The power of Engagez is the breadth of its broadcasting and interactivity options, giving you the utmost flexibility in planning your online engagements with your audience. You can setup your venue sessions as live broadcasts, on-demand videos or combination of. When live, you can use Engagez Livestream, Engagez Simulive, or your favorite webinar tools.
Engagez Livestream is a highly scalable and adaptive solution, allowing your attendees to attend and participate in your live webcast, using any device, and from any corner of the world.
What follows is a walk through on how to setup and use Engagez Livestream.
Software Requirements – Encoder
You need live streaming software, and an encoder to take the desktop or camera feed and send it to Engagez, which would then stream the video to all the connected attendees.
There are several good options to choose from. The best choice for you will depend on your technical know-how and whether using Mac or Windows. There is a free open source choice called OBS, (https://obsproject.com/). This is a powerful tool, best suited for more technically inclined users. Our recommendation is one of these three fee-based solutions:
- XSplit (https://www.xsplit.com/broadcaster)
- Wirecast (https://www.telestream.net/wirecast/overview.htm)
- vMix (https://www.vmix.com/software/download.aspx)
We mostly use Wirecast for our production work and that’s what we have used below for documenting the live streaming process.
For testing, most notebooks will do fine. However for production purposes, you must use a high end notebook/desktop PC, exclusively dedicated to run the streaming software. Refer to your streaming solution’s recommended hardware specifications. High bandwidth internet with uninterrupted connectivity is a must.
Once you have setup your venue, follow these steps to setup your session(s) for live streaming:
- Create the session that will host your livestream
- Schedule it with a future date, set its Live Webcast type to Livestream and save it.
- Go to Admin->Session, and click on Manage Livestream menu
- Your session is automatically assigned to the Default Each stream is like a TV channel which receives the live stream from a streaming source. If you have scheduled simultaneous live sessions or need to broadcast from different physical locations, you will need to create additional streams. Otherwise, just use the Default stream.
- While “Default” is the selected stream, click on “Encoder Connection Settings” link. The parameters you need to configure your streaming software to connect to Engagz servers are listed there.
- In the “Assign Stream to Upcoming Sessions”, you will see your session listed. Confirm that the session is assigned to the “Default” stream.
- You now have a session scheduled for a time in the future, and a stream assigned to the session, ready to receive live data.
Setup the Encoder (Streaming Software)
We use Wirecast to demonstrate how to connect your encoder to the stream you have assigned to your session. If you are using other tools than Wirecast, look for similar configuration settings within their menu structures.
- In your Engagez Administer menu, click on Sessions and open Manage LiveStream. Select the target stream, and click on “Encoder Connection Settings”:
- Start Wirecast. Configure the source based on what you will be broadcasting. You can select a webcam, an external camera or your entire desktop or a window. To configure, in the bottom portion of the main screen, click on the first “+” sign and add your webcam or Screen Capture as source.
- Now let’s configure the connection settings. Under the Output menu, click on Output Settings.
- Select RTMP Server. Set “Address” and “Stream” to your stream’s “RTMP Server” and “Stream Name” values:
- Click on Set Credentials, and assign Username and Password to Source Username and Source Password:
- In Manage Livestream, while your stream is selected, click on the green button to “Start Livestream”. Now Engagez is ready to receive the video stream.
- In Wirecast, confirm that whatever you have selected as source is being shown in the preview window:|
- When ready, in the Output menu, click on “Start/Stop Broadcast” to initiate the broadcast
- Back in EZ, in Manage Livestream, view the Preview player where the green button used to be and wait for it to show your stream. There could be a 20-30 sec delay till you start seeing the video.
- Once you see your camera output in the player, go back into your session to view your attendees’ experience.
- At the end of the broadcast, go back to Manage Livestream in your venue. Click “End Live Stream”. This will stop Engagez from receiving additional data and will start preparing the recording. Wait till your recording shows up with “Completed” status. Click to refresh in case the listing is not showing up after a few minutes. Once completed, you can now download the video to edit before uploading it to your target destination for on demand viewing.
- You can start and stop the stream any number of times, and each time, the last recording will get added to the recordings listing here.
Note: Plan on testing several times before you actually do a live program to a real audience so that you are familiar and comfortable with the process.