THETA Live Streaming on YouTube

The main content for this article was originally written by Motoaki Tanigo on his blog in Japanese I’ve made a few changes for clarity. For example, I changed the links to go to the English versions and added screenshots.

THETA UVC Blender Setup

Download the live streaming application from the RICOH site and install it on your PC or Mac desktop computer.


Update from Craig: I have a detailed tutorial on installing THETA UVC Blender live-streaming app.

Setup the Live Streaming Encoder

Download any of the live streaming applications recommended by YouTube, and do the set up. I’m using Wirecast Play.

Update from Craig: I’ve also tested Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio 64 bit. It’s free and open source. Works great.

Create a Live Streaming Event on YouTube

1 Log into YouTube. Click on the “Upload” button. Click the “start” button on the live streaming.

2 On the live streaming menu, you’ll see “immediate delivery” and “event.” Select “event.”

3 Click on the “New live event” button. Add the title. Set the start time in the “basic information” tab description.

4 Click on the “Advanced Settings” tab. Click the checkbox for “This live stream is 360°” under the new 360° video section.

After completing these steps, click the “Create Event” button.

Start THETA S in Live Streaming Mode

THETA S in live streaming mode. The blue lights in the red circle flash. The word “Live” appears. Hold down the “camera” button of THETA S while pressing the “Power” button. The THETA will start in live streaming mode. If the setup is successful, the “Live” mark will light up on the front of the THETA S.

Deliver the Live Streaming Encoder to YouTube

Connect the THETA S to set up the encoder. Add “THETA UVC Blender” as the camera.

In Wirecast Play, click on the “stream” button, to authenticate the YouTube account, to start the live streaming.

Update from Craig: For OBS, copy the Stream key into the box below.

Settings => Stream => Stream key

Here’s my Video resolution settings. As of 5/5/16, the THETA S can only output 1920 x 720 through the USB UVC Blender driver.

360 Degree Live Streaming Example

This video will give you a feeling for what it looks like when it’s streaming:

Update from Craig.

Found this cool and awesome video tutorial on live streaming to YouTube with the THETA S by Jeremy Sciarappa.

I was able to successfully to get live streaming to YouTube using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio.

Although the process took me a few days to figure out, you should be able to get everything set up in 15 minutes. The documentation from YouTube was pretty thin when they first announced support of 360 streaming. Thanks to the wonderful magic of the community, there is now wealth of documentation on this process, only a week after the announcement. It will be easy for you to get set up and stream 360 videos.:slight_smile: Let’s dive in!

You should follow the video tutorial above by Jeremy Sciarappa. If you’re having problems installing the software, refer to this article on THETA live streaming with equirectangular output.

I’ve documented some of the problems I encountered in the hope that it’ll help other people avoid these pitfalls.

First, I needed to delete my existing webcam from the “Camera” list in Live Control Room. Then, I realized that I was having bandwidth problems, which resulted in a blurry image.

I decided to use Custom settings instead of Quick. I’m not sure if this is needed, but it worked for me.

I also realized that the Stream Name is different per event.

When I first started using OBS, I didn’t have the screen sized properly. Right click on the UVC THETA source (or whatever you named the camera source) and select Transform => Stretch to screen.

I then hit Start Streaming from my Windows 10 computer in Palo Alto.

Take a break and celebrate with your friends around the world. My colleague Tyler was able to see the 360 stream in San Francisco with full navigation. He wants to buy a headset now.

Live stream configuration test using my Palo Alto home Internet for upstream. Image is clearer when I have more bandwidth I’ll update the blurry image above when I bring my laptop to a place with more bandwidth. The actual bitrate at my house is under 1Mbps, too low for a good test.

If you’re interested in experimenting with other ways to stream 360 video from the THETA, take a gander at using 360 video from a drone, this tutorial about how to use THETA live view with Unity, and this demo of WiFi streaming with THETA and Unity.

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Robert asked Any idea what this status means: 0x800705AA ? I’m getting it on occasion on the video output from the UVC Blender. I’m using XSplit by the way rather than OBS. It works fine aside from that message.

Alan replied
The quickest way I’ve found to deal with that is right clicking on the Theta UVC Blender source in the scene window and then clicking on the “refresh button” in the pop up properties window. That message appears when the camera has lost connection with the driver which will obviously happen if the battery runs out of power. I’ve been trying to figure out how many hours I can live stream the Theta over USB. It seems to me the battery slowly drains down while its live streaming over USB so a recharge and source refresh eventually becomes needed. I’ve managed to live stream over HDMI for days (because the USB port can then be used fully for power) but that requires running a live stitching application which presents other issues.

Is there a way to stream the THETA into a web page without YouTube?

This blog describes use of the RICOH Cloud API with sample code.

The stitching and navigation is done in the browser with JavaScript.

Hi, this is very useful, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you at the meetup tomorrow!

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I watched my son go through the YouTube streaming guide. He got it to work, but ran into a few snags.
The first one was the advanced settings button was not obvious. It’s to the right of the Basic info button.

The second issue is that until you select a bitrate under Basic ingestion, you will not see the stream key.

Once you select the bitrate, the panel below opens up.

In OBS, he saw the Status:0x800705AA

You should not see this. The video should look like this.

In his case, he got OBS to display THETA UVC Blender by flipping the Device to his laptop webcam and then back to THETA UVC Blender.

Here’s some steps to troubleshoot the Status:0x800705AA problem:

  • set Device to your built-in web cam, then switch it back to THETA UVC Blender
  • Make sure the THETA is in Live Streaming mode with the flashing blue light and the word Live in blue
  • Unplug the camera and plug it back in
  • Restart OBS
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In order to help debug configuration problems with YouTube live streaming, I’ve ran a few tests to replicate the Status:0x800705AA problem.

