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Andrew Smith May 30th, 2016 07:24 AM

Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
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A couple of weeks ago I had done some extensive Googling for information about the Facebook Live streaming product that they famously had some difficulties with at the time of launch.

If it has been rolled out to your Facebook page, you can select the "Publishing Tools" menu and then click on "Video Library" where you can "Create live videos with professional video equipment from your Video Library" yada yada yada.

This is the screen of info you get when you click on it, including a server and a stream key for targeting your streaming device to.


Andrew Smith May 30th, 2016 07:31 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Update: the second time you go there you will have to select the 'live' button in the top right corner of the interface for the video section.

There is a preview function, with the interesting instruction of "Don't put third-party video ads in your live video. For example, don't include bumpers, pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll." yet as one article has pointed out, Facebook Live needs a waiting room of sorts.

Myself, I'd be inclined to put in a countdown timer with graphic for the two or three minutes prior to an event start.


Andrew Smith May 30th, 2016 10:07 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
From Joe at the Matrox Monarch technical support forum:


Live Video Specs

- Video Format: We accept video in maximum 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second.

- You must send an I-frame (keyframe) at least once every two seconds throughout the stream.

- Recommended max bit rate is 2500Kbps.

- Video Length: 90 minute maximum length.

I had no issues. Make sure to open port 1935 on the router even if it 'still works' with it closed.

Chris Harding May 30th, 2016 07:30 PM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Thanks Andrew

I did see a flurry of live stream action a few days ago on Facebook with every Tom, Dick and Harry trying out a stream ..some were average but some seemed so pixelated that the person was not recognisable!! Not sure which end was at fault but the same organisation (Homestead for Youth..I think) did have a couple that were not too bad. We run through Live Stream currently for paid gig streams and I'm not really sure paying clients would be happy seeing their event on Facebook but then again it's a preety popular place to be!! It's strange that as fast as the live streams appeared (I think it was Sunday) they also vanished and I haven't seen any since.

Do you think it will be a serious platform to stream live events for clients? I cannot see every FB user rushing out and buying a $1000+ encoder for their camera just so they can stream baby on the lawn.

Bruce Dempsey May 31st, 2016 03:26 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
I've read that Youtube live will terminate a stream without warning or recourse if a copyright issue is detected (this is third hand so take that with a grain of salt).

Dailymotion according to someone went down and stayed down a while back

My cdn went dark the day before an event and I had to scramble to line up another stream supplier.

At stream time It's a constant worry for me and I'm thinking redundancy might be called for, Of course then two encoders would be necessary working off a split output, one to your paid cdn and another to a social media so the odds of losing both are remote.

Somehow you'd need 2 ethernet ports which might be a more difficult problem. (maybe one ethernet and one lte.

Its a thankless job none the less because the clients expect TV like performance and so much of it is just out of our control that it's laughable.
Every time I do a stream for some client I reconcile to myself that this will be the last time I work for them but usually I'm able to pull it off and get to do it again for them next time.

Good to see facebook in the game. I'd be worried about what hey consider instream advertising though. Would adverts on a sign on the playing field be a no-no and if there algorithim detects that sign and shuts down the stream. Also the 90 minutes is a problem for most of what I do

Chris Harding May 31st, 2016 04:33 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Facebook streams will be fine when you can buy an encoder for $99 that hooks up to your GoPro and it's just a fun thing but for paying clients you do need something a bit more reliable. We do put a disclaimer on the pre-event page that we are using 4G wifi and it could lose data etc etc, just to cover a bad area!

With a paying gig one needs to pay a decent company so you don't have issues like copyright and ad conflict ... imagine the problem at a wedding then the bride walks down the aisle to her favourite song and the feed is dropped cos YouTube has an issue with the music. If you want free streaming then these sort of things are bound to happen!!

Donald McPherson May 31st, 2016 05:18 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
When I was messing about with my pxw x70 and youtube livestream my stream that is left on got a warning and taken down. My camera was pointing at the TV. I think NCIS was on.

Bruce Dempsey May 31st, 2016 07:34 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
I streamed an international university convocation couple of weeks ago and had 4000 viewers in a hundred countries and I would consider that a fantastic feat as it streamed in both hd and sd prettywell fine
the IT guy at the university said he had a friend monitor the stream from a cable tv isp and there were some momentary buffering situations in one of the shows and for this he says next time they need a streaming provider more suitable to carry their load. .. I mean it's just incredible what these supposedly informed clients expect. It's a bloody miracle is what it is viewed from the perspective of someone like myself born a decade before the advent of television and having worked as part of a mobile network crew broadcasting sports
It was a beautiful live switched 3 camera producton nearing network quality. Did it all with a crew of just me. Would have taken an 18 wheeler stuffed to the rafteers with gear and several tv trucks ands a crew of 6 to pull off what I did by myself.
But the client is always right right?

