VR Series: How to Customize Live Streams With OBS

Note: Roland now has a free solution for Windows to simplify your live streaming workflow, more details are available here: Roland Live Streamer: How to Set Up and Use this Free Software to Stream

While OBS has more customization settings, if you are looking to simply stream your VR mixer or UVC-01 USB output to Facebook or YouTube, with minimal setup, consider starting with Roland Live Streamer.

 

This guide covers live stream setups using a VR Series AV Mixer and the free OBS Studio software, allowing you to customize your live stream settings.

If you have a V series switcher and a UVC-01 (or third party USB Capture Device that converts HDMI or SDI to USB), the same concepts apply.

 

The guide is divided into chapters, and below is a table of contents in case you need to jump to a section again for reference.

If this is your first time setting up OBS, please read all the chapters in order. It should take about 30-60 minutes to setup and test your stream for the first time.

Before you begin, set up a wired internet connection for the computer running OBS. Wireless connections not recommended for streaming.

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

Introduction:

 

  • The VR series of AV Mixers have a USB 3.0 output that carries audio and video. Simply connect a USB 3.0 Super Speed cable between your AV Mixer and computer, then use a web browser to stream your program output.

  • For more control over your stream, you can also connect free software like OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software), a popular solution for gamers and podcasters, similar to Wirecast.

  • By combining a Roland AV Mixer switcher with OBS, this advanced workflow lets you customize your stream settings, including the ability to stream to multiple platforms with a third-party multi-stream service.

 

Stream Directly Through Web Browser

Stream Indirectly
Using OBS Studio

- Easiest Method

- Advanced Method

- Quality Settings are Automatic

- Quality Settings can be Adjusted

Good for: Communications, Interviews, Videoconferencing

Good for: Live Music, Sports, Worship

 

 

  • NOTE: The best general USB output resolution and frame rate is 1080P 29.97 for streaming and recording in OBS. This provides you a high resolution image with reasonably fluid motion.

 

  • VR Series Mixers support multiple video formats for the USB video output:

  480P
29.97
480P
59.94
720P
29.97
720P
59.94
1080P
29.97

1080P
59.94

VR-1HD mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png  
VR-4HD     mceclip41.png   mceclip41.png  
VR-50HD MK I & II mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png mceclip41.png

 

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Getting Started:

 

  • To start, download and install the free OBS Studio software on your computer.

OBS Studio (Win & Mac): obsproject.com

 

  • Once you open the software, you will see this interface:

 

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  • In the lower-right section under Controls, click on Settings.

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  • In the window that pops up, choose Video from the choices along the left sidebar.

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  • This is where you setup your resolution (video size) and frame rate (smoothness).

  • If your VR Mixer's USB output video format is set to:

    • 1080P 29.97 (VR-1HD, VR-4HD, VR-50HD)
      • Set the Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1920x1080
      • Set the Common FPS Values to 29.97

    • 1080P 59.94 (VR-50HD only)
      • Set the Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1920x1080
      • Set the Common FPS Values to 59.94

    • 720P 29.97 (VR-1HD, VR-4HD, VR-50HD)
      • Set the Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1280x720
      • Set the Common FPS Values to 29.97

    • 720P 59.94 (VR-1HD, VR-50HD)
      • Set the Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1280x720
      • Set the Common FPS Values to 59.94

 

NOTE: Again, the best general USB output resolution and frame rate is 1080P 29.97 for streaming and recording in OBS. 59.94 video requires a fast computer or dedicated hardware encoding. More on that later.

 

  • You can also use OBS to scale the video to a different resolution, but it will require additional processing power from your computer.

    • Example: Your VR Series AV Mixer outputs 1080P via USB, and in OBS you record at 1080P, but stream at 720P in OBS to optimize your bandwidth.

 

  • You can then adjust the FPS value in this menu to match the output of your AV Mixer, if necessary.

    • NOTE: If trying to stream or record at 1080P at 59.94 FPS, you will need a fast CPU, or hardware accelerated graphics. Otherwise, stick to 1080P 29.97. If you need 59.94 FPS, try 720P 59.94.

    • If you overload your software encoder with a high frame rate, you may experience freezing in your live stream.