Look into the connection between these four pieces:

1 Camera => 2 Computer USB Port => 3 UVC Blender = > 4 OBS

If the problem is that you have a video stream, but it is in equirectangular mode (you lack 360 navigation), then the problem is probably between:

3 UVC Blender => 4 OBS => 5 YouTube Streaming Event

Possible problems that cause Status:0x800705AA errors:

camera is not in live streaming mode

Test to make sure you can stream an equirectangular video and display it locally with just OBS, not YouTube. A blue Live light needs to be on.

camera is not plugged into USB port or power is off

The has a user configurable power off period. Maybe your camera turned itself off? The USB connection on the THETA is 2.0, but it will work with a 3.0 port on the computer. Try turning the THETA on in live streaming mode first, then plugging it into the computer

OBS not finding UVC Blender

Despite showing that OBS is connected to UVC Blender in the Device selection, sometimes it is not registering. Select another device such as THETA S streaming in dual fisheye mode to test the connection, then flip back to THETA UVC Blender. Even during a live stream with YouTube, you should be able to change the device. If it’s not streaming in equirectangular mode on OBS, it will not stream in 360 navigation on YouTube

Most Common Problem

The most common problem is not setting the resolution of OBS to 1920x720. The video may appear as equirectangular without 360 navigation unless the resolution is set properly.

change resolution to 1280 x 720 and test again. Update screenshots. Use VLC or OBS to grab the resolution.

Make sure your camera is in Live Streaming Mode!

  1. Press “mode button” - keep pressing - and press “power button” → camera goes to the LiveVideoStreamig mode.

  2. Connect a usb cable with S and laptop (MAC or PC).

If your camera is not in live streaming mode or the USB cable is not connected, you will see this error:

I have also seen this error with an old and slow computer (Pentium dual-core) using the graphics on the chip. My normal system is a quad-core i5 with old nvidia 650Ti graphics card. Check the processor usage on OBS.

Do you see the word “Live”?

Possible Problems with OBS Video Resolution and Google Hangouts Tests

JT says:
July 13, 2016 at 6:40 am
I’ve tried all different resolutions, bit rates and output settings I was using obs and streaming to YouTube, eventually I tried with hangouts streaming to YouTube and it was much better so obs is definitely my problem, not sure what I’m doing wrong, I think I’ll try x split next.

Using HDMI Output to Stream 1080p video to YouTube

from @LeipeLeon

I’ve live streamed from the HDMI port w/ mimo live to youtube
(Theta S/360º support available since version 2.2b1). It has a 360º filter to stitch the images together into a equirectangular image
so it’s very useful for HDMI sources -> better quality than USB.
There are also some other tools to place images in 3d space

Hi, we also use the hdmi port for #360live streaming but have a big problem with heat. The Theta S is getting to hot and powers off after a few minutes livestreaming. Do you have any ideas how to cool it down?
Btw. we use the original output of the theta and other cams and do the 3D part in our player. I am interested what you think of this solution.
With best regards

We’re going to pass on this information to the RICOH product manager. Thank you for flagging it. Can you put the link to your streaming solution?

I’m also very interested because I have the same problems . thanks Ivano

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Of course, Just end with an /trial and you can test. You just have to check Use Wowza and you will get back the encoder settings. After that you just check Start Wowza and you can start streaming (attention - it take several minutes to start and has a timeout if no signal will be sent), adding hotspots (from cam to cam), integrate google maps for campositions (
Important is, that the live player CDN just devalidate every 1 hour. So make your experiences with the backend-link.

Today I bought heat-sink for raspy and will put it on the theta s. Maybe I have to add the USB-cooler, we used for #360live with 6 GoPros.

I am really interested about the question, if it make sence to offer #360live streaming platform next to youtube live. Btw. we have a JW integration, a wordpress plugin, a streamchecker and many more.

With many regards

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@jcasman and I will ask the RICOH THETA product manager about this on Friday.

I have seen community hacks for the heat sink. In the picture below, the heat sink is made of plastic. The guy below actually hacked the THETA to do the stitching with the internal ASIC and output through HDMI, so it should not be needed with simply live streaming through HDMI with the output in dual fisheye. However, it may give you an idea of the type of heat sink mods out there.

As far as I know, there is no official statement from RICOH about overheating with live streaming. However, we know that use of the USB cable for charging and also the heat of the internal processor does cause problems with extended use in some circumstances. RICOH does not specify live streaming time specifications. For example, as far as I know, there is no specification on the site that says that the camera will operate for 24 hours at an air temperature of X degrees.

We have heard that a normal household fan pointed at the THETA does help. People are doing this. It does help in some cases. Another option is to use a small PC fan and attach it to the THETA. The person below made a small bracket from a 3D printer. I think you could also tape a small computer fan to your tripod and point it at the THETA.

I personally have used the THETA in live streaming mode for more than 8 hours and have never had over heating. However, I’ve only used it indoors in places with good air conditioning. If you’re having problems with heat, the easiest thing to try is to just grab a household fan and put it close to the THETA.

Tinkercad Site for THETA S External Cooling Fan Holder for live streaming

In the meantime I tested some Heat Sink Cooler Set for Raspberry Pi with success.

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How did you attach the heatsinks? Did you just use the adhesive that came with them?

I see these are $6.00


This one is $7, but comes with more pieces

I have the same question about the adhesive as @codetricity. Once you have attached the heat sinks, can you take them off again later?