Open Broadcaster Software Studio
To add an even more dynamic live streaming element to your Experiences, Crowdpurr integrates with the free Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio application. This allows you to connect OBS Studio directly to Crowdpurr Streaming.
With OBS, you can trigger live videos, static images, multiple cameras, hosts, and additional broadcast elements for a more polished and professional live stream production.
Add endless live streaming possibilities by connecting OBS to Crowdpurr Streaming
Which Crowdpurr Plans Can Use OBS?
Connecting OBS is only available on the Conference Plan and above, which features unlimited Crowdpurr Streaming.
Download and Install Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
Connecting OBS to Crowdpurr requires a special build of the free, open-source application called OBS-WebRTC. This build supports WebRTC streaming which is how Crowdpurr's real-time streaming works.
Download the latest build for your operating system from this OBS Studio WebRTC repository. Click on the Assets link on the latest version (currently Release 1.5.1 from August 31st, 2023 at the time of this publishing). You'll see several builds.
The OBS Studio WebRTC download page.
- For Windows, download and install the x64 *.exe file.
- For MacOS, download and install the non-ndi *.dmg file.
- Download the non-ndi x86_64 *.dmg file for older Mac computers that use Intel processors.
- Download the non-ndi arm64 *.dmg file for newer Mac computers that use the new Apple processors.
- For Linux, download the non-ndi *.deb file.
If you downloaded the version with ndi in the filename, after installing and running OBS-WebRTC for the first time, you may notice a pop-up that says, "NDI Runtime not found." You can ignore this, as it doesn't affect streaming in Crowdpurr. However, if you choose, you can download the missing package by following the link to remove the notice upon startup. Or uninstall the ndi version and download and install the version without ndi in the filename.
This warning can be safely ignored.
We'll need to configure OBS-WebRTC to work with Crowdpurr. You only need to update the following configuration settings once.
Click on the Settings button in the lower-right corner of OBS-WebRTC.
Click on Settings in the lower right-hand corner to open OBS-WebRTC's settings.
Click on the Output button on the left column of the Settings pop-up. Make the following updates:
- Set the Video Bitrate to 750.
Update the above Output settings.
Click on the Video button on the left column of the Settings pop-up. Make the following updates:
- Set the Base (Canvas) Resolution to 1280x720.
- Set the Output (Scaled) Resolution to 640x360.
Update the above Video settings.
Design Your OBS Content and Stream
Add your various scenes, media, and camera sources in OBS. This article assumes familiarity with designing and running content in OBS. If you are new to OBS, YouTube is a great place to start learning how to create dynamic live broadcasts in OBS. Check out this Beginner's Guide to Using OBS.
Content Aspect Ratios in OBS
Crowdpurr broadcasts all content assuming a 16x9 aspect ratio. Any vertically-oriented content is simply a 16x9 rectangle that has been cropped in.
Wide 16x9 Content
If you're displaying widescreen 16x9 content where the entire width of the content should be seen (e.g. a wide 16x9 intro video, a wide-screen live host, etc.) then you'll want to use the Full Width Content Layout under the Crowdpurr Streaming Settings.
Add your content in OBS at the 16x9 aspect ratio, fully scaled to use the available space of the 16x9 window. Widescreen content should be formatted at 1920x1080, 1280x720, or 640x360.
A widescreen Trivia Night intro video is 16x9 and is scaled to fit the full 16x9 OBS window.
Vertical 9x16 Content
If you're displaying vertically tall content at a 9x16 aspect ratio (e.g. a "reel" style intro video, an HQ style vertical live host, etc.) then you'll want to use the Vertical Crop Card or Full Screen Content Layouts under the Crowdpurr Streaming Settings.
Your vertical 9x16 content should be nested inside a 16x9 widescreen box, scaled vertically to fit the 16x9 aspect ratio. In OBS, you can right-click the added media and click Fit to Screen. Crowdpurr will then correctly crop in on your content when streaming using the vertical content layouts.
The vertical Trivia Night "reel" style intro video is 9x16 so it is nested within the 16x9 OBS window scaled to fit vertically.