 

  • You can monitor CPU usage using the stats in the bottom-right corner of the main window.

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  • Your CPU usage will increase while OBS is streaming and or recording, so even with a fast computer, consider closing as many programs as possible.

 

  • Next, click on the Output section of the Settings menu.

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  • Before you adjust the settings, click on the Output Mode drop-down menu at the top, and change the setting from Simple to Advanced.

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  • Just below that, you will see tabs for Streaming output, and Recording output.

  • Click on the Streaming tab.

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  • You will see a list of options to adjust the quality of your stream.

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Stream Settings

  • Under the Streaming Output settings, review and change the following settings:

  • Audio Track: 1 - Keep this as 1. This counts as a stereo audio output. You can only stream one of your OBS Tracks at a time, but you can record multiple Tracks.

    • This can be confusing. Tracks in OBS are stereo audio outputs that have one or more audio Sources mixed and routed to them.

  • Encoder: x264 - Only change this setting if you experience performance issues after configuring everything else.

    • NOTE: This will use more CPU power than the other encoding options, so it may help to explore other available options. This guide does not have recommended settings for the alternate options, so you will have to test different combinations of settings to get good results.

      • If CPU supports it, you can also try Intel QuickSync or Apple VT H264 for dedicated hardware encoding.
      • If you have a "discrete" GPU in your computer, like a NVIDIA card, you can use their NVENC encoder, this will likely allow you to balance the load between your CPU and GPU and improve your quality.
  • Rescale Output: Off - Leave this turned off unless you want to record 1080P and stream 720P. Note that this will increase CPU usage.

  • Rate Control: CBR - Do not select VBR, it may lead to quality issues, depending on your content.

  • Bitrate: Varies - This is probably the most important setting for your stream quality. The higher the number, the better the quality. But if your internet upload speed is not fast enough, OBS will drop video frames, and your stream will skip a lot, and lose audio sync.

    • You can adjust this setting live, so once you start streaming, you can reduce the value, if needed. You will notice the status bar in the lower-right corner of OBS adds information while streaming: Dropped Frames, a Green/Yellow/Red stream health icon, and the current combined audio and video bit-rate in Kbps.

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  • Recommended Bit-Rates: Facebook - 3000-4000 Kbps, YouTube - 4000-6000 Kbps
    • If your connection is not fast enough, try a lower value.

    • Kbps is Kilobits per second, and not KBps or Kilobytes.
    • Mbps is Megabits per second, and not MBps or Megabytes. 
      • 8 kilobits make a kilobyte, and a megabyte is 1000 kilobytes, or 8000 kilobits.
      • This is an important difference. You may hear people say they have an upload speed of 12 Megabytes on their internet connection, but they actually mean Megabits.
    • If you stream for 60 minutes at 4 Megabits per second, you will upload roughly 1.8 Gigabytes.
    • If you plan to stream with a bit-rate of 4000 kbps, you should have a 10 Megabit or higher upload speed on a dedicated network to be safe.
      • Run a speed test online and divide your resulting upload speed by 2.5, this should be your bit-rate in OBS.
      • For example, if you have a 20 Mbps upload speed, you can safely set the bit-rate to 8000 Kbps.
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 - Both YouTube and Facebook recommend this. Keyframes are full frames of video in the compression scheme. They are also known as I-frames.

  • CPU Usage: Varies - If you have a powerful computer, you can choose a slower speed to improve encode quality. The default is Fast. Consider using that or Very Fast.

    • The difference in quality is less noticeable than the difference in CPU load, as is shown in this comparison video.
  • Profile: High - Recommended over Main Profile.

  • Tune: None - You can choose Film, which is optimized for cameras and general use, but the difference may not be noticeable. There is also Zerolatency, which may help with audience interaction during streaming, but it can negatively impact the video quality.

 

  • Next, click on the Audio tab, and adjust the audio bit-rate for track 1.

    • You can leave it at the default setting of 160 kbps, but if you are streaming music in stereo, consider increasing the bit-rate to 192 or 256.

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  • OBS also supports recording at the same time to your hard drive. You can access these settings by clicking on the Record tab.

