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Switcher Blog

How to Livestream to Multiple Platforms at Once with Simulcasting

by Angela Nicole Holbrook
June 5, 2017

There are tons of live video platforms available to streamers, including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitch, and many more. If you can’t decide among these platforms or want to stream to multiple platforms at once (ensuring you reach your entire audience), you may be interested in simulcasting platforms.

Simulcasting platforms allow you to livestream to multiple platforms simultaneously, eliminating the need to choose between your Facebook audience and your YouTube audience and so on. 

Of course, some creators stream to one platform and then upload the video as on-demand content to another platform, but this eliminates the opportunity to engage with every audience in real time. Simulcasting is an excellent solution.  

There are a few options available for simulcasting, most notably Castr and Switchboard

Streaming to multiple platforms with Castr

With Castr, setting up simulcast streaming is quick and easy. Castr plans range from $10-$110/month, but you can start with a free 7-day trial and try linking the platforms you’d like to stream to. 

Adding platforms is as easy as clicking on the one you want and logging into it. Depending on the platform, you may be prompted to add info about your streaming server URL and/or key instead. 

Castr has many platforms to choose from, including but not limited to: 

  • Facebook Live
  • YouTube and YouTube Events
  • Twitch
  • Periscope
  • Vimeo
  • Ustream

You can also choose Custom RTMP and enter the stream information for a platform not listed. This will allow you to stream to anywhere that provides RTMP information.

Platforms in Castr

Castr has three plans for individuals ($10-40/month) and two plans for companies ($110/month or custom). 

On Castr’s most basic individual plan (Broadcast, $10/month), you can stream to five platforms at a time. However, only one of those platforms can be a Facebook platform (which you link with server and key info — more info below on how to locate your Facebook server URL and stream key) or an RTMP destination. You cannot stream to multiple Facebook channels (e.g. multiple Facebook pages or a Facebook page and a Facebook group) or stream to RTMP while you’re also streaming to Facebook. Still, this is a great way to get started with simulcasting. 

As the plans progress, you get additional features. Their $15/month Broadcast X2 plan includes the option to stream 10 platforms at a time including any combination of two Facebook or RTMP destinations. Broadcast X2 also offers temporary cloud storage for your streams. The $40/month Broadcast Infinity plan offers simultaneous streaming to 15 destinations and any combo of five Facebook or RTMP destinations. And the $110/month Business plan lets you simulcast to 20 platforms and any combo of 15 Facebook or RTMP destinations.

After you have selected your streaming platforms, Castr will provide you with their server’s RTMP information (server URL and stream key). You can then enter this RTMP information into streaming software programs like Switcher Studio. When you go live via your software, your stream will be sent to Castr. Castr will then send your stream out to your selected platforms.

Streaming to multiple platforms with Switchboard

Switchboard (formerly known as JoiCaster) is another popular solution for simulcasting or multiplatform streaming. Plans range from $35-$350/month, and you can also start with a free 7-day trial.  

Switchboard has many platforms to choose from, including but not limited to: 

  • Facebook Live
  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • LinkedIn
  • DaCast
  • Periscope

You can also choose Custom RTMP and enter in the stream information for a platform not listed. This will allow you to stream to anywhere that provides RTMP information.

Platforms in Switchboard

Switchboard lets you simultaneously stream to three platforms on the $35/month Indie plan, five on the $99/month Pro plan, and 10 on the $350/month Business plan. (You can also add additional platforms to every plan for $25 per platform per month.) Remember that Castr, by comparison, offers plans with simultaneous streaming to five, 10, 15, or 20 platforms.

Unlike the basic Castr plan, however, all of Switchboard’s plans allow you to stream to more than one Facebook channel at a time (e.g., two Facebook pages at once). You can also schedule your broadcasts up to six days out. This means that you can set the connections up in advance to lessen the last-minute prep for your stream.  

Just like Castr, Switchboard will provide you with their server’s RTMP information. You will then enter this RTMP info into your streaming software. When you go live via your software, your stream will be sent to Switchboard, and your stream will then be distributed out to your selected platforms. 