Cameras in OBS
All cameras in OBS should be at a widescreen 16x9 aspect ratio. When using the Full Width Content Layout, the entire camera image will be shown. When using the Vertical Crop Card or Full Screen Content Layouts, the camera image will be cropped in to emulate a vertical resolution. Your subject or live host should adjust their position accordingly.
A camera should be sized to fit a 16x9 aspect ratio in OBS.
Initiate an OBS Stream
On the Experience Dashboard of your experience, under the salmon-colored Streaming tab, under the OBS Stream area, click on the blue Initiate OBS Stream button.
Click Initiate OBS Stream to start a live OBS stream.
Generate OBS Stream Keys
Upon clicking Initiate OBS Stream, a live preview will appear on the Experience Dashboard. However it will be blank because we haven't started the stream from OBS yet.
The Experience Dashboard shows a preview of the yet-activated OBS live stream.
The OBS Stream Keys pop-up will appear. These are the stream keys needed to connect OBS to Crowdpurr.
Copy the keys found here to OBS-WebRTC.
Copy the Stream Keys to OBS
Copy the Stream Name key by clicking on the blue copy button to the right of the key.
In OBS-WebRTC, click on the Stream button on the left column of the Settings pop-up. Make the following updates:
- Paste the copied Stream Name into the Stream Name input.
- Return to Crowdpurr and copy the Publishing Token from the Stream Keys pop-up.
- Paste the Publishing Token into the Publishing Token input.
- Set the Codec to h264.
Update the above Stream settings.
Click OK in the lower-right corner of the Settings pop-up to save and close.
In Crowdpurr, click Close on the OBS Stream Keys pop-up.
Start Your Stream in OBS
Once OBS-WebRTC is configured with the above settings and your OBS Stream Keys, you can start your stream in OBS.
Click on Start Streaming from the lower-right menu. It's best to have a designated scene in OBS that you can check in Crowdpurr to verify the connection.
Preview in Crowdpurr
Once you start streaming, your live stream will appear on your Experience Dashboard preview to verify to you that it is connected. However, it is not live to participants yet. The preview window ensures you're connected and set on the desired scene before going live to your participants. It displays exactly what participants will see on their devices.
When the preview updates, OBS is successfully connected to Crowdpurr Streaming.
Go Live To Your Participants
When your stream is connected and ready, click on the green Go Live button. This will instantly activate the live stream on participant mobile devices. You can then start your first scene in OBS and proceed to additional scenes such as your live host.
The blue timer on the Experience Dashboard will start counting once you are live.
The Participant View displays a live stream of a 9x16 OBS intro video using the Vertical Crop Card content layout.
Additional Features for Live Streaming
There are several additional features for managing your live stream that will be covered in the main live streaming article. Check out these sections to learn more.
- Minimizing the Live Stream - This discusses how to maximize your live stream to be front and center and how to minimize to the upper corner to allow participant interaction while still hosting.
- Live Stream Layout - Choose how you want your live stream to display when enabled, such as full width, vertical crop card, and full-screen.
Pausing the Live Stream on Participant Devices
To stop the live stream and remove it from participant devices, click on the red Stop button next to the live stream preview on the Experience Dashboard. This only removes the stream from participant devices. It doesn't shut down the streaming session.
You can use this functionality to temporarily remove the stream from participant devices and then restore it while keeping your OBS broadcast stream active.
Once live, press the Stop button to stop streaming to participant devices. This doesn't stop your stream in OBS.
Ending the Stream in Crowdpurr
To fully end your live stream and discard the current set of stream keys thus ending the streaming session, click the Shut Down Stream button under the Streaming → OBS Stream area on the Experience Dashboard. This will deactivate your stream keys and also stop streaming to participants if the stream was still active.
Clicking Shut Down Stream will end the stream and deactivate the stream keys.
Stopping the Stream in OBS
Lastly, when you've completed your live stream, be sure to click Stop Streaming in the lower-right corner of OBS. Otherwise, you will continue to broadcast your camera, microphone, and media sources.
Press Stop Streaming in OBS to stop broadcasting your media, camera, and audio.
To learn more about additional features related to live-streaming, check out these articles:
- Add a Live Stream to Crowdpurr
- Add On-Demand YouTube and Twitch Videos to Crowdpurr
- Recording Live Streams in Crowdpurr