Streaming prerecorded online conference on YouTube live

In this article I’ll explain how you can easily stream a prerecorded video on YouTube Live using open source software.

We use it at OW2 for our own online conference: OW2online and as it did run flawlessly I thought it’d be a good idea to share my experience.

YouTube

Obviously the first step is to create an account on YouTube.

Next you need to create a new stream:

▪ Go to YouTube Studio live: https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UC/livestreaming

▪ In the menu in the left click on “Stream” to create a new stream

▪ Configure the new stream:

Screenshot of YouTube stream configuration
Screenshot of YouTube stream configuration
YouTube streaming configuration

▪ All the default settings are usually just fine.

▪ Copy the stream key for later use.

With that the YouTube part should be ready and now you can move on to the streaming part.

Broadcast with Open Broadcaster Studio

Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS) is an open source software that will let you stream your prerecorded video content to YouTube.

First you need to download and install OBS.

Once installed start OBS.

OBS on first start
OBS on first start
OBS

Settings

On the first start you will be asked if you want to run the auto-configuration wizard. Choose no, we will do a manual configuration.

OBS first start waiting for confirmation if auto-configuration wizard should be executed
OBS first start waiting for confirmation if auto-configuration wizard should be executed
Don’t use the auto-configuration wizard

Click on the “Settings” button

Location of OBS settings button
Location of OBS settings button
OBS “Settings” button

and apply the following modifications (assuming you plan to stream a video recorded in Full HD 1080p without downgrading the quality):

▪ General:

▪ Stream:

▪ Output

▪ Audio:

▪ Video:

Click on “OK” to close settings window and on “Yes” to restart OBS.

Content to stream

In order to control when our playback and stream will start we want to configure two “scenes”. Each scene will include a single source. The first scene will include a source with a static image (usually the same as the thumbnail configured in YouTube). The second scene will include a source that is actually your video file.

In order to stream the static image you need to create and configure a “source” on the already existing default scene (named “Scene”):

Adding a source (an image) to a scene
Adding a source (an image) to a scene
Adding a source (image) to a scene

In order to stream a video you need to:

OBS configured and ready for broadcasting
OBS configured and ready for broadcasting
OBS with scenes and sources configured

Streaming

And now the final steps to start your live stream:

Conclusion

Doing live stream video event is quite easy and you can achieve professional results using exclusively open source software.

We use this kind of setup for OW2online live event. In an upcoming article I’ll cover other aspect of the live event such as scheduling, participants registration and interaction with speaker.

If you need more information you can reach me on Twitter @antoinemottier or LinkedIn and also checkout OW2 activities.

Antoine is CTO at OW2, a consortium promoting open source and providing projects hosting. He shares his expertise in software development and open source.