Workplace Live is the best way to interact with coworkers in real time: it enables you to produce and distribute videos to large audiences whether in the office or on the go.
This guide explains the steps required to configure and start a Workplace Live via third party conferencing software or professional equipment, along with providing some technical tips and best practices to ensure your network environment is correctly configured for streaming when a large number of viewers is expected.
Ways to start a Workplace Live
There are three ways of starting a Workplace Live video. First option is to go Live straight from Workplace (using the Workplace website or Workplace mobile applications), second option is to stream via a conferencing app (e.g. Zoom), third option is using professional equipment via an encoder: some encoders are software applications on your computer, while others are stand-alone hardware.
- Going Live straight from Workplace requires minimal setup and is a lightweight option to start a Live video in a few seconds. Read more in our Help center guide.
- Consider going Live via a third party video-conferencing tool (e.g. Zoom) if you need advanced host controls or want to offer the familiarity of a conferencing solution your employees use daily.
- When a single stream is broadcasted to a significantly large audience (hundreds or thousands of users, e.g. a town hall) professional equipment provides the best option in terms of reliability and video quality.
If you plan to go Live with multiple presenters and are not going to use an encoder or a third party conferencing solution, Workplace provides a built-in multi-presenter Live functionality which enables you to start broadcast with multiple hosts, including speakers from outside your organization. This is accomplished without the use of any third-party software or additional hardware. Hosts are able to invite co-presenters, share content on their respective screens, and collectively answer Live Q&A.Start a Workplace Live using a third party conferencing tool
Start a Workplace Live using a third party conferencing tool
Given that each third party conferencing solution has created their own integration with Workplace Live, you'll need to follow their documentation in order to complete the required setup before hosting your first Live.Start a Workplace Live using professional equipment
Start a Workplace Live using professional equipment
Workplace allows you to stream using a wide range of streaming solutions (i.e. encoders), both software and hardware. Most streaming software solutions have similar settings that need to be configured before going live. All other things being equal, hardware encoders tend to be more reliable and deliver higher quality results.
To start a Live video with a professional equipment follow the steps below:
To ensure premium quality live streams, please follow our technical specifications and streaming recommendations:
- Maximum video resolution is 720p (1280x720) at 30 frames per second, with 1 key frame every 2 seconds.
- You must send an i-frame (keyframe) at least once every two seconds throughout the stream.
- Recommended max bit rate is 4 Mbps. Going above this maximum is possible but will make live streams highly unstable.
- Changing resolution midstream has negative impact on the broadcast.
- Titles must be less than 255 characters otherwise the stream will fail.
- A user can stream up to 3 concurrent broadcasts.
- Live API accepts H264 encoded video and AAC encoded audio only.
- 8 hour maximum length for Live streams (via RTMP/S ingest or via app).
- 5 hour maximum length for preview streams (via RTMP/S ingest or via app).
Advanced Audio Settings
- Audio Sample Rate: 48 KHz
- Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps mono
- Audio Codec: AAC
Advanced Video Settings
- Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
- Frame Types: Progressive Scan
- Bitrate Encoding: CBR
- Video Codec: H264
Advanced Tips for High Stakes Events
Preparation and rehearsals are critical for success
The single most important thing you can do is practice before your Live session. That will make things much smoother for you on the big day. The great majority of issues that can affect a Live success could be already mitigated in the preparation phase, hours if not days before a Live event is scheduled. Also remember, the more complex the setup, the more planning and testing is needed.
- Do a dry run a day or two before the session.
- Create a Workplace group that you can use to test your broadcast configuration safely.
- Use the same assets (presentations, videos, etc.) that you're going to use on the day.
- Everyone needs to rehearse. Leave as little to chance as you can.
- Dim light will kill your video quality. Background noise or wind will make audio hard to understand. Make sure these elements are considered.
- Test with the same peripherals that you’re going to use for the session.
- If you can, invite a few other people to watch the rehearsal on their computers and mobile devices to make sure it's smooth for everyone.
- Reach out to Workplace support in case you encounter any issues during tests: Please include ID of the Workplace Video and username of the users who has/have experienced the issue.
Follow our encoding specifications precisely
Always configure your encoder to send video and audio exactly as specified by Workplace. Review our technical specifications. Most encoder issues are the result of misconfiguration at this step.
Consider setting up a back-up stream
You can simultaneously stream a parallel backup Workplace live video to a Workplace live broadcast. If your primary stream fails, we will automatically switch to your backup stream so your live video broadcast can continue uninterrupted. Your broadcast will continue using the backup stream unless you manually switch back to the primary stream.
To set up a back-up stream:
We strongly recommend this setup for important events: best-practices include using a separate encoder, separate network and hardware for the back-up stream, different from those used for the primary broadcast, to increase fault tolerance.
