25 Apr 2018

[Blog] Repushing to social media and streaming services using MistServer

Hey everyone, Balder here. Today I wanted to talk about repushing to social media like Youtube and Facebook or streaming services like Twitch and Picarto using MistServer. Why would you want to put a media server in the middle of this, what would the benefit be and how do you set it up? Let's find out shall we.

When do you want to use MistServer to repush?
There could be multiple reasons why you would want to use MistServer to push your live stream to your social media or streaming service, but the most likely answer will be that you're pushing to multiple platforms at the same time. You will want to use MistServer once you stream to more than one platform as it saves your local PC the trouble of creating several live streams at the same time and sending them out. Besides needing less resources (bandwidth, CPU and RAM) because you'll only have one stream outgoing, MistServers unique buffering feature allows it to reach all the stream targets from the same buffer. Your viewers will get the exact same stream no matter their preferred platform of watching.

Other reasons to put MistServer in between would be using MistServer to record or using MistServer's input to transcode the stream before sending it to your targets. Those cases are usually best handled on your first encoding machine unless your machine is having trouble keeping up to real-time when doing everything at the same time.

Repushing a stream through MistServer
Repushing through MistServer unsurprisingly goes through the "Push" panel. There's two options: push or automatic push. In order to push a stream using MistServer you will need to have a stream created, so be sure to make your live stream first.

Push starts a push of your chosen stream immediately and once it's done it will stop and remove itself. Activating a push on a stream that is offline will close again almost immediately so don't use this option on streams that aren't active.

Automatic push will do a push of your chosen stream everytime it becomes active, so it will wait until you start pushing and immediately pushes the stream to the given target as well under its default settings. You can also set it up to wait a few seconds and then start pushing, but that's generally not something you would use for live streaming. In general it's the option you want when you want to automatically push towards your other platforms from a single point.

Once you've chosen your method you just need to fill in the stream name used within MistServer and the target to push to.

An example of streaming to Picarto would be:
Stream name: {mylivestream}
Target: rtmp://{my_picarto_stream_key}

As you can see it'll be as easy as knowing the push target and if you want to push to multiple platforms at the same time just add another one. I'll leave a short explanation for Youtube, Facebook, Twitch and Picarto below.

Pay attention to the "?" symbol
MistServer assumes that the last "?" symbol will be used to include additional parameters like track selection or push mode. If your given stream target has a question mark included in the path, make sure you add an additional "?" at the end of the given stream target. The question mark itself will be removed don't worry.

Youtube has everything you need in your live dashboard overview. You can get at the right panel by going to your creator studio and selecting live streaming and stream now. At the bottom of that page will be the RTMP url and your stream key. Just use those in MistServer and you should be good.

Your stream target will be something like:

Facebook finally has a permanent stream key so that makes things easier; there's no longer a need to prepare a stream key before going live. You'll need to go to the facebook live page and tick the box for a permanent key. After that just fill in the URL and stream key, but do note that stream keys from Facebook always contain a "?" symbol, so you need to add one at the end in order to work properly with MistServer.

Your stream target will be something like:

Streaming to Twitch requires some look up, but once set it'll work until you change your settings so that's pretty great as it allows you to use Automatic pushes. You'll need to look up two things: The recommended Twitch ingest server and your stream key.

Recommended twitch ingest server, this is most easily found here: Twitch ingest servers just pick one that works.

Stream key: This is found in your dashboard, never share it with anyone as they can hijack your channel with this. Obviously it'll be safe to fill into your stream target in MistServer, but make sure no one is watching while you're setting this up.

Once done your stream should look something like this:

The Amsterdam Twitch server has been chosen here as I'm located in The Netherlands, the {stream_key} part just needs to be replaced with whatever is given by Twitch at your dashboard panel. Once that's done you're all set.

Streaming to Picarto is a little bit easier than Twitch as a single page contains all the information you need and unless you reset your stream key you'll be done.

Once you've chosen your ingest server and stream key it should look something like this:

I've chosen the Europe Picarto server for this example as I'm still in The Netherlands.

That's all for this blog post, I hope it makes it clear why and when you would want to use MistServer as a repushing server for other platforms and gives you a starting point in setting it up.