(IMPORTANT UPDATE: Streamate recently released their inhouse encoder – Streamate Connect – which works in your browser. It’s a pretty advanced peice of software and although it doesnt have all the bells and whistles of Wirecast, the boost in traffic you get is more than worth it. You can read more about this in my new ebook “The Cam Guide“.)
How do I play videos over my live stream? What is the best encoder for camming on Streamate? How do I stream in HD? How can I improve the quality of my stream? These are difficult questions for a cam model to answer alone. Luckily, we have done the research and testing necessary to help you answer these questions.
A lot is happening between your webcam capturing your video and audio and that content being streamed to the viewer. Before the data of your live feed can go online it needs to be converted into standard formats like H.264 and mp3 for audio. How well the data is converted depends on the encoder you’re using and separates a professional encoder from its free counterparts. Here is a great article on encoders and the difference between software vs hardware encoders:
Types of Encoders for Streamate Models
There are three software encoders I will touch on today:
1. Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder
This free encoder by Adobe, was the standard for years and used by the vast majority of models (before they made their own encoder). It does the job well but lacks any features you might see in professional software.
Since Streamate made their own in-house encoder a few months ago, theres not much use for this one anymore. But for people who are having issues with Streamates encoder heres the link to Adobes FMLE:
2. Streamate HD Encoder
This is the new encoder made by Streamate. I honestly haven’t had a chance to try it so theres not much I can comment on. If you’ve used it and would like to share your experience with this encoder please leave a comment or message me(: It seems pretty straight forward and simple though. Since its made for Streamate there are surely advantages to using it over other free encoders.
3. Wirecast All-In-One Live Video Streaming Software
This is the professional encoder I use for my show. I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and it’s safe to say I’m a believer!
Wirecast by Telestream
“How do you play videos over your stream!!?”
I’ve been getting this question from different cam models almost weekly for the past 2 years. (Maybe I should’ve written this post sooner!)
Wirecast is my favorite live streaming software which I recommend to anyone who asks me that question. It allows you to set up a high quality HD stream and includes tons of added features. Not only will you have better video quality but you will also be able to draw in more traffic using all the cool features which set your cam show apart from all the rest.
Professional Encoder Features
Wirecast allows you to display photos or videos overlapping your live stream. I use this feature the most. Whether I’m playing promos advertising the videos I have for sale or showing a custom animation to go along with a certain holiday, this is one of the most useful tools in Wirecast. You can set up multiple slides with different media and play them along with your live steam. You can also create cool 3D titles and use “virtual sets” as your background if you have a green screen. You can even use cool effects and transitions when changing slides.
The Wirecast App allows you to connect another device to the software. You can then stream using your phone or tablet as a wireless camera. I also use this feature to show my chat room pictures on my phone or my Snapchat stories.
CPU usage, multi-cam and display controls
You can monitor your CPU usage and wifi connection directly from the encoder. If the indicator light turns orange or yellow you know you have a connection problem even before people start complaining about lag or grainy picture. Using this encoder you can also set up as many cameras as you’d like simultaneously to capture multiple angles. For example you can have a face and a butt view. Lastly, correcting color and adjusting lighting settings directly from the encoder interface helps you to create flawless video quality.
The Wirecast live streaming encoder allows you to easily record your shows with the click of a button. They will be saved in .mp4 format and can easily be edited anytime. The encoder also keeps track of the time you’ve spent streaming so you always know how many hours you’ve been on without checking on your Streamate account.
As many Streamate models know, if a gold show ends early the customers are not billed and you lose the earnings for that show. With the other encoders, unplugging the camera will automatically end the stream, and thus, the show. This happened to me too many times, luckily Wirecast keeps your stream live and active even if you unplug your cam. A red question mark will appear as your video feed but your stream is still live. Simply plug the webcam back in and pick up where you left off! The days of not getting paid for gold shows because of an accident are over. No more losing your customer in the middle of an exclusive show because you accidentally disconnected. Wirecast allows you to always remain connected to Streamate.
Okay, now that I’ve got you super excited for all the possibilities I’m sure you’d like the link to where you can buy this thing. I’d also like to mention that I do not receive any kind of compensation for promoting this software. It’s just something that I use and has worked for me. Heres the direct link to purchase the encoder: http://telestream.net/wirecast/store.asp
I suggest buying Wirecast Studio 7 for $495. Don’t bother with the premium support, their regular support works fine. Also if you want to use an HDV camera in your stream you can buy the Firewire HDV input option for an extra hundred bucks.
(UPDATE: Wirecast 10 is now available and its better than ever! With a new sleek user interface and more intuitive navigation. Its free to upgrade and I highly recommend it!)
Configuring Wirecast to Streamate
Simply spending the money on a professional encoder is only half the battle. Next you have to configure it so it communicates correctly with Streamates servers. This is no small task and it took me lots of testing to finally get it right.
If you are having trouble setting up Wirecast to work with Streamate feel free to contact me.
The Beginners Guide to Webcamming
I’m still putting the finishing touches on the ebook but it will be ready for Fall 2018. Sign up for the newsletter and get an email when its done!