If you’ve tried to stream to Facebook recently and encountered an error on your encoder, you’re not alone!

At the beginning of May, Facebook started rolling out a new streaming protocol called RTMPS. As of November, the new protocol took full effect. Previously, Facebook - like nearly every other CDN - used the RTMP protocol for live streaming. Consequently, up until Facebook announced its update, most live streaming encoders were only designed to support RTMP. So, if your encoder is suddenly unable to stream to Facebook, you likely have Facebook’s streaming protocol to blame.

What is RTMPS?

RTMPS is a secure form of RTMP transport, also known as Real Time-Messaging Protocol (RTMP) on a TSL/SSL connection. The TSL/SSL part of the protocol gives your stream an extra layer of security while en route to its destination. RTMPS encrypts your live stream and prevents any third-party from intercepting your data. Recent security concerns prompted Facebook to begin rolling out this more secure transport protocol in May.

Why can’t my older encoder support RTMPS?

Since RTMPS encrypts your stream’s data, it requires a lot more processing power than the standard RTMP. Think about it this way: whereas RTMP only had to carry your stream, RTMPS is responsible for you stream and its security team.

Since all of the major CDNs require only RTMP, most older encoders, Teradek and otherwise, were not designed with software capable of encoding and processing a stream with more data.

How can I continue streaming to Facebook Live?

Facebook’s new streaming protocol doesn’t mean you have to find another platform. Whether you want to future-proof your streaming workflow by upgrading to a new encoder or make due with a workaround, here are a few ways to keep streaming.

  1. Upgrade to a New Encoder

VidiU GO 350

Upgrading to an encoder that supports RTMPS is your best option, because you’ll be covered if other CDNs update their streaming protocols too. To make your transition to RTMPS even easier, Teradek is currently offering 20% off of their newest live streaming encoder, VidiU Go. In addition to RTMPS support, VidiU Go also features:

  • Multi-destination delivery so you can reach your whole community on their preferred platform;
  • HEVC compression so you can stream HD video with less bandwidth;
  • Network bonding so you can combine multiple network connections into a single internet source and combat connectivity issues.

If you’re interested in upgrading to VidiU Go, visit https://teradek.com/pages/rtmps-upgrade for more information.

  1. Use Cloud Services

Core 600There are many online video platforms that can convert video from one protocol to RTMPS. If you’re using a Teradek encoder, you can use Teradek’s cloud platforms Core or Sharelink, to send your stream from your encoder to the cloud, and then from the cloud to Facebook Live. If you’re using a different device, you can use a re-streaming service like castr.io or Vimeo to stream over RTMP and simulcast to Facebook Live.

  1. Use Live:Air Solo or Live:Air ActionLive Air 350

The Live:Air Action app allows you to stream to Facebook using a supported tables. Rather than simply streaming from your smartphone, Live:Air Action turns your tablet into a video switcher with graphics, transitions, animations, and more. If you still want to stream with a professional camera, you can use a Teradek encoder as your stream source on the Live:Air Solo app.

While Facebook’s RTMPS protocol update may have thrown a small wrench in your stream, these long-term and temporary solutions will help you continue publishing the quality content your audience expects. Facebook is the first to implement this new protocol, but other CDNs might not be far behind, so stay ahead of the curve by updating your gear. If you have any questions about what streaming solutions are right for you, email [email protected]