How to stream Mac camera to Chrysalis Cloud with FFmpeg


The simplest way to install ffmpeg on Mac OS X is with Homebrew.

Once you have Homebrew installed install FFmpeg from the computers Terminal window with the following command:

$ brew install ffmpeg


You’re ready to stream to Chrysalis Cloud

Homebrew installs FFmpeg with many of the common codecs including H.264. Validate if FFmpeg has H.264 support:

$ ffmpeg -encoders | grep 264

List avfoundation devices:

$ ffmpeg -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""

Check the number that appears under “FaceTime HD Camera” (usually it’s 0)

ffmpeg -f avfoundation -framerate 10 -vf scale=640:-2 \
-vcodec libx264 -maxrate 800k -bufsize 1M \
-tune zerolatency -preset veryfast -g 60 \
-f flv rtmp://

Replace rtmp:// streaming server URL with your own:

chrysalis rtmp settings


This is the recommended low latency, low bitrate streaming example. It should achieve subsecond latency while not consuming all of your internet bandwidth.

  • i /dev/video0 – The input stream from your camera
  • framerate 10 – 10 frames per second
  • vf scale=640:-2 – Video filter to rescale output to 640 while preserving aspect ratio
  • maxrate 800k – The max bitrate ffmpeg will use to compress the video. The higher the bitrate, the more bandwidth you need.
  • bufsize 1M – The buffer ffmpeg will work with. It uses the buffer if it can’t get the video out quick enough.
  • tune zerolatency – Provides certain encoding speed to compression ratio in H.264
  • preset veryfast – Good for fast encoding and low-latency streaming
  • g 50 – Set the distance between the start and end of the Group of pictures structure
  • flv – The container format for RTMP
  • rtmp:// – The absolute URL to the RTMP server