Simulcasting: The Ultimate Guide to Multi-Destination Streaming

simulcasting simulcast streaming

The purpose of broadcasting is to bring video content to your target audience. What if you could stretch the reach of your broadcast and bring your video to more people?

With simulcasting, you can reach larger audiences by broadcasting your content on more platforms. Think beyond your video player. Think Facebook, Youtube, and the other platforms where potential viewers are hanging out.

In this post, we are going to talk about what simulcasting is and how you can simulcast your next live stream. We’ll cover some of the best practices and helpful software solutions that will help make your first simulcast a hit.

Table of Contents

  • What is Simulcasting?
  • How does Simulcasting Work?
  • How To Stream To Multiple Platforms At Once
  • Live Stream from OBS to Multiple Platforms
  • Simulcasting with Switchboard Live
  • Tips for Making Your Multi-Destination Stream a Hit
  • What is Best Simulcast Software for Live Streaming?
  • Conclusion

What is Simulcasting?

what is simulcasting?
Simultaneous broadcasting is shortened to “simulcasting” in the professional broadcast industry.

Simultaneous broadcasting—or simulcasting—is broadcasting on multiple channels at once. This term was originally used in the world of radio to describe radio shows that were simultaneously broadcasted on different stations.

Today, simulcasting is also used to describe broadcasting a live stream on several platforms at once. You can simulcast virtual events, private events, webinars, speeches, sporting events, or content made for entertainment purposes.

Let’s say Dacast is your online video platform of choice. If you simulcast your live stream, you could have it appear on the video player you’ve added to your site plus your social media platforms.

Steaming with professional-grade streaming solutions, as opposed to on the free social platforms, has a ton of benefits. The monetization capabilities, total ownership of content, and control over the video player are great, but there are also perks to live streaming on the free platforms, like Facebook Live, Youtube, Periscope, and the like.

When you stream on social platforms, you can reach your existing following. Your audience may also be more comfortable tuning in on platforms that they are familiar with.

How Does Simulcasting Work?

simulcasting - simultaneous broadcast
You can live stream to multiple platforms with the help of a couple of tools.

There are a few ways to simulcast your live stream. You can use a software that specializes in Simulcasting, use a software encoder or you can use a share code generated by your video hosting manager.

The technicalities of how simulcasting works varies by which method you choose. In most cases, over-the-top (OTT) technology is used to stream your video over the internet. The internet makes it easy to broadcast the video on multiple platforms at once.

How To Stream To Multiple Platforms At Once

event sumulcasting
There are several ways to multicast and broadcast your live stream simultaneously.

There are three ways to stream to multiple platforms at once. These include:

  1. Using a share code
  2. Encoding software settings
  3. Simulcasting software solutions

Each of these varies a little bit in nature and functionality. Which you use will depend on the social platforms that you’d like to stream on. 

For example, Facebook is the only free streaming platform that gives professional streaming solutions a hard time. The only way to truly simulcast on your video player hosted by Dacast and Facebook Lives is to use special software like Switchboard. You can post a share code on your Facebook page, but that simply takes viewers back to your custom video player.

Share codes work very similarly to any link that you’d post on social media. Once you add the share code to a blank post on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, a splash screen and title will appear.

The most technical option—which also happens to be the most complicated—is simulcasting with the help of encoding software.

Using special software for simulcasting has tons of benefits. This approach gives you the freedom and control that come with your professional streaming solutions. However, this software is a bit of an investment.

There are two primary simulcasting solutions that integrate with Dacast: OBS and Switchboard Live.

Each of these platforms integrates a little differently. Here’s a breakdown of how each will work with your Dacast platform.

How to Live Stream from OBS to Multiple Platforms

Livestream to Multiple Platforms Using OBS
OBS is open-source software for live streaming and video recording, with huge support for simulcasting.

Open Broadcaster Software (or OBS for short) is a live streaming tool that allows you to simulcast your streams. It has additional tools that are used for mixing and editing content as it’s recorded. You can even add filters to your videos or automatic correction, which keeps you looking your best as you stream.

Dacast offers a customized version of OBS that lets you stream with Dacast but use the cool features of OBS. There are four OBS settings that you should check out for the best streaming results.

The best OBS settings include:

  1. Simple Output Mode: “Simple Output Mode” gives you the default video settings to set you up for your live stream.
  2. Advanced Output Mode: This feature gives you a little more control over the output settings of your broadcast.
  3. Hot Keys: This tool allows you to switch scenes while you’re broadcasting.
  4. Video Source: The “Video Source” tool allows you to set up video source(s) before you start recording.

We suggest experimenting with each of these tools to learn how you can get the most out of the platform.

It is important to note that OBS is not compatible with Facebook, but it does work with Youtube.

