Tips and tricks on how to start or improve your live streaming
In this article I want to give you some advices about live streaming. Regardless if you are just starting to live stream or if you are already an experienced broadcaster, you might find some tips to improve your skills.
1. Internet Connection
You should always try to improve your internet connection and try to get the best out of it. If you have the option to choose between WiFi and LAN, you should definitely go for the LAN connection, because its strength and speed is more consistent, which results in a better quality of the stream.
You should also make sure, that the internet connection you are using has a reserved bitrate for your streaming device and/or is only used by you during the live stream. Other devices connected to the same network can affect the speed of your internet connection and might cause problems.
2. WiFi Only
If you really can’t connect via LAN to the internet, you should try to be as close as possible to the WiFi Signal. Try to have as less objects between you and the router. Ideal would be to have the router on the same table as your streaming device to prevent any signal loss. But never forget, you should always try to go for a LAN connection if it’s possible!
A live stream normally isn’t something spontaneous, I bet you always have some time to plan and set up things in advance. So you don’t want leave its success to chance! Keep thinking ahead and try to get to the location you will be streaming early to check the conditions for filming (if you’re the producer too) and the internet connection for your live stream. Be prepared to not find the 5MB/s internet connection you were promised but a less than 1MB/s connection instead and the need to have a backup solution like a LTE/4G connection ready to go.
It might sound really stupid, but a lot of people oversee the importance of a backup. Make sure you have a backup not only of your stream, but also of your hardware. I also consider to make a recording of the live stream, if the internet connection gets lost, you still got the chance to make a rebroadcast of the event.
5. Streaming Quality
I know it sounds beautiful to your costumer if you can tell him its stream is going to be in HD, but you should not only offer an HD stream to its viewers. Not every viewer might have the ability to watch the live stream in HD because of its internet connection or device. Make sure you offer at least one lower quality and resolution besides the HD stream to reach a bigger audience.
Try to evaluate how many viewers might attend to your live stream to make the right choice about your server performance. If you are planing on getting a lot of viewers from around the world, you might want to use a real CDN. There are platform solutions like livestream.com or DaCast which allow you to user their CDN to stream around the world.
There are a lot of different software solutions when it comes to live streaming. One of the most used software might be the Flash Media Encoder from Adobe. It’s a free to use software and gives you the option to stream your signal in three different qualities to a Primary and Backup Server and to record it separately to your hard drive. But keep in mind, the more streams you set up the more performance you will need from your CPU and GPU. Make sure to figure out how many streams you can set up with your hardware without using more than 80% of your CPU Power, because this might result in sync problems between your audio- and video-signal.
I hope you know much more about live streaming now than when you started reading this article and remember some of the tips when you’re doing your next broadcast.