the event.

If you are broadcasting an event with an advanced video bridge (ask your host if you're not sure), you can connect to the event from an online meeting app like Zoom or WebEx that offers virtual backgrounds.

Supported virtual webcam apps include:

Note: Download and test the app in the Live Studio at least 48 hours before the event starts. We do not provide support for third-party applications.

Change your background with a virtual webcam

Before joining the Live event, start the virtual webcam app and set up your virtual background.

Important: You must keep the virtual webcam running during the event for your virtual webcam to display properly.

Single webcam

To connect to the event with a virtual webcam:

  1. Join the Live Studio.
  2. In the Live Studio, a notification displays in the top left of the window that requires you to allow the Live Studio to access your computer's camera and microphone. Click Allow to grant permission.

    Allow Google Chrome to use your microphone and camera option

  3. In the Broadcast Controls panel, click Preview.
  4. For your Video source, select your virtual webcam and then select the microphone you want to use for the broadcast. Check your webcam preview and audio levels to verify that they work properly

    Note: This is only a preview. Your webcam is not visible to the audience or other presenters.

    Broadcast Controls panel with a virtual webcam preview

  5. Click Connect to connect your audio and video to the event. Once you're connected, other presenters can see your webcam.

    Note: The connection can take up to two minutes to establish. If your stream fails to connect, click Cancel and then preview and connect it again.


Multiple webcams (video bridge)

To connect to the event with a virtual webcam:

  1. Join the Live Studio.
  2. In the Live Studio, click Connect using my webcam.

    Connect using my webcam option

  3. Enter your name and click Next.
  4. For your Camera source, select your virtual webcam and select the Microphone and Audio Output sources you want to use for the broadcast.

    Select your camera and microphone window with microphone and virtual webcam selected

  5. Click Join Bridge.

Change your background with an online meeting app

To connect to the event with a meeting application:

  1. Before joining the Live event, start your meeting app and set up your virtual background.
  2. Sign in to the Guest Admin site and click Live Presenter Studio.
  3. Click Connect using another source and use the SIP or H.323 address to connect to the webcast video bridge from your meeting app.

    Connect using another source section with H.323 and SIP options

Encoder stream bit rates

Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) Encoder Events (Recommended)

You are only required to send one stream (per primary and backup). All streams are transcoded and aligned for soother quality transitions. If the system receives a higher stream than the bit rate listed in the 'Source Encoder Sends' section below, it will automatically transcode down to the bit rate shown in the 'Audience Receives' section. Sending a lower bit rate than those listed is not recommended.

The video player has a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio with the following size options. Audio and video streams to attendees at the listed bit rates. We recommend using an audio bit rate of 96 kbps, which is included in the total bit rate. See 'System Requirements for encoder broacasts' for additional information.

Source Encoder Sends

Video Player Size Recommended Video Bit Rate Recommended Audio Bit Rate Total Bit Rate with Recommended Settings
480p (854x480) 800 kbps 96 kbps 896 kbps
720p (1280x720) 1700 kbps 96 kbps 1796 kbps
1080p (1920x1080) 3000 kbps (3mbps) 96 kbps 3096 kbps

Audience Receives

Video Player Size Video Bit Rate Audio Bit Rate Total Bit Rate
Sending 480p (854x480)


Low - 270p (480x270) 400 kbps 96 kbps 496 kbps
High - 480p (854x480) 800 kbps 96 kbps 896 kbps
Sending 720p (1280x720)


Low - 270p (480x270) 400 kbps 96 kbps 496 kbps
Medium - 480p (854x480) 800 kbps 96 kbps 896 kbps
High - 720p (1280x720) 1700 kbps 96 kbps 1796 kbps
Sending 1080p (1920x1080)


Low - 480p (854x480)  800 kbps 96 kbps  896 kbps
Medium - 720p (1280x720) 1700 kbps 96 kbps 1796 kbps
High - 1080p (1920x1080) 3000 kbps (3mbps) 96 kbps 3096 kbps


Constant Bit Rate (CBR) Encoder Events

You are only required to send one stream (per primary and backup). All streams are distributed at the bit rate set at the encoder. Listed below are the system-recommended settings for each player size.

Important: Streams that exceed 6 mbps (6,000 kbps) will have their connection terminated by the system. Please note that this includes both the audio and video bitrates together.

The video player has a widescreen (16:9) aspect ration with the following layout options. Audio and video streams to attendees at the provided bit rates. We recommend using an audio bit rate of 96 kbps, which is included in the total bit rate.

See 'System Requirements for encoder broacasts' for additional information.

Video Player Size Total Bit Rate
480p (854x480) 896 kbps
720p (1280x720) 1796 kbps
1080p (1920x1080) 3096 kbps
 

The system will automatically transcode to the settings above for the on-demand archive, regardless of live bit rates used. With CBR events, you have the option to modify the streaming rate for a higher or lower live bit rate.



