To stream beautiful live video in up to 1080p HD through Vimeo, all you need is a camera, a live-enabled encoder (i.e. broadcast software or hardware), and a Vimeo Premium account. To learn more about Premium and its associated live streaming capabilities, go here.
✦ Setting up your stream on Vimeo
The first step to going live is creating your event on Vimeo. From your browser, go to Vimeo.com and click “Upload.” On the lower left of this page, click the ● Create live event button, and you’ll be prompted to enter the name, date, time, and privacy of your event. Please note that scheduling your live event for a given time still requires you to manually begin streaming at that time.
Hitting the Next button will take you to the broadcast view, which is the control center for your live stream.
✦ The broadcast view
The broadcast view is where you can change your live stream's settings, add a thumbnail, grab the embed code for your stream, and (when you're ready!) go live.
Along the top of the broadcaster view page, you’ll see:
- A pencil icon next to your stream's title, which allows you to edit it
- A countdown of how much time you have remaining in your broadcast (individual Vimeo streams can not exceed 12 hours)
- A toggle switch to enable or disable viewer chat
- A button to upload a thumbnail image that will display in the video player before your stream goes live
- A button to choose the privacy setting of your stream and where it can be embedded
The player on this page is called the stream preview, which shows exactly what viewers see when they load your stream. To the right of the stream preview, you'll see the Event details tab and your Embed tab. Event details are simply the link to your live video page on Vimeo to share with viewers and a text box to enter an optional event description that also appears on the live video page.
The Embed tab contains more advanced customization options for your live video's embedded player. If you're a Business Live member, you'll also have the ability to add email capture before or after someone watches your stream. You can also grab the embed codes for both the live video player and the viewer chat module from the Embed tab.
✦ Going live
When you're done adjusting your settings, you'll want to make sure your camera is hooked up as an input in your broadcast software, review your stream settings within your encoder, and check the audio and video signals for quality. If everything looks good on the production end, go back to the broadcast view and click the Next button in the bottom right corner of the page.
From this page of your broadcast view, and in the video preview window you can now access the RTMP URL and a Stream Key. You can copy and paste both of these into your broadcast software as far in advance as you wish. Each program has a different place to enter this information, so check our Encoder guides for help locating it in your set up. When you are ready to go live, click Activate on the Broadcast settings page to activate your keys.
Once the RTMP URL and Steam Key are set up in your broadcast software and have been activated, you'll be ready to go live! When your event is about to start, click the Start streaming button in your encoder software and your stream will show up on Vimeo within a few moments. We recommend starting a record of your stream from within your encoder at this point as well, just in case of any problems with your internet connection.
✦ Managing your live stream
After your stream goes live, you’ll see your event title, a countdown of the maximum remaining time of your event, an indicator light that you are currently live, and a button to end your stream.
The stream preview window shows exactly how your stream appears for views, with your live stream stats to the right. If you've enabled viewer chat, it'll appear below your stats in the broadcaster view, with the option to open it in its own window by clicking the + icon.
Production changes, like switching camera angles or displaying slates with messages, should be controlled within your broadcast software.
✦ Live Stats
While your stream is live, you’ll see some helpful metrics right on your broadcast page to help you track how many people are viewing your stream, and for how long.
- Current viewers: the number of people currently watching your stream
- Peak views: the highest number of concurrent viewers on your stream
- Total plays: total number of player loads
- Average view time: average duration of a viewer’s page load
✦ Ending your stream
To end a stream, simply click Stop streaming in your broadcast software or End event in the broadcast view on Vimeo. Ending your stream will trigger the final stages of the video archiving process. Thanks to our live transcoding system that runs in the background during your stream, archives of Vimeo Live events are generally ready within minutes even for hours-long events.
When your stream ends, your broadcast view also changes to the post-live version. The indicator light on the top right changes to Offline and your video preview will now link to your archived video settings page.
If you separately recorded a higher-resolution version of your broadcast (e.g. 2K or 4K), you can replace the Vimeo archive with your higher-resolution version. You can replace the video at any time, so feel free to edit the video file before replacing it on Vimeo.
Once your video has gone through the archival process, it appears in your video manager like any other video.
✦ Support features
While you're setting up your broadcast, there is a support chat icon in the bottom right corner of the broadcast view. Clicking the chat support icon will prompt you to enter your name, account email address, and a short description of your problem.
If a live video support specialist is available, you can troubleshoot with them directly on your broadcaster view page. If a live video support specialist is not online, your message will be re-routed to our email support team, who will respond to your via email.