Andrew Smith June 1st, 2016 04:19 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Just catching up on a few answers here.

I think the best use for Facebook streaming is that the Zuck craves fresh original content over the reposts and click-bait items that Facebook has become saturated with. I'd say that he is clearly looking to the long term survivability of FB when it comes to this, well ahead of people tiring of the platform and migrating elsewhere. Therefore, live streams will be natively promoted in the news feeds of others/followers/likers. Compare this to the deliberate artificial suppression of your regular posts (unless you wish to pay money to advertise on FB and reach all those who signed up to follow you).

To this end I would expect that doing a live stream from professional gear will be a way to overcome the deliberate suppression of your ability to get your message out on FB. I'm already thinking of playing out older recordings of events to the Monarch device and then through to Facebook Live as an event. I doubt that FB will ever be able to tell the difference, give or take the auto-sensing of ads and bumpers etc.

One good thing about the Facebook Live service is that via their API you can control the geographic location of viewers who are able to receive the stream. This is with copyright licences / permission regions in mind for professional content. I have no idea how to apply this at the level in which most of us would be working at.

As to whether to use FB Live or not, it's a matter of who the client is and how they want to get their message out.

Whilst you can do 'Facebook Live' from the app on some mobile phones, this can seriously limit your audio quality and you probably don't want to be selfie-holding the thing for too long. What I see as being the good thing about a professional encoder being $1000+ is that you also need some sort of video production ecosystem to feed it with, even if it is also $1000+ in conjunction with the IT skills to organise a reliable uplink. This is what will hopefully keep the great unwashed out, and act as a natural quality control mechanism for live streams that end up on Facebook Live.


Andrew Smith June 1st, 2016 04:50 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
On YouTube and copyright content in live streams:

Signing up for the live streaming function on YouTube, you have to promise that you have the rights for everything that will be going out on the stream. We have essentially talking heads at a conference. Pretty simple, huh?

At the conference I did the first proper stream from, one of the presenters have a promo video that was played during her talk. On that video was a song that was lovingly applied to the audio track, which then got fed in to the stream via the house PA audio line level feed in to the camera, and then through to the Monarch unit.

We got pinged, but I never knew about it until days later when looking at the archive video of the stream. The content identification system had picked up the song and thus there may be the usual advertising upon replay that the copyright owner would then benefit from.

It was an innocent and practically uncontrollable thing on our part. We only found out about the promo videos that very morning of the conference ... no time to review them at all. By that stage it's a busy enough time as it is, and definitely no time to swap out the music on a video.

The takeaway here is that the stream did not stop when some copyrighted content went through. I suspect that it is currently technically impossible for YouTube to constantly scan for everything on the fly. The copyright alert only happened when the video stream received at YouTube was completed and YouTube then 'uploaded' that content to be processed as a video upload for the purposes of having an archive of the stream on the channel. Only then did the copyright issue come up in the post-upload scan.

If anything, your ability to stream might be curtailed if you are a major streaming offender when it comes to copyright pings.

For redundancy when streaming, the Monarch unit that I use has two encoders for streaming out to separate services from the one source, and a third for encoding a master quality copy to a storage device. You don't need two ethernet ports as it's still only a data connection and the data for both streams (and their respective destinations) can go out on the one network connection. It's a bit like visiting a web site whilst listening to internet radio ... it all works over the one physical network connection.


Seth Bloombaum June 1st, 2016 11:12 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
YT and FB deliver access to mass-market audiences. That's the primary reason webcasters should consider distribution on these platforms.

That they are cost-free is a much smaller consideration at the scale we're talking about.

Sponsors and clients may like the sound of "We can use Facebook! We can use YouTube!", developing a mistaken impression that these are brands that have our best interests at heart. Nothing wrong with FB or YT, but there are many reasons to use a white-label distribution service to consider and balance with reasons to access the FB and YT eyeballs.

That discussion is about brand identity and marketing, and borrowing FB or YT brand identity can seem attractive. However, in so many ways, you give up what contact you have with viewers to the distributor. If the FB or YT community has good overlap with your client's community so much the better. But many clients need to develop their own communities, without a distributor's advertising or competing content disrupting that community-building effort.