How do I broadcast using an encoder?

To access the information needed to connect your encoder for the event, click the Media Encoder Settings button in the Broadcast Controls area of the Live Studio. Your encoding device (e.g. Wirecast) will need to be set up to send an RTMP stream for broadcast.

Media Encoder Settings

Click Media Encoder Settings to access the stream path(s), codec information and recommended stream settings. 

Encoder Settings with primary and backup stream details

Copy and paste the Primary Stream URL from the  Encoder Settings  to your encoding device settings. Then, copy and paste the  Primary  Stream ID  into the stream setting of your encoder. Next, confirm that your encoding device is using the same settings as listed in the  Encoder SettingsNOTE: Bit rate can be adjusted based on your requirements.

To add a redundant backup stream on the event, copy and paste the  Backup Stream URL  from the  Encoder Settings  to the secondary encoding device settings. Then, copy and paste the  Backup  Stream ID  into the stream setting of your encoder. Next, confirm that your secondary encoding device is using the same settings as listed in the  Encoder SettingsNOTE: Bit rate can be adjusted based on your requirements.

Start your encoder to begin streaming to the Webcast Server. Connected text will appear in the Primary Stream and/or Backup Stream boxes when a stream has been connected. Once your encoder confirms a successful connection, click the Preview Stream button to view the stream(s). 


Preview stream button with primary stream connected and other backup streams

If you would like to preview the video stream(s) at full resolution, click Launch Full-size Preview to view the stream at full resolution.  
 

The Primary Stream preview will load by default in the full-size preview window. Use the Source dropdown above to test the Backup and Audio Stream if applicable. 

Once the connection process is complete and you see your video in the Live Studio, click Start Webcast to begin broadcasting your event.

image-1687876552372.png

To switch between the primary and backup streams during an event, click on the Primary Stream or Backup Stream box. The stream name highlighted in blue along the left will appear in the Broadcast Controls window and is active on the presentation. 

Backup stream highlighted but not active

Live stream bit rates

Presenter Video, Screen Share (video bridge), and Inline Videos

If you're broadcasting telephone audio only, the video player contains a 320 x 240 pixel space for headshots to be displayed and uses a 96 kbps stream.

If you're broadcasting audio and video, the video player has a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio with the following layout options and streams to attendees at the listed bit rates. The audio bit rate is always 96 kbps and is included in the total bit rate.

480p (854 x 480)

720p (1280 x 720)

1080p (1920 x 1080)*

 

*Note: 1080p and 720p access may not be available on all accounts. Please contact Support with questions.


Overlay Videos

The bit rate of overlay videos depends on the bit rate of the video when you uploaded it. If you uploaded a video:

Presenter Best Practices

Below are a list of best practices for presenters:

What should a presenter have available for the presentation?

How can I test my system for presenting?

For any testing, you should use the computer and browser that you intend to present from. Two seemingly identical computers can have very different program and system configurations.

Once you have received the Guest Admin, please log into the webcast Live Studio to test your system.

If you will be using your webcam or screen sharing on an event, please test your system here:  https://event.webcasts.com/test

Please note that if you run into any testing issues, you may be asked to provide a screen capture of the results of this system test.
 

What if I have issues with the Webcast Live Studio during a live call?

The Live Studio checks the presenter's connection status approximately every three seconds. When the Live Studio detects a sustained connection drop (an approximate 10-15 sec. without a response from our servers), a message is displayed in the Live Studio alerting the presenter:

"Could not connect to the server. Please check your internet connection.(1)".

This message appears in an overlay and the presenter cannot click on any Live Studio elements while their connection is down. Once the connection has been reestablished, the message will disappear automatically and the presenter can resume their Live Studio interaction.

If the Live Studio becomes unresponsive without an internet connection failure:

Share a video during a Live event

In the Live Studio, the Overlay Videos tab shows all uploaded videos. From here, you and other presenters can preview them, play them for the audience, and stop sharing them. 

You can share a video as an overlay - in a separate window that covers the slides and video player - or play the video inline, in the video player. Once the event is archived, the recording includes the videos as they were seen by the audience during the live event.

Notes:

Jump to: Preview a video | Share a video as an overlay | Share a video in the video player (inline) | Stop sharing a video

Preview a video

Preview your overlay videos to make sure they display correctly to the audience during the live event. When you preview a video, the video is only visible to you.

To preview an overlay video:

  1. In the Live Studio, click the Overlay Videos tab.

    Thumbnails of the uploaded videos are displayed with the video name, size, and duration.

  2. Under the video you want to test, click Preview.

    Overlay Videos Tab- Video Thumbnail with Preview button highlighted

    The video plays in a new window as an overlay.

    Note: The audio is muted when you preview a video. To test the video's audio, click Listen to Presentation Audio.