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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 3 Methods for starting a stream.

The Live Control Room which combines Events and none Events.
The old Events Method &
Stream Now Classic

Only the The Live Control Room section is entirely rewritten to fit the newest YouTube website and OBS Studio Version. If you have issues I recommend checking this method for better guidance.

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


Click continue here and you will get redirected to this page


Just click Return to YouTube Studio in the top right here

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 probably see the page for webcam streaming


In this case just click Stream in the top left


You now have reached the setup for your fist livestream


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), you can schedule for later (your subscribers will see an event in this case in their feed) and you can upload a custom thumbnail.

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

Fill out the fields and click the blue CREATE STREAM button.

You should now see the Live Control Room


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 enough. You can see information about the 3 settings when hovering over the question mark.

Enable Auto-start: The stream will start automatically after clicking Start Streaming in OBS.

Enable Auto-stop: The stream will stop automatically after clicking Stop Streaming in OBS.

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 provides additional settings for monetiazion 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 YouTube / YouTube Gaming 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.

Auto-generated key: The easiest method. Unfortunately you need to copy a new stream key every time you start a new stream into OBS.

Permanent 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 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.

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.
If you have the auto start option enabled you are now live. If you haven't then you manually need to start the stream now with the go live button in the top right.


Please note that the preview player in The Live Control Room will only show a quality/resolution of up to 360p.
If you want to check available quality/resolution selections you have to check on the actual view page.


Step 5 Ending the Stream.

If you have the auto stop option enabled you can simply click the Stop Streaming button in OBS.


If you do not have the auto stop option enabled you must end the stream in the Live Control Room first.


Now you can stop your stream in OBS Studio


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.
Requirements:
  • Google Account with YouTube Channel
  • Might be necessary that your account is in good standing
This guide assumes that you just created a 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 and click on your Avatar in the top right. You should find "YouTube Studio" there. Click it.

Click this button on the top right



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



When you got successfully through the validation process you should see this. Just click Continue here.



Your channel should now be enabled for livestreaming.

On the top right click the back to creator studio button.

Click the stream button again.


If you just verified your account you have to wait 24 hours before you can stream.

In the left sidebar you can find Stream Now Classic.

Step 2 Setting up basic info (Stuff that you might want to change every stream)

You should now get to the following page.



There is not that much to change here so let us go through it.

You can set the stream title, Description and Category here.
If you have selected Gaming you can also define a game.

Other interesting stuff is in the stream options tab.



  • Enable DVR Viewers will be able to seek back up to 4 hours while you are streaming
  • Make archive unlisted when complete (makes the recorded Video unlisted so that nobody can find it by default)
  • Optimize for interaction (low latency) interesting for chat interaction.
  • Optimize for less viewer buffering (even Higher Delay but in theory people should have less buffering issues, you can add up to 60 seconds delay if you need so.)
We also have the Advanced settings here (not going to explain them in detail here).

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 reading the following guide:
https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/official-overview-guide.402/

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

Open up the OBS Settings and go to Stream.



Stream Type > Streaming Services
Service > YouTube / YouTube Gaming
Server > Primary YouTube ingest server
Stream key > Copy the Stream name/key from the YouTube page into this field. Click the Reveal button for that where it says ENCODER SETUP.



Next up open the Output settings.



I'm only explaining the Simple Output Mode here.

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 recommend using 160 Kbps.

Next up open the Video settings.



Set the FPS to 30 or alternatively to 60 (your base resolution / scaled resolution must be 1280×720 or 1920×1080 to have 60 FPS working)


You're now done with settings up OBS.

Step 4 Starting the Stream.

Click the Start Streaming Button in OBS and have some patience.
YouTube will inform you about the stream status on the top of the page.

Step 5 Ending the Stream.

Click the Stop Streaming Button in OBS.

How can people find my Stream?

Your stream should appear in your channel and in the subscription feed of your subscribers.

Alternatively you can also use the Share URL in the bottom right of the YouTube page. (Which also allows you to share the URL on all kinds of social platforms.)
The old event based streaming is still available here:
Author
Gol D. Ace
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