Streaming to a simulcasting platform through custom RTMP from Switcher Studio

Whether you use Castr, Switchboard, or another simulcasting platform, you’ll need to copy that platform’s RTMP information (server URL and stream key) into Switcher Studio. This lets Switcher send your live video to your simulcasting platform, which then sends it to all the streaming platforms you chose. Your server URL and stream key are easily accessible in both Castr and Switchboard once you’ve chosen your streaming platforms.

Locating your RTMP info in Castr

Castr RTMP

Locating your RTMP info in Switchboard

Switchboard RTMP

There are two ways to input this RTMP information into Switcher in order to stream to these platforms. For detailed steps and screenshots, check out our Help Center articles on setting up custom RTMP in the Switcher app and setting up RTMP in the Switcher Dashboard. Here are the short versions: 

Setting up Custom RTMP in the Switcher Studio Dashboard

In-Dashboard RTMP setup is usually available only on the Standard and Plus plans. In light of COVID-19, we’ve temporarily made this feature available on all plans.

  1. Log into the Switcher Studio Dashboard.
  2. Click Custom RTMP from the left-hand menu.
  3. At the top of the Custom RTMP page, click the orange Add Channel button.
  4. If you want, enter a nickname for the custom channel you're creating (like Castr or Restream).
  5. Copy and paste the stream key and server URL from the simulcasting platform into the corresponding fields in the Switcher Dashboard. Double-check these for accuracy.
  6. Click the Speed Test button to run a speed test and have Switcher automatically select the best quality settings for your stream.
  7. Tap the green Save Channel button in the bottom right corner to save your channel. 

You’ll then choose your new custom RTMP channel as your broadcasting destination in the Outputs tab of the Switcher Studio app. For more info, check out the Help Center article on how to set up custom RTMP in the Switcher Dashboard.

Setting up Custom RTMP in the Switcher Studio app

In-app RTMP setup is available on all Switcher Studio plans.

  1. Open the Switcher Studio app on your main switching device. 
  2. Tap the Outputs tab.
  3. Tap the blue arrow beside Custom RTMP.
  4. Tap the blue "+" icon in the top right corner of the RTMP Channels menu. This will open the RTMP Parameters pop-up.
  5. If you want, enter a nickname for the custom channel you're creating (like Castr or Restream).
  6. Enter the stream key and server URL from the simulcasting platform into the corresponding fields. Double-check these for accuracy. If there is a typo, your stream will not work.
  7. Run a speed test by tapping Speed Test in the top right corner of the RTMP Parameters pop-up. Once it's complete, tap the orange Save button. (Switcher will update your broadcast settings based on the speed test results.)
  8. Tap OK in the top left corner to save your newly created custom RTMP channel. You should now see the new channel listed under RTMP Channels.
  9. Tap Outputs to return to your Outputs tab where you should see a blue checkmark beside Custom RTMP. If there is not a checkmark, tap on the text to make the checkmark visible. This indicates that it’s your chosen streaming destination. 

For more info, check out the Help Center article on how to set up custom RTMP inside the Switcher app.

Finding your Facebook Live server info and stream key

There's one final thing to know about streaming to simulcasting platforms. Some simulcasting platforms, including Castr, require you to use custom RTMP to simulcast to Facebook Live. If yours does not, you can disregard these steps.

To get the custom RTMP info for a Facebook Live stream, you’ll need to schedule a Facebook stream ahead of time and copy your server URL and stream key. Here’s how: 

  1. Visit the Facebook Page you want to stream to. (You must have Admin permissions.)
  2. Enter the Business Manager, and then select Publishing Tools (under More in the top right).
  3. Select Creator Studio and then click Go Live to open the Live Producer. 
  4. Scroll down until you see the custom RTMP information (server URL and stream key) for the stream (under Live Stream Setup).
  5. Copy and save these fields (server URL and stream key) and finalize your broadcast.
  6. Paste these fields into Castr or another simulcasting platform when it asks for your Facebook server URL and stream key. You will then be able to simulcast to Facebook.

Choosing where to stream is important, but creating amazing content for that stream is even more important. Start your free trial of Switcher Studio to try out its amazing live video creation tools.

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About the Author

Angela Nicole Holbrook

Angela is Switcher's community coordinator, helping Switcher Studio users master the platform and create amazing livestreamed content. She's also an avid livestreamer and video creator herself, appearing regularly on Switcher's Facebook Live show, #StreamSquad, and her own Twitch and YouTube channels.

All posts by Angela H. >

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