You can access the free demo of Vimeo Live through the Vimeo Live landing page. If you’re live streaming for the first time, this guide will take you through everything you need to know to successfully stream on Vimeo Live. We’ll go over encoders, RTMP addresses, and input sources, and walk you through the broadcast workflow itself. Once we’re done, you’ll be able to try out Vimeo Live for yourself.
What is an encoder?
An encoder is a machine or program that takes the live video and audio signals from your input sources and “encodes” them into a format that can be streamed over the internet. Think of this like shipping a package. No matter what the contents, in order to ship them across the world, you first have to box them into a container that is easy to transport.
Encoding is done using the RTMP URL (Real Time Messaging Protocol). Basically, your encoder has a web address of one of our servers and a Stream Key to authenticate it. When you start your stream, the encoded signal is sent directly to our Ingest Server, where it’s processed and delivered to all of your viewers through the Vimeo Live player.
This may sound complicated, but the setup process is actually quite simple. All you really need to get started is a computer with a webcam and a web browser. If you don’t already have an encoder, we recommend downloading OBS (Open Broadcast Software), which is free. We’ll be referencing OBS specifically throughout the rest of this guide. If you have a different encoder, you can check out our Vimeo Live Overview for instructions on how to set up a stream with a different encoder.
How to configure your encoder
After you’ve installed OBS, the first thing you’ll need to do is add your input sources. To set up an input source, look for the Sources section, then click the + sign to add whatever type of input you like from this list. For the sake of this demo, let’s go ahead and use screen capture. From the list of source types, select Display Capture, then make sure to select the display you’d like to capture from the list (in my case display 0).
If you see only a portion of your screen in the video preview window on OBS, right click on the preview window, click Transform then Fit to screen. You should now see your entire screen visible in the OBS preview window.
Your audio input should configure automatically, but you could add an alternate source (such as a microphone) using the same method. Simply select “audio capture device” and then adjust the volume sliders accordingly. Now you’ll be able to connect to your live event on Vimeo.
How to set up a live event on Vimeo
To create a live event on Vimeo using the free demo, visit the Vimeo Live landing page (vimeo.com/live) and click the “Free Demo” button at the top of the page. 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 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. When you're done adjusting your settings, click Next in the bottom right corner of the page. From this page of your broadcast view, you can find your RTMP URL and a Stream Key. These are what OBS needs to connect with Vimeo in order to start your stream.
Back in OBS, click on Settings in the lower right of the window. On the left panel, select “Stream” and you will see the various options. In the top dropdown menu for “Stream Type”, select “Custom Streaming Server” then copy and paste your RTMP URL into the URL box and your Stream Key in the Stream Key field. Once these are entered, return to the Broadcast settings page and click Activate to activate them.
With these entered and activated, hit Start Streaming in OBS. In a few moments your stream should appear on Vimeo! To end your stream simply click Stop Streaming in OBS or End Event in the Vimeo broadcast view.