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Procaster is Livestream’s free encoding software (download here). Use Procaster to create and record live streaming video content with unprecedented production value. With Procaster, users can stream high definition content to the web via their personal computer.
- After installing the latest version of Procaster, simply log in with your Livestream username and password. Select the desired input source and click “Go Live” to begin broadcasting directly to your Livestream channel. Users can broadcast via camera or screencast from the desktop.
Basic Encoding Settings
Choose your quality setting before going live:
- Mobile Quality (198Kbps)
- Normal Quality (446Kbps)
- Medium + Mobile (876Kbps)
- High + Medium + Mobile (2504Kbps)
- HD + Medium + Mobile (3004Kbps)
- HD + High + Medium + Mobile (4632Kbps)
- Optimized Gaming Mode (646Kbps) - PC only
- Custom Quality – adjust based on your preferences
To broadcast through Livestream we recommend using a wired connection with an upload bandwidth of at least 700Kbps. Your upload bandwidth must be greater than your stream’s total bitrate. If you have a lower bandwidth, it may be necessary to lower your stream’s bitrate. You can test your connection speed here. Bandwidth fluctuates constantly (especially on WiFi and mobile networks), so running 3 tests is recommended.
Choose the video input source beneath the “Go Live” button. Choose the audio input source(s) through Procaster’s audio mixer (under the audio tab of the preferences menu).
Once you’re live, the control bar at the bottom of the screen displays the camera output, bitrate, frame rate, CPU usage, and a stream status message.
- Perfect Streaming: Your stream is being sent to the Livestream server perfectly. There are no issues with lag, your connection, or your CPU.
- CPU above 80%, try closing other apps or stop lower quality: Your CPU usage is above 80%. Try freeing up your CPU resources by closing some applications. If your CPU reaches 100%, Procaster may stop broadcasting.
- Internet too slow for quality, avoid shared connections or stop and lower quality: Procaster is not getting the full bandwidth needed to stream. You should lower the quality/bitrate of your stream in the main window.
- Lost internet connection. Attempting to reconnect. Local MP4 still recording: Your internet connection was lost and Procaster is trying to reconnect. The local recording will always keep recording.
The CPU usage is also now shown in the control bar.
2D Mix / 3D Mix
- The 2D Mix option displays the secondary video source in the lower left corner of the screen.
- The 3D Mix option displays the secondary video source next to the full screen capture window.
- Use Procaster to broadcast games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty at full frame rate in Game Mode (Windows only), Screen Mode, or 3D Mix Mode.
Chat & Promote Your Stream
- Make your broadcast social! Use the chat feature to communicate with viewers while broadcasting live. In screen capture mode the chat will appear invisible to the viewers. Make Twitter announcements via Procaster before going live, and interact with viewers during the broadcast. Share the live broadcast by copying the embed code or channel URL from the Watch tab.
- Customize the Procaster Preferences to meet your needs. Here is a guide to the settings you’ll encounter when configuring Procaster.
- Live: Immediately broadcast to your Livestream channel once you click “Go Live”.
- On-demand: Automatically add your recording to the On-demand section of your channel.
- Auto-pilot: Automatically add your recording to the Auto-pilot section of your channel.
- Auto-record: Automatically record Procaster streams to your Livestream studio (recommended).
- Mobile Stream: When streaming to a mobile device, your channel will display within mobile.livestream.com and m.livestream.com.
- Enable anti-lag: When enabled (default), the anti-lag feature will keep the delay between you and your viewers (up to a maximum of 10 seconds). The local MP4 file recording will retain all frames, even if anti-lag kicks in.
- Source: Select your video source. If your video source is not visible, please ensure it is a digital connection capable of streaming video.
- Output: Designate an output resolution and adjust as necessary. Please note that higher resolutions require additional upload bandwidth.
- Aspect Ratio: Choose an aspect ratio of either 16:9 or 4:3.
- Target Frame Rate: Enter your target frame rate. DV cameras usually stream at a higher frame rate; web cams tend to be more limited. Make sure to check with the manufacturer, and note that a higher frame rate requires additional upload bandwidth.
