02 Feb 2017

How to do a Facebook live with a drone

In this article we’ll show a way of doing a Facebook live session using a drone. For the Romanian version of this article, please visit http://www.cristianflorea.ro where local blogger and influencer Cristian Florea published this piece.

Preparation

First of all there are a few things you’ll need before being able to do this:

  • An FPV Drone
  • iPhone
  • Mac
  • Facebook account

Besides this you’ll also need the aid of 2 pieces of software:

  • QuickTime Player, which comes installed with macOS
  • OBS Studio, which you can download for free over here

Our setup

We used

We also installed the SYMA FPV app from the App Store to be able to receive the drone’s video feed. You should do the same: install you drone manufacturer FPV app.

Recording your iPhone

You’ll be recording your iPhone using QuickTime Player so we can use that feed later one.

  • First of all connect your iPhone to your Mac by using an USB cable.
  • Then open QuickTime Player
  • Choose File->New Movie Recording from the menu
  • Because we want to record our iPhone we’ll choose a different stream for camera: our iPhone

qtp

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a great piece of software that allows you to record the entire display or only parts of it. Besides recording it has a useful feature of streaming. This is exactly what we’re gonna use it for.

Installation

Visit the OBS Studio download section over here.

Select macOS as the operating system and click on the Download for Mac button.

Click on the .dmg file when the download is done. A similar window to this should appear

obs-studio-pkg

Double click OBS.pkg and a wizard should start guiding you.

obs-studio-installer

Enter your macOS password when prompted and click next as needed.

You’ll reach a window similar to this and that means that OBS Studio is ready to be used.

obs-studio-installer-done

Recording the QuickTime Player window

Open OBS Studio by Spotlight Searching OBS.

Leave only one field under Sources tab and that Source should be of type Window capture. Your scene should look similar to this.

obs-studio-window

Click on Window Capture under Source. Click on the cog wheel at the bottom and choose the QuickTime Player window from the list when the new window opens.

obs-studio-qtp-window

At this point OBS Studio is ready to record your drone feed, so we only need to broadcast it to Facebook live.

Facebook Live

Facebook live video

It’s time to link OBS Studio to Facebook live.

Access this to open a pop up that will start your Facebook live session. From the pop up you can post it on your own timeline on your behalf or use a Page account if you so wish.
Click Next on the first pop up that appears.

facebook live drone step 1

Finally make sure that your popup blocker is disabled and copy the Server URL and Stream Key values.

facebook-live-drone-step-2

Keep this window opened. Next we’ll move to setting OBS to stream to Facebook next.

Streaming with OBS

OBS Studio should be opened at this point so click on it.

First step is to click on the Settings button on the lower right corner.

obs-studio-settings

Next you need to enter the values you saved at the previous step. Enter them in the Stream section under URL and Stream key fields.

obs-studio-settings-endpoints

You may also need to enter authentication details. In that case click on the Use authentication tick and enter your Facebook username and password.

obs-studio-settings-auth

Click OK in the lower right corner.

Next push the Start Streaming button. In a few seconds you’ll see the your iPhone being streamed in Facebook live.

fb-live-stream

There is a delay of a few seconds in the stream, this is normal.

One last step for Facebook live with drone to be complete.

Drone FPV

Now it’s the time to start the drone.
Connect to the video feed of the drone. For an FPV drone this usually means:

  • Connect to the WiFi network created by the drone
  • Access the App which streams the drone’s video feed

At this moment everything is completed and all you have to do is to push the Go Live.