Simulcasting with Switchboard Live

switchboardlive dashboard
Switchboard Live is a software that uses OTT technology to act as a digital switchboard for simulcasting. 

Dacast’s streaming solutions integrate with Switchboard Live, which is another software built specifically for simulcasting.

There are two processes that you must go through to simulcast with Switchboard Live. You have to connect your account with Dacast and then connect your account to the other platforms that you’d like to stream on. 

In order to connect Dacast to Switchboard, you have to first copy your API key from Dacast. Open up Switchboard Live and add “Dacast Channel” as a new destination.

Once you’ve connected Dacast, it is time to connect any social platforms that you’d like. You’ll add each platform as new destinations, as well. After your preferred destinations are entered, you’ll set up the encoder and the RTMP server. 

For more detailed instructions, check out the following Video tutorial.

Tips for Making Your Multi-Destination Stream a Hit

private live streaming event
Take extra precautions to make your simulcast the best it can be.

Just like any live stream broadcast, your first simulcast will require a bit of preparation. Since simulcasts are slightly more complicated than regular live streams, they require a bit more time and effort.

Here are a few tips that will help you have a successful simulcast.

1. Test Beforehand

Since you’re going to be streaming on several platforms, it’s a good idea to test each one individually before showtime just to make sure everything runs smoothly.

If one platform works better than others, perhaps direct users to watch there. 

2. Notify Your Audience

In order to get the most viewers, let your audience know where all they can find the stream far enough in advance.

One of the perks of simulcasting is that you can tap into existing audiences on social media platforms. Make announcements and countdown posts on these platforms before your stream so that everybody knows that you’ll be going live.

It is a good idea to let people know that you’ll be live on multiple platforms so they can view the stream on the platform that they prefer.

3. Monitor the Platforms

It is a good idea to have somebody monitoring each of the platforms that you’re streaming on, especially if any of the platforms have commenting capabilities. This way you can see what people are saying and see if anything is malfunctioning.

The person who is monitoring the simulcast should be in a different room so that your microphone doesn’t pick up the sound of the broadcast and begin to echo. 

Figure out a way for the person who is monitoring to communicate with the person on camera in the event that something goes wrong.

What is Best Live Streaming Platform for Simulcasting?

simulcasting streaming solution
Choose a powerful streaming solution to broadcast your simulcast.

Simulcasting is made easy with a powerful live streaming platform. It is important to choose a streaming platform that either has simulcasting capabilities or integrates with software that is specifically intended for live streaming to multiple platforms.

Here are a few of the best streaming platforms for running a simultaneous broadcast.

1. Dacast

As we mentioned, Dacast’s live streaming platform has two major integrations that are perfect for simulcasting. You can use our custom OBS platform, or you can use the Switchboard Live integration method. Either option is great because you still have access to the powerful features of Dacast.

Even if you decide against investing in a specialized simulcasting solution, Dacast has other options that allow you to live stream to multiple platforms. The simplest method is via share codes, but free encoding software is useful, as well.

2. BOXCAST

boxcast simulcasting

BOXCAST is another popular live streaming solution for those who are looking for simulcasting capabilities. Boxcast allows users to stream to Youtube, Facebook Live and Periscope.

In addition to its simulcasting features, Boxcast offers specific streaming solutions for churches, sports, events, municipalities, and enterprises. 

3. Vimeo

vimeo live streaming video hosting

Looking for a straightforward simulcasting solution? Vimeo is a great option. Setting up the simulcast tools on Vimeo is very simple.

All you have to do is go into the settings, click “Destinations” and connect your LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube accounts.

4. Livestream

Multi Bitrate Streaming

Livestream, which is another streaming solution from Vimeo, has settings that allow users to simulcast directly from their platform to Facebook Live and Vimeo. However, these settings are only available for the Premium and Enterprise plans that start at $75 per month.

5. Restream

restream multistreaming

Restream is a streaming solution that specializes in multistreaming. “Multistreaming” is just another term to describe streaming to multiple platforms at once, or simulcasting.

The primary industries that Restream serves include gaming, tech, government, sports, media, and music.

Conclusion

Video Platform for Agencies
Extend the reach of your audience by simulcasting your video.

Simulcasting comes with many benefits, and with the right tools, it’s easy to do. You can reach larger audiences and make your live streams more easily accessible to your existing social media followers.

You can choose to simulcast with the help of a software encoder, a specialized simulcasting software, or a share code from your video hosting platform. You have the power to choose the option that works best for you.

Are you ready to stream your first simulcast? 

Simulcasting is made easy with Dacast and our powerful integrations. You can try Dacast risk-free for 30 days to see how well it works for your business. No credit card required. Are you ready to start streaming with Dacast?

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