Introduction

January 19, 2022, marked the day of LA Data Platform User Group’s first (and also first successful) attempt to enhance the MS Teams environment by opening up our user group meeting to a broader audience. This blog post explains how to add a Facebook Live (live stream) option to your existing MS Teams set up.

Problem

While MS Teams provides a great way to run virtual meetings, it is limited in its distribution. Unfortunately, MS Teams is not designed to play well with other distribution platforms (other than itself). MS Teams allows people with a meeting hyperlink to join using either a desktop app (full experience) and/or a web browser (limited experience). Both of those options keep users locked into a Microsoft ecosystem, but what if you wanted to invite users beyond Microsoft?

The main problem is how Teams handles Real-Time Messaging Protocol (“RTMP”). RTMP is the standard protocol that allows Teams to send A/V data to the server. Unfortunately, as of now, Microsoft does not expose any server details. This is where OBS Studio and Restream.io come in to bridge this gap.

Solution

Introducing Restream.IO (freemium) and OBS Studio (free). Both tools allow our User Group to escape the MS Teams “bubble” and to live stream our session to Facebook Live (and more social media channels in the future). In nutshell, we will use OBS to stream MS Teams while using Restream to connect OBS stream to Facebook.

Restream.io – Restream allows you to broadcast live content to 30+ social media channels (free tier is limited to 2 social media channels).

You would need to visit https://restream.io/, create an account, and set up your feed destinations (social media channels). Hit Add Destination button and proceed to your selected social media channel. In our case, we added the LA Data Platform Facebook account.

Fig #1 – Setup destinations

OBS Studio – free and open-source software for video recording and live streaming. Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Download it from here – https://obsproject.com.

While the main purpose of OBS Studio is to help record content, we are going to use it to capture screen/audio and stream it in real-time to restream.io services. Essentially, we are using OBS capture and stream MS Teams window (see Fig #2).

Fig #2 – OBS Studio Screen capture

To make OBS Studio work, you would need to decide on the display capture and set up the streaming.

Under OBS Studio sources, you will find Display Capture that allows you to select the Display that is going to be captured (see Fig #3).

Fig #3 – Source setup

Click on Settings, then Stream, and choose Restream.io service from a drop-down (see Fig #4).

Fig #4 – Stream setup

Now, click on the Get Stream Key button which would lead you to the restream.io website to copy Stream Key (see Fig #5) which you would need to type/paste to a Stream Key textbox.

Fig #5 – Restream.io Stream Key

If you did everything correctly, you are all set now (see Fig #6).

Fig #6 – Restream account connected

Summary

To conclude, what did we gain from Facebook Live? Despite the fact that we didn’t gain any immediate Facebook likes/follows, our Facebook Group got much more visibility now in form of # people reached and # engagements. Here is what our User Group January 2022 session live stream looked like on Facebook (see Fig #7).

Fig #7 – Facebook Live

Disclaimer

This blog post is partially based on the following resources:

https://www.dacast.com/blog/rtmp-real-time-messaging-protocol/

https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-teams-is-getting-rtmp-support-for-streaming-large-meetings-on-other-platforms

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