Since you’re reading this article you are amongst a handful of elite broadcasters and marketers who’ve started live streaming. And, you should be super proud of that since I’m sure you’re aware that the power, the reach, and the influence of live streaming is truly unsurpassable.
Based on viewer feedback, I’m certain you’ve faced tremendous challenges regarding lackluster resolution, constant buffering, and lagging issues. They are really annoying, right?
In fact, according to a recent poll (regarding shifting consumer habits ) that was carried out, the consistent broadcast-quality issue was the #1 issue receiving a whopping 65.8 percent of the votes, followed by bandwidth and storage optimization which received 18.4 percent, and finally Per user-targeted audience and QoE monitoring and analytics receiving 10.5 percent and 5.3 percent of the votes respectively.
So, without further ado, here are the most common live streaming challenges and how to go about solving them effectively.
Challenge #1: How To Reduce Buffering & Lag During a Live Stream?
Nothing frustrates a viewer more than unstable or inconsistent streaming quality. In order to increase audience engagement with your live stream, you must first ensure that you provide a consistent, uninterrupted live streaming experience to your viewers.
As a broadcaster we recommend you to do the following things:
- Ensure that your internet connection has excellent upload capacity – You have to ensure that you have an upload capacity of atleast double the desired bitrate of your live stream. We also recommend you test your upload speed using SpeedTest.net.
- Utilize Adaptive Bit-Rate Streaming – This process ensures that the live stream is uninterrupted and it continues with a bitrate that adapts effortlessly to the available bandwidth.
- Always set an optimum keyframe interval – According to us a keyframe interval of 2 to 3 seconds between each other works perfectly in most scenarios. Longer intervals might make the video stream incapable of responding to a network hitch and if kept too close, the quality of your live stream will be depleted significantly.
- Avoid using 4G & Wi-Fi – We highly recommend that you live stream using an ethernet connection. In case you have to rely on a 4G connection we request you to use a bonded connection as it utilizes multiple 4G connections and increases the stability of your live stream.
- Livestream in Multiple Bitrates – Always provide two stream qualities HD and SD. So, viewers with a relatively slow internet connection would be able to view the lower quality stream. Also, ensure to enable adaptive playback as this automatically switches between video qualities depending on the viewer’s internet connection.
Start delivering buffer-free live stream by broadcasting from the nearest server with Muvi Live.
Challenge #2: How To Configure the Encoder Perfectly for Your Live Stream?
This is another important aspect where even the most experienced live stream professionals seem to struggle a lot!
How to find an encoder which is compatible with the video-producing devices?
When it comes to encoding, Open Broadcast Software(OBS) is hands-down the best open source video encoding library available today.
To learn how to set up your OBS perfectly click here and simply follow this informative guide.
Now, let’s talk about a few essential settings to optimize your audio and video streaming.
- Simple Output Mode – You only need to focus on video and audio bitrate whilst using this output mode.
2. Advanced Output Mode – This feature allows you to record the live stream to a local drive while you’re streaming. Make sure to use Same as Stream” or “Indistinguishable Quality” for recording quality, “mp4” for recording format, and “x.264” for the encoder.
3. Hotkeys – These allow you to set up various scenes within your live stream encoding software enabling you to switch between scenes during your live broadcast.
Another thing you need to focus on is conducting regular tests before the actual live streaming in order to ensure that your encoder works flawlessly with other live streaming equipment.
It’s time you bid farewell to those tedious encoding ques and enjoy 2X faster encoding with Muvi Live.
Challenge #3: What To Look For in a CDN To Ensure That Your End-Users Enjoy a Seamless User Experience?
I’m sure that there are countless articles out there that list out in detail the characteristics of a perfect CDN. But, the truth is there is no such thing as “a perfect CDN”!
Why… because a CDN that caters perfectly to the needs of one user may not be applicable and beneficial to you at all.
So what are the features and factors to look for when you’re choosing a CDN?
- Does your CDN service support your Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) Format?
You have to ensure to choose an appropriate CDN that supports and can handle all the relevant ABR protocols. For instance, if you are streaming MPEG-DASH to smart TVs please make sure that the CDN supports these requirements.
- What Geographical Coverage do you require?
Ideally, a CDN would need to have an ingest point proximate to the location of your points of presence(PoPs) and a transcoding engine near to the location of your viewers.
- What are your content security requirements?
Always look for a CDN with an integrated DRM supporting Microsoft, Apple, and Google systems. Also, ensure that your CDN supports TLS/SSL encryption in case it is a priority for you to protect your content from being intercepted in transit.
Your goal should be to choose a live streaming CDN that has a distribution network of atleast 100,000 servers. This will help you to provide superb streaming to your international viewers.
Also Read: Take your streaming business to the next level with Multi-CDN Strategy to learn more!
Experience a built-in. ultra-powerful CDN and deliver your audio & video content across geographies at lightning-fast speeds without any buffering issues. Experience Muvi Live!
No marketer or broadcaster is ever satisfied with their broadcast quality and rightfully so because there is always scope for improvement.
Hopefully, this post helped you to understand how to improve the quality of your live stream a lot better. You’ve just got to remember to be consistent and always produce the best streaming quality you possibly can with whatever resources you have.
Now on that note, it’s time you GRAB your opportunity to enjoy the ultimate Enterprise-grade Live Streaming Platform and start consistently delivering world-class live audio & video experiences beyond geographies.
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