In this article:
- Vimeo OTT Live overview
- Things to do before you go live on Vimeo OTT
- Setting up a live stream on Vimeo OTT
Vimeo OTT Live overview
With the power of our over-the-top streaming custom apps, you can build a Netflix-style OTT app for your on-demand video content in no time at all, and monetize that content with a subscription service. And now you can also add live content to your OTT apps. This is great news for fitness, sports, media, and any content creators looking to engage their audiences with live as well as on-demand, all within a dedicated home of their app or website.
Vimeo OTT includes viewer and end-user support, in-app payments to set your own price with built-in free trial tools, audience acquisition and engagement tools help you track subscriber growth, and SDKs and API developer tools to customize your experience.
This guide walks you through how to set up a live event. If you think branded apps and live are right for you, contact our team for more information.
Things to do before you go live on Vimeo OTT
Prep your Vimeo OTT account
To stream with Vimeo OTT, you need to have a proper subscription account set up! You do NOT need to have an existing Livestream account to get started. Make sure you have the following:
- Subscription Product live - Have your Subscription product all ready to go first.
- Active Category/Collection - Create a Collection or Category that this live stream will live in for your customers. We recommend it living in the featured Carousel Category so viewers see it at the top of your Browse page.
Pick & set up your live video encoder
Vimeo OTT uses RTMP, which stands for real-time messaging protocol. It provides for high-performance transmission of audio, video, and data from an encoder to a server, which distributes the signal across the Internet. Many streaming providers and encoder developers support RTMP streaming.
Which encoders support RTMP?
Encoders that can be used to stream to Vimeo OTT via RTMP include, but are not limited to:
This feature also includes cloud transcoding. This means you can stream a single bitrate from your encoder, which we convert into various lower bitrates in the cloud for you. For example, if you send your stream at 1920x1080 at a minimum bitrate of 4Mbps, the possible qualities viewers can watch are:
- 1080p: 1920x1080, 5256kbps
- 720p: 1280x720, 2756kbps
- 540p: 854x480, 1756kbps
- 360p: 640x360, 628kbps
The player will automatically adjust which bitrate each viewer sees depending on that person's internet connection speed. This greatly reduces the required bandwidth you need in order to stream in multiple bitrates while also providing the best possible experience for your viewers.
Encoder setup recommendation
Vimeo OTT uses the incoming resolution to determine which qualities the cloud can transcode the video in. Lower incoming bitrates cannot be transcoded to higher qualities in the cloud; in other words, if you stream at a quality less than 720p, then your stream will not be available in 720p or 1080p.
To get the most out of the cloud transcoding feature, we recommend that you configure your encoder as follows:
- Video bitrate: 5000kbps
- Audio bitrate: 256kbps
- Resolution: 1920x1080
- Frame rate: 30 frames per second
- Keyframe interval: 2 seconds
Other best practices
The most reliable Internet connection when streaming is connecting directly via Ethernet to a dedicated network. This means that no other computers or devices have access to that network. This connection type is less likely to experience bandwidth fluctuation than shared networks or wireless connections.
A general rule of thumb is to have twice as much upload speed available as the bitrate you want to stream at. An average bitrate of each preset quality is listed in the quality menu of most encoders:
The chart below from our friends at Livestream, which is a Vimeo company, gives a general guideline of the recommended upload speeds for some presets:
Your network needs to be able to maintain a back and forth communication with Livestream. In order of importance, the following Firewall ports on your network should be open to incoming and outgoing communication:
- TCP 1935
- TCP 80
- TCP 443
- UDP 53
Click here for instructions on how to check if these ports are open on your network.
Setting up a live stream on Vimeo OTT
Once your setup has been approved for livestreaming by our team, you can do the following:
- Login to your Vimeo OTT admin for your project and click the Content tab.
- On the Content page, click Create live event to begin the process!
- A 'Create live event' window will appear where you will enter a Title, Date, and Time for the live event. Note the date and time are for appearance only — no matter what date and time you enter, your event won't actually go live until you start going live from your encoder. Click Next.
- As soon as the event is created, it will appear in the Featured Carousel on your channel's Browse Page. If you do not want it to appear here yet, go to your Featured Carousel Category and remove the live video event you've just created. If you do not do this, it will appear at the end of you Featured Carousel (and you can always shift it to be in the order of your choice in the Category).
- In your Admin, you can enter and edit information in the Basics tab, including: Date, Time, Title, Short description, Full description, and Thumbnail.
- You can then enable or disable comments in the Details tab. Only your signed in users will be able to leave comments.
- Review the settings in the Access tab next. Here you can set Plans for the video, including if it should be available to the public or exclusively to paying subscribers, and enable Geoblocking. Make sure to Save after editing.
- And the final step is to Connect to your encoding software. Click the big blue Connect button and Vimeo OTT will create the stream URL and key.
- From here, you can also decide whether or not you want to notify all of your users that a live event is starting. By keeping Notify followers when the broadcast begins checked, all of your users will receive an email notification when you start going live from your encoder. By unchecking Notify followers when the broadcast begins, your users will not be notified.
- Copy the Stream key and Stream URL and open up your encoding software.
Keep your stream key private. Giving someone else your stream key will allow them to stream to your event.
- Next, open up your encoding software of choice that supports RTMP Streams (Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), Wirecast, XSplit Broadcaster, & Livestream Studio all do this).
- Paste the Stream URL and Key into your encoding software fields for those.
If your encoder does not have a field for the Key, put a forward slash (/) at the end of your RTMP URL, then paste the key immediately following it with no spaces.
Click the GO LIVE button within your encoding software and you will be live on Vimeo OTT.
- Once you are finished with the live stream, click END EVENT on the live page in your Admin and end the stream in your encoder. From there, Vimeo OTT will archive the live event as a video.
- Once completed, it will show up in the events list to edit as a pre-recorded video event.