- Target Bitrate: The bitrate is the quality of the image being broadcast. The higher the bitrate, the higher your upload bandwidth must be. Adjust the bitrate with your connection in mind; note that your total bitrate is the sum of your video bitrate plus your audio bitrate.
- Keyframe Intervals: The keyframe is a complete frame of video. The more often a key frame the higher the quality. The more key frames the higher the stream rate or file size. For high motion content like live sports you will want to have a higher keyframe ratio. A good general keyframe ratio is every 60 frames.
- Deinterlacing: Select 'Deinterlace' (if applicable) for a cleaner video from the video source. Deinterlacing converts interlaced video into a non-interlaced form. This reduces visual defects.
- Save Logs: Use this feature to save your Procaster logs to the desktop for support related issues.
- Cropping: Adjust the portion of your feed that you wish to broadcast.
- Show color correction window: This option enables you to adjust your color settings on the fly during your live broadcasts.
- Target Bitrate: Adjust the quality of the audio. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality. We recommend somewhere between 48 and 64 kbps. Note that your total bitrate is the sum of your audio bitrate plus your video bitrate.
- Sampling Rate: Designate your audio sampling rate.
- Channels: Choose stereo or mono.
- Audio Mixer: Control/mix different audio feeds and adjust levels.
- Show Mouse: Enable/disable the visibility of your mouse during the broadcast.
- Show Preview: Enable/disable the preview window in the control bar.
- Highlight mouse: Enable/disable the option to highlight the mouse pointer and set pixel width.
- Minimize windows when broadcasting: Enable/disable the Procaster window during broadcast.
- Don't show me any more quality suggestions: Enable/disable tips for quality.
- Save video to file (Videos folder): Record your broadcast locally and save it to your video folder. This is recommended to ensure backup.
- Background: Choose the background displayed during 3D Mix mode.
- Start capture 2nd monitor: Screen capture from either your primary or secondary display.
- Switch to basic scheme: Switch your desktop display settings to improve performance – Windows Vista only.
- Restart stream: Configure the stream to restart the broadcast every X hours.
Game Tab (Windows Only)
- Text Color: Change the color of the text in the game HUD.
- Position: Change the position of the on-screen HUD.
- All Commands: Show all commands (even when the HUD is minimized).
- Hooked Process: Used mainly for debugging - recommended.
- FPS: Display frames per second (if the HUD is disabled).
- Broadcasting Time: Display the broadcast time code (if the HUD is disabled).
- Control Game FPS: Set the maximum FPS for your game. Lower to free up available resources.
- Allow interactive chat: Allows for interactive chat in DirectX games.
The HUD (above) is located on the upper left of the screen within game mode.
Customize a list of commands to your preference within the Hotkeys tab.
Procaster Best Practices
For the best overall stream, we recommend downloading and installing the latest version of Procaster.
Recording Locally With Procaster
Livestream recommends recording locally with Procaster to ensure backup. When you select this option, a copy of each broadcast will record to your hard drive while you’re streaming live simultaneously. This is especially useful in case any connection issues arise.
To record locally with Procaster, navigate to the VIDEO tab of Procaster’s preferences. Check “Save video to file (My videos folder)". The local copy of your file will save to your Videos folder (Windows) or Movies folder (Mac OS).
Procaster’s Anti-Lag feature does not build a delay if you have a connection issue. It warns you in the control bar and continues encoding. When the connection recovers, it resumes 2-6 seconds behind real time. The locally recorded file on your hard drive however has the all the content. Procaster will locally record each stream when using multi-bitrate streaming.
Broadcasting To Mobile Devices
Streaming LIVE to the iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices is now possible with Livestream Procaster! Viewers can watch your live streams by visiting mobile.livestream.com or m.livestream.com. In addition, iOS users can access on demand content anytime through our Livestream app. Streaming to the iPhone, iPad & other mobile devices is simple with Procaster.
1. Open Procaster and select one of the recommended mobile quality settings. Procaster can push mobile quality stream to our mobile site while simultaneously pushing up to three additional desktop quality streams.
It’s possible to view your stream on a mobile device at any quality setting, however mobile users will have a tough time connecting with your stream if it is of too high a bandwidth. Mobile internet may be spotty and unreliable, thus it’s important to push a mobile quality stream for mobile audience.