  • You will see similar settings to the Streaming tab.

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  • Under the Recording Output settings, review and change the following settings:

  • Recording Format: mp4 - Leaving this as .MP4 is the easiest way to get a playable file, but note if the software crashes, you may lose the entire recording, but it speeds up your workflow by eliminating the need to transcode the recording.
  • Audio Track: 1 - Keep this as 1. More info in the previous Stream settings section.

  • Encoder: x264 - Only change this setting if you experience serious performance issues after configuring everything else.

      • NOTE: This will use more CPU power than the other encoding options, so it may help to explore other available options. This guide does not have recommended settings for the alternate options, so you will have to test different combinations of settings to get good results.

        • If CPU supports it, you can also try Intel QuickSync or Apple VT H264 for dedicated hardware encoding.
        • If you have a "discrete" GPU in your computer, like a NVIDIA card, you can use their NVENC encoder, this will likely allow you to balance the load between your CPU and GPU and improve your quality.
    • You can also set this to (Use Stream Encoder), which copies the Streaming settings and uses them for Recording.

    • If your computer is fast enough, I recommend having separate Streaming and Recording settings, that way you can record at a higher quality than the stream.

  • Rescale Output: Off - Leave this turned off unless you want to record and stream at different resolutions. Note that this will increase CPU usage.

  • Rate Control: CBR - Do not select VBR, it may lead to quality issues, depending on your content.

  • Bitrate: Varies - This is probably the most important setting for your record quality. The higher the number, the better the quality. But if your computer is not fast enough, or it doesn't have an accelerated GPU, OBS will drop video frames, your recording will skip a lot, and possibly lose audio sync.

 

  • Keyframe Interval: 0 - Leave this at 0 to let OBS automate this value.

  • CPU Usage: Varies - If you have a powerful computer, you can choose a slower speed to improve encode quality. The default is Fast. Consider using that or Very Fast.

    • The difference in quality is less noticeable than the difference in CPU load, as is shown in this comparison video.
  • Profile: High - Recommended over Main Profile.

  • Tune: None - You can also choose Film, which is optimized for cameras and general use, but may not make a noticeable difference. Additionally, there is Zerolatency, which may help with live broadcasts that have audience interaction, but it will also negatively impact the quality.

 

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Adding Sources:

 

  • First, create a Scene. Click the "+"button in the Scenes section, and give it a name.

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  • Scenes contain your video, audio, and media Sources. You can later create different combinations or configurations of Scenes, and switch between them. 

  

  • Next, add Sources. Click the + button in the Sources section, and a list will appear.

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  • If using MacOS, you need to create a Video Capture Device first, followed by an Audio Input Capture, to see and hear the output of your AV Mixer.

  • If using Windows, you can either create separate Sources, or combine the audio and video in a single Video Capture Device source; more on that below.
  • This connection basically turns your VR Series Mixer into "One Big Webcam": the audio and video from the same hardware source is divided into separate software sources in OBS, VR Capture, or even when streaming directly to Facebook or YouTube via your web browser.

 

MacOS SOURCE SETUP

  • Add a Video Capture Device Source, give it a name, and a Properties window will appear.

  • Click on Device, and select your VR Series Mixer from the drop-down list.

  • You should see a video preview within a few seconds, after which you can click OK.
    • If you do not see the video, make sure your VR Series Mixer is outputting video via HDMI.
  • Leave the settings at their defaults, you can access advanced settings by un-checking the Use Preset box, but it is not necessary for this guide.

 

  • Next, add an Audio Input Capture Source, give it a name, and a Properties window will appear.

  • Click on Device, and select your VR Series Mixer's Audio from the drop-down list, and click OK.

 

WIN 10 SOURCE SETUP

  • Add a Video Capture Device Source, give it a name, and a Properties window will appear.

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  • Click on Device, and select your VR Series Mixer from the drop-down list.

  • You should see a video preview within a few seconds.
    • If you do not see the video, make sure your VR Series Mixer is outputting video via HDMI.
  • Leave the settings at their defaults, and scroll to the bottom.

  • Check the "Use custom audio device" button, and confirm the Audio Device is your VR Series Mixer.

