How to Stream to Facebook Live

How to Stream to Facebook Live

Streaming to Facebook Live is definitely a hot topic. Most everyone has a Facebook account, and companies are using Facebook to reach and interact with their customers. In 2016, Facebook launched their Facebook Live streaming platform, giving users a new method of engaging audiences and streaming live events to their Facebook followers. Roland’s VR Series A/V switchers are streaming-ready, making it easy for you to jump in and create pro-quality real-time content for Facebook Live. The all-in-one VR series streamlines your workflow, reduces setup time, and provides a portable live production switcher for streaming or recording.

The VR series includes the Roland VR-50HD, which is a multi-format HD switcher, and the the Roland VR-4HD, which is the newest model. The VR-4HD is a full 1080p HD switcher with an 18-channel audio mixer, built-in effects, preview monitor with touchscreen, and most importantly, a super-fast USB 3.0 output for connecting audio and video to a Mac or Windows computer to stream to Facebook Live. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to stream to Facebook Live using the VR-4HD, including how to configure settings for the encoding software and Facebook Live.

Equipment Checklist

We recommend four components for streaming to Facebook Live. The central component is the Roland VR-4HD, which mixes your camera and video sources, and your microphone and audio sources. It includes live production tools with effects that include Chromakey, Lumi-Key, Split Screen, and Picture-in-Picture, plus your standard mix and wipe patterns. We recommend using a Windows or Mac software encoder to encode audio and video signals from the VR-4HD and send to Facebook Live. You will also need an Internet connection with a reasonably fast upload speed, and a Facebook account with administration privileges so you can schedule and stream your live events.

4 Components for Streaming to Facebook Live

Components for Streaming to Facebook Live


STEP #1 - Run a Speed Test to Determine Internet Upload Speed

You should run a speed test to make sure you have adequate upload speed for streaming.  A good website for testing is Facebook Live currently streams at four different 720p resolutions. A good rule of thumb is to stream at a resolution that is half of your Internet upload speed bandwidth. Facebook Live recommends a 2.0 Mbps or higher upload speed for a 720p HD resolution. Based on the minimum requirement of 2.0 Mbps from Facebook, we recommend an Internet upload speed of 4.0 Mbps or higher to be safe. Be sure to do some testing, and check with the IT department of the facility you are streaming from before going live. Some firewalls block data packets that could prevent you from streaming. The good news is that Facebook’s default firewall setting is port 80, which usually works in most IT security scenarios.

Run a Speed Test to Determine Internet Upload Speed


STEP #2 - Connecting Audio and Video Sources

Plug in your video and audio sources into the Roland VR-4HD and connect a USB 3.0 cable from the VR-4HD to your Mac or Windows computer. Keep in mind that the VR-4HD has full scaling on input channel 4. You can bring in standard definition, analog, and digital computer resolutions all the way up to a full 1080p HDMI video signal, which eliminates the need for converting the video signal to the switcher. Full scaling is a huge feature, especially for corporate, worship, and school applications where you need to connect a computer for graphics, titling software, scoreboard applications, or older analog HD video equipment.

Use the XLR inputs on the side of the AV mixer to plug in microphones or balanced audio sources. Keep in mind that channels 1 to 4 have these audio effects to sweeten your audio: compressors, gates, and 3-band EQ. These are useful for enhancing speaking voices for presentations, town halls, and discussion panels. You can also de-embed and mix audio from your HDMI video sources and mix audio via the USB port during SKYPE calls. Use Echo Cancel effect to eliminate feedback on the computer audio.

Connect Video and Audio  + USB 3.0 Cable

Connect Video and Audio  + USB 3.0 Cable


STEP #3 - Configuring the Output Resolution in the VR-4HD

The VR-4HD defaults to an AUTO output resolution based on what you have connected to the HDMI ports on the Roland VR-4HD. You can leave the output resolution set to AUTO, but we recommend configuring the output resolution to 720p, which is the native resolution for Facebook Live.

To change the output resolution, do the following:

  1. Click on SYSTEM SETUP button in the upper left-hand side of the VR-4HD touch screen.
  2. Using the touch screen, tap on PAGE 2 of the lower right corner.
  3. On PAGE 2 of the menu screen, click on the VIDEO OUT tab below.
  4. Once in the VIDEO OUT menu, you will notice the top AUTO setting. Push the ENTER button to the right of the touch screen and then turn the knob three clicks to the right to select 720p resolution.

    VR-4HD - change the output resolution


STEP #4 - Setting Up Your Facebook Account to Stream a Live Event

  1. Log in to Facebook and go to the management page of your Facebook Entity account.
  2. On the company page, click on the PUBLISHING TOOLS tab in the middle of the page.
  3. Once in PUBLISHING TOOLS, look down on the left side for the VIDEOS section and click on the VIDEO LIBRARY button. Next, click on the + LIVE button located in the upper right corner.

    Setting Up Your Facebook Account to Stream a Live Event

    Clicking the +LIVE button creates a live video event with and RTMP Server URL and Stream Key code. These items are used in a software encoder to send the encoded data to Facebook Live.

    Setting Up Your Facebook Account to Stream a Live Event

    4. Click the NEXT button to bring up a LIVE EVENT window. This window is where you add a title and video tags to your event, which then allows Facebook to help promote the event when it goes live. Note the Server URL and Stream Key code are provided on this page as well. Wirecast software encoder has Facebook Live Publishing tools built into the software. If you are not using Wirecast, be sure to copy and paste the Stream URL and Stream Key Code generated by Facebook so you can enter the codes into the software encoder such as Wirecast or OBS.


STEP #5 - Configuring Wirecast to Stream to Facebook Live

  1. Open Wirecast, go to the OUTPUT TAB and click on OUTPUT SETTINGS.
  2. On the OUTPUT DESTINATION, click on the drop-down menu and select Facebook Live, then click the OK button.
  3. Select an encoding resolution that best matches your speed test results. To do the minimum 720p 30fps, we recommend 4.0 Mbps upload speed bandwidth.
  4. Authenticate Wirecast using your Facebook Login credentials which allows Wirecast to stream an event directly to the Facebook Page that you manage.
  5. Add a title for your event and description with tags.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click on the CREATE button, and it will generate the URL and stream key code for this event.
Configuring Wirecast to Stream to Facebook Liv


STEP #6 - Adding the VR-4HD as a Shot in Wirecast

  1. From the main screen click on the + button, on the left under CAPTURE DEVICES, and select the VR-4HD VIDEO.
  2. Click on the wheel in the shot again, and from the AUDIO SOURCE, chose the VR-4HD AUDIO as your audio source.

    Adding the VR-4HD as a Shot in Wirecast

  3. Click on the LIVE arrow, and make sure that you see the video in the LIVE PREVIEW window.
  4. Click on the WIRELESS icon above the preview monitor. Now Wirecast will be sending both video and audio to your Facebook Live event page.


STEP #7 - Test the stream on Facebook Live

Go to the event page on Facebook to make sure you can see the video and hear the audio on your Facebook Live account. Also, check that the audio and video are in sync and adjust the audio delay settings in the VR-4HD as needed. And when you are ready, you can take your event live officially by clicking the GO LIVE button to initiate the stream.

Test the stream on Facebook Live