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Facebook Opens 360 Live Streaming Video To All

We saw the first hint of 360 live streaming back in December when Facebook partnered up with NatGeo to launch Live 360 from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah. Then we here at VRScout followed suit the following month for the second ever 360 live stream, capturing President Obama’s Farewell Address.

Now Facebook has opened up Live 360 to everyone (Profiles and Pages). As long as you have the right cameras to capture 360 video, the process can be relatively easy for those already familiar with live streaming on the platform.

Live 360 Cameras

When it comes to compatible Live 360 cameras, there are handful of choices to choose from. Considering many of these cameras did not even exist last year, it was probably wise for Facebook to wait before rolling out the video feature globally.

Cameras currently include the newly announced Samsung Gear 360 (2017), Giroptic IO, Insta360, and ALLie Camera, as well as more professional options like the Z CAM S1 and Nokia Ozo.

The newly announced Gear 360 was already one of our favorite 360 consumer cameras. And now with the capability to live stream, topped off with the added compatibility for all of us with an iPhone, we can’t wait to see how this performs.

Live 360 Spatial Audio

When it comes to experiencing live 360 video in a VR headset, having the ability to also experience 360 sound can significantly add to immersion and more closely mirrors what you’ll experience in real life. So it came as a pleasant surprise that along with the global rollout of Live 360, Facebook also announced that Live 360 cameras with integrated support for spatial audio are coming soon. And if you’re looking to include spatial audio manually through ambisonic microphones, Facebook will also have options for that coming soon too.

Getting Started With Live 360

If you have one of the cameras listed above with Facebook Live 360 integration, you can check the camera vendor’s website for details about Live 360. But if you don’t have a camera that isn’t integrated with Facebook Live through their apps yet, you can visit this link (facebook.com/live/create) to get an RTMP Server URL and Stream Key to get started or use with general streaming software for Live 360.

  1. Visit fb.com/live/create
  2. Click “Create Live Stream”
  3. Select the checkbox for Live 360: “This live stream is a 360 video”
  4. Select your post destination (i.e. Page or profile you want to stream to)
  5. Enter the RTMP Server URL and Stream Key into your 360 camera app or software
  6. Stream to Facebook and preview your stream
  7. Go Live 360

Live 360 Specifications

  • Target Resolution: 1080p at 2:1 aspect ratio (1920×960) Frame Rate: 30fps
  • Target Bitrate: 4 Mbps (megabits)
  • Codec: H.264
  • Keyframe Frequency: 1 I-frame every 2 seconds (minimum) Audio: AAC
  • Audio Sample Rate: 44.1 KHz
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps (kilobits)
  • Depth: Monoscopic
  • Max Streaming Time: 4 hours

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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