You want to live video stream events / sports and reach the broadest section of audience possible – and you have been planning and working on the development of your video streaming company and business, right?
As you may be well aware, there are certain factors that you need to consider for the success of your video streaming career – be that in the entertainment business, Ecommerce, or the field of education. However, there are some ‘hidden’ and very intricate factors, too, that can turn out to be more basic -- and therefore important -- than the broad ones that everyone usually talks about. Let us look at those intrinsic, fundamental factors here.
Streaming Requires Bandwidth
How often do we discuss the intricacies related to such a basic matter as bandwidth, when video streaming is the topic?
‘How much is the upload bandwidth that is required for a successful live streaming?’
This is a very basic, and very pertinent question. Do you know why? Because viewers would be unable to view your content if you did not have the bandwidth required for streaming out – and your live streaming would thus be rendered useless.
How much streaming upload bandwidth is necessary for a successful live broadcast, however, would depend on understanding certain factors, like
- Encoding settings
- Stream quality
and so on.
Understanding Streaming Upload Bandwidth
Upload bandwidth is consumed when you are streaming something out to the Internet. For example
- Publishing a Live Stream
- Attaching a File to an Email
- Saving a File to Cloud storage
Your Internet Service Provider or ISP can tell you the set rate for an upload bandwidth, like ‘5 Mb/s up’.
Download bandwidth limits are usually higher than the upload ones – like ‘15Mb/s down, and 5 Mb/s up’.
The quality of your outgoing streams is dependent on the upload speed of your network. It is therefore important for you to be aware of this rate.
Encoding Your Video Stream For Fitting Your Network
Do you know why it is necessary to have streamed content encoded? Well, if video, and also audio (though to a lesser extent) content is not compressed, it can use up way too much of upload bandwidth to be able to support a dependable broadcast for the audience. Encoding is done to have your video and audio content digitized and compressed to a File size that is suitable for the concerned bandwidth, while keeping the quality intact. A small program known as the Codec does the encoding.
The video and audio data of a stream, when processed over a substantial period of time, is called a Bit Rate. It is generally this way – the higher the bit rate, the greater the quality of the video, or audio. You need to watch out, though. Your live stream can get unreliable for your viewers, if the stream’s bit rate is excessively high in relation to the upload bandwidth – for example, if the network has an upload bandwidth limit of, say, 5 Mb/s, a stream with a bit rate of 6 Mb/s cannot work on it.
The bit rate you select should – roughly -- match the Resolution that you have opted for to publish, as in
- Full HD
If the bit rate of your program happens to disagree with the size of your frame, the configured value of the bit rate is met by bringing about a reduction in the stream’s quality. As a usual outcome of such an event, frames get dropped, and there are visuals that are poorly encoded.
Rough Bit Rate Estimate For Popular Resolutions
|0.5 Megabits Per Second||Minimum Bandwidth Needed For Live Streaming|
|1.5 Megabits Per Second||Minimum Bandwidth Needed For Broadband Connection|
|3.0 Megabits Per Second||SD / Standard Definition Bandwidth|
|5.0 Megabits Per Second||HD / High Definition Bandwidth|
|25 Megabits Per Second||4K UHD (Ultra HD) Bandwidth|
The values mentioned here, please note, need not necessarily prove to be industry standards. These are simply recommendations, in general.
Considerations Associated With The Success Of Live Streaming
Keep Some ‘Headroom’ / Extra Bandwidth Ready
You most certainly need to have the requisite bandwidth that can enable the streaming of your broadcast – a better idea is to have some more bandwidth handy, as ‘headroom’ provision. In case there is any change in the network, this extra bandwidth can play the buffer.
User activities like
- Internet Uploads
- VOiP Communication
etc. taking place on your network can affect the upload bandwidth.
It could be helpful, therefore, to keep, in the least, an extra 1.5 x your stream’s bit rate readily available – in case there are any fluctuations in the network. Make sure you have a minimum of 7.5 Mb/s of total upload bandwidth ready, if the bit rate for your live stream is 5 Mb/s. This can ensure a live stream that you can rely on.
Take Into Consideration The Type Of Network You Use
Internet connectivity can be of various kinds, like
- Cellular data
Before you attempt a live broadcast, you should take into consideration the different levels of network reliability, and upload / download speed capability that each one of these has. An example: DSL is known to have lower maximum upload bandwidth. This can limit the bit rate, which can affect the quality of your published stream adversely.
Another factor that you need to consider is the probable weather conditions that might cause adversity, in case you live in a remote area, have a satellite connection, and want to publish a video stream.
Keep In Mind The ISP Upload Speeds As Well As Data Caps
There are many Internet packages that are advertised like ‘Up to 10 Mb/s up and 30 Mb/s down’. This is done in such a manner because Internet speeds might vary. For instance, in case you happen to use a cable network, your bandwidth can slow down during ‘peak periods’ of Internet use, as you share the Internet with other people using the cable network in your particular geographical location.
There are some ISPs with bandwidth usage maximums; you might have to pay extra money if your live stream exceeds the monthly upload cap set for you.
You need not worry if you are not too sure what your upload speed is. You can use any of the Internet speed tests online, that are for free.
Organize Additional Bandwidth While Streaming Multiple Programs
A live streaming strategy that has been gaining in popularity is the Multi-streaming one, which involves having your broadcast published, simultaneously, to more than one CDN (Content Distribution Network) platform.
There is a similar technique, known as Multi-encoding, that involves the streaming of the same program, at different bit rates, to the same CDN.
When you set out to use these techniques, you need to remember that every additional program published by you makes addition to your total outgoing bit rate. The reason why additional upload bandwidth is required to be readily available.
Yes – there ARE a lot of very intricate, and very important factors related to bandwidth, and even otherwise, that the streaming of a stable live broadcast can depend on. There might not be one single ‘one-size-fits-all’ configuration, but with the right knowledge, and adjustment, no matter what the network, you can succeed in publishing a worthwhile live stream.
Have questions? Doubts? Ideas? Feel absolutely welcome to contact us at Ascentspark Software for a consultation related to video streaming – free of cost, absolutely.
You can also get completely customized solutions related to video streaming, distribution, delivery, and monetization from us.