  • Once confirmed, click OK.

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  • That concludes the separate MacOS and Win 10 instructions, the remaining sections cover both operating systems.

 

AUDIO MIXER SETUP

  • Next, setup the Audio Mixer. Mute the channels that you don’t need by clicking on the white Speaker icon. It will change into a red Speaker.

  • In most cases, you only want your Audio Input Capture source un-muted, as this is the audio from the AV Mixer.

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  • If you click on any of the Gear icons in the Audio Mixer window, and select Advanced Audio Properties, it opens a window where you can add audio delay and mix-down the Audio Input Capture source to mono, if needed.

    • Facebook now supports stereo audio, so you no longer need to mixdown to mono.

  • You can add audio delay to synchronize with video by entering a positive value in the Sync Offset box for that channel.

    • You can also set the audio delay in your VR Series AV Mixer. Typically, you can add 500 ms of delay to each input and output, for a total of 1000 ms.

    • When testing your stream, clap your hands in front of a mic, and adjust the Sync Offset accordingly. Start with 500 ms of delay, and see if that fixes the sync.

      • It can be nearly impossible to measure this by eye, so you can import a recording into editing software, or use an app like Catchin' Sync, which can record a clip using your phone's high speed camera, and help you measure the sync offset.
    • If you are recording in OBS, you can also set which audio sources go to which Tracks. Note if you are only streaming, you can only stream one of the Tracks, so you can leave this setting alone.

      • This can be confusing. Tracks in OBS are stereo audio outputs that have one or more audio Sources mixed and routed to them.

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Adding a Logo in OBS:

 

  • You can easily add a still image and key it using OBS, like a logo or “corner bug”, without tying up a video input or still image slot on your AV Mixer.

  • First, add a Source in OBS, and choose Image.

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  • In the window that pops up, browse for the image you want to add, and click OK.

  • Any source in OBS can be dragged or resized on the canvas, including your main video. You will see an outline around it, with 9 anchor points.

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  • Once you have the asset placed on the canvas, left-click on it so it’s highlighted red, then right-click on it and choose Filters.

  • In the window that pops up, click the +button and choose Luma Key from the list (or Chroma if the background is a solid color).

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  • Adjust the Keyer settings until you have a clean key.

  • Now you have a logo overlay without tying up AV Mixer resources.

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Stream Settings:

 

 

  • Go back into the OBS Settings, and this time, choose Stream.

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  • OBS simplifies RTMP streaming by providing presets that automatically point your stream to the correct Server URL for supported platforms.

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  • Next, open your web browser and go to the streaming service’s Control Panel, copy the Stream Key, and paste it into this field.

  • The next two sections walk you through setting up YouTube Live and Facebook Live for RTMP streaming.

    • Note that OBS supports RTMPS, which is required by most streaming platforms, it is a version of RTMP with better data security.

    • That said, do not share your Stream Key, it will allow others to take over your streaming channel until you create a new Stream Key in the platform's settings.

 

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Connect to Facebook:

 

 

  • Go to the Facebook website, and click on the “What’s on your mind” text box.

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  • Next, click on the More button, which is a circle with 3 dots in it: mceclip2.png

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  • Next, select Live Video from the expanded list.

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  • This will take you to the Live Producer dashboard. If using a laptop with a webcam, you will probably see yourself on the screen.

  • Click the down arrow button below it or scroll down until you see the Camera options.

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  • In the Get Started section, click on the first drop-down list. It will be labeled as Camera, change it to Use Stream Keys.

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  • If you want to use the same stream key every time, check the option “Use a persistent stream key”, otherwise, it will change for your next stream and not connect to OBS.

 

  • You will now see the Live API window, and can copy your Stream Key to the clipboard, and paste it into OBS:

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  • Normally, you would choose Camera if streaming directly to the browser using your AV Mixer, but this guide is focused on RTMP streaming. For steps on streaming directly, please use this guide:

VR Series: How to Stream to Facebook Directly

 

  • Confirm your OBS Stream Settings are set to Facebook Live, and paste the Stream Key in the box:

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  • Then, in the lower-right section of OBS, under Controls, click on Start Streaming, and the Facebook interface should show a video preview within 30 seconds:

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  • Remember, if your internet upload speed is not fast enough, OBS will drop video frames, and your stream will skip a lot, and lose audio sync.

    • You can adjust the OBS Bit-Rate setting live, so once you start streaming, you can reduce the value, if needed. You will notice the status bar in the lower-right corner of OBS adds information while streaming: Dropped Frames, a Green/Yellow/Red stream health icon, and the current combined audio and video bit-rate in Kbps.

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  • Scroll back up to see your Video and Audio bit-rates below the preview video.

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  • When ready, click the Go Live button in the bottom-left corner to start the stream.

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  • When you end the stream in Facebook, you need to separately end it in OBS as well, by clicking the Stop Streaming button in the lower-right corner.

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Connect to YouTube:

 

  • In the top-right, click on the "+ Camera"icon, followed by Go Live.

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  • Along the top of the screen, choose Stream:

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  • Normally, you would choose Webcam if streaming directly to the browser using your AV Mixer, but this guide is focused on RTMP streaming. For steps on streaming directly, please use this guide:

VR Series: How to Stream to YouTube Directly

 

  • Click on the New Stream button.

  • YouTube may ask if you want to use a previous stream as a template, by clicking on Copy and Create.

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  • Enter a name for your stream and adjust the remaining settings.

  • When you are ready, click the Create Stream button.

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  • In the YouTube setup interface, click the Copy button for the Stream Name/Key, and paste it in OBS in the Stream Key field in that Stream Settings window:

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  • Confirm your OBS Stream Settings are set to Facebook Live, and paste the Stream Key in the box:

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  • Note that the next time you create a stream, if you Create From Previous, it will re-use the stream key from that previous stream. If you want to reuse those settings but have a new stream key, click Create New Stream Key in the interface.

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  • If you instead create a New Stream with new settings, it will generate a new Stream Key you’ll have to copy and paste again into OBS.

 

  • If your stream interacts a lot with your audience, YouTube will let you bring down the average latency, at the expense of video quality. Once you set this and start streaming, it can’t be changed.

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  • Then, in the lower-right section under Controls, click on Start Streaming, and the YouTube interface should show a video preview within 30 seconds.

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  • Remember, if your internet upload speed is not fast enough, OBS will drop video frames, and your stream will skip a lot, and lose audio sync.

    • You can adjust the OBS Bit-Rate setting live, so once you start streaming, you can reduce the value, if needed. You will notice the status bar in the lower-right corner of OBS adds information while streaming: Dropped Frames, a Green/Yellow/Red stream health icon, and the current combined audio and video bit-rate in Kbps.

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  • Once you have the settings where you want them, click Go Live in the top-right corner, and your YouTube stream will start in a few seconds.

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  • When you end the stream in YouTube, you need to separately end it in OBS as well, by clicking the Stop Streaming button in the lower-right corner.

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Connect to Restream.io:

 

  • Restream.io is a streaming distribution platform. You can connect to it via OBS like you did with Facebook Live or YouTube Live, but Restream.io can multi-stream your content to both platforms at the same time.

    • The free version may include a watermark over your video in the top right corner, depending on the platforms that you multi-stream to.

    • Alternatives to Restream.io: Castr.io, Switchboard.live, Loola.tv
  • Before you start streaming in OBS, you need to add a Channel in Restream.io for each platform you want to stream to.

  • In the Restream.io dashboard, click on the red Add Channel button, choose a platform from the list, and follow the on-screen instructions to link the account to Restream.io.

 

  • You can enable and disable individual channels for your multi-stream by using the toggle switches to the right of each channel.

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  • To set your OBS Stream Settings to Restream.io, choose the server geographically closest to you, and then paste the Stream Key copied from the Restream.io website’s control panel.

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  • Once you have everything configured and enabled, click the Start Streaming button in OBS, and it will proceed to push your RTMP stream to your enabled Restream.io Channels.

 

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More Information:

 

For more information on the Roland VR Series, OBS Studio, and Restream.io, as well as directly connecting to a streaming service as a webcam, please use the following links:

 

 

 

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