FAQs (so far)
- What does it cost to stream on DriversEye Live?
- Absolutely nothing. It’s important to us to ensure that we’re providing the motorsports community with a free resource. With that said, we do pay server rental fees for bandwidth and storage. If you appreciate the work we do, consider either making a donation or signing up for DriversEye Plus.
- What is DriversEye Plus?
- DriversEye Plus is our premium service that focuses on providing additional resources to you as a streamer of motorsports content. Its two primary aspects are the ability to save and archive content to be accessed after race weekend, and access to a direct link to your stream. This ultimately means lower latency and more flexibility for use in media players and embedding on websites, apps, etc.
- Where do I find the inputs for my encoder?
- Within 48 hours of signup (usually sooner) your streaming server, stream key, and user authentication details will be posted on your Streaming Credentials page. Those inputs are unique to you or your team. Conveniently, the link is posted on the right side of the homepage under “Quick Links.”
- Do I have to stop streaming on YouTube or my current provider?
- Absolutely not! There are a number of services available that will allow you to stream one input to their server that then restreams to other destinations. Simply add your DriversEye Live Streaming Credentials as a custom destination on pages like Castr.io or Restream.io alongside your YouTube or Twitch details. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
So you want to share your race with the world, but you’re not sure how? You’ve come to the right place.
(0) Where do I start?
At the risk of being overly brief, there are a few options available for racers like you interested in streaming from motorsports events around the world. While certainly you could go all out and buy professional cameras and encoders, ultimately you’ll almost certainly be sending your stream over wireless data which can only handle so much bandwidth, especially at 100+mph.
There are four main elements to your streaming solution: Camera, Encoder, Data, and Power. We’ll explore each of these briefly:
Camera: Fairly self explanatory. You’ll need something to capture the raw footage and send to an encoder in real time. Action cameras such as older GoPros could work here, but ultimately require more wiring. See below.
Encoder: Receives the raw video and packages it in a way that our server can read. Professional setups often use standalone hardware encoders, but for our purposes that might be a little overkill. We’ll generally explore software encoders here.
Data: You’ll need some way to get the packaged data to our server, generally over LTE cellular data. Verizon and AT&T in the United States generally have good coverage depending on the racetrack.
Power: A way to power all of your units from in the car or trackside while you’re streaming.
Our next section goes into some options for solving these issues.
(1) I Need a Camera
In developing the most simple solution, your goal might be to combine as many of the above elements as possible. If you’re streaming from in-car, your car’s electrical system will generally provide power for whatever units you choose, so we’ll put that to one side.
There are two main options we prefer for this purpose:
(1) A phone: Cellular devices combine all three of the other necessities for streaming. The attached camera will obviously take care of the footage, and connecting the device to a cellular network will take care of your data. Generally speaking, your brand of phone won’t make much of a difference. We’ve streamed ourselves from Samsung S5 Actives we picked up on eBay for under $100, and the quality has been more than sufficient. Newer phones might increase your quality, but ultimately any extra phone you have will be sufficient to start testing and streaming.
The key to using a phone for live streaming is the encoder. While hardware encoders are generally more robust, we’ll be using software encoders here. In layman’s terms, you’ll need to download an app. If you’re on iOS, we recommend starting with Live:Air Solo, an app produced by Teradek who also produces some excellent hardware units. For Android devices, we prefer Larix Broadcaster. Either way, download an app and we’ll set it up later. (As an aside, if you use Live:Air, swipe in from the edges of the screen to find the UI. We struggled too.)
(2) A Camera: GoPro might be your household name, and for those with existing GoPro setups, there are certainly ways to make it work. The new GoPro Hero 7 Black does stream directly from the camera with a little assistance from a cell phone for initial setup and connection as well, but it is a slightly expensive option and initial reports are that the streaming connection can be a little more than a little unstable. We recommend considering the Yi 4k Action Camera for a much, much lower cost option that boasts (so far) much more stable streaming with comparable quality in other departments. If you’d prefer 4K @ 60fps, the Yi 4k+ Action Camera is also available.
The advantage to these newer streaming cameras is that encoding is taken care of right on the camera. Per the camera’s instructions, you’ll need a phone with the camera’s app to set the RTMP destination, login details, resolution, and bitrates – more on that in section 4 – to get the streaming started. After that, it’s all onboard the camera itself.
Of course, you’re welcome to research and use any phone or camera setup with our service, and we can certainly provide some level of support if needed.
(2) I Have a Phone/Camera, What Else Should I Know Before Starting?
If you’ve taken care of your camera, encoder, and power needs (via the car itself), the last thing you’ll need before you stream on DriversEye Live is an internet connection. The go to here is to connect your device to LTE, either directly by phone or for WiFi enabled devices via an LTE Hotspot (AT&T, Verizon, or other available). There are endless options here, including using cellphoes as hotspots. We won’t recommend specific devices, but do suggest you do some research. With that said, we have used $25 secondhand MiFi’s from eBay in the past for WiFi-only cameras.
Naturally, you might find that LTE is slightly reluctant to maintain a good connection to a moving target at 100+mph. With that said however, technology improves all the time and placing devices higher up or at the ends of the car tends to improve reception and stability.
Your final concern with regards to connection is bandwidth. Having mentioned that connection can be occasionally challenging at 100mph, your device will only be able to handle so much data at a time, and stability is going to be key. Your bitrate is going to drive how much data is being sent every second through the networks, and your resolution will generally drive image quality, as long as your connection can handle it. Don’t shoot for the moon. Streaming at 720p is perfectly reasonable, and 1000-1500kbps is a great starting point. Moving either of these numbers downwards should improve connection quality and stability, but play around to find what works best for you and your setup.
As an aside, it goes without saying (but should be noted) that you’ll want to consider mounts and positioning. Standard clamp mounts tend to work well, but feel free to ask around your paddock for recommendations. Similarly, cameras are frequently mounted on roll bars behind and next to the driver, although forward dashboard mounts tend to provide better track vision. Again, experiment a little and find what works best.
(3) Setting Up a DriversEye Live Account
Alright – now we’re ready to get involved on DriversEye Live. If you were a member of RaceCast.me for its 3-4 years of operation, you’ll find a lot of the core concepts apply. Essentially: Register, get your streaming details, and go live.
2) Streaming Credentials: For at least a little while, we’re doing a lot of manual management of the platform. Your registration will generate a request for us to create your Live Channel through our server provider. We’re pretty good, but we ask that you allow up to 48 hours for us to get it created and posted. The key pieces of information include the RTMP (streaming) server, your stream ID/Key, and basic authentication details. All of that information will be available here. Fear not, the data you see is unique to you. The best way to use it is to visit the page on your phone, highlight it, and copy-paste it into your encoding software or app. Make sure you include the login and password at the bottom of the page.
(4) Streaming from Your Camera to Our Servers
Once you’re registered and have all of your streaming credentials listed here, head into your app or encoder settings and start adding the data. There are typically four main pieces of information you need: server, stream key/ID, login, and password. If you’re logged in, you’ll see your four personal items listed below. Also note that if your encoder app asks for a single or combined input, you should use the top line only followed by the username and password.
|RTMP Combined Input|
|RTMP Split Input (Server)|
|RTMP Split Input (Stream Key)|
As mentioned above, your feed’s quality is dependent on bitrate and resolution relative to the strength of the internet connection. A good starting point is 720p at 1500kbps. We put estimates at around 10GB for 16 hours of live streaming over a weekend, which makes most available data plans sufficient for the job. Again, lowering resolution and bitrate might make your stream less jumpy but sacrifice quality. If you have the data to use, and the connection supports it, by all means consider upping the quality.
Finally, make sure your device is connected to the internet. If you’re on a phone, you’ll more than likely have LTE coverage directly on the device. If you’re using a mounted camera, follow the directions on the camera’s app or ensure the camera has connected to a WiFi hotspot device such as a MiFi or Jetpack. Once you’re satisfied your device is connected, hit “Go Live” or equivalent and make sure you see something on-screen that shows that you’re connected or streaming.
If you wish to monitor your stream (you should, especially while testing), you can find it by visiting your profile, clicking “Blog” and then “(My Username) Live Streaming.” Save this link in your bookmarks for easier access while we develop a better way to handle access.
Alternatively, you can purchase access to DriversEye Plus. If you’re not familiar, DriversEye Plus is our premium service that allows for archiving of all of your live streams in addition to direct access to your live stream for use in media players, TV apps, and more. Primarily, it helps us offset the costs of bandwidth and storage for regular operation while providing benefit to our users for generously supporting development of DriversEye Live. If you’re subscribed, you can enter the following link into your media player of choice (we recommend VLC Media Player).
|DriversEye Plus Direct Link|
(5) Registering for Events on DriversEye.Live
The heart and soul of DriversEye Live is our approach to event promotion. Our goal is and always has been to bring the motorsports community together and by providing a single event resource for both participants and audiences, we think we’ve done that fairly well. If you intend on streaming from an event via our servers, the instructions are very simple:
- Log in to Driverseye Live.
- Find your desired event either on the home page or by searching the calendar.
- Click “Register my stream” and add your team’s information.
- Click Register!
Once your team is signed up as streaming from an event, we’ll compile a single player that includes every registered participant. On race day, come back to the event page and join the community to watch and interact for the duration of the weekend!
(6) Other Considerations