The following guide is predicated on the basis that you have already installed a streaming application and have a Thinkzoom Classroom Session configured for streaming already established. If you have not done these steps, please choose one of our guides on how to download and install OBS (macOS & Windows) and how to create a Classroom Session here.
Now that you have a virtual Session made and a Channel created, let's examine what setting up a stream looks like.
After creating the channel, you should see a screen like this:
Let's break each area down, starting with the most relevant pieces necessary to begin streaming.
The first of these areas shows you your Stream Details. These two strings of data are the connecting pieces that enable OBS to send the stream to the Live Virtual Classroom. To enter these strings into OBS, start by launching OBS, and selecting Settings in the lower right hand Control options:
When the Settings screen loads, select the Stream sub-option from the lefthand navigation:
From the Service drop-down options, select Custom. This option will grant you the ability to enter a custom Server and Stream Key. We now want to click the Copy button for the Stream Details in Thinkzoom, thus copying the Server and Stream Key and populating it into the matching fields in OBS:
You can click the Show button if you want to ensure the Stream Key you have in Thinkzoom matches what is now in OBS. Once everything is correct, click OK in the lower righthand corner.
Please note: every time you make a new session, you will need to update the Stream Key in OBS accordingly. The server should be the same no matter the session.
Establishing Sources and Scenes
At this time, if you are not familiar with setting up Sources or Scenes in OBS, we highly recommend using the OBS Quickstart Guide (Step #3) to get a handle on how to set up your desired source and scene for your stream.
Once your streaming environment is set up to your desired specifications, you are ready to stream to Thinkzoom.
Starting the Stream & Broadcasting to Thinkzoom
To begin your broadcast, you must first begin streaming in OBS. From the Controls section in the lower righthand corner, click Start Streaming. You'll know you are live when you can see the bitrate information appear in the same corner:
Now that you are streaming in OBS, it's time to send this broadcast to Thinkzoom.
Head back to your channel, and select Broadcast Stream in the upper righthand side. You'll receive the following notification:
Once you are sure you are ready to broadcast, click the OK button, and Thinkzoom should automatically refresh to show you your stream window, now live and streaming.
Congratulations, you are now streaming on Thinkzoom!
Now that you are live, we can discuss some of the other areas you can interactive with when live.
Once you are live, you can interact with stream viewers by conducting a poll in real time. To start, click the Make Poll button. You will be presented with the following:
Click the Create Poll button to be taken to the Create Poll screen:
Note that you can go back to the main Poll screen by clicking the Back icon next to Create Poll:
Below that, fill out your Poll with your desired information, then click the Create Poll button:
All viewers will now be presented with a poll question to answer: [[need pic]]
Once made, you can go back into Manage Polls at any time to make a new poll or check the status of a poll you've given:
Note that polls can only be conducted when the stream is either Live or Paused, and only if chat is enabled.
The other way you can interact with the streamers in the session is by using the chat located on the righthand side of the video player window. If you do not wish to have chat enabled for your session, simply click on the Disable Chat button and confirm the option to disable it:
If you wish to enable it later in the video, click the Enable Chat button.
If you need to remove a chat message for whatever reason, simply click the widget option on the desired message and click the Remove Message button. Removed messages and the user that sent them will populate under the Disable Chat button.
Resuming a Interrupted/Paused Stream
If you must stop streaming for whatever reason, but plan to resume the stream momentarily, click the Stop Streaming button in OBS. Thinkzoom should refresh with the following:
Your broadcast should now be in this Paused state. From here, once you are ready to resume, simply click the Start Streaming button again in OBS. Give the stream time to go live and click the Continue Broadcast button in Thinkzoom. Your stream should automatically come back for all viewers.
Wrapping a Stream Up
When you are all done with your stream, stop the stream in OBS. When presented with the Paused screen, select the End Stream button instead.
With this last confirmation, you'll be presented with the post-stream Replay screen.
In Replay mode, you'll get the standard Thinkzoom video player for your stream. Note that if your stream had multiple parts to it, users can find them with the More Videos icon found in the player, which gives users the ability to skip to the next video in the recorded playlist. Please note that this is only available if you created the Channel with Recording. If you chose not to record this stream, there will be no post-viewing screen for users, and the stream will now be in an Offline state instead of Replay:
This concludes our guides on streaming with Thinkzoom Live Virtual Classrooms. Please feel to reach out with any questions.