How to Simulcast with OBS and Restream.io
Live streaming is a great way to create new video content. If you're comfortable "winging it" and talking on the fly, it can also be a lot of fun and much more interactive than recording and then sharing videos.
There are lots of places, or "platforms", that you chose for your live stream; Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, LinkedIn, etc. Which one you pick can have a big impact on how big an audience is and how they interact with you. So, what if your audience is split across multiple platforms, or you're trying to build a new audience on one platform without losing your existing audience on another?
What is Simulcasting?
Simulcasting is the process of sharing the same stream across multiple platforms at the same time. Simulcasting = Simultaneous Casting.
It's not the easiest thing in the world to set up but thankfully there are some great online services that help with this. The one that I've been playing with is [restream.io](https://restream.io/).
What is restream.io?
restream.io allows you to connect a single restream.io account to multiple streaming platforms simultaneously. A free account will connect you to any number of platforms with a single account per platform - if you want to connect to business pages and the like, you will need a paid account.
Once you've signed up for an account; which just requires a username, email, and password; you should be able to pick from the list of supported platforms and connect them to restream.io.
This is the same OAuth process as letting any other tool access your Facebook, YouTube, or another account so it's mostly just point and click to authorise everything.
Once you've done that you can either stream from the web browser directly (which didn't actually work for me - see below) or from a streaming tool.
What didn't work?
My first attempt to stream directly through restream.io just... didn't work. There was a long wait whilst it promised me that it was connecting and then, just when I thought maybe it had connected all I seemed to have managed to do was make a video in which I appeared to be made of a semi-inert pile of Lego bricks.
Not a great look.
Enter OBS / How to make restream.io work properly.
For my second attempt, I used OBS (Open Broadcast Studio). I've been using OBS for a long time to record videos, but never for streaming (because, well, I hadn't streamed before!).
OBS only supports a single stream destination, but that's fine because you can then use restream.io to cast that stream to different platforms. I tested using Facebook and YouTube Events (which I'd already connected to restream.io)
Before you start streaming, you will need to set up a streaming target. This lives in the settings window. There is a dropdown list of targets - you may need to click the "Show All" option to get the option for restream.io, but it is there.
In the current version of OBS once you do pick restream.io from your list of streaming targets you will have the option to log into your restream.io account.
This is highly recommended - no messing about with RMTP server addresses and stream keys, just log in and everything should connect automatically.
From there, it was just a case of hitting "Start Streaming" and... the rest is a glorious piece of internet history.