2. Click "GO LIVE" ...and that's it! Viewers can now view your live broadcast on the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices.
Optimal Settings For A PowerPoint Presentation
1. Begin your PowerPoint presentation in either PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer. Once the desired presentation has been opened, minimize PowerPoint.
2. Open Procaster and log in. Select your Livestream channel and adjust your quality setting. “Normal Quality” is recommended for PowerPoint.
3. Open Procaster’s Preferences and navigate to the VIDEO tab. Your output should be set to 640 x 480 (recommended). 800 x 600 works as well. Save your settings and then minimize Procaster.
4. Under your desktop/display settings, lower your screen resolution to 1024 x 768. Apply and save your new settings.
5. Restore Procaster and begin streaming. Be sure to stream your desktop with your PowerPoint presentation maximized.
Streaming HD Quality Using Procaster
The ability to broadcast HD quality is an available option for Livestream Premium Channel Users. In order to stream in High Definition to your Livestream Channel, you will need to use our Procaster encoding software and an HD Video capture card. Procaster currently supports BlackMagic capture card devices, which allow you to broadcast HD Quality video. These devices have HDMI, HD/SDI and analog input options. BlackMagic capture cards are designed to be installed in the PCi Card slot of your Windows PC or Mac tower.
*Note : Not currently compatible with Macbook devices.
1. Once you have installed your Black Magic capture card into the PCi Express Slot on your computer, you will need to install the software and video drivers that has been provided along with the BlackMagic hardware.
2. Connect your HDV camera into the BlackMagic card input port. Set your camera to Standby or Record mode.
3. Procaster should automatically recognize the BlackMagic card as a source. In the Procaster startup window click on the dropdown video sources and choose your BlackMagic capture card device as your input source.
4. Next, navigate to the “Input Source” option on the Procaster startup window.You will choose which inputs the BlackMagic card will be reading from (HDMI, HD/SDi)
5. You will also choose the output settings, which should be set to the same video settings of your HD camera. If you have chosen the correct settings you will see a video preview and audio levels appear at the top of the input source page.
6. Press “Go Live!” button to begin streaming in HD!
Streaming a Skype video chat with Procaster for Mac and Soundflower
1. Open Skype’s Preferences. Select the audio tab. Set the Audio Output to Soundflower (2ch). This will capture all of the audio on your computer.
2. You will not be able to listen to any audio. To resolve this, go to the second application that downloaded with Soundflower, Soundflowerbed. Open Soundflowerbed and select the output you would like to monitor. Most common is line output. Connect your headphones.
3. Open Procaster and add new audio source under preferences > Audio- Soundflower (2ch).
4. Select your webcam as a source and go live. Once you are live, click on the 2D mix. If you want to show a specific part of your computer screen, click on the zoom + buttons until you see a green wireframe. Drag and wireframe to the desired area you would like to broadcast.
NOTE: If you are using Mac Lion, you will need to install this plug in: http://kineme.net/forum/General/soundflowerforlion
Below are minimum recommended specs for broadcasting live on Livestream Procaster:
Recommended System Specifications for Broadcasting
- Quad Core CPU
- 4GB RAM
- 1500Kbps upload bandwidth
- Dedicated video card, 512MB VRAM
- Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Mac OS X 10.5 or higher (v20.0.89)
- Mac OS X 10.6 or higher (v20.2.0)
Optimal (for HD Multi-Bitrate Streaming)
- Quad Core i7-2600 series CPU or better
- 8GB RAM
- 5Mbps or better upload bandwidth
- Dedicated video card, 512MB VRAM
- Windows Vista / Windows 7
The following is a list of devices tested and approved to be fully compatible and tested with Livestream Procaster:
- DeckLink SDI (SDI, HD-SDI)
- DeckLink Duo (SDI, HD-SDI)
- DeckLink Optical Fiber (SDI, HD-SDI)
- DeckLink Studio (SDI, HD-SDI, Component, Composite, S-video, HDMI)
- DeckLink HD Extreme 3D (SDI, HD-SDI, Component, Composite, S-video, HDMI)
- Intensity Pro (Component, Composite, S-video, HDMI)
- Osprey 500 series (SDI, Component, S-video)
Certified Capture Devices [MAC & PC]