YT automated copyright protection can lead to a downright disaster. It's up to webcasters to make clear in their client communications that YT regularly takes down content that an automated system identifies as infringing. Which then takes time to appeal. In this new world of "free" webcast distribution there are quite a few landmines that the unwary may step on. *When* YT takes down your stream are you protected by a written agreement with your client that states that *they* are responsible for copyright clearance, and that *you* can't guarantee the stream integrity?

Andrew Smith June 1st, 2016 06:26 PM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Has anyone had their live stream taken down (interrupted) by YouTube? I'd be curious to hear any stories out there.


John Nantz June 1st, 2016 09:34 PM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
Not to do with “Live Streaming” nor You Tube, but with just a regular video on Vimeo.

Last year I had a video that was uploaded to Vimeo and not long after they took it down. They said it “was flagged by our Copyright Match system because it detected third-party copyrighted material. This material could include a musical recording, television program, or movie.”

Hmmm… wonder what it was that caused the problem. The video was 100% mine with no advertising. There was a milling machine that had a company name and logo on it but that shouldn’t have been a problem. There was a short soundtrack from FCP X at the beginning with the title and at the end with the credits so that was the only thing I could think of as being a problem.

This ordeal was just beginning. “Once you’ve submitted an appeal, our moderators will review it as soon as possible.” The first problem was how to contact them and find out more detail about what the offending problem was. Unfortunately, just finding a way to contact them was another problem.

Meanwhile, a couple weeks later….
Emails back and forth with them [and me] trying to find out what the problem is. They say “The Copyright Match system just looks at the audio “shape” of the video file, so it doesn’t really matter what goes in the description. We know that lots of people use music licensed through Apple editing software so we are exploring ways to make the process more responsive to that, but for now it is best to simply appeal …..” “Of course, that’s assuming the appeal works (which we are still looking into).”

All this and still no mention of what the offending issue was. It could only have been the soundtrack at the beginning and end with the title and the credits. The client and their staff who saw the video the first day really liked it and then it was deleted.

The source for the music, or soundtrack, was one of those stock jingles in Final Cut Pro X under “Music and Sound Effects” so that was in my reply. Upping the ante, I told them if there was a problem then they or the supposed licensee should go after Apple because their material is in violation.

I don’t have the last email but it was about two months after the beginning that I was finally able to get the video re-posted and with a credit for the soundtrack source; however, I don’t know if that would avoid a takedown.

And speaking of having all of one’s ducks in a row, if one is providing a streaming service then it would behove one to include the YT, FB, or Vimeo Agreement along with the contract. Communication is important and pointing out some of the pitfalls with things like electronic interference and music copyrights would be effort well spent. Bottom line, these take-downs are becoming a real hassle even when one feels they have all their ducks in a row.

Personally, I like Seth’s “white-label” idea because I’m becoming disenchanted with Vimeo as they’re really getting into porn so when one does searches they turn up a lot of hits that don’t provide a professional image.

How to put a damper on an otherwise good experience. Maybe I should I have contacted Apple and said that Vimeo is claiming their (Apple’s) soundtrack is copyrighted by others? (then watch the missiles fly)
This was a stressful ordeal I hope not to experience again.

Andrew Smith June 2nd, 2016 08:03 AM

Re: Facebook's live streaming is 'go'
At risk of taking the thread further off topic, I feel compelled to convey that I am very much 'over' Vimeo and had already decided to abandon their platform. This is coming from someone who was a Vimeo Plus member for as much as six years.

I've been disappointed at the non-SEO visibility of any video you have loaded on their platform. I don't expect miracles but I do expect it to be discoverable. There are many other issues (including what is detailed in the previous post) that just add up to being plain unimpressed with them. It's just not in my heart to support them any more. I've had it with Vimeo and have already planned to migrate my content over to YouTube, and leave a note behind for viewers to follow through from.

The flood of seriously porno (and porn site promo) clips on Vimeo really speaks of them having lost control over their platform. They either don't have the required staff to manage things, or have quietly given up. You can flag videos (with definitely nil 'artistic' quality and/or obvious malintent) as 'adult' or 'money maker' etc and it means absolutely nothing. You might as well be wasting your time, and some of them don't even have a 'flag' button. Something very fishy is going on at Vimeo.

I've heard that their VOD product is very good, but I'm compelled to think that this really is the beginning of the end for Vimeo. In life you only get the 'adult' sex shops in the run down shopping malls that reek of desperation, and the video equivalent has been happening at Vimeo. I'd encourage us all to have backup plans.


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