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Streaming to YouTube with OBS Studio

It currently takes 24 hours to get your YouTube channel verified for livestreaming.
Make sure to follow this guide in advance to be ready in time.


If you have any issues feel free to ask in the Discussions here in the forum or on our Discord Server which you can find here: https://discord.com/invite/obsproject

Content ID and live streams: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/3367684

YouTube does currently have 2 Methods for starting a stream.
  • The Live Control Room (kinda like the old stream now but you have to have the page open otherwise your stream might not start)
  • Scheduled Streams (kinda like the old event based streaming)

Requirements:
  • Google Account with YouTube Channel
  • Might be necessary that your account is in good standing
This guide assumes that you just created a Google Account & YouTube channel. In the case that you have livestreaming already enabled you can skip the respective parts of this guide.

Step 1 Enabling livestreaming.

Open up https://www.youtube.com
There are multiple ways to reach the Live Control Room

You can click the Camera Symbol with the plus symbol and then go live



You can click on your Avatar in the top right, click YouTube Studio and then the go live button




Or you can click on your Avatar in the top right, click YouTube Studio, Create and then Go live





If your account isn't already verified you will now have to verify it. Follow the steps on the page:




Your account should now be verified and you will see the following page


Now try entering the Live Control Room again like you did before.

If you just verified your account you will now have to wait for 24 hours until you can start streaming.


After 24 hours have passed and you return you will see this.


Click on the blue START button where it says right now.

You will now get asked if you want to stream from a built-in webcam or streaming software.
Where it says streaming software (OBS Studio is streaming software) click the blue GO button.


You will now see the setup for your first stream. You can change what you entered here any time by clicking the EDIT button in the Live Control Room.



Here you can set a title for the stream, a stream description, the category (if you selected gaming you can now also select a game) and you can upload a custom thumbnail.

You will also have to set if your stream is “made for kids” as YouTube vigorous lets you know. See the link that YouTube provides there regarding COPPA.

Fill out the fields and click the blue SAVE button.
(You can always change the title and co. by clicking the EDIT button in the Live Control Room.)

You should now see the Live Control Room


Please keep in mind that you always need to have the Live Control Room open before you can start a stream. Just clicking start streaming in OBS Studio without having the Live Control Room open will likely not work.

I'm going to explain the various settings here:

Stream Latency: Lets you set the delay from you doing something until your viewers see it.
Note that setting a lower latency can cause more buffering events for your viewers if their connection isn't stable or and fast enough. You can see information about the 3 settings when hovering over the question mark.

Enable DVR: Your viewers will be able to go back in time during the current live stream like on a TV box with Time Shift.

Added Delay: Allows you to add additional delay to your live stream if necessary.

Closed Captions: Allows you to embed Closed Captioning.

Unlist live replay once stream ends: This will make the recording unlisted in your YouTube channel after you stopped the stream.

Clicking the cog wheel in the top right near your avatar provides additional settings for monetization and chat.

Step 3 Setting up OBS.

This will only cover up the necessary settings for streaming to YouTube.

If you need help with OBS itself I recommend the following guides:

I will only explain how to use the Simple Output Mode here.

Open up the OBS Settings and go to Stream.



Click on the Service dropdown and select YouTub - RTMP as service


Now to the stream key which is basically like a username and password combined.
YouTube does have multiple methods for using / creating stream keys that I try to explain here.

Default Stream Key: Does allow streaming at any resolution and doesn't change. This is usually fine for most use cases. You can ignore the Custom keys section entirely in that case.

Custom keys; For this click on the arrow on the dropdown and select Create a new stream key.


Give the key a name and description.

The easiest way here is to set it to variable bitrate. This way you can use the stream key for multiple bitrates and resolutions. If you select a fixed resolution you have to stream in the selected resolution.
If you want to stream in 60 FPS don't forget to toggle the option on.
When you're done click CREATE

Don't forget to select your newly created stream key or the default one in the dropdown


Now you need to copy the stream key into OBS.
Click the copy button (or the eye icon and manually highlight the key and copy it) and then in OBS Studio click into the Stream Key field and either press CTRL + V or right click into the field and select Paste


Next up open the Output settings in OBS Studio


I'm only explaining the Simple Output Mode here.
If you are unsure what to select for Encoder and so on see the guides linked,
earlier.

YouTube recommends the following bitrate settings for the following resolutions:

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2853702?vid=1-635757599940599498-3384987664
(Click on your resolution)

For Audio, I personally recommend using 160 Kbps if possible.

Next up open the Video settings.


Set the FPS to 30 or alternatively to 60
For selecting a resolution see the link above and also the guides linked earlier.
Ideally you want a resolution that matches your content / display and with an aspect ratio of 16:9 for YouTube to avoid black bars in the YouTube player.

You're now done with the very basic settings for OBS Studio.

Step 4 Starting the Stream.

Make sure that the live control room website is open (for example you are doing this the second, third etc. time)
Click the Start Streaming Button in OBS and have some patience.

YouTube will inform you about the stream status under the stream preview. Make sure that it doesn't state any issues.
You will automatically go live.


Please note that the preview player in The Live Control Room will not always automatically select the highest quality.
If you want to check the real quality you need to make sure that it's selected in the quality options in the cogwheel menu.


Step 5 Ending the Stream.

Simply click the Stop Streaming button in OBS and wait a bit.


You can also end the stream through the live control room with the End Stream button.


You can now stop the stream in OBS (if you used the end stream button in the Live Control Room


After the stream you get a summary


How do I share my stream?

Click the Share Icon to get the Stream URL



You can either copy the URL or directly share to various social media platforms.
Scheduled Streams allow you to set an estimated start time and date that will get shared with your subscribers. They also allow you to preview your stream before you go live.

They can be found here

After scheduling a stream click on the thumbnail in the upcoming list to enter the Live Control Room for the specific stream.

Functionality wise they are almost identical to the normal Live Control Room method with two exceptions.
Starting and Stopping the Stream.

While in the Live Control Room streams start and stop automatically when you click Start Streaming / Stop Streaming in OBS Studio they do not so with Scheduled Streams.

If you do not enable the "Enable Auto-start" "Enable Auto-stop" sliders you will have to start and stop the stream with the button in the top right corner near your avatar.

Please note that you need to start the stream in OBS Studio first before you can press the GO LIVE button in the Live Control Room.

For stopping the stream click the end stream button in the Live Control Room and then stop the stream in OBS Studio
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Gol D. Ace
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