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Can You Live Stream with a DJI Mini 2?

6 mins
Drone Blog
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DJI’s Mini 2 is an impressive piece of hardware in a small package. It really is! When the Mini was first introduced, it was by far the best in its class for affordability and quality. There were some drawbacks, like the camera. The Mini did not have any 4K capability and that really held it back. 

DJI realized this error and within a short time, they introduced the Mini 2. The Mini 2 was everything the Mini wasn’t and to this day is the best drone for beginners and experienced pilots alike who are looking for a small, easy to fly craft with many of the features found in the pricier larger models.

The Mini 2 was almost perfect. Almost. Initially, the Mini 2 as well as any of the other systems in the new DJI Fly app, was missing a capability that many have come to rely on with their DJI drones. That was the ability to Live Stream their flights.

This wasn’t really an issue with the hardware. It was an issue with the firmware. As such, in the latter part of 2021, DJI through a firmware update 1.4.12, added the ability to live stream. 

In the DJI Fly App, live streaming is a bit different than if you’re familiar with the GO or GO4 version app.

Yes, you can Live Stream with your Mini 2 using the DJI Fly App, as long as you have the 1.4.12 app version or higher. You can also live stream with the Mini, or any other drone that is using the 1.4.12 version or higher of the DJI Fly App.

It can be difficult at times to figure out why DJI does some things over others. In the case of live streaming in the Fly app, DJI sort of dropped the ball by not having this feature available originally. 

Granted, the Fly App was intended to be an easier to use, scaled-down version of the other apps. DJI succeeded in that wonderfully. We can’t fault a company like DJI for needing more time to make a new bit of programming work properly. 

Have you tried programming? It’s not for the faint of heart. You could spend days or months tracking down that small bit of code that is just mashing things up. 

How to live stream in the DJI Fly App #

First, you will want to set up your Mini 2 and make it ready for flight. Once setup is completed and you are connected to your drone and everything is ready to go, go to the transmission tap found in the menu. 

A sidebar window will open; this sidebar window will contain a menu list with Live Streaming Platforms located at the top. Select this tab. You will now have a new sidebar window open that has a link logo and the letters RTMP.

In list form, here are the steps to get you started:

  1. Set up Mini 2 and prepare for flight
  2. Go to the menu
  3. Select the Transmission tab
  4. On the sidebar window that opens you will see a link logo and “RTMP
  5. By selecting this you will open the Live Streaming tab.

Here is where it’s a little different. You will no longer have the major live stream platforms here to choose from and enter your key as found in the other apps. 

You will need to know and be able to input the RTMP that you will be using and the stream key. We’ll pick up the steps to follow in just a bit, but first some explanation.

What is an RTMP? #

RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) was originally developed by Adobe (Macrovision) for their Adobe Flash Player. It’s this protocol that is still used today by nearly every streaming service to send audio, video, and data from the encoder to the server. 

That then distributes the signal over the internet for use. Even though Adobe Flash has been retired, its legacy lives on through the RTMP and will be with us for some time longer until better protocols are designed and developed.  

How does RTMP streaming work? #

The protocol works by reducing the size of the audio and video files by chopping them into smaller fragments. These fragments known as packets are sent individually through several virtual channels and then reassembled at the endpoint for use. 

With RTMPs, the latency from the creation point to the endpoint is around 5 seconds. Streaming uses a three-way handshake system to enable data transportation. 

It begins with you the start point and your RTMP encoder, shaking hands with the server. Once linked together, the server will then reach out and shake hands with the initiator or streaming platform, or decoder. 

A connection will then be made between the three and you will be live streaming.

How do I locate my RTMP? #

Finding your RTMP can be difficult or easy, depending on how familiar you are with your live streaming platform and which one you are using.

For Facebook #

  1. On the left side menu, hover over Other Features.
  2. Two options will become available: “Live Events” and “Live Stream Now.”
  3. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the Live Dashboard to find your RTMP URL and Stream Key.

For YouTube #

  1. Open YouTube Live Control Room.
  2. Click the Stream Tab.
  3. Under “Stream Settings” in the Stream URL field, click the lock icon to show the RTMP URL.
  4. Copy this URL. Your stream key is your channel URL.

I have my RTMP, now what? #

So, you’ve located and copied your RTMP and Stream Key. Let’s go back to where we left off then. 

  1. Enter the RTMP into the controller’s address bar. You will enter the stream URL then use a forward slash and enter the stream key.Example: Stream URL/Stream Key
  2. From here you will be able to select the live stream resolution and the bit rate
  3. Tap OK and you will be live streaming!

Why such low resolution? #

When streaming through the use of an RTMP, latency is a big factor. As an RTMP, the latency rate is 5 seconds. This is accomplished by the use of lower video resolutions as the lower resolutions have smaller data files. 

It is possible to broadcast a higher resolution but the latency in the transmission will increase in some cases to as high as 60 seconds. The resolution will also most likely be decided for you since the use of the ABS protocols. These protocols are used by the streaming platforms to decode the packets in the best format for their platform.

What is the best bitrate? #

Choosing the best bitrate is a straightforward decision. The better your internet connection, the higher the bitrate can be. When live streaming, you want to have the best connection possible. If the connection isn’t as strong, lowering the bitrate will decrease the pixilation that may occur in the stream.

Now, get out there and show us what you’re flying on in real-time. 

Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!

Image credit: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden


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