This guide shows how to configure a live event for pseudo-live streaming. This allows you to stream an existing video as if it were a live stream. Viewers will not see any difference between a pseudo-live stream and a real live stream.
How it works
1. Create the video source file that you will use for live streaming.
2. Create a video item in Clevercast by uploading your source file using the ‘Pseudo-Live Uploads’ workflow profile.
3. Create a Clevercast event and configure it for pseudo-live streaming at a certain date and time, using the item as its source.
4. At the selected date and time, Clevercast will automatically start broadcasting the video for the Event. The video becomes available to your viewers as a live stream. When it finishes, Clevercast sets the Event status to ended or paused.
1. Create the video source file
Pseudo-live streaming works by broadcasting an on-demand video file as a live stream.
But since a live stream will cause the video player to buffer, your on-demand video should include an intro (= seconds of video before the actual live stream begins) and an outro (= seconds of video after the actual live stream ends).
- Your video file should contain an intro of at least 20 seconds, in order to let the live stream start smoothly on all devices.
- Your video file should (preferably) contain an outro of at least 2 minutes, since iOS devices may buffer up to 2 minutes under certain circumstances.
In the example below, the actual video (= live stream) is 15 minutes. A 60 seconds intro was added to the front it, and a 2 minute outro to the end of it. This results in a video file with a total duration of 18 minutes.
Note: don’t test with videos shorter than 2 minutes. This causes confusion, since the intro/outro will be longer than the actual stream.
2. Upload the video to Clevercast
Once your video is ready, upload it to Clevercast using the ‘Pseudo-Live Source’ workflow profile. If your account doesn’t have this workflow profile, ask us. This will transcode your source file to a format ideally suited for live streaming and transfer the different resolutions to our streaming servers. For videos with a duration longer than an hour it may take a while, so make sure to do this long enough in advance.
3. Configure the pseudo-live event
Go to the Pseudo-Live Stream panel of the Event page and set following form fields:
- Event Start Time: the time at which your actual video should start (= time at which the intro ends). For example, if you select 8:00 AM and set your intro to 60 seconds: the intro will start at 7:59, and the actual video will be streamed from 8:00 until 8:15 (followed by the outro that will end at 8:17).
- Intro Seconds: the exact number of seconds your intro lasts (minimum is 20 seconds). Clevercast will already start broadcasting the intro before the start time of your event, to make sure the player can buffer sufficiently on all devices. For multilingual live streams we recommend to set this to 60 seconds or more (Clevercast may need slightly more time to start the broadcast, depending on the number of languages).
- Select item to use: select the item you have made available as a pseudo-live streaming source (see step 2).
- Reset event status to ‘waiting’: if checked, Clevercast will reset the event status to waiting when you submit the form (so your event is ready for the pseudo-live stream to start).
- Show countdown in player: if checked, the video player will show a countdown to the start time of your event.
- After pseudo-live stream, set event to this status: by default, Clevercast will set the event status to Ended once your pseudo-live stream has finished. However, you can let Clevercast set it to Paused instead, if you want to follow up with a real live stream (eg Q&A session).
4. Watch the pseudo-live stream
Once you have configured the pseudo-live stream, you don’t have to do anything else. Make sure your event status is set to Waiting and optionally set your own poster image(s) or message(s) to be shown in the player before and after the video.
In the example above, Clevercast will automatically start broadcasting at 7:59 and will set the event status to Started a couple of seconds later. Clevercast player will then detect the status change, so the live stream becomes available to your viewers. This way, the actual video will be streamed live to your viewers at 8:00 (the exact time can vary depending on the buffering/latency of the device). The live stream will continue until the outro has finished (= 8:17) at which point Clevercast will set the event status to Ended or Paused.
When the stream has been scheduled, usually about 8 minutes before the broadcast starts, you will see a message in the Streaming panel (below the ‘Clear Pseudo-Live Stream‘ button, page refresh needed).
Don’t change the event status until the pseudo-live stream has finished! If you do, this may result in your viewers not being able to watch the live stream.
Once the pseudo-live stream has finished and the event status has been set to Paused or Ended, you may continue to use the event for live broadcasting (eg. Q&A session). You can configure your encoder in advance, but don’t start broadcasting until the pseudo-live stream has finished!
The button ‘Run Pseudo-Live Stream Now‘ is available for emergency situations (e.g. changing the start time at the last minute). You should only use it if no pseudo-live stream has been scheduled for the event. If a pseudo-live stream has been scheduled, press the ‘Clear Pseudo-Live Stream‘ button and wait for at least half a minute before pressing ‘Run Pseudo-Live Stream Now‘.