Confirm you have a reliable internet connection is essential
A stable connection for who goes Live is necessary to avoid the stream freezing or dropping off:
- We recommend using wired connections whenever possible.
- You should have 8-10 Mbps sustained and dedicated upload capacity. There are many online speed tests available or utilities.
- If you must use Wi-Fi, make sure it’s secured and dedicated for the broadcast.
- Ensure you are not connected to VPNs or proxies, or anything that can affect network performance (e.g. firewalls blocking Live traffic). If you have to whitelist Workplace endpoints in your network check our Network configuration article.
We strongly recommend to ensure that all the requirements above are met. If you still have concerns about your internet quality, ensure your stream isn’t configured to end in case of an interruption. In case your stream goes dry, we’ll keep the Live stream going for a few minutes to allow your systems to reconnect before terminating it.
To enable this option:
Generate a local copy of the broadcast
Always be prepared in the worst possible case. If Live can’t be recovered in case of interruptions, configure your encoder to generate a local copy of the Live session, so you can keep the broadcast going and upload a local recording once the event has finished. This will be visible on Workplace natively and viewers can comment, like and share. Not as good as Live but better than missing it altogether.
Due to the complex nature of live streaming, often times there may be issues along the way that prevent you from going live. Below are some common issues that you may face and how to address them:
How do I check if my Live is going fine from a technical standpoint?
The Stream Health tab in Live Producer includes time series views of key health metrics. Any drop in metrics may result in signal loss for some of your viewers and can help you anticipate and/or react to any issues with your stream.
To access the Stream Health tab, once you’ve initiated your Live stream, scroll down from the preview screen to see it. If you are using an encoder we recommend also checking encoder logs and compare the data across these two sources.
What does this error code mean in the Stream Health tab?
What if a single user reports an issue while watching the stream?
If a single user is reporting an issue while watching the stream, this is likely a problem for the single user, please ask them to refresh the page or use a different network.
What if multiple users connected from the same network or using the same setup report an issue while watching the stream (e.g. low stream quality)?
If this happens, this can be a specific issue with the shared settings e.g. using an outdated browser version or network link is saturated due to multiple connections.
What happens if multiple users using different devices or connected from different networks are reporting they are experiencing distorted sound or low video quality?
If you are using external cameras or microphones, go to the source: there may be a problem with the quality from connected sources. Check with your source providers or on their instructions how you can adjust camera or microphone settings in real time. If you’re experiencing no sound, check that your microphone isn't on mute.
In second place, verify if any warnings or errors are being displayed in the Stream Health tab. If you see a drop in audio/video bitrate or frame rate, this is likely due to a weak internet connection, high CPU usage on your computer or misconfigured encoders. Try closing other open apps, disable browser extensions, VPN or firewalls, stop other network-intensive apps in your network or review your encoder settings, etc.
The audio on my Workplace Live video has either begun to skip and chatter or drop out completely. What's going on?
Audio distortion can occur when Workplace receives a video stream with distorted audio or after we've received the frames but before we re-encode for broadcast. A possible reason for this type of error is if the bitrate used is higher than the connection between your broadcasting endpoint and what Facebook servers can sustain. If that happens or if there's a packet lost, some of the video or audio track won't be received correctly and result in audio distortion.
Why are the video and audio out of sync on my live video?
A/V sync issues may occur when a live broadcast is delivered with limited bandwidth to the client, or the client does not have the bandwidth to view it during live. Additionally, if the stream received by the Facebook server is out of sync, then the live video will also be out of sync. Be sure to check recording and encoding hardware for potential places in which the audio could be misaligned with the video.
I'm trying steam video without audio. Why doesn't it work?
A Workplace Live requires audio. It you attempt to stream video only, the stream ends.
What happens if my live feed drops?
Your live feed may drop due to an encoder failure or poor network connectivity. If this happens, you have 2-3 minutes to reconnect to the original stream URL that you generated for your live post. Otherwise, you will have to generate a new stream key and URL to continue your live stream.
My Workplace live video is still showing up as is Live even though it should have ended.
If the broadcast still appears as ‘is Live’ after signaling the end of your live stream, make sure you've clicked End Live Video. If that’s the case, Workplace will automatically terminate the broadcast after a couple of minutes without receiving any signal. If the problem recurs, please contact our support team and include your video ID.
I’ve tried all the above and I’m still having issues with Workplace Live. What can I do?
If you are still experiencing issues with a Live stream, check the Workplace Status page and contact our support teams. Please include the video URL, details of the user or the users who were Live, the group where the Live is/was happening and if you encountered any similar issues during the rehearsal.