Streaming from BoinxTV with the Teradek Cube

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As you may have already seen at (http://bitnapping.tv/episodes/2010/5/5/bitnappingtv-094-streaming-with-boinxtv.html), streaming from BoinxTV currently works using free 3rd party software. A while ago, Teradek released a fine product called the Cube, that simplifies the process of streaming quite dramatically.

The cube is basically a small box with HDMI and analog audio input that can connect to a wired or wireless network and convert the video input to different types of network streams. For local networks, it supports RTSP and HTTP-Live Stream (HLS). So if you simply want to stream inside a closed network, one of these would be your method of choice. If you want to stream to the Internet, the Cube so far supported streaming to livestream.com but with the latest firmware update, Teradek added generic RTMP streaming, what means, streaming to any Adobe Flash Media or Wowza Server (that most streaming platforms use) is now also possible.

All that is required to get you streaming using the Cube is a HDMI cable and adapter, an audio cable and a Teradek Cube (e.g. the Cube 200).


The cabling is pretty easy, plug the adapter from your secondary monitor output in (like a Mini Displayport to HDMI or DVI to HDMI) adapter, connect the adapter and the Cube with the HDMI cable an finally plug the audio cable into the Cube and into the main audio out of your computer (you might want to add a splitter if you want to use headphones for monitoring meanwhile. It sounds much more complicated than it actually is. Take a quick look at the photo and you'll understand the cabling immediately.



Now you need to configure the Cube. Plug in an Ethernet cable in your network and open the TeraCentral software that comes on the tiny thumbdrive and select "Configure Settings".

After logging in, head to "Video Setup" > "Device Settings" and make sure your Audio Input settings are correct. The Cube should automatically recognize the video input settings. Sometimes the video resolution of the Mac can't be recognized properly, in that case, you need to adjust it all by hand. If you set you resolution in "System Preferences" > "Displays" e.g. to 720p and 50hz, choose "720p50" in the "Video Input Resolution" drop down, if you made other adjustments in "System Preferences", set it here accordingly. Now also set the Colorspace using the "Video Input Colorspace" drop down. Normally this has to be set to RGB. Afterwards, click "Apply" and wait a moment for the Cube to process your settings.

Now head to "Video Setup" > "Encoder Settings" and adjust your Primary Encoder. The settings depend on what your streaming destination allows you to send. For Standard definition 512k is fine and it complies with the maximum settings of most of the free accounts most platforms offer.


For the final streaming setup go to "Video Setup" > "Stream Settings".


Livestream.com

If you plan to stream to livestream.com (which we can really recommend), select "Live Internet Streaming". All you need to do now, is entering your livestream.com credentials and hit "Verify Login". Under "Livestream Channel Settings" you might want to configure a few additional settings. When everything is set, click "Apply" to save your changes.

To start streaming to livestream.com, all you need to do is heading to the "Stream Settings" page everytime you want to start a stream and hit the "Start Broadcast" button. Once your broadcast is over, click the "Stop Broadcast" button on the same page.


Generic RTMP Streaming

If you plan to stream to other services, like justin.tv or any other platform that supports RTMP (ask their support if you are not sure), your need the 5.x firmware that you can get from the Teradek Forums and an additional license, that can be obtained for free from Teradek. Just contact [email protected] with the serial number and Ethernet MAC Address of your Cube to request a license. Once installed, switch the "Stream Mode" to RTMP and enter the RTMP Server URL and the Stream ID in the appropriate fields.

You can find these settings e.g. in the advanced tabs of the various streaming platforms, Or you can download a Flash Media encoder XML from them that contains these values. 

Here is an example excerpt of the justin.tv XML:

<rtmp>
<url>rtmp://live.justin.tv/app</url>
<backup_url></backup_url>
<stream>live_25005578_somerandomcharactershere</stream>
</rtmp>

You can also ask the support staff of the platform in question, they'll be most certainly able to give you the information required.

After entering these credentials, hit "Apply" to save the changes.

If you have a valid signal and the encoder works properly, click "Start Broadcast" to start streaming. In case you want the Cube to start the stream once Signal is recognized, set "Auto Start Broadcast" to "Enabled". Like this, streaming is just a matter of connecting the Cube.

Having set this all up, the Cube is ready to go, now there is only one thing left to do: Tell BoinxTV to play its output through HDMI. 


Live playout through HDMI and Line Out

Open your document, make all the adjustments needed and ensure that the HDMI adapter and cable is connected to the Cube. At first, click the headphones icon on the top right, select "Built-in Output" as the playthrough device and enable playthrough. Now hold the option key on the keyboard and click the Fullscreen button on the top right.



In the sheet that appears, select the secondary screen (make sure the main BoinxTV window is on the main screen) and choose the desired resolution and refresh rate. For example, if you set the Cube to expect 720p50 choose 1280x720 with a refresh rate of 50 Hertz. When everything is alright, klick "OK" and be ready to stream. (If your setup is not set to autostart the stream, all you have to do is log into the web interface and click "Start Broadcast").



The fantastic thing about this solution is, that you need to set it up only once. From then on, streaming is as easy as connecting a cable and you don't have to worry if there is enough CPU power left to encode a web stream. Apart from the ease of use, with this setup it is suddenly possible to do a high resolution web stream with a not so powerful computer like a MacBook Air. 


Find out more about the Teradek Cube on their Web site at www.teradek.com.