Several major cities in the United States and around the world are in complete lockdown. During the coronavirus quarantine, many businesses have been forced to shut down. Instead of being defeated, you can use Virtual Reality technology and 360 Livestreams to help your business continue operating and engage your audience. 360VR Livestreams can help connect us and immerse into new experiences. Let’s watch this clip from CNSTV to see how China, on the frontline of fighting coronavirus, uses VR Livestreams to protect doctors and nurses while diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients:
When we think about what Virtual Reality is — and what it can do, we typically think of one thing: entertainment.
In reality, VR can be a tool for good. It is a powerful medium that doctors are using in hospitals to save lives in China during COVID-19.
What makes this medium powerful is the ability to see the patient in many dimensions. It has practical applications that make it uniquely positioned to provide better care to patients during quarantine scenarios.
The camera in use here is the unreleased Teche 360Anywhere and the Skyworth 8K VR headset. But that is not the point. You don’t need a professional VR camera or high-end VR headset to leverage the power of 360VR. This video will show you the affordable 360 solutions you can have today, to do precisely that in order to fit your business needs.
VR also brings us together to protect our mental health. Many of us are meeting for virtual happy hours, going to church or class, using Facebook or YouTube 360 live-streaming among other services. Educators, leaders, and business owners can simply use a consumer 360 camera to broadcast live without the need of a camera operator or livestream operator. 360 cameras can capture the world all around us, so you can focus on what you do best in your home without worrying about being out of frame.
In this video, I will tell you why 360 livestream is better than 2D livestream for just about anyone. And then, we will find out which platform is better, YouTube VR or Facebook 360.
We will talk about your favorite topic: which 360 camera in 2020 will give you the best result with affordable pricing.
You are not only investing for the COVID-19 lockdown. But also for the future with a practical way to connect to your audiences and business no matter where you are in the world.
360 livestream vs traditional 2D livestream — why 360 is better, cheaper and easier
The biggest differences between a regular 2D Livestream with a nice DSLR camera and a 360 livestream is the space. In 360 livesteam, every direction is captured. You have the freedom to move around, and your viewers can follow you by panning their phone or move with the mouse on a computer or a smart TV. In 2D Livestream, you will need an operator to pan the camera to follow you.
Yes, 2D Livestream is, in general, better quality. But it is also harder to set up unless you use your phone camera. If you use your phone, then the quality is the same. There are AI tracking solutions now with a motorized slider like the RHINO ARC II — but they are very expensive.
Set up a 360 camera for Livestream is very easy — as I will show you. But to achieve the best result, you do need an audio system and good lighting, which I am going to show you in this tutorial as well.
But now, let’s talk about the resolution — 4K or 8K. And which platform to use, Facebook or YouTube.
4K or 8K, YouTube vs Facebook
Until now, all the reviews or tutorials about 360 Live streaming is below 4K 360. In my opinion, anything below 4K for 360, you should not really use. 4K is not high at all for 360 — it is the bare minimum. As your magic windows only get less than 720P. If you record a 360 video, you should film at least 5.7K.
But then, what about 8K? Should you use 8K? Well, not technically possible right now, at least in the US.
Bummer! I know.
The 2 most popular streaming platforms, also free, are Facebook 360 and YouTube VR. They both only support up to 4K 30fps live streaming in 360. So your sweet spot is 4K 30fps with as higher bitrate as possible.
8K will look a lot better, especially for a 4K smart TV or 8K VR headset like the Skyworth 8K. It will not matter for 90% of your audiences. They know it is a live stream, not Oscar. So don’t hang up on the resolution. But if your works require people to see the micro-details — like the example we see above — treating the COVID-19 patients. Labpano is rolling out an 8K web-based streaming platform to deliver 8K live stream with their cameras directly. More on that later.
Now talk about the platforms. I think both Facebook and YouTube are good 360 live streaming platform with millions of audiences on there already — hungry for your content. So it really comes down to where your audiences are. My audiences are on YouTube, so that is what I choose. But Facebook can do VR180 and 180 live streams with ambisonic spatial audio support. So Facebook can do more format than YouTube. But if you don’t know what I just said, that these extra features do not matter to you.
How to livestream 4K 360 (without 1,000 subscribers) on YouTube and Facebook + Qoocam 8K livestream step by step tutorial
There is misinformation that you need at least 1000 subscribers on YouTube to do 360 live streams. That is not true. Here is my channel with less than 100 subscribers — and you see I can do a 4K 360 live stream, no problem. The trick here is to use RTMP to live stream instead of YouTube of Facebook API. You also do not need OBS to do that. Let me show you.
Go to your computer. On your YouTube page, go to the top right concern, click the camera icon, and select Go Live. Select New Stream. Put in all the necessary information. If you want your session broadcast to the world, use Public. Most of you will use unlisted for a private stream. Go ahead and hit Create Stream.
Under Stream Settings, Additional Settings, make sure you turn on 360 video.
Now open your favorite note taking apps — like Google Keeps or Evernote. Or you can email yourself. Copy the Stream URL, paste it in the note-taking app. Put a forward slash after the URL. This is a very important step. Remember that. Then copy your Stream Key after the forward-slash like so.
Let’s quickly talk about Facebook. Use this URL to go to Facebook Live. Click “Create Live Stream” to create a live event. If you see a new interface of the beta live streaming app — don’t use it. That one does not have the 360 live streaming feature. Go to setttings, under 360 Video, check broadcast this as a spherical video. Select spherical video type dropdown, choose 360 Video standard. Pay attention here; you can also live stream VR180 or just 180 on Facebook with cameras like Insta360 EVO, Vuze XR or Z Cam K1 Pro. If you are interested in learning more about 180 live streams like what Oculus Venue does, comment below. If I get enough interest, I will make an in-depth tutorial on that. You can also use 4 channel ambisonic spatial audio for an even more immersive experience. You can use Zoom H3VR with Qoocam 8K external audio interface to do exactly that.
Copy and paste the Stream URL and Stream Key in your note-taking app, just like what you did on YouTube. You don’t need to add an extra forward slash.
Now open up the note-taking app on your Phone. I use a Samsung S8+ here but the workflow will be the same for iOs. Go ahead and copy the URL. Open up Qoocam 8K app. Connect your Qoocam 8K via the USB-C cable comes with your camera. You should also get the split cable for Qoocam 8K — so you can charge your camera during the live stream. I will make a separate tutorial and review on the Split cable workflow including what battery to get and how to minimize noise, and some advanced settings — so don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell to get the notification from me.
Here, let choose Live. Hit the Facebook icon. We are not going to use either Facebook or YouTube. Because all these are streaming using API data — which will be limited by your subscriber count. You can not live stream if you do not have at least 1000 followers.
So we choose Other right here. Paste in the URL + Stream Key right here. The ways to go live, you choose from the phone. Direct from Camera is the Qoocam 8K Enterprise feature — so you can live stream without your phone. More on that later. Live streaming resolution choose 4K. Bitrate use 30 and Encoder use H.264. H.265 is also an Enterprise feature which cost extra money. Now hit Done. Go ahead and hit LIVE. Now we are broadcasting to YouTube or Facebook.
On YouTube, you should see the data icon lit up. You also see all the important live streaming information in the Stream Health tap. You can not see any of these if you use the Facebook or YouTube API to stream. So you have no idea if your upstream is below good or something went wrong. That is why you always use RTMP or OBS to stream instead of the built-in feature. On Facebook, you can see your upstream speed. For Qoocam 8K right now is 4Mpbs in 4K. It is kinda low, and increase the bitrate on the camera side will help improve image quality.
This is the same workflow for Insta360 ONE X. I already wrote an article on how to use RTMP stream with Insta360 ONE X to avoid 1000 subscriber